Hampton Roads Live – Music Venues in the 757
Kelsey Walker | Arts & Entertainment Editor
There’s something about the energy of live music that’s unparalleled when compared to all other forms. Luckily, ODU is surrounded by top-notch music venues that pull in a variety of acts. Whether you like a world-tour feel or small-town personality, this list will put you in-the-know of the best venues in Hampton Roads and the artists they’re showcasing.
Virginia Beach Amphitheater
3550 Cellar Door Way, Virginia Beach, VA
Currently known as the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater, this venue draws some of the most well-known acts to the Hampton Roads area. With a covered but open-air layout and a lawn area in the back, the Virginia Beach Amphitheater is an ideal venue during the warmer months. The 20,000 seat capacity can make shows feel far less personal than smaller venues, but the large screens placed throughout help with that.
Upcoming shows: Kings of Leon, Chance The Rapper, Lady Antebellum, the Vans Warped Tour, Dierks Bentley and Boston
Ted Constant Convocation Center
4320 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, VA
Right across the street from campus, the Constant Convocation Center isn’t just for basketball and graduations. When the Monarchs and Lady Monarchs aren’t on the court, the multi-purpose arena has the ability to turn into one of the most poppin’ venues near ODU. Bonus perks include its close proximity to campus, which means you won’t have to find a ride and you can grab a bite on Monarch Way before the night starts.
Upcoming shows: Lil Uzi Vert and Rick Ross
16 Crawford Circle, Portsmouth, VA
Just across the water, the Portsmouth Pavilion emanates a similar vibe as the Virginia Beach Amphitheater. The 6,500 capacity means stage visibility is much better, though, and the venue being right on the water makes for a cool atmosphere. Whether you choose a spot on the lawn or a seat under the canopy, the smaller size and screens throughout make larger-than-life shows still feel somewhat personal.
Upcoming shows: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Travis Scott, The Temptations, Bryan Adams and Slightly Stoopid
317 Monticello Ave., Norfolk, VA
Norfolk’s premier concert venue, The NorVa was voted first on Rolling Stones list, “The Best Music Venues in America: Readers’ Choice” in 2013. What was once a movie hall in the 1920s has become Norfolk’s very own music gem, with James Brown as the first performer to take the stage in 2000. The capacity of 1,450 allows the venue to pack out shows while still providing concert goers a personal feel. With two standing levels that include a bar on each, you can’t go wrong.
Upcoming shows: Vince Staples, JoJo, 21 Savage, T.I., Desiigner, Trey Songz, The Shins, Good Charlotte, The Chainsmokers and J. Cole
2014 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, VA
A small, upstairs venue at the Oceanfront that seriously knows how to rock out, taking in a show at Shakas can feel as though you’re just at an awesome house party. The low stage gives the audience an up close and personal experience and there is ample room for standing, though many prefer to crowd surf. A bar is smack dab in the center of the venue, allowing easy access to grab a drink between sets. If standing isn’t really your thing, take a seat at one of the many stools and soak up the atmosphere.
Upcoming shows: Ghostface Killah, K Camp, Tilt Mode and Balance and Composure
37th and Zen
1083 W 37th St., Norfolk, Virginia
Located just a few blocks from campus, 37th and Zen kicks out an eclectic mix of shows from local bands. Whether you’re into rap, rock or even rave music, this small venue doesn’t discriminate when it comes to genres. In front of the stage is a small standing area that’s surrounded by an elevated level, complete with a full-service bar and tables. Feel free to grab a bite from their menu or some fresh air out on the patio. The small space allows for intimate shows, and it doesn’t take much to pack it out.
Upcoming shows: Invaluable, Pines, Drop the Girl, Paper Trail and the Zen Rave, which will feature seven DJs
Charlie’s American Café
4024 Granby St., Norfolk, VA
Part café, part venue, Charlie’s is the place to vibe out with local and underground favorites. Whether you simply want to chill or dance you’re ass off, Charlie’s is bound to have a little something for everyone. Serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week and dinner Thursday through Saturday, you can grab dinner and a drink, take in a show and crawl back the next morning for the hair of the dog that bit you.
Upcoming shows: True Body, Accident Prone and Suburban Living
4416 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA
You probably already know that Borjo Coffeehouse is one of the best places to grab coffee near campus, but you may not know that they host a steady stream of live music acts. Grab a cup of joe, a local beer on tap or one of their fresh-squeezed mimosas while sitting back, relaxing and taking in the chill vibes. Don’t forget to check out some of the local art hanging throughout the shop, which rotates regularly.
Upcoming shows: Justin Luke McCurry, Auburntown, Tom Savage and Kyle Sherman