If walls could talk, you’d be stuck in conversation with the Fillmore for hours. The building was a dance hall when it opened in 1912, a roller rink during the 1940s, and lead its first concerts in 1952 with artists like James Brown and Ike & Tina Turner.
But in the mid-1960s, the venue really had its moment. Concert promoter Bill Graham made the ballroom a hub for psychedelic music and brought would-be legends like the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana to the stage. Needless to say, there’s history here.
Learn it best by attending a show. The standing-room-only ballroom still brings in big-name artists—think Lorde and the 1975—at budget-friendly prices, along with a constant stream of smaller acts. There’s a full-service restaurant and a bar, and the vibrant collections of old photos, artwork, newspaper clippings, posters, and billings will school you on the club’s colorful past.