Rockwood Music Hall

Bar / Live Music Venue
Rockwood Music Hall An oddly prominent underground music venue with large windows that let passersby see who's on stage, Rockwood Music Hall hosts a full roster of up-and-coming indie artists and singer/songwriters that draws a loyal clientele... New York United States 40.7225212 -73.9886805
2.51 7
Rockwood Music Hall - Bar | Live Music Venue in New York.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review An oddly prominent underground music venue with large windows that let passersby see who’s on stage, Rockwood Music Hall hosts a full roster of up-and-coming indie artists and singer/songwriters that draws a loyal clientele... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    F: Lower East Side-2nd Avenue-Houston Street

  • Phone:

    212-477-4155

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Daily 3pm–4am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Rockwood Music Hall Review

The Scene

An oddly prominent underground music venue with large windows that let passersby see who's on stage, Rockwood Music Hall hosts a full roster of up-and-coming indie artists and singer/songwriters that draws a loyal clientele...

An oddly prominent underground music venue with large windows that let passersby see who’s on stage, Rockwood Music Hall hosts a full roster of up-and-coming indie artists and singer/songwriters that draws a loyal clientele of music lovers.

Exposed brick, a barred-up window, and a derelict piano give the main room the cluttered bohemian atmosphere of a classic basement jazz club, as Flannel-clad hipsters and in-the-know rockers hang out at the small bar, or lounge on the collection of old furniture and at cocktail tables to stare raptly while skinny indie boys croon mid-tempo love ballads up on stage.

Patrons who want to check out the musical offerings on the second stage will need to go outside and back in the other door, where they’ll find a more goth-inspired space complete with wrought-iron balcony and candlelit tables.

The crowd of drinkers and esoteric rockers chats loudly between sets of atmospheric jazz and rock, while sophisticated post-punks argue over which Sonic Youth album is the best.

Although the vibe is open and unpretentious, the clientele isn’t there to dance or mingle, making it clear that Rockwood is all about the music.

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Tip from Jonah:

Definitely the place to go in New York for good new music. Not a bad idea to stick around and hang with the musicians after the set – you never know when you’re making friends with the next Kings of Leon or White Stripes.

  • Crowd

    Upscale indie rockers, friends of the band, and music lovers, mostly 20s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live music featuring singer/songwriters and indie rock bands. Ambient music between sets.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    One-drink minimum per set.

  • Prices

    Tickets $0–$20. Beer $4–$9, wine $8+, cocktails $8+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Basic casual rocker wear: vests, band shirts, and jeans, with the occasional button-down or dress.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for live music, Fridays and Saturdays for bigger crowds.

  • Close By

    Arlene's Grocery (95 Stanton Street) is another indie rock-lovers paradise.

Rockwood Music Hall User Reviews

Average rating:
A Great Place to Stumble Into
Christen H. Aug 21, 2013
I just happened to stumble upon Rockwood one day while hanging out in the LES. I struck up a conversation with the door guy who said I should check out the next band, "Mamarazzi", and decided to take his word on it. I'm sure glad I did! The band was amazing - a nine-piece group that plays afrofunk hip-hop fusion and whose high energy is infectious. Beyond the band, the sound was excellent - my musician boyfriend kept pointing out how Rockwood's house equipment and amps are top of the line, and you can tell. After the show we went to the back bar where the bands hang out and got to talk to some of the members. I've been back several nights and have been impressed each time. Even if the band isn't playing a genre of music I'm crazy about, it's hard to not appreciate the level of talent they fill their line-up with. One night we saw a harpist with a gorgeous singing voice that blew us away followed by a country band whose hits are starting to get radio play. Sets are around 45 minutes long and they do great job of breaking down and setting up so there is hardly any waiting time between bands. I once saw them move a grand piano onto the stage in a matter of minutes. Although not every show is free, the majority are. The venue is set up into two sides, a smaller stage with a bar to the right and a larger stage with standing room on the floor level with an upper balcony with limited seating to the left. Everyone who works there is great, drinks are reasonably priced (around $10 for a cocktail), and you can find bands from any genre playing any given night. This is now our go-to destination if we're ever looking for live music in the city.
Intimate Atmosphere With Great Up-And-Coming Artists
Chelse H. Jun 5, 2013
If you prefer underground music venues with fairly prominent artists playing intimate shows, Rockwood Music Hall is definitely about to be your new favorite bar. There are two stages, one larger than the other so each night you have the option of which artist or band you prefer to see. But beware: Once you are in one stage room, you cannot go to the other, unless you wait in line again. There is no cover charge, which is a rarity in New York City. The waitresses and bartenders are very friendly and make the rounds pretty quick. What is great about Rockwood Music Hall is that the bands usually hang out and grab a few drinks with the audience members after their set. The atmosphere is very "Lower East Side" and chill, but if you're looking for a quiet place to spend your night, this is not the place to go. The lighting is low and believe me, it will get CROWDED throughout the night. Don't be confused by the quaint size of the venue. If you're lucky, you'll get the opportunity to see some familiar faces play a set including John Gallagher Jr. (The Newsroom, Jonah Hex) or fellow Broadway standouts and successful radio artists such as Eric Hutchinson. I even rubbed elbows with Lea Michele in the audience one night when her ex-boyfriend was playing with his band on space. If you like "discovering" up-and-coming new artists, definitely check out Rockwood. If you're more interested in a high-class bar where you can order an appletini, this bar is probably not your type.
Weirdly set-up, hipstered out
Chris K. Nov 19, 2012
As someone who hangs a lot in Williamsburg and other downtown musicians' circles, I rarely consider somewhere too hipster for me, but Rockwood Music Hall definitely has that classic cooler-than-thou dirty-looks hipster contingent in attendance at every show. If that weren't bad enough, the venue's set-up, with its stage awkwardly positioned so that entering patrons have to push through the audience and have no real access to the bar until the set has ended, is awkward to say the least; this place feels like a nice cocktail lounge that was converted ill-advisedly into a venue. Still, some good artists perform here, and the club has a reputation among downtown venues for up-and-coming artists.
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