Top choice live music in Belltown & Seattle Center

Nearly old enough to be called a Seattle institution, the Crocodile is a clamorous 560-capacity music venue that first opened in 1991, just in time to grab the coattails of the grunge explosion. Everyone who’s anyone in Seattle’s alt-music scene has since played here, including a famous occasion in 1992 when Nirvana appeared unannounced, supporting Mudhoney.

Despite changing ownership in 2009 and undergoing a grunge-cleansing refurbishment, the Croc remains plugged into the Seattle scene, though these days aspiring stage divers are more likely to get kicked out than crowd surfed on the arms of an adoring audience. There’s a full bar, a mezzanine floor and a no-frills pizza restaurant on site.