When listening to live music, the venue can either make or break the sound and overall experience. Some music is best performed in an intimate setting, and some requires an amphitheater worth of acoustic space. Here are some of Pittsburgh’s best live music venues to make sure that you experience your next concert to the fullest.

CONSOL Energy Center

1001 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 642-1800

This mega-stadium is Pittsburgh’s newest proud establishment for sports and entertainment events. Finished in 2010, it seats over 19,000 people and features some of the biggest headliners in Pittsburgh, including Paul McCartney, who opened the energy center with a concert in August 2010. Because of the high caliber of shows presented here, the tickets can run on the expensive side, so plan to pay upwards of $40 per ticket. Tickets can be purchased on the CONSOL Energy Center website or at the box office. Hours: vary depending on event.

Phil Vassar was scheduled to perform in November. (credit: http://www.pepsiroadhouse.com)

Pepsi Cola Roadhouse

565 Pennsylvania 18
Burgettstown, PA 15021
(724) 947-1900

For a more relaxed, easygoing venue, the Pepsi Cola Roadhouse is the place to be. Featuring mostly country music, this classic venue has hosted the likes of Billy Ray Cyrus, Tim McGraw and Kenny Rogers. Seating over 1,000 people, the Roadhouse welcomes families and participants of all ages to join in the fun. Seating is organized into tables of four and spectators are seated no further than 65 feet away from the stage. A delicious comfort-food-inspired menu is offered, including ribs, chicken and potatoes, to name a few selections. In addition, a variety of beer, wine and cocktails are offered. The real draw of the Pepsi Cola Roadhouse is the comfortable atmosphere and high quality shows, making it one of the best live music venues in Pittsburgh. Tickets can be purchased on the Pepsi Cola Roadhouse website. Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, vary depending on event.

Club Cafe

56-58 12th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 431-4950
(866) 468-3401 (for tickets)

Located in the heart of the South Side district, Club Cafe is famous for featuring an eclectic range of musicians, and in turn, drawing an eclectic crowd. Don’t let the bright, neon sign on the front fool you, this cultural hot spot is very clean and classy on the inside, boasting plush booths and delicate lighting. Seating is intimate – the venue only holds 150 people at capacity – so plan to arrive early to claim your stake. An intriguing bar menu is offered, including cocktails like the popular “Millennium Martini.” Performers range from local and regional artists to national headliners, and prices vary depending on the show. However, don’t expect to pay more than $25 for a ticket. Tickets can be purchased on the Club Cafe website or by calling: 866-468-3401. Hours: Vary depending on event.

– Julia Mccandless