San Diego is a great city to be a live music fan. I know there are cities with better local scenes (Austin, Seattle, Chicago) and cities that get more big touring bands (Los Angeles, New York, The Bay Area) – but we still have it pretty good here.
We have small clubs like The Casbah, The Soda Bar and The Merrow that support local bands as well as bringing in touring acts that often play bigger venues elsewhere; there are several nice mid-size venues like the Belly Up in Solana Beach, the Observatory in North Park and the House of Blues downtown that bring in acts from around the country and the world; and of course we’ve got a variety of amphitheaters, sheds, theaters and arenas – each with its own character and personality.
But my favorite venue in San Diego is Humphrey’s by the Bay on Shelter Island. It seats 1,400 but the way it’s configured you are never too far from the stage – there really aren’t any bad seats here. They do a good job on sound and for a medium sized outdoor stage they pull off some impressive lighting and stage effects. But most of all I enjoy the setting of being outside, on a gorgeous evening, with a cold craft beer, listening to great music right on the harbor in San Diego.