1119 E. Prospect St., 317-955-0995, futureshock.net
Vibe: Swanky hipster. This spiffy Fountain Square spot hosts concerts, themed parties, and sprawling one-off tributes like last fall’s “Such a Night: Recreating the Music of The Last Waltz.”
What Everyone’s Drinking: Local craft beers, natch.
Biggest Upcoming Shows: The Third Annual Buckaroo Bash, an old-timey tribute to Buck Owens (February 3); Beta Cell Bash, a fund-raiser centered around the music of David Bowie (March 4).
What Sets It Apart: Quietly luxe environs (check out that glass bar) and a parade of local, undiscovered talent.
Just released the first album I’ve ever been a part of and played an incredible CD release show in Indiana with all my new midwest homies. Thanks to all who came out and who continue to support my dream. Our album “Gonzo” is available to purchase now, along with some sweet merch to keep y’all looking fresh. Hit me up if you’re interested.
1043 Virginia Ave., 317-493-1209, hifiindy.com
Vibe: New Orleans–style shotgun house in August (the air conditioning never worked, but that’s been renovated recently).
What Everyone’s Drinking: Fountain Square Brewery is always well-represented, as is Sun King. The Hi-Fi also keeps a cocktail, usually bourbon-based, on rotation. And look for the big cooler of water on the bar so you don’t have to pester the bartenders for a glass.
Biggest Upcoming Shows: Punk/surf trio Agent Orange (March 16); The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band CD release party (March 17); Margo Price (April 5).
What Sets It Apart: Great acoustics, and it’s a prime place to meet the band and get a photo after the show.
1110 Shelby St., 317-986-6761, pioneerindy.com
Vibe: Scruffy chic. There’s a stage in the back, but Pioneer is primarily a spiffy restaurant with a European-inspired menu and dark-wood-and-marble bar.
What Everyone’s Drinking: A rotating cast of beers from around the world, and a wine list that’s heavy on Italy, Austria, and Germany. Or cocktails named after high-end pieces of recording equipment—like the SM57, Pioneer’s crisp, sky-blue version of an Aviator.
Biggest Upcoming Shows: The SleepyNap Project: A J Dilla Tribute Show (February 3); Antenna-Man album-
release show with Cyrus Youngman and Jomberfox (February 17); Spellbound with Mark Atkins (February 25).
What Sets It Apart: Pretty much the only place where you can get a Slovenian pinot grigio during a set.
6259 N. College Ave., 317-259-7029, thevogue.com
Vibe: Comfortably worn-in. This Broad Ripple standard has seen it all, and continues to keep a lively schedule of everything under the sun. Scan the promo art–covered walls, which cover a ridiculous spectrum that includes everyone from the Drive-By Truckers to George Clinton to Salt-N-Pepa, to find the most random band name (we’re going with Stabbing Westward).
What Everyone’s Drinking: Anything you can imagine, but cans of Sun King reign supreme.
Biggest Upcoming Shows: The enduring Minneapolis hip-hop duo Atmosphere (February 8); dry-wrapped novelty act Here Come the Mummies (February 17); bearded troubadours Dawes (March 19).
What Sets It Apart: History, plus location, location, location—The Vogue is a guitar-pick’s throw from HopCat and the Broad Ripple main drag.
Old National Centre
502 N. New Jersey St., 317-231-0000, oldnationalcentre.com
Vibe: Sprawling yet intimate, with soaring ceilings, hand-carved murals, and Middle Eastern flair. With three venues in one—the cavernous Egyptian Room, velvet-seated Murat Theatre, and clubby Deluxe Room—the enduring center still covers most of your musical needs.
What Everyone’s Drinking: Themed things, like a vodka-cranberry Doo Wop for a Lauryn Hill concert or a vodka Old Rockers Rule for a Moody Blues show.
Biggest Upcoming Shows: Local darlings Lily & Madeleine (February 25); Steve Martin and Martin Short (March 5); Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds (April 23).
What Sets It Apart: Ability to cover all bases. If you’re hitting a mid-sized show, get to the Egyptian early to stake out a standing spot near the stage. For smaller or quieter gigs, you’ll grab a seat in the comfortable Murat or Deluxe Room.