Music Box San Diego
Little Italy’s Hidden Jewel, Music Box San Diego, Creates Intimate Musical Experiences
Conversations about the great San Diego concert venues naturally end up gravitating towards the Casbah, Belly Up, and Observatory, but The Music Box deserves to be a part of that conversation. Unlike the aforementioned venues, Music Box’s three stories provide a myriad of viewing options, and the shows the venue books typically incorporate local and homegrown bands (which you know we love). The place often features great shows while the huge national tours roll through other venues, and the show list is always worth crosschecking if you fail to get tickets to some huge show elsewhere in town. Check out the nitty-gritty details below.
Located at 1337 India Street, in the heart of Little Italy, Music Box sports a large open ground floor along with two additional viewing decks. You can often reserve private booths along the ground floor and second deck, while the third deck is often open if you need an escape from the crowds along the bottom floor. All three floors provide great views of the space, though you may be better off up top instead of near the ground bar area if you’re on the shorter side. The entire place is decked out in incredible music art, including the organ statement piece behind the bar.
The highlight of the space is unquestionably the sound system. Built out as a jazz club called Anthology, the Music Box sports perhaps the best sound in the city. You know you’re going to get crystal clear amazing sound, and, unlike some other venues, at a volume that won’t blow out your ears for the next three days.
Speaking of the bar, the venue has a decent tap list and delicious specialty mixed cocktails, and a food menu to boot. The cocktails are perfect for taking out on the heated patio in between sets to take in a view of the cityscape.
Tips and Tricks
Parking can be rough downtown, but is only metered until 6 pm, so hit those green and yellow zones, or take public transportation down. When you get in, make sure to check in with the staff to see what balcony space is open, and stake out your spot along those railings if that’s your jam. As with any venue, check out the box office to try to avoid those pesky service fees for future shows while you’re down there.
Overall, Music Box San Diego is a venue we love, and perfect for those mid- and large-tier intimate shows, as well as the local music they showcase throughout the year. While we’d love to see rock’n’roll movies played on their amazing system on off nights, that’s our only complaint.