U2 played their first American gig at Paradise Rock Club, which opened its doors in 1977. The Police, Coldplay, Tom Petty and Elvis Costello are among the other names who played here before they hit theaters and arenas, along with local faves like Dresden Dolls, Buffalo Tom and Mission of Burma. It’s sometimes a battle to get from the stage to the bar for a refill, and the low-ceilinged entrance hall can be claustrophobic on sold-out nights (a remodel is supposedly in the works). But this is still some of the best Boston nightlife and a great place to see stars on their way up, like Diane Birch or the Futureheads—or bands like Los Lobos and Joe Jackson, who aren’t playing bigger venues on their current tour. The front room has food, art exhibits and acoustic musicians playing groovy sets.
- Type: Live Music
- Accept Credit Card: visa, mastercard, amex
- Nearest Train: Pleasant Street