A great concert can change your life - but have you ever considered the location of the show to be a factor in your overall fan experience? Sure, the entertainer is probably what made you buy the ticket, but if you consider the sound quality, comfort level, and general vibe of some of the best gigs you've been to, they may all start to point back to a few specific locales. Read on to find out about the 10 most exciting, exhilarating, impressive concert venues in the world.
1. MADISON SQUARE GARDEN (New York, USA). Claiming the title of The World's Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden had three different addresses before settling in its current spot - on Seventh Avenue, between 31st Street and 33rd Street - in February of 1968. Many historic shows have taken place here including John Lennon's last live stage performance in 1974 (which had him paying a debt owed to Elton John) and the amazing Concert for New York benefit in October of 2001, to aid the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Garden continues to host the biggest names in music; last month saw performances by Lady Gaga and Iron Maiden.
2. WEMBLEY STADIUM (London, England) For decades Wembley Stadium has achieved a near-iconic status, declaring itself the Venue of Legends and holding some of the most exciting musical events in modern history. When Michael Jackson performed here he made the Guinness Book of World Records and when Bob Geldof's famous Live Aid benefit aired in 1985, it drew 1.4 billion viewers. After an ambitious remodel, the updated stadium opened in 1997 and holds 90,000 fans and features a 133 metre high steel arch, which replaces the former Twin Towers.
3. SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE (Sydney, Australia) In January of 1957, Danish architect Jorn Utzon won an international design competition to create a national opera house in Sydney. For years Utzon worked to develop his dream, largely surpassing the allotted budget, and radically changed portions of his original vision when the engineering proved to be too challenging. As a result, he was removed from the project. A new team of architects was brought in and the Sydney Opera House finally opened in October of 1973. Today, aside from being a top-notch concert hall, the structure is recognised worldwide for its beauty and individuality - and the Aussies have forgiven Utzon for his visions of grandeur. The iconic venue is set to receive a US $132 million revamp that will focus on improving crowd safety, particularly on its forecourt.
4. FESTHALLE (Frankfurt, Germany) Once considered the largest dome structure in Europe, the Festhalle has come a long way since it opened in May of 1909. The building, with its stunning glass roof, is recognised as a beautiful architectural landmark as well as an effective concert venue, hosting the likes of many modern musicians such as Rod Stewart and Destiny's Child to an audience capacity of over 15,000.
5. SLANE CASTLE (County Meath, Ireland) Presently under the care of Lord Henry Mount Charles, Slane Castle has been affiliated with the Scottish Conyngham family since the 1700s. The structure, featuring gothic gates and a magnificent grand ballroom is surrounded by lush, green hills and overlooks the River Boyne, making it an ideal outdoor performance area - it's natural amphitheatre can hold 80,0000 people. Though a 1991 fire destroyed a large portion of the castle, it was restored over a 10-year period, and is again a functioning venue. A variety of artists including U2, Madonna and Bob Dylan have held concerts at the site.
6. RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE (Colorado, USA) Once named as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is made up of two three-hundred foot sandstone monoliths, set along the Rocky Mountain Foothills. The naturally formed venue got its official start in 1906 when visionary John Brisben Walker held the first concert. In 1927, the city of Denver purchased the land and its breathtaking open-air stage has been successful ever since. Red Rocks has been a popular venue for live recordings, particularly videos due to the visual uniqueness of the setting. During the 1970s and 1980s, local folk-rocker John Denver recorded several world-televised concerts at Red Rocks. U2's 1983 concert video, Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky, became a best-selling long-form concert video and several songs became popular music videos.
7. THE PALAIS OMNISPORTS DE PARIS BERCY (Paris, France) With a capacity for 17,000 guests, the 'Bercy' was completed in 1983 to help revive the less-cosmopolitan eastern half of Paris. The plan worked and the site now thrives, bringing world-class talent through its doors each year. Its unique pyramid appearance also makes it visually aesthetic and sets it apart from other venues of its type.
8. ROYAL ALBERT HALL (London, England) The Royal Albert Hall is one of the UK's most treasured and distinctive buildings, recognisable the world over. Since its opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, the world's leading artists from every kind of performance genre have appeared on its stage. Each year it hosts more than 350 performances including classical concerts, rock and pop, ballet and opera, tennis, award ceremonies, school and community events, charity performances and lavish banquets. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Elton John and Tina Turner are just some of the artists to have grace the stage at the Royal Albert.
9. THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL (Los Angeles, USA) The Hollywood Bowl is known for its band shell, a distinctive set of concentric arches that graced the site from 1929 through 2003, before being replaced with a somewhat larger one beginning in the 2004 season. The shell is set against the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood sign to the Northeast.
10. TOKYO DOME (Tokyo, Japan) It's the 'Big Egg' to locals, but the rest of the world calls it the Tokyo Dome. With a capacity of 55,000, this structure with a special air-supported dome, holds the title of the largest concert venue in Japan. Since its opening in March of 1988, it has played host to many international superstars including Madonna and The Backstreet Boys.