November 18, 2013 by ryanglaspell
A few weeks back the Man Cave highlighted some of Morgantown’s top open mic spots. While checking out budding singer/songwriters and other unheard of acts is appealing to some, there are others who yearn for the more established music scene. If there are a handful of good open mics, there are multiple muscular, hairy man-handfuls of places to satisfy your urge for some live tunes.
The plethora of places to hear some music in Morgantown make it inconceivable to tell you all of the opportunities that face Morgantown inhabitants. A quick Google search will provide a nice interactive map and preview bar at the top with many venues.
For those who are overwhelmed by the swarm of possibilities, I will lay out four of the city’s best places to hear live music. We at the Man Cave value diversity, so the following span the spectrum of settings. Whether you want to get mildly wasted and head bang to a metal band or indulge in authentic, mouth watering food while being serenaded by some acoustic guitars, this list is for you.
The above map displays the live music venues featured in this post. Click on the icons for more details.
1. 123 Pleasant Street
I know 123 has made its way into the Man Cave a few times already, but when it comes to Morgantown music, it simply can’t be ignored. There are multiple shows every week. Punk bands, atmospheric hometown heroes, alt-rockers and more have shared moments on 123’s stage. The venue was at one time titled “The Underground Railroad.” The name may have changed, but this dim, historic venue still hosts an underground feel. It’s dark, loud and filled with an extensive bar. This is a place where time is best spent standing in front of the stage cheering on musicians from all parts of the region and country. If you want a nightlife alternative to bar hopping and clubbing, take a walk inside 123.
2. Black Bear
The two Black Bear locations (Downtown & Evansdale) are first and foremost restaurants, and damn good ones at that. Locally owned and operated with fresh local ingredients, as well as a hearty selection of craft brews. The thought alone sends jolts of excitement and hunger through even the most masculine guy. Oh yeah, and the music part. They feature mostly local acts multiple times a week. With a slightly raised floor that functions as a stage, and an ear for great folk, blues, country and other genres of music, Black Bear will satiate your hunger for tunes and amazing cuisine.
3. Lyell B Clay Concert Theatre
As “cool” as it is to be a member of the small-town music scene, you can’t neglect the Creative Arts Center’s Lyell B Clay Concert Theatre. Lyell B Clay hosts a more conventional live music experience. They cross the vernacular threshold from hosting live music to concerts. Comfy seats, professional sound and national acts are all reasons why Morgantown residents should try to save up the money to check out the diverse selection of entertainment that they offer. Whether you want to support the pride of WVU in their Keynote Concert, catch an ethnic choir, or let Kenny Rogers’ drawl lull you into happiness, Lyell B Clay has something for you.
4. Schmitt’s Saloon
I have never personally been to Schmitt’s Saloon (also known as Davisson Brothers Music Hall), but if the nearly 11,000 Facebook “likes” are any indication, it’s the place to be. If you want a true redneck, West Virginia experience, then the barn-wood tables and Davisson Brothers Band hotspot is calling your name. It was opened by and named after former WVU football star and ultimate man Owen Schmitt. From their unique menu, to their specialty drinks and busy music schedule, the atmosphere at Schmitt’s is conducive for a rocking time. Their music lineup is primarily country, with big acts such as Shooter Jennings. You’ll see other musicians from time to time, though. Landau Eugene Murphy Jr is swinging by on November 30th with the Davisson Brothers Band to put on a show. For the epitome of West Virginia style, complete with country music and unhealthily delicious food, step into Schmitt’s Saloon.
Did any of your favorites not make the list?
In a comment below leave your favorite places to catch live music and why!