By Gillian BurdettConnecticut boasts a vibrant live music scene. You will find indie rock at venues throughout the river valley heading down to the shore. If you live to rock, but don’t have the patience, or funds, for over-hyped festivals, if generic pop music played in sporting arenas doesn’t excite you, check out these stages. Local favorites and new talents bring their own sounds to these intimate venues.

The Space/The Outer Space
295 Treadwell St.
Hamden, CT 06514
(203) 288-6400

The Space is a funky, somewhat retro arts venue run by musicians. It is open to all ages (no alcohol is served, but there is a little café for food and soft drinks.) Across the parking lot, you’ll find The Outer Space, which is a 21+ club featuring craft brews. Some shows are open to the younger than 21 crowd. Cover charges range from free to $25.

Toad’s Place
300 York St.
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 624-8623

Toad’s is legendary in Connecticut for the great talent it draws. It’s an older, classic club,(if you’re into sleek and swanky, skip it) but it has a great sound system and acoustics. The venue is located amidst Yale University buildings, so you can expect a crowd of college students during the school year.

The Webster
31 Webster St
Hartford, CT 06114
(860) 246-8001

This former early-20th Century movie theater has been renovated, and it now hosts bands in multiple genres. The venue features two stages, the Main Stage and The Underground. Five bars and a spacious dance floor keep the place hopping. The Webster has the reputation among musicians as the place to play in Connecticut.

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300 Middle St.
Bristol, CT 06010
(860) 582-0002

Just up the street from the ESPN headquarters, Bleachers bills itself as a sports bar, but Friday and Bleachers is just up the road from ESPN headquarters and the bills itself as a sports bar. However, Saturday nights, the place rocks with some of the best bands in New England. With the dance floor butting a low-profile stage, you can get close enough to see guitar strings vibrate. The place draws a local crowd, has a fun atmosphere and great sound system. Bleachers offers a full menu of pub food and a wide selection of craft beers.

Fairfield Theatre Company
70 Sanford St.
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 259-1036

FTC is a not-for-profit arts organization that hosts live music in their StageOne auditorium and at The Warehouse next door. StageOne is smaller; it was originally designed for theatrical productions. All of its 225 seats have unobstructed views of the stage.  The Warehouse holds more than 600 in an industrial-style setting that allows for dancing. Seating is limited in the balcony, but there is plenty of standing room on the main floor.

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