A perk of living in downtown Durham is that you’re close to everything in the Triangle! With our area’s thriving arts scene, this is especially relevant for music lovers.
If you’re looking a fun night out, see a favorite band – or expand your horizons – at one of the Triangle’s best music venues.
Motorco Music Hall
Only minutes from the heart of downtown, Motorco is Durham’s premiere live music destination. Built in an old garage, it’s a unique and unforgettable venue. Its location directly across from Fullsteam Brewery also helps, as does the constant food truck population.
Speaking of food, Motorco actually has a menu, meaning you can consolidate your evening out into a single destination. The street food inspired selections – banh mi, falafel – make it a pretty appealing destination even when nobody’s playing.
And speaking of bands, Motorco emphasizes smaller, more obscure acts. If you pop into Motroco, you’re basically guaranteed to discover new music. That doesn’t mean major acts don’t stop by, though; hip-hop legend Talib Kweli is playing in Feburary.
Cat’s Cradle is up there with Asheville’s The Orange Peel and Charlotte’s Amos Southend as one of the oldest, most legendary music venues in North Carolina. Nestled in the heart of Carrboro, Cat’s Cradle has watched a city grow up around its humble strip mall location.
The Cradle is distinguished by its grimy, divey aesthetic. The stage and floor are entirely utilitarian, with no decorations or needless frills. The bar is still cash only, and the bathrooms are plastered with stickers for local and obscure acts. The venue’s simplicity combines with world-class acoustics to make its purpose known: hosting really, really good music. A max capacity of 750 means you’ll hear it all up close and personal.
In its long history, Cat’s Cradle has hosted everyone from Nirvana to Run the Jewels to Iggy Pop. It focuses mostly on indie or local acts. Upcoming shows include NC folk-rockers The Mountain Goats, critical darlings Animal Collective, and Durham’s own Bombadil.
You’d never expect to find a shiny music venue in an industrial park, but Raleigh’s The Ritz proves you can never trust your expectations. That unique warehouse setting gives you a 2,000-person, indoor venue with a huge floor and great acoustics.
The Ritz has recently been renovated twice, with the extensive remodels costing in the millions. The renovations paid off, particularly in the VIP area. If you upgrade your ticket, you get prime balcony seating with excellent sight lines, and a VIP-only bar area with local beers on tap.
The venue attracts a number of “mid-stream” acts, those popular with critics but not so obscure that they’re hipster material. Diverse genres are also represented. Upcoming shows include alt-R&B Drake collaborator PARTYNEXTDOOR, party rapper-turned-artist Mac Miller, and showy rock stalwarts The Flaming Lips.
Wanna live where it all happens? The Brannan is Durham’s premier up-and-coming downtown living destination. Check us out and learn more.