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Jeff Terich’s Live Music Faves

Where to Go for Your Next Show

Ready to see what all the buzz is about? Let local music critic 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; Music Editor, San Diego CityBeat

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.
Jeff’s Favorite… 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.
Jeff’s Favorite… 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 Jeff can find someone great playing on stage.
Jeff’s Favorite… 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.
Jeff’s Favorite… “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.
Jeff’s Favorite… 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.
Jeff’s Favorite… 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)

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