Friedrich Nietzsche famously said that life without music would be a mistake. Minimize your chance of error with a visit to one of New Hampshire’s incredible music venues. Our list of small theaters and bars features locations that love music and love people. Stop in to see a household name or rising star for an unforgettable, local experience.
Tupelo Music Hall has achieved that superb, nearly impossible quality of being a relaxed, hometown venue that hosts major names in music. The winner of multiple awards, Tupelo prides itself on a quality experience among friends. Performers include big-name bands like Blue Oyster Cult.
The website of Manchester’s The Shaskeen Pub is divided into three diverse sections: Comedy, Hip-Hop, and Irish Sessions. Each as quality as the next. Enjoy a show alongside an impressive collection of beer and great menu, particularly the authentically Irish colcannon and a deliciously American macaroni and cheese.
A historic theater that was painstakingly restored in 2010, The Flying Monkey is truly an incredible venue. A hub of the Plymouth community, the theater offers incredible musical performances, community theater, film, and children’s activities, as well as access to a full bar and food menu. Previous big name performances have included Three Dog Night, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Ani DiFranco, The Kingston Trio, and some killer cover bands.
Built in 1832 as a Universalist Meeting House, the Stone Church is as full of history as it is joy and music. Colorful murals, memorializing greats such as Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia, and Bob Marley cover the walls, and quality live music is on tap seven nights a week. All performances are great, but try to stop in for a bluegrass or Irish night for a particularly fun time.
Probably my favorite combination of music and food in the state, Fody’s Tavern can be found in Nashua’s oldest brick building, dating to 1833. Traditional pub fare made from scratch, and homemade cocktail syrups are welcome extras to the experience of seeing a live show. Great music played almost every night, with Monday as “Industry Night” featuring half off all beverages.
With the largest selection of both imported and craft beers in New Hampshire, the Strange Brew Tavern could slack off on the side of live entertainment, but instead it excels. With live music from most Tuesdays through Saturdays, Strange Brew is not to be missed, whether you live in Manchester or find yourself in town for a visit.
The Flying Goose offers delicious food and drinks alongside quality performers. Many shows require advanced reservations, so be sure to check the website for upcoming events. Great as a destination or combined with a trip to one of the nearby ski resorts.
A former freight depot turned event space, Pitman’s in Laconia offers weekly live music with top notch artists. A BYOB situation with general admission tickets, the venue itself is historical and informational, adding to the experience. Tickets are available at the door, but can be purchased ahead of time at a discount so keep an eye on their online calendar.
Manchester’s Jewel features a top-notch experience with the latest technical innovations, featuring quality local and national artists. Most concerts are 21 and over but check the website for an occasional 18 and over show. With an emphasis on rock and heavy metal, Jewel also offers concerts from other genres.
With one weekly Celtic night, one weekly open mic night, one bluegrass night, and various other performances, Harlow’s Pub and Restaurant in Peterborough is a down home venue with quality entertainment. During the day, one can often find the children of patrons up on stage putting on their own performances, with the more adult musicians taking over at night. Harlow’s also offers an incredibly diverse menu, with literally something for everyone, as well as nostalgic, Americana decor.