If you’re a world traveler or a local who enjoys a great concert, these concert venues in Paris are a must-see. Unfortunately I was not able to visit Paris to experience these concert venues in person, but I have compiled a list of top concert venues according to Party Earth Reviewers. (Party Earth consists of a team of reviewers who recommend things to do in major U.S. and European Cities.)
28 Boulevard des Capucines
The oldest Parisian music hall that is still active, Olympia was founded in 1888 by the creator of the Moulin Rouge. Music producer and songwriter Bruno Coquatrix took over the music hall in 1954, then Europe’s biggest. He renovated it and brought megastars on stage. French performers at the Olympia included Barbara, Dalida, Édith Piaf, Yves Montand, Johnny Hallyday, and Georges Brassens. International acts like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones also played here. More recent concerts at Olympia include Lady Gaga, Justice, Lenny Kravitz, and Vanessa Paradis. A modern theater with orchestra seating and a balcony, Olympia has a max capacity of nearly 2,000.
2. La Flèche d’Or
102 Bis Rue Bagnolet
This industrial-looking concert and clubbing venue, complete with a restaurant, is located in Paris’ gritty-cool 20th arrondissement. Back in the 1990s, alumni from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris transformed former Charonne train station, part of the now-defunct Petite Ceinture railway line, into the fantastic Flèche d’Or of today. A glass wall in the restaurant looks out onto the rusty railway tracks. The club’s namesake is the speedy Flèche d’Or train – or the Golden Arrow, as the Brits called it – that ran daily between Paris and London via ferry from 1926 to 1972. The Flèche d’Or’s largely indie-rock lineup also offers folk and pop concerts as well as clubbing nights featuring hip-hop and electro. Past concerts at the Flèche d’Or include Ben Kweller, First Aid Kit, and Grimes.
3. La Maroquinerie
23 Rue Boyer
As its name indicates, La Maroquinerie – today a restaurant/bar and music venue – was once a leather workshop. Founded in 1997, the pit-like concert space has standing room for 500. Past performances at La Maroquinerie include Kim Gordon, I’m From Barcelona, RJD2, and concerts sponsored by music and culture magazine Les Inrockuptibles.
The spacious restaurant with a leafy outdoor terrace regularly exhibits art and hosts lectures and conferences. In an area buzzing with New Wave bars and nocturnal life, La Maroquinerie is neighbor to La Bellevilloise, another small-scale, popular indie concert venue in Paris.
4. Le Trianon
80 Boulevard Rochechouart
Le Trianon theater, a historical monument steps from Pigalle, was built at the end of the 19th century and entirely restored in 2010. Concerts at Le Trianon vary from classic orchestras to French singers and international acts. Past performers at Le Trianon include Carla Bruni, Julien Doré, Gonzales, Moriarity, M.I.A., Goldfrapp, Rufus Rainwright, Macy Gray, and the Scissor Sisters. With two balconies and orchestra seating, the gorgeous, classical theater can accommodate up to 1,000 people. Le Trianon’s other two principle spaces include the ballroom – with ornate moldings and a zinc bar – and Jardin d’Hiver (a more alternative space, combining art nouveau with industrial decorative themes).
5. La Cigale
120 Boulevard de Rochechouart
An innovative concert hall located next to La Boule Noire in Pigalle, La Cigale has been around since 1887. As a cabaret in its early years, La Cigale hosted performers like Maurice Chevalier, Max Linder, Mistinguett, and Jean Cocteau held avant-garde soirées.
In the 1940s, La Cigale metamorphosed into a popular cinema, specializing in kung fu flicks in the ’70s and later in X-rated films. Jacques Renault and Fabrice Coat, confounders of legendary nightclub Les Bains Douches, took over La Cigale in the late ’80s. Philippe Starck redecorated the interior, and it reopened in 1987. French punk rock group Les Rita Mitsouko played the inaugural show. Since then, performers at La Cigale have included French stars like Johnny Hallyday, Noir Désir, and Les Wampas as well as international acts like Kylie Minogue, Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Placebo. Les Inrockuptibles’ music fest, theatrical sketches, and runway shows by Jean-Paul Gaultier and Comme des Garçons have also taken place at La Cigale. The venue features a flat, white exterior with high porthole windows and a traditional, velvety red theater interior. It can accommodate 900 people sitting or 1,500 standing.
6. Le Zenith De Paris
211 Avenue Jean Jaurès
One of the biggest Parisian concert halls, Le Zénith is located along the Ourcq Canal and stands out from other venues in Parc de la Villette thanks to its distinctive red, cubic exterior. Built in 1983 as an initiative of Jack Lang, Minister of Culture at the time, Le Zénith de Paris was conceived as a temporary structure meant to be dismantled three years later. But, much like the Eiffel Tower, it remains standing today thanks to its popularity. In fact, 15 Zéniths have since cropped up throughout France, from Montpellier to Strasborg and Caen. Inside the small Parisian arena with a capacity of 6,300, hawkers walk through the stands selling baguette sandwiches. Past concerts at Le Zénith de Paris include French names like Serge Gainsbourg, Renaud, Zaxie, Shy’m, and David Guetta as well as international performers like Busta Rhymes, Bruce Springsteen, Marilyn Manson, Nicki Minaj, Feist, The Who, Britney Spears, and The Strokes.
7. Le Divan du Monde
75 Rue des Martyrs
Located in edgy Pigalle, Le Divan du Monde is a uniquely French music club with a convivial ambiance and bustling with colorful characters, good music, and swinging dance moves. One of the city’s oldest clubs, the two-level space consists of a stage, dance floor, and bar on the first floor and additional tables and seating upstairs, all decked out in an updated gothic aesthetic featuring a dark red-and-black décor. The club’s eclectic roster of performers and events, which includes everything from indie and rock bands to poetry slams, attracts an urban clientele of hipsters and alternative types. On most nights, live performers entertain patrons earlier in the evening, while after 11pm, the scene invariably transforms from concert hall to night club, with a DJ spinning tunes for the rambunctious crowd on the dance floor.
8. Le Forum (Vaureal)
102 Boulevard de l’Oise
Le Forum is a performance and events hall that hosts live music, bands, variety shows, exhibitions, festivals and other cultural events. Le Forum also boasts a top quality sound and light system, making it one of the best and most sought after venues for music in the area. Past performances at Le Forum de Vauréal include such acts as, the Abyssinians, Ugly Kid Joe, Lee “Scratch” Perry, the Mad Professor and Fishbone. Capacity at le Forum Vauréal is 450.
9. La Boule Noire
118 Boulevard de Rochechouart
Once known as one of Pigalle’s most famous cabarets, this small concert venue, with a capacity for 100, is known today among Parisians for its unusual concerts. La Boule Noire’s raison d’être: is to expose the public to budding talents. Accordingly, musical programming features youthful sounds of rock, pop, French variety, and many other genres. Past concerts at La Boule Noire include Interpol, Metallica, The Kills, Cat Power, and The Dresden Dolls. La Boule Noire is a punky, festive spot, great for chatting up performers after their shows. Like its bands, La Boule Noire’s décor is eclectic with Art Deco chandeliers and murals of singers painted in the 1970s.
10. New Morning
7 Rue Petites Ecuries
Founded in 1981 in Paris’ 10th arrondissement, New Morning is a concert hall largely dedicated to jazz. Past performers at New Morning include Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie, and BB King. Other genres have also been represented on stage; major past performers at New Morning include Taj Mahal, Bob Dylan, Jean Jacques Goldman, and Michel Berger.
An unimpressive façade leads into a handsome, red-hued venue, where enthusiastic fans savor intimate concerts. Standing-room capacity maxes at 500.
Don’t forget: If you’re planning to attend a concert in the near future, check out Westone Audio’s custom and universal hearing protection and purchase a pair before the next show!
Author: Grace Podoll, Westone Audio International Business Marketing Intern