Best Places to See Indie Rock in Washington, D.C.

By: Laura Catherine Hermoza

Indie rock music is all the rage these days. As one of alternate rock’s most increasingly popular sub genres, you can now find indie rock bands in almost every city and state, as well as abroad. The D.C. music scene is no exception. Here’s a list of some of the best local music venues to see indie rock performances.

DC9 Nightclub
1940 9th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 483-5000
www.dcnine.com

DC9 Nightclub may not be the largest place around, but it’s definitely one of the largest indie music scenes in D.C. Despite its size, there’s always plenty of comfortable seating to go around and lots of music and dance to be had. Stop in nightly to enjoy great food, drink and, of course something new and ever-changing in the way of music. Some of the hottest independent musicians and bands from around the region (and beyond) come out for live performances ranging in styles of rock, hip-hop and other genres. There are plenty of other featured events as well, including special Indie Rock Karaoke and frequent dance parties.

U Street Music Hall
1115 U St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-1889
www.ustreetmusichall.com

Since opening its doors back in in 2010 music lovers from all around D.C. have been flocking here to experience some of the most versatile performances around. Known to locals as “U Hall,” this DJ-owned and operated dance club keeps the party hopping with everything, from techno, electro and so many other genres, including classic indie rock. The basement venue setup boasts one of the finest sound systems in D.C. and can house crowds of up to 500 people at any given time. Plenty of indie rock musicians have been known to frequent U Hall with original performances and even special classic indie tribute events.

Rock And Roll Hotel
1353 H St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 388-7625
www.rockandrollhoteldc.com

Don’t let the name full you, because this popular music venue is not a hotel. Rather, its one of the hottest nightclub/musical venues in D.C., complete with full-service bars, daily happy hours, and delicious pub food favorites. Since opening back in 2006, Rock and Roll Hotel has been drawing in original indie rock bands and performers of other genres from all around the region, and in some cases, from around the world. This three-story “hotel” dwelling has it all—from a first floor concert hall, a second floor lounge and rooftop deck that is open year-round.

Related:  Best Indie Rock Bands In Washington, D.C.

The Black Squirrel
2427 18th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 232-1011
www.blacksquirreldc.com

Here you’ll discover great food and drink to go along with a versatile range of live musical performances taking place on a nightly basis. Located in D.C.’s cultural Adams Morgan district, the Black Squirrel frequently hosts indie bands and other musical genre performers in its downstairs taproom. Come on in and listen to talented musical acts while diving into delicious burgers, fries and other fare. And don’t forget the endless drink options here, considered by many to be among the best beer selections in all of D.C. There is also a private upstairs lounge available for hosting special parties and other events.

9:30 Club
815 V St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 265-0930
www.930.com

9:30 got a humble start in 1980 as a basement venue for practicing local musicians. Now it stands as one of D.C.’s largest nightclub scenes, with nightly entertainment and engaging events. Musical performers of all genres come here to perform a vast array of selections, from alternative and indie to punk rock and everything in between. Though still operating around the idea of being a place for local musicians just starting out, the venue has played host to many famous bands throughout the years too, including The Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins and several others.

Related: Best Up-And-Coming D.C. Bands to See this Year

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