Berlin has a rich history with rock music, with links to everyone from U2 to Rammstein, Bowie to the Beatsteaks. Naturally, the city has a plethora of venues in which you can see bands play live. But what makes a good rock venue? It should have great sound, it shouldn’t be too polished or too corporate (sorry, Mercedes-Benz Arena), and it should put on great bands. Luckily, there are several in Germany’s capital that get it just right. Here’s our pick of the best rock venues in Berlin.
This unassuming venue on Oranienstraße is to Berlin what CBGBs was to New York – back in the ’70s it reportedly counted David Bowie and Iggy Pop among its clientele. These days SO36 remains true to its punk roots, with upcoming shows from the likes of UK Subs, Sick Of It All, and Baroness.
The recently-revamped Musik & Frieden (music and peace) sits in the space formerly occupied by the Magnet Club and the Comet Club. It officially reopened at the end of 2015, with three concert rooms and the enchanting Baumhaus bar for acoustic gigs. Since reopening, the venue team has set to work putting together a stellar program of gigs for the next few months, including Tonight Alive, Tesseract, and Neck Deep.
Cassiopeia puts on a treasure trove of punk, alternative, and hardcore gigs amid its program of club nights. It’s in the RAW Gelände just off Revalerstraße, and the venue itself can be found in a basement between a climbing wall and a skate hall. The sound is great, and there’s a leafy beer garden outside, so in summer you can watch climbers scale the Kletterturm while you enjoy a pre-show beer.