The Red Room at Café 939
939 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02115
You know who needs affordable music venues? College students. So it should come as no surprise that Berklee College of Music offers an incredibly priced venue that features everything from classical to rock and jazz to hip hop. The Red Room at Café 939 is small but that’s one of its charms. It’s an intimate setting to hear live music and really feel up close to your favorite performers. Tickets range from free to $15, great prices for any budget. This is one of the most affordable all-ages venues in the city of Boston.
DC Memorial Hatch Shell
47 David G Mugar Way
Boston, MA 02108
Forget about cheap. How does free live music sound to you? Each summer, the city of Boston puts on a wide variety of musical acts, free to the public, at the Hatch Shell. The Hatch Shell is easy and convenient to get to and located right on the sunny banks of the Charles River. If the idea of a mob scene turns you off, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how orderly the whole thing is. There’s plenty of room to lay out a blanket and enjoy the music. You can also usually catch a less populated concert rehearsal the evening before the free show goes on.
47 Palmer St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard Square just wouldn’t be the same without this highly underrated little gem. Club Passim is a non-profit dedicated to bringing the best musical acts, at an affordable price, to Boston. It can be small, and cramped, and maybe just a tad rough around the edges. But you’re going to see incredible music at an equally incredible price. Club Passim is an all-ages venue and children under two don’t need a ticket at all. So don’t let lack of a babysitter keep you from a night of music.
Related: Boston’s Best Stores With A Cause
427 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA 02118
If you love jazz and blues music, you’ll instantly fall in love with Wally’s Café. Yes it’s small and loud. But you’re not going to find a better place to hear some amazing up-and-coming musicians at such a great price. The club is 21-plus and the drinks are known for being a little pricier than in many similarly sized places. But Wally’s has no cover charge, which easily makes up the difference.
Paradise Rock Club
967 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Paradise Rock Club is pretty singular in the Boston music scene. That is, it gets quality music, doesn’t charge an arm and leg for it and it’s still a pretty good sized club. That doesn’t mean you should expect anything fancy. But you will get drinks at a price that’s as decent as what you pay for your ticket. And you will see music you’ll love. What more could you ask for?
Renee Mallett is the author of several books about art, culture, and New England. She was the owner and director of an art gallery and has written about arts and entertainment on a national level for several print and online journals. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.