If you’ve been playing music seriously for a while, you’ve probably seen it all as far as big cities go. While lots of people think America’s music is purely confined to large coastal cities and nowhere else in between, there’s a ton of great cities for music scattered across the country. Here are four great US tour stops you might’ve missed.
1. Boise, Idaho
In typical Boise fashion, the Idaho city has been humbly earning a reputation for being a great yet unpretentious place to see music over the past decade. Treefort Music Fest, which hosted George Clinton and Andrew W.K. this year, is one of the biggest reasons why. Boise’s fun, laid back nature and flannel-sporting residents make it a great place to play music.
2. Lawrence, Kansas
Venues like the Bottleneck, the Granada and Jackpot Saloon have made Lawrence, Kansas a must-play destination for bands since long before the days of grunge. Massive bands like Wilco, Radiohead, and Nirvana played in Lawrence, home of the University of Kansas back in the 90’s, and the city remains a great place to play today. For being such a small town, Lawrence has a surprising number of venues built to accommodate everyone from small bands to artists capable of drawing big crowds.
3. Bloomington, Indiana
Most bands don’t think of Indiana when they talk about live music, but the music scene in Bloomington is an absolute gem that shouldn’t be skipped on tour. Located in town, Indiana University’s world renowned jazz and folklore programs are generally thought of as being major factors behind the small city’s surprisingly vibrant music culture. It’s a place where basement shows are able to rival the ones held at legitimate venues, and great live music can be heard any night of the week.
4. Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman is so gorgeous that bands almost don’t need any other reason to stop there. But in addition to its incredible scenery, it’s also filled with awesome venues perfectly suited for bluegrass, indie and folk bands. Bozeman is a place most bands never visit because it’s so remote which means that when music does come to town, people are apt to be more receptive and appreciative. Don’t skip Bozeman.
Patrick McGuire is a musician, writer, and educator currently residing in the great city of Philadelphia. He creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.