When it comes to the southern cities in the USA it is widely considered that these are the best places to watch live music. Indeed I have experienced this is Tennessee, Nashville and Austin, which so many say is the best city for it. On the recommendation of the brilliant Charles Wooten however, I decided to find out what New Orleans was like for live music, the place where he thought was the best. I went in with an open mind and I have to say that there is no doubt in my mind, that this is the best city in the USA that I have been to, for live music. Here is why NOLA is the place to go for live music.
Variety of Genres
I knew that NOLA was the home of blues and jazz, and I was looking forward to seeing it performed in the bars and streets. What blew me away first however was the sheer range of genres which you can find in this city. Walking down some of the streets in the early evening you can walk past 5 bars in a row, all of which have different music coming out of them. From piano bars to rock clubs and everything in between, there is no doubt that there is wider variety here than in any of the cities which I have visited.
I have watched live music all over the world, both by renowned artists and local talent. I have to say however that the talent which was on display in some of the music venues in New Orleans was absolutely sensational. I saw blues acts who could easily find worldwide fame, rappers with outstanding ability and rock bands who amazed me that they were not already famous. It must be hard in such a melting pot of live music but I have to say that the idea these guys and girls were just amateur performers was tough to believe.
Inclusion of Guests
I was really looking forward to Austin when I went, but I got a sense that the acts thought that they had already made it because of where they were playing. My feelings from seeing the bands and artists in NOLA however was that they were far more humble. I felt this because of the fact that they were so much more inclusive with the crowd. This was the same no matter what kind of act I saw, and they were all so stoked to be able to have a chat with the crowd and even took requests. This is why I loved NOLA so much more, not necessarily that the music was that much better than other places, but because the experience was so much more fun. Being part of a NOLA crowd is one of the coolest experiences which you will find.
Which do you think is the best city in the US to catch live music?