This iconic bandbox near Boston University is famed for bringing up big-name talent (think U2), hosting Coldplay, and nurturing local rock and hip-hop acts. Two tiers of booths provide good sight lines from all angles, even some intimate, out-of-the-way corners. Four bars quench the crowd's thirst, and food is available. Some shows are for 18-plus only; many sell out. The newer Paradise Lounge next door is a more intimate space to catch local (often acoustic) songsters, literary readings, poetry slams, and other artsy events. Most tickets run $20–$30.