The Great American Music Hall is San Francisco’s Oldest and Grandest Live Music Venue
The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District is one of the best places to see and hear live performances of all kinds in the Bay Area. No matter your taste in music, you’re likely to see at least several bands that you like in the venue’s busy performance schedule. Although the line-up also frequently offers stand-up comedy, theatrical productions and many other types of live performance, live music fills the intimate room on most nights, with good reason. The GAMH is widely regarded as a “musician’s room,” with great sound, the ability for performers to perform quite close to audience members and the inimitable atmosphere of a facility that was built in 1907.
The GAMH features a dance floor, which is usually packed with people who want to get as close to the performers as possible, limited seating along the sides and at the back and balconies along the side and at the rear, which offer superb sightlines of the stage. If you want to dance and don’t mind being in very close proximity to other dancers, buy general admission tickets, as the main floor is the place to be. If you prefer to sit, it’s best to make dinner reservations beforehand and snag one of the prime balconies for unobstructed views of the show.
No matter where you sit or stand, when your eyes aren’t directed toward the stage, they will be drinking in all the architectural details, which make this such as special performance space. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore, with custom plaster moldings, marble columns, rococo balconies, ornate ceiling panels and many other architectural and decorative details that impart the feeling of a much older era.
The Great American Music Hall is located at 859 O’Farrell Street, just a block east of Van Ness Avenue. If you don’t care to dine at the venue, there are lots of dining options within easy walking distance. As usual in San Francisco, free parking is quite limited and pay parking can be pretty steep. Your best bet is to walk to the venue, catch a cab or use a car service to get to and from the show. Since the place is small and intimate, with a maximum capacity of 600 or so, make sure to to get tickets for your event early or take your chances online or outside if the vent is sold out. For more information about the venue and the current calendar of events, visit the official site at www.gamh.com.