The Vermont Cynic

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Where to get your music fix in Burlington

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Remember those summer days? The warm sun hitting your face, wind blowing and you’re swaying to the amazing live music. The classic image of any person at a summer concert.

As sad as it is, outdoor concert and festival season is officially over and the great tunes are moving indoors.

The music scene in Burlington is always hoppin’. In fact, I have personally been to at least three concerts in the past two weeks alone, and have a few more lined up.

That is why, my friends and dear readers, I have put together a couple of “must-go” places to listen to some awesome music with your friends.  If you’ve already been here, you know what’s up.

Higher Ground

Higher ground is your classic small concert venue. It truly allows for an intimate concert experience.

Even though it’s a pretty small venue, there are a ton of big and diverse names that pass through, making the concerts appeal to large audiences and sell out pretty quickly.

“The artists that come to Higher Ground are usually the best,” senior Kevin O’Connor said. “The best show I’ve seen there was probably Yonder Mountain String Band.”

Many students agree that Higher Ground hosts artists from any genre of music.  

“I’ve grown up with higher ground,” senior Macie Fletcher said. “It has, and continues to, accommodate my never-ending phases of music.”

Artists like Lake Street Drive, Andrew Bird and Papadisio are all coming through Higher Ground in October.

Radio Bean

If you want the real, raw local music scene, you should definitely check out Radio Bean.

“As far as small venues go, Radio Bean is probably my favorite,” senior and Steady Betty member Margot Van Horne said.

“I love being able to drop in there any night of the week and hear something interesting, and when we play there we always get a packed house with a really great energy,” she said.

If you have passed any of the bulletin boards in the Davis Center, you have probably seen posters advertising shows of local bands and artists performing at Radio Bean, which are ever-changing.

Nectar’s/ Club Metronome

Nectar’s proclaims itself to be the “best place to see live music in Burlington,” and many would agree.

“Nectar’s is awesome,” O’Connor said. “It’s super low key and a lot of fun. It can’t get much better than dead set Tuesdays, It’s also pretty cool because Phish really played their first shows there.”

Nowadays you can go to Nectar’s and see cool local bands like Jeddy, or throw it back with 90’s night, or just go and play some trivia on Thursdays at Trivia Mania.

If you journey upstairs, you will find Club Metronome.  

Even though Club Metronome is technically a part of Nectar’s, it has its own vibe.

“Club Metronome is by far my favorite venue to perform at,” junior and local DJ Ross Lougee said. “I have only played there once, but everyone treated me like they were my friend and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been a part of.” 
Just make sure you get to Nectar’s before 11 p.m. if you are under 21.

If You Are Musically Inclined

If you’re interested in not just listening to, but also playing music, and want to get yourself out there, Burlington is the place for you.

“Being part of the music scene here is better than I could have ever expected,” Van Horne said. “It’s just the right size in terms of exposure, because there are more opportunities to play than in a small town, but fewer musicians to compete with than a big city.”

“The most fun I have had DJing in Burlington so far was actually at the UVM silent disco,” Lougee said.

“My friend Noah Bell and I DJed in the attic of Converse Hall…they had food and games in all of the rooms and you could walk around listening to me and Noah on different channels,” he said.

“The experience was wild and I hope UVM decides to do it on a much larger scale this year.”

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Where to get your music fix in Burlington