Why does The Van Buren deserve to be tops in this category yet again? Simple. The 1,800-capacity live music hub in downtown Phoenix is the gold standard for local midsize music venues with amenities geared toward the concertgoing experience and ambiance to spare. Excellent sightlines, great acoustics and an even better sound system mean you'll see and hear everything perfectly. Classy and historic touches throughout the circa-1930 building, like its glass chandeliers, desert murals and exposed rafters, add to the vibe. The adjacent Ziggy's Magic Pizza Shop and Stardust Pinbar allow both preshow bites and post-show drinks. Even the venue's status as part of Live Nation's empire of owned and operated concert spots could be considered a plus, as it helps populate The Van Buren's varied calendar with a parade of big-time artists and acts — including such names as Bebe Rexha, Killer Mike, Tove Lo, The Drums and Crumb. For this and every other year, The Van Buren deserves the nod as the best in town.