arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Jeff Terich’s Live Music Faves

Where to Go for Your Next Show

Ready to see what all the buzz is about? Let San Diego Music Expert Jeff Terich show you the way. The San Diego live music scene is packed with awesomeness and Jeff is sharing his favorite places to catch a show.

By: Jeff Terich; San Diego Music Expert

Jeff’s Favorite ...

place to discover an up-and-coming band: Soda Bar or SPACE

  • These two hole-in-the-wall venues both have intimate shows with artists of all types. Jeff has found some great bands by showing up early and catching the openers, and recommends you do the same. Can’t decide between the two spots? Don’t worry, they’re only two blocks apart on El Cajon Boulevard in North Park.
big-time concert venue: The Observatory North Park
  • Located in San Diego’s trendy North Park neighborhood, this reimagined 1939 theater is Jeff’s favorite place to catch a national headliner. It’s a big venue that manages to still feel intimate; it always brings big names that put on amazing shows.
dive bar venue: SPACE
  • Also one of his picks for discovering up-and-coming talent, Jeff loves the local-hangout vibe at SPACE. It’s a place where even on a random weeknight night you can find someone great playing on stage.
historic venue: The Balboa Theater
  • Jeff loves the architecture and design of this circa-1924 downtown venue, but more than that he loves how great the acoustics are and how high quality each show is. The Balboa Theater is listed on the Register of National Historic Places.
“hidden gem” venue: Til-Two Club
  • A lot of locals don’t even know about this spot in City Heights, but Jeff has seen some great shows there—including touring bands! Now, promise you’ll keep this a secret.
show he’s seen in San Diego: Drive Like Jehu with Dr. Carol Williams at The Spreckels Organ Pavilion
  • Obviously, this was a tough one for Jeff. However, when long-dormant punk band Drive Like Jehu reunited, and added the powerful sounds of Dr. Carol Williams on the organ, that was something that can’t be replicated. The much-anticipated reunion of the San Diego band took place on the epic stage of Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion, adding to the magic of the entire experience.
venue to play at: The Casbah
  • Jeff’s knowledge of the San Diego music scene isn’t limited to his job as an editor. He knows the other side, too, as the guitarist and lead singer of his band, Blood Ponies. His favorite venue to play is The Casbah, by far. Jeff appreciates how this iconic and historic Little Italy venue takes great care of its artists, and he loves the way it sounds inside. Jeff says he’s never had a bad night at The Casbah.
ENCORE!
  • Jeff’s Favorite… place to see a hip-hop show: Kava Lounge (Little Italy)
  • Jeff’s Favorite… place to see a punk show: Tower Bar (City Heights)
  • Jeff’s Favorite… place to see a metal show: Brick by Brick (Morena)

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Activities

Stay-At-Home Orders Lifted! Wine Tours are Open

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: Feb 16 - ongoing

We have Covid-19 Safety Protocol in place for your comfort and Safety.  BOOK YOUR CHAUFFEURED VINEYARD ADVENTURE and receive a FREE tote when you mention this ad.  Sun & sip...

Activity

Free 45-minute History Bay Cruise With Admission!

Maritime Museum of San Diego
Valid: Feb 26 - Mar 28, 2021

Welcome to the Maritime Museum of San Diego’? Your best choice for an outdoor educacational experience! Take a top deck tour of the historic fleet, including the world’s oldest sailing...

Team Building

10% Off Beer and Wine Tour Gift Certificates!

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: Feb 2 - ongoing

Safety First! - We have Covid-19 Safety Protocols in place for your comfort and safety. Gift Certificates make the Perfect STOCKING STUFFER! You can choose gift certificates for a specific tour...

Events to check out

Event

Gator By The Bay-Zydeco, Blues & Crawfish Festival

Bon Temps Social Club of San Diego
May 6 - May 9, 2021

Largest, authentic Louisiana-themed festival this side of the bayou. Features 4 days of live music - more than 100 performances on 7 stages, dancing, delicious Southern food - including beignets,...

Event

Oceanview Brunch at The Med

THE MED - La Valencia Hotel
Mar 1, 2021 - ongoing

Soak up the ocean views and savor your brunch favorites at La Jolla's "Pink Lady." Our decadent brunch menu is back every weekend with live music from local favorites from 11:00am-2:00pm. A...

Event

The Irish Julep

JULEP
Mar 12 - Mar 17, 2021

Join us for cuisines of the homeland, drinks of Irish delight, the sounds of the rolling hills & loads of St. Paddy's shenanigans! St. Patrick’s Day hits San Diego with a pop-up...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish