Any true-blue music lover will always tell you that the best way to experience music is by going for a live performance. You can always listen to beats on your iPod, phone, computer and other gadgets but nothing beats the atmosphere of a live musical performance.
In spite of its conservative image, Chennai is blessed with a multitude of venues that offer foot-tapping live music. The city is dotted with many such happening spots that offer the perfect concoction of soulful music and mind-boggling ambience. Scroll down to check out a few.
The Museum Theatre is one of the oldest auditoriums available in Chennai. It is located in the Government Museum campus, on Pantheon Road, Egmore. Many English plays are staged in the theatre, including those written by Shakespeare, along with stand-up comedy shows. It is one of the historic places to visit in Chennai. Of late, many live concerts by local bands and choral groups have been conducted here. Prominent Indian bands like Thaikkudam Bridge and Skrat have graced the stage of this iconic venue.
The Music Academy is one of Chennai’s biggest performing spaces. It is located on TTK Road, Nungambakkam. Apart from classical theatre, it plays host to many conferences, dance shows, plays, musicals and of course, live music performances. This auditorium is also famous for Carnatic music performances. If you are a fan of Carnatic music, make sure you catch the Kutcheri performance at the Music Academy and get drenched in their soulful beats.
Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall
The Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall is Chennai’s most modern auditorium. This auditorium is situated in the Lady Andal School premises in Harrington Road, Chetpet. Theatre festivals like The Hindu Theatre Fest and events like The Hindu Lit for Life and TEDx Chennai happen here on a frequent basis. Many musical performances also happen over the course of the year with the guarantee of pure entertainment and a good time.
Open Air Theatre (OAT) – IIT Madras
The Open Air Theatre of IIT Madras or ‘OAT’ as it is commonly referred to, is located in the sprawling campus of IIT Madras, Adyar. Most live music performances happen here as a part of IIT’s college cultural fest ‘Saarang’, which is an annual event. International bands like Katatonia and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have performed at the OAT. Live music performances at this venue are a favourite among the youth of Chennai.
Madras Christian College, Tambaram
Madras Christian College (MCC), Tambaram, is one of Chennai’s oldest arts colleges. It hosts many major cultural events over the course of the year and has been known for being home to some of India’s best bands. Bands like Grey Shack and the F16s gained fame by playing at all of MCC’s cultural events. MCC’s major cultural fests where live music is expected include Moonshadow, Utsav, Octavia, and Deepwoods. Indus Creed, Zephyrtone, Anthracite, Miss Tara and Girish and the Chronicles are some of the artists that have performed at MCC.
The Unwind Centre
The Unwind Centre is not just a performance space for music artists but also a music school that trains people in various musical instruments and vocals. It is located in Kasturibai Nagar, Adyar. Unwind Centre hosts a regular event called ‘Live 101’ where many artists from different disciplines and genres come together to perform live music. Artists like Spine Shatter, Benny Dayal, and Shaktishree Gopalan have performed here and left the crowds spellbound.
Phoenix MarketCity Mall
Phoenix MarketCity is one of the most popular malls in Chennai. It is located in Velachery, opposite Guru Nanak College. Aside from boasting of amazing shops and an IMAX theatre, Phoenix MarketCity regularly plays host to performances by both local and international artists. Artists like Eric Martin of Mr. Big, the Bluebirds, and Andrea Jeremiah have performed live at this venue. You can expect loads of fun with any performance that happens here.
Skyloft at Feathers
Skyloft offers an unmatched experience of soul-stirring live music under the star-lit skies of Chennai. Food and music have always gone hand-in-hand and Skyloft offers just the right balance with finger-licking food served at the right note. The best bands in the city have performed here and swayed the audience with the cool sea breeze in their hair and foot-tapping music on their feet. Check out our blog on the delicious food and live music at Skyloft to know more.
These are some of the best places in Chennai to head to for live music. Most of these performances happen over the weekend and if you are looking for some other awesome things to do during that time, be sure to check our complete Chennai weekend guide. When you visit Chennai, be sure to stay with us at Feathers Hotel for an amazing experience.