7. Tipitina's in New Orleans
When New Orleans piano legend Professor Longhair needed a place to play in his late fifties, young fans opened this club for him southwest of the French Quarter. They named it after his most famous song, of course, and while 'Fess died a couple years later, in 1980, the club endures. "It's the best atmosphere to play a show," says Phoenix's Thomas Mars. "Extremely wet and packed. It's impossible to have a bad show there." In particular, jam bands from Widespread Panic to Galactic have found a southern home base here. On a mild summer evening, stick around outside for the overflowing bar scene at Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas.
Fun Fact: During one sad period from 1984 to 1986, Tipitina's closed, and the owners at the time hacked up the bar and removed the classic signs above the bar.