4. Great Rooms
40 Watt Club
Athens, Georgia

This small club near the University of Georgia launched R.E.M. and the B-52s, among others, and is where an Indigo Girl still sometimes graces the stage.

Cleveland, Ohio

The storied room instrumental in launching the careers of Grand Funk Railroad, Foghat, and ZZ Top has matured and evolved into the region's premier music venue, while continuing to prove that Cleveland rocks. This is the real Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Antone's Home of the Blues
Austin, Texas

Shrines to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Doug Sahm flank a low stage where blues legends and roots stars perform close enough to reach out and touch.

New Orleans, Louisiana

The music hounds' club of clubs in N'Awlins honors Professor Longhair, the Bach of Rock.

Blind Pig
Ann Arbor, Michigan

This '70s college-town blues joint has evolved into an all-purpose alternative music venue with a shrine to Nirvana's Kurt Cobain (he called the Pig his favorite gig "ever").

Billy Bob's Texas
Fort Worth, Texas

Dance country to real country bands at this tourist-friendly hall that bills itself as the World's Largest Honky-Tonk. And if the music doesn't move you, the live bulls you can ride in the club's rodeo arena on Friday and Saturday nights certainly will. Hats and boots optional.

First Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Even if it weren't the club that Prince built, the sightlines and lingering new wave scene in this former bus depot survive in one of the last of the '80s' big-room, modern-rock clubs.

FitzGerald's Nightclub
Berwyn, Illinois

This casual suburban-Chicago spot in a former hunting club looks more like a favorite relative's house than a favorite stop on the touring circuit for roots bands and singer-songwriters who aren't big enough to fill hockey arenas. The vibes generated within are memorable enough to rate having a book written about it.

Walt Disney Concert Hall
Los Angeles, California

This Frank Gehry creation makes other performing arts halls sound perfectly Mickey Mouse.

Carnegie Hall
New York, New York

You can quit practicing now.