Alltel Pavilion--This is considered to be North Carolina's top music venue for the biggest, household-name type national acts. An outdoor ampitheater with 7,000 covered reserved seats and a lawn that can accomodate 13,000. Concert season is from April to October. 3801 Rock Quarry Rd, Raleigh. 831-6400.
The Amphitheater at Regency Park--A superior blend of nature and technology. Sit amongst the trees and enjoy any type of music. 404 N Academy St, Cary. 462-2025.
Aura--Dance, hip hop and trance in the heart of Glenwood South. 407 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh. 831-1111.
Berkeley Café--Already known for blues, there is a new stage and sound system, a newly remodeled music room, and new management. The bar and atmosphere is still the same. 217 W Martin St, Raleigh. 821-0777.
Breakers Billiards--This restaurant and billiard hall hosts karaoke every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night. 305 Tryon Rd, Raleigh. 772-9593.
The Brewery--This is a "no frills" club that features a wide variety of original rock. It's a total dive, but one of the best places to see live music because of the great acoustics. 3009 Hillsborough St, Raleigh. 834-7018.
The Coffee Mill--A café that heavily supports the community and the arts, The Coffee Mill has everything from Jazz nights, to open mic nights, to poetry readings. Top it all off with gourmet coffees, smoothies, and light food. 105 S Lombard St, Clayton. 550-0174.
Coyote Café--The café features live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Acoustic songs, storytelling, and Latin music can be heard on the patio during the summer and in the café during the winter. Cary Village Square, Walnut St, Cary. 469-5253.
Crowley's--The "club that never closes" features rock 'n' roll on Fridays and Saturdays and open mic night on Thursdays, when all music genres are encouraged to show up and play. 7330 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh. 676-3431.
Five Star--Late nite Chinese food and some of the best hip-hop DJs around. 511 W Cabarrus St, Raleigh. 833-3311.
Flex--Look out for Trailer Park Prize Night, drag shows and gay performance artists. 2 S West St, Raleigh. 832-8855.
The Fox and the Hound--This restaurant features live jazz and Irish music. Many other options for live music are also in the same area. MacGregor Shopping Center, 107 Edinburgh St, Cary. 380-0080.
42nd St. Oyster Bar--This Raleigh club features a great seafood menu and live music on the weekends. The choice sound is primarily blues, but other genres do see the light of day. 507 Jones St, Raleigh. 831-2811.
Club G's--This club combines dance, live music and comedy. Come in for anything from jazz to blues to R&B. 108 1/2 E Hargett St, Raleigh. 821-4901.
Irregardless Café--Known for its vegetarian cuisine, Irregardless features live acoustic music in a setting where people can still enjoy pleasant conversation. 901 W Morgan St, Raleigh. 833-8898.
Kings--A casual place to drink cold beer, play video games, as well as pool or foosball, and listen to live music. Top-notch jukebox, too. 424 S McDowell St, Raleigh. 831-0540.
Legends--A "legendary" Raleigh gay club with cozy couches, a crowded dance floor and a back patio. Watch for the drag shows. 330 W Hargett St, Raleigh. 831-8888. legends-club.com
Lincoln Theatre--One of the best places in the Triangle to see live music. Enjoy a cold drink and your favorite cover band. 126 E Cabarrus St, Raleigh. 821-4111. www.lincolntheatre.com.
Longbranch Entertainment Complex--For lovers of Stetson hats and Budweiser beer, this is the perfect spot. However, there's also plenty of dance space where local DJs spin top 40 hits, and another room with more techno/disco tunes. 600 Creekside Dr, Raleigh. 829-1125.
Margaux's--The dimly lit restaurant is decorated with modern sculpture and colorful murals. The bar is large and busy and the menu screams variety. The atmosphere is pleasant, but the experience will cost you. 8111-111 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh.
Michael Dean's--A high-ceilinged, upscale restaurant invites diners to relax in one of its many large booths or at tables. Enjoy a game of pool while you wait or watch the chefs in the open kitchen while you eat. 1705 E Millbrook Rd, Raleigh. 790-9992.
MVP's--Now open under new management, MVP's features a new interior with a new stage and more room for bands. Blues and rock bands appear on Friday nights. During the week there are jam sessions and open mic and Saturday is karaoke night. 2253 New Hope Rd, Raleigh. 876-4302.
The Office--A pricey private club with dance music and folks in sexy clothes. 310 S West St, Raleigh. 828-9994.
Oasis--According to their Web site, this new club is "where the men play." The facility also works as a banquet hall during the day. 3210 New Bern Ave, Raleigh. 960-0070.
Pantana Bob's--A hang out for many of N.C. State's students, this pool hall caters to a crowd who doesn't really have money to burn. 3025 Hillsborough St, Raleigh. 832-0012.
The Pour House--Sit on a couch downstairs while watching a band or make your way upstairs and find a game of pool. Draft beers only available upstairs, but there's a great view over the railing to catch a jam band or whatever other live music is available. 224 S Blount St, Raleigh. 821-1120.
The Ritz--A little more expensive than other local venues, but the club hosts many acts that one might easily hear on the radio. The room gets hot when it gets going, but the room is usually full of energy. 2820 Industrial Dr, Raleigh. 836-8535.
Retail--A former department store turned ultra-fashionable nightclub. Dance floor and music upstairs, drinks and conversation downstairs. 14 W Martin St, Raleigh. 828-7622. retailbar.com
Rum Runners--Rum Runners dueling piano players perform music from the '50s to today. The atmosphere is high-energy and the crowd interaction makes each visit unique. 6413 Falls of the Neuse Rd, Raleigh. 878-1959.
Sadlack's--Sadlack's specializes in inexpensive subs and also features a variety of homemade soups and chili. This deli is also known for its extensive beer list, rock 'n' roll band member employees and tables full of locals. A classic. 2116 Hillsborough St, Raleigh. 828-9190.
Scooter's Bar & Grill--This grill features daily drink specials, wing specials, and karaoke on Thursday nights. Come in on a Saturday night and enjoy a local band. 1911 Sego Ct, Raleigh. 954-2171.
Second Empire--This renovated, two-story Victorian house is decorated in ornate, Second Empire style. Lighted by candles with well-spaced tables, the restaurant has an orderly appearance one finds in a fine dining establishment. Downstairs, there is a large yuppie tavern. 330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh. 829-3663.
Sidelines Sports Pub & Grille--This sports bar features pool tables, video games and 10 televisions. Thursday nights are karaoke nights and live music, mostly rock, can be enjoyed on the weekends. 1885 Aversboro Rd, Garner. 779-5676.
Six String Café--A cozy place to enjoy various types of live music and a couple of drinks without going home with ringing ears. Six String is also convenient to other establishments featuring live music. 107 Edinburgh South, Cary. 469-3667.
Slim's Downtown Distillery--A rock 'n' roll friendly bar where the loud music is the bartender's choice. Conversation is not impossible, but the music is usually loud. Not a spot for regular bar hoppers, but a cool, laid back feel instead. 227 S Wilmington St, Raleigh. 833-6557.
Southend Brewery and Smokehouse--A spacious, high-ceilinged brewery, restaurant and bar where Raleigh's working professionals go to unwind. Keep off the power lines, however. 505 W Jones St, Raleigh. 832-4604.
Sullivan's--Groovy jazz combos for the cigar-smoking, martini-drinking set. Or for those who want to believe they belong to the cigar-smoking, martini-drinking set. Located in upscale Glenwood South. Corner of Glenwood Ave and Tucker St, Raleigh. 833-2888.
Tir na nOg--Raleigh's original Irish pub features live entertainment five nights a week. A person can enjoy traditional Irish food while listening to rock, bluegrass, reggae and Irish music. 218 S Blount St, Raleigh. 833-7795.
Tony's Bourbon Street--A variety of live music, mainly blues, accompanied by fresh seafood, a New Orleans flair, and a mature crowd. MacGregor Village, Cary. 462-6226.
Vineyard Café--The café features the work of local artists, including students, and provides patrons with live acoustic music while they enjoy lattes, Italian sodas, and deli cuisine. 3915 Western Blvd, Raleigh. 858-8700.
Woody's Cary Tavern & Grill--Not quite as sports oriented as its other location, but this tavern will still be packed on Sundays during football season. The stage is open to live music, mostly on the weekends, when the crowd will be filled with smoke and Bud beer bottles. 928 W Chatham St, Cary. 467-1816.
Woody's Sports Tavern & Grill--This place is exactly what the name suggests--a sports bar. Budweiser ads cover the walls and NASCAR fans feel right at home. Live music ranges from alternative to Southern Rock. 8322 Chapel Hill Rd, Cary. 380-7737.
Yancey's Jazz & Blues--A favorite of the Triangle Blues Society, Yancey's showcases local and regional groups along with a flare for New Orleans cuisine. The atmosphere is comfortable, offering intimacy along with live music. 205 Wolfe St, City Market, Raleigh. 839-1991.
All People's Grill--Home-cooked soul food and kick-ass blues from local musician John Ferguson every Saturday night. 6122 Guess Rd, Durham. 620-9591.
The Basement--Formerly Under the Street, The Basement is breathing life back into Durham's rock scene by booking lots of great, lesser known bands from the Triangle and beyond. 1102 Broad St, Durham. 286-7272.
Charlie's Pub--A sports bar right on Ninth Street complete with a game room, daily blue plate and drink specials, and ladies' night every Wednesday. Ninth St, Durham. 286-4446.
Duke Coffeehouse--Coffee house by day, music venue by night, this is one of the oldest and best places in the Triangle for rock shows, DJs, and open mic/poetry nights in an intimate atmosphere. On Duke's East Campus, and BYOB. Crowell Bldg, Duke East Campus, Durham. 684-4069.
James Joyce Irish Pub--Tuesday nights at the pub are Quiz Night and Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights feature jam sessions- maybe traditional, maybe Irish rock. A lot of great Irish food, especially the Shepherd's pie, but the space is definitely small. 912 W Main St, Durham. 683-3022.
Joe & Jo's Downtown--More of a neighborhood bar and grill, Joe & Jo's is part of the downtown Durham revitalization movement and features live acts and art from locals. 427 W Main St, Durham. 688-3322.
Lamb's Coffeehouse--The espressos and lattes are all free and there's no cover for the live music because The Lamb's Coffeehouse is operated by St. Paul United Methodist Church. Donations are accepted and go toward church projects and mission work. Fridays are open mic night and scheduled musicians play on Saturdays. 2700 N Roxboro Rd, Durham. 220-2458.
The Lounge at the Cosmic Cantina--Full bar with live music right downstairs from the source of "the best burritos on the planet." Reopened recently after a long hiatus.
Montas International Lounge--Here, you can enjoy an extensive line of domestic and imported beers, international wines, and a cocktail bar, with complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are also available. Watch international and domestic sports on big screen TVs or try your feet at salsa dancing. 2223 E Hwy 54, RTP. 361-2390.
Ringside--The club is a cross between an old jazz club and a huge studio. Half the space is a sitting area with bookshelves, sofas and a DJ spinning a variety of sounds; the other half is a large bar. The club attracts a mix of people, including members of Durham's gay scene, displaced Chapel Hill patrons and the general population. 308 W Main St, Durham. 680-2100.
Talk of the Town--Talk of the Town features jazz artists almost every single night. The club can be identified by the large mural on the side of the building. There is a New Orleans feel and patrons can drink or dine while they enjoy great jazz. A classic Durham institution.
Upper Crust Jazz Club--As the name suggests, this place is known for jazz, but is a good blues club also. The setting is somewhat romantic and the club is just the right size for live music.
ArtsCenter--A quaint, non-smoking venue with early shows, theater seating, and a dance floor. 300-G E Main St, Carrboro. 929-2787.
Avalon--This dance club used to be called Gotham, and offers house, trance and hip hop for UNC's energetic throngs. 306-H W Franklin St, Chapel Hill. 929-9900.
Blue Bayou Club--The club features live music at least two nights a week, Friday and Saturday, with open mic night on other nights. The music of choice is primarily blues and jazz and patrons can also enjoy a game of darts. 106 Churton St, Hillsborough. 732-2555. www.bluebayouclub.com.
Carolina Brewery--This restaurant/pub features a mostly traditional pub menu of sandwiches and beers. The room is often packed during sporting events, especially UNC basketball. Wednesdays are "Blues and Brews" nights with local blues musicians. 460 W. Franklin St, Chapel Hill. 942-1800.
Bynum General Store--Weekly pass-the-hat concerts at the Bynum General Store attract dozens of people for gospel, rockabilly, folk and other music at a place that's a working general store cut from a picture postcard. NC 15-501 toward Pittsboro, turn on Bynum Rd. 542-1858.
Cat's Cradle--The crowd is usually made up of music-savvy club goers and local musicians. The music isn't limited to one genre and the venue is just the right size. The Cradle is famous for being arguably the best club for music on the East Coast between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. 300 E Main St, Carrboro. 967-9053. www.catscradle.com.
The Cave--Ten feet below West Franklin Street, the lounge includes a jukebox, two pool tables, and pinball. In the bar, you'll find a prehistoric theme where live music is not only "good 'n'gritty" but presented almost every day of the year. 452 1/2 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill. 968-9308. www.cavetavern.com.
East End Oyster & Martini Bar--With 100 martinis on the menu and a solid wine selection, East End is great for releasing stress. On Tuesday night the club features standup comedians, while live music, including blues, pop/rock and jazz, is the attraction Wednesday through Saturday. 201 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill. 929-0024.
Go! Room 4--Go! can hold over 100 people and hosts local bands looking for a space to develop a fan base. The club is a mostly alternative venue equipped with a sound stage and a set of drums. Local musicians show up with guitars and drum sticks to play to their hearts content. Bands rent out studio space during the club's off hours. 100-F Brewer Ln, Carrboro. 969-1400.
Henry's Bistro--The bistro features jazz and live local music Sundays through Wednesdays. The menu is mostly French cuisine with special late-night selections. 403 W Rosemary St, Chapel Hill. 967-4720.
Local 506--It is known in the area as the club in the Triangle for Southern rock/alternative country music. The schedule of the two-room, smoky club is always open to other genres of music, though. 506 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill. 942-5506.
Lu-EG's--On a Friday night, you can see local musicians playing music of all kinds. Whether you're a fan of bluegrass, folk or any type of acoustic music, you'll find something you like, especially a menu that is reminiscent of an old soda fountain. 111 N Churton St, Hillsborough. 732-5453.
Mellow Mushroom--Health-conscious pizza bakers have microbrews on tap and bluegrass, roots, and acoustic shows to add to the laid back atmosphere. 1502 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill. 969-8789.
Michael's Bar & Grill--The best place for Cole Park Plaza area residents to have a burger, some beer, and catch an early set of homegrown rock before heading into Chapel Hill for a night on the town. 201 Cole Park Plaza, Chapel Hill. 942-6904.
NV--Chapel Hill's serious, sophisticated, big-city dance club. NV boasts a state-of-the-art sound system, the best DJs around, fashion shows, and a smooth lounge for post-dancing chillin'. 136 E Rosemary St, Chapel Hill. 960-0070.
Open Eye Café--This café is cozy, especially with the worn chairs and couches. The work of local artists adorns the walls and the music and atmosphere is mellow, mostly acoustic. 100 E Main St, Carrboro. 968-9410.
Pittsboro General Store Café--Word has it it's well worth the drive to Pittsboro for a great dinner, fine wine, and live jazz music Thursday through Saturday nights. 39 West St, Pittsboro. 542-2432.
Silk Road--Sit at a table, on a divan, or even on the floor, and sample from the selection of Turkish teas, coffee, and ethnic vegetarian cooking while listening to traditional Middle Eastern music. 456 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill. 942-1533.
The Speakeasy--The Speakeasy is Tyler's dimly lit backroom lounge, where smoking is allowed, the full Tyler's menu is available, and bluegrass, blues, and jazz can be heard Thursday through Sunday nights. 102 E Main St, Chapel Hill. 967-1131.
The Skylight Exchange--The Skylight Exchange is preparing for some major changes. Once a cozy, smoker-friendly bookshop/coffeehouse, the Exchange is now preparing to serve alcohol in the evenings and bring in "all manner of bands and performers." Clear away the booths, folks--Skylight's now for grooving. 405 1/2 W Rosemary St, Chapel Hill. 933-5550.
Top of the Hill--This beer drinker's paradise has its own 15-barrel brewery in the restaurant. The menu is typical of a bar in a college town, but a bit pricey. Live music can be heard many nights, lots of cover artists and acoustic artists. Corner of Franklin and Columbia sts, Chapel Hill. 929-8676.
Tupelo's Tavern--Tupelo's offers a seasonal menu of Creole, Southern, and Southwestern cuisine and live jazz every Thursday evening. 105 N Churton St, Hillsborough. 643-2223.
Tyler's Taproom--Known for its huge wood fired pizza oven, Tyler's is a bar for the whole family. Wednesday nights are trivia nights and live music can be heard on the weekends, mostly acoustic. 102 E Main St, Carrboro. 929-6881.
W.B. Yeats Irish Pub--This Irish pub features Irish and American food and they have great entertainment including talent shows and pub quizzes. They also have live Celtic, folk and jazz music Thursdays through Saturdays. 306 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill. 960-8335.
West End Wine Bar--A comfortable, but somewhat upscale wine bar with over 80 wines by the glass. A no smoking rule is strictly enforced inside, but guests can go outside on the veranda or downstairs, where they also offer pool and beer. Wednesday nights feature the Mark Wells Jazz trio and other musicians, mostly jazz, appear also. 450 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill. 967-7599.