City: Washington, D.C.
Address: 815 V St. NW
Coolest Feature: the Backbar, where you can imbibe beneath the venue
Widely regarded as one of the best (if not the best) venue on the East Coast, the 9:30 Club is the seed from which D.C.'s early-'80s atlernative music scene grew. Since moving to its current V Street location, the 9:30 Club has been home to countless historical music moments, including back to back performances by Bob Dylan following his Kennedy Center Honors acknowledgement, the Smashing Pumpkins celebrating the release of Zeitgeist, and the beginning of the new Alice in Chains' 2009 world tour.
The 9:30 Club has four full bars that serve everything from the hardest of liquors to non-alcoholic beverages. And if you're just looking for a boost, there's a coffee bar that slings caffeine to eager fiends. But the best place to grab a drink is at the Backbar. Located beneath the venue, it's a great place to kill time, especially while waiting for 2 Chainz to arrive from Philly after performing at the Made in America concert. Don't smoke in there, though—D.C. has an indoor smoking ban and security isn't lenient. People have gotten the boot for bakin' during Wiz Khalifa's Waken Baken tour.
Puff-free zone aside, Iimagine watching Method Man begin his set from the rafters amid the crowd before performing his signature crowd walk and seeing an injured Curren$y bring a sofa onstage for ambiance. It's little things like this that have earned 9:30 Club the distinction of being Billboard Touring Awards' best bar for four years straight.