By: Andrew Silverstein

What comes to mind when you think of live music in Tampa?  Big bands rocking enormous venues like the 1-800-ASK-GARY Ampitheater or the St. Pete Times Forum?  Or, maybe an unknown local act playing their heart out at a small, intimate venue?  Whatever comes to mind, the reality is that Tampa's live music scene is about as varied and eclectic as the people that call this city home.  Here are five of our favorite places to catch some great live music in Tampa.

Skipper's Smokehouse

A Tampa institution for over 30 years, Skipper's is a great place to get your grub on and catch some awesome live music from local and national acts.  Blues, reggae, Zydeco, rock, bluegrass, jazz, folk and worldbeat are just a few of the genres performed at Skipper's throughout the years.  The outside patio, or Skipperdome as the regulars like to call it, is shaded by enormous hundred year oak trees and is really one of a kind.

The Ritz Ybor

The Ritz is an Ybor City music venue rich with history.  Originally opened in 1917 as the Rivoli Theater, then changed to the Ritz in 1945,  this 17,000 square foot venue is now a registered historical landmark and boasts some of the best touring and local musicians in the area.  From Gaga to Tiesto, a number of big name artists have played at the Ritz before achieving super stardom.

Howl at the Moon

Howl at the Moon is Tampa's only dueling piano bar.  Located in Channelside, the club boasts two baby grand pianos where musicians sing popular hits and encourage the audience to actively participate.  Enjoy one of their monstrous, 86-ounce booze buckets with some friends, kick back and sing along to all your favorite hits, and enjoy a truly unique experience at Howl at the Moon.

Crowbar

For the best in underground, indie, electronica, and much more, Crowbar is the place to be.  Located in the heart of Ybor City, Crowbar boasts a booming and crystal clear sound system as well as an outdoor bar/patio and intimate stage set up.

New World Brewery

New World's awesome outdoor courtyard, huge selection of craft beers, stone-seared pizzas, and eclectic mix of up-and-coming and nationally renowned acts make it a great place to catch some live music in Tampa.  There's no stage, so every concert at New World is an intimate experience.  Stop in today, catch some awesome local music or just grab a beer and a pizza.  Either way, your senses will be pleased.