Those new to town may encounter folks roaming the streets decked in "Support Live Music!" T-shirts.
That phrase isn't just some random marketing ploy. In many ways, it's the mantra of the entertainment community.
Lawrence is blessed with a whopping amount of vibrant and quirky venues for artists to play - most of them grouped within walking distance of one another.
Here are some of Lawrence's most dependable live-music locales:
Abe & Jake's Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., 841-5855, abejakes.com
This former barbed-wire factory has been converted into a cavernous, eye-popping venue, complete with fake storefront facades and eccentric sculptures. A large stage accommodates the headliners, and a smaller, more intimate bar hosts various jazz and folk combos. The view of the river ain't bad, either.
The Bottleneck, 737 N.H., 841-LIVE, bottlenecklive.com
Lawrence's most renowned joint for live music - especially all-ages shows - is constantly perfecting its formula. Not only does the bar book national and local bands multiple days of the week, it has added a dance rave on Thursdays known as Glo and continues its 15-year partnership with Open Mic Mondays.
Eighth Street Taproom, 801 N.H., 841-6918
This dual-level townie bar has drawn some quality talent to perform in its subterranean depths. It also features one of Lawrence's most impressive jukeboxes.
Fatso's, 1016 Mass., 865-4055
Never mind its name - this is not a spacious place. But the bar has proven its larger ambition lately by scheduling rock, hip-hop and jam bands about three times a week for its patrons to enjoy.
The Gaslight Tavern & Coffeehouse, 317 N. Second St., 856-4330, gaslighttavern.com
The newly resurrected Gaslight is the rare Lawrence music venue that sits on the north side of the Kansas River. These close-knit quarters showcase a weekly lineup of DJs and bands. And the outdoor beer garden is the perfect gathering place to watch some top-flight folk and jazz talent.
The Granada, 1020 Mass.
After a 60-year history as a movie theater, this converted venue still offers a theatrical environment. Although it recently ditched its swank martini bar and aquarium, the establishment's attention to providing a great stop for touring headliners has not dried up.
The Jazzhaus, 926 1/2 Mass., 749-3320, jazzhaus.com
The city's most veteran club long ago dropped its jazz format, but it sure didn't abandon the live music scene. Twenty-four years running, The Jazzhaus continues to showcase a respectably diverse array of talent. Those musician silhouettes in the window still watch over the place.
The Jackpot Saloon & Music Hall, 943 Mass., 832-1085
This new space opened last year across the street from The Replay Lounge - no surprise considering they share the same owner. And obviously that owner likes music because the rustic-themed Jackpot has quickly established a reputation as one of the most consistently fertile spots for live tunes that cater to the hipster crowd.
Liberty Hall, 642 Mass., 749-1972, libertyhall.net
It's not only downtown's best concert hall, but it also doubles as the city's only cinematic art house. Between the classic architecture and hip murals, this 1,050-seater is the definition of atmospheric.
The Replay Lounge, 946 Mass., 749-7676, replaylounge.com
It's where the cool kids go to see the latest underground/indie artists while coaxing quarters into their favorite pinball machines. A heated outdoor beer garden adds to the vibe. If you like to see bands up close and personal, then this is the place to be.
Slow Ride Roadhouse Bar & Grill, 1350 N. Third St., 749-2727
Dubbed by its owners as a "high-end biker bar," the new-this-year Slow Ride Roadhouse also has a large outdoor patio for the smoking crowd. The music is also smoking, with attention paid to national and local blues acts.
Solidarity!, 1119 Mass., 865-1374
The recently opened Solidarity! dubs itself a "revolutionary center and radical library," but it also resides in a building that boasts a history with the city's music underground. As such, the place is host to a consistent roster of local concerts.
Stu's Midtown Tavern, 925 Iowa, 749-1666, stusmidtowntavern.com
Lawrence's reigning blues outlet serves up authentic shuffles and jams three or four nights a week, despite being hampered by its strip-mall setting. Lawrence can be accused of catering to the college music crowd, but Stu's proves there are other worthy styles that deserve a local platform.