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Live Music

Top Rated Nightlife in Cambridge

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Toad

If you are looking for quality music in an intimate atmosphere, this Cambridge spot fits the bill. Live music is on tap nightly, as are a variety of microbrews and a full bar. Local bands are a mainstay here, but national stars have stopped by to give performances as well.

Wally's Cafe

This venerable club, founded in 1947, was the first African-American-owned nightclub in New England. Wally's Cafe is a proving ground for young jazz musicians, and audience members (or famous visitors) often step up and jam. Much of the narrow space is filled with the bar, and it is standing-room-only on weekend nights. The crowd is a mix of musicians, locals and bohemians of all ages. Live music is played every night and there is a jazz brunch on Sunday afternoons.

Paradise Rock Club

Mainly a venue for rock 'n' roll acts, Paradise Rock Club draws a partying crowd in their late 20s and early 30s. If you do not want to dance, comfortable couches upstairs allow pleasant observation of all the goings-on downstairs. One of the best places in Boston to see live music, the club hosts pop, alternative and better-known local acts almost nightly. Prominent acts who have made appearances include Bare Naked Ladies, Flaming Lips, the Wallflowers, Goo Goo Dolls, and Jack Johnson.

The Royale

One of the longest standing fixtures in the city's nightlife, The Royale was born in 1918, when Dave Ralph got together with designer Tom Telesco to transform an opera hall into one of the most mesmerizing and infectious party venues there is to know. The luxurious interiors and lighting along with a full bar, world-class DJs and top-notch sound system make it one of the most sought-after nightclubs in the city. There are also plenty of comfortable lounge areas and a VIP section that provide a little more privacy.

The Beehive

Housed in the Boston Center for the Arts, The Beehive restaurant and bar is almost like an opera house in itself with live jazz, cabaret and a lot more action. There are fine satin drapes and exquisite artifacts adorning the eatery. A popular hangout among the night birds; the bar and lounge scene here is also upbeat and lively. The food is a regular mix of the grilled and Mediterranean variety, with lamb ribs ruling the roost. Sausages, pasta and risottos also sit happily together on the menu. The wine sure flows freely on all days and everything about the place has an arty feel to it.

Cheers Boston

Tourists still flock to Bull & Finch Pub, a.k.a. Cheers Boston, the inspiration for the Cheers television series which ran for 11 years and won a number of awards. Avid fans should be forewarned, however; the exterior is very familiar, but the inside is nothing like the TV version. Drinks and food are served here, but its icon status is the main draw. It is considered by many to be one of the top tourist attractions in Boston!

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