Central Square is packed with music venues. Halfway between Harvard and MIT, with cheaper apartments than what’s around either Harvard or Kendall Square, there are a ton of people in this section of Cambridge, and plenty of bars to serve them. Two worth highlighting:
Best-known for the Friday and Saturday The Couper Brothers band, the Cantab attracts a wide mix of people. I don’t know anywhere else you can find townies, Harvard students, and hipster kids all dancing together. During the week, there’s a wide mix of music, too. Singer-songwriter open mic on Mondays, bluegrass on Tuesdays, jazz and rock on Wednesdays, and soul and funk on Thursdays. Be aware: the cover charge gets higher as the night progresses; they like to encourage people to come and start the party early.
The Middle East
Central Square’s largest music venue, The Middle East is actually four spots in one. They’ve got an upstairs restaurant and club, a downstairs nightclub, a corner stage, and the ZuZu bar and stage. The Middle East can be a popular spot for a lot of younger college students, since it hosts 18+ (instead of just 21+) shows. But if you’re of drinking age, don’t let that deter you… this place attracts some seriously good Boston bands.
The Enormous Room
Located above Central Kitchen, despite the misnomer (things can get pretty crowded in this by-no-means-enormous space), The Enormous Room is a very comfy lounge and dance area. Frequent live DJs mixing music here.