Music Venues

Concert halls, clubs, arenas, and stadiums that presented great live music.

See our page listing the theaters, concert halls, and clubs where you can hear rock, pop, hip hop, jazz, and classical music in the Pittsburgh area along with concert calendar links.

Live Concert Recordings from Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh's Historic Music Venues

Early Venues
Pittsburgh's first music performance space was Fort Pitt where band concerts were held for the early settlers. As Pittsburgh grew music was performed in Pittsburgh Taverns and in private homes. The original Allegheny County Courthouse in Market Square became the place watch concert and plays. The city’s first theater “Theater on Third” opened in 1812 with 400 seats on the corner of Third and Smithfield Street. It ran theatrical productions of touring companies until the 1830s The Old Drury Theatre was Pittsburgh's main performance space from 1830 to 1870.

Jazz Venues
Pittsburgh’s Hill District, called the cross roads of the world, was home to dozens of influential jazz clubs, dance halls, and after hours clubs that were the training ground of the many talented musicians who made their mark on jazz history. On the Hill jazz thrived at the Leader House, the Pythian Temple, the Savoy Ballroom, The Roosevelt Theatre, Crawford Grill I, Crawford Grill II, the Musicians Club, The Hurricane Club, and the Bambola Social Club. The big dances bands played the Stanley Theater, the Enright, and Danceland.Danceland Downtown and East End clubs that played host to Pittsburgh and national jazz musicians included Mercurs, Sonny Dayes Stage Door, Walt Harper's, The Encore, and the Balcony. The Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild carries on Pittsburgh’s jazz tradition today.

Doo Wop Venues
Doo Wop groups during the 1950s and early 1960s performed at teen dances and sock hops held at Danceland, The new Savoy Ballroom, The White Elephant, the Bethal Park Roller Rink, and school gymnasiums throughout the Pittsburgh area. The dances were hosted and promoted by DJs Porky Chedwick, Bill Elliot, Terry Lee, Mad Mike, and others.

Supper Clubs
In the era of the lounge singers Pittsburghers frequented the Holiday House, the Twin Coaches, and Lenny Litman’s Copa to have a meal and see top pop singers, movie stars, dancers and comedians.

Rock Venues
Several important rock clubs in the Pittsburgh area supported bands who played original music helping them to build fan bases and go on to national and international success. The Staircase Lounge, The Decade, the Fat City Lounge, Morry's Speakeasy, The Electric Banana, the Grafitti Showcase, Nicks' Fat City, and Club Laga played host to Pittsburgh's Rock musicians during the 1960s through 2000.  Pittsburgh was ringed by a circuit of small town and suburban rock clubs like the Evergreen, Somplace Else, and Stage One.

Classical Music Venues

The Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland became the first home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The PSO has had two other homes since: the Syria Mosque and Heinz Hall.

Pittsburgh's Discarded Concert Halls, Theaters, and Sport Arenas 

Many of Pittsburgh historic music venues are just a memory. Most of the lower Hill district neighborhood and its music venues were destroyed to make way for the Civic Arena which in turn was demolished. The elegant Nixon Theater was trashed to build the now obsolete and empty Alcoa Building. The Syria Mosque was torn down for a black top parking lot
Venues from the trash heap of Pittsburgh's History
Civic Arena (1961 to 2010)

Three Rivers Stadium (1970 - 2000)

Duquense Gardens (1896-1956)
Exhibition Music Hall (1898 - 1941)
The Casino Schenley Park (1895- 1896)

Lyceum Theatre on Penn Avenue (1910 -1936)
Alvin Theatre (1891- 1940)

Syria Mosque (1912 - 1991)

Nixon Theatre (1903 - 1950)
Duquesne Theatre (1890 - 1930)
Mercantile Hall 1870

Old Drury Theatre (1833 - 1870)