Very close to where the Battle of Bull Run took place lies Nissan Pavilion, one of the area's busiest concert venues.
Nissan allows patrons to buy either lawn seats or sheltered seats (under a big steel roof) and its gentle slope to the stage makes decent views possible from most angles. Watch out, though, for seats behind the railing that separates sections. There are two 30-by-40-foot video screens, one on either side of the stage, to make up for any deficiencies in the sightlines. Since Nissan was built in '94, its sound system is tailored to suit a variety of acts in a partial outdoor setting; performances are generally loud enough to be heard even from distant spots on the lawn.
Because of its huge capacity and exurban location, the pavilion hosts such major summer concert events as Lollapalooza, the H.O.R.D.E. Fest, the Capitol Jazz Fest and Jimmy Buffett shows. During the festival shows, Nissan's sprawling venue allows concert-goers to move easily between the main stage, art vendors and second-stage acts. During single-act shows, it's easy to move between the concession stands and your seats.
Tailgaters beware: A posse of Pavilion employees patrol the parking lot to stop patrons from drinking alcoholic beverages in or around their cars; you can't bring food or drink inside, either. Nissan is difficult to access from major roads, and it generally takes between 30 and 60 minutes just to leave the parking lot after a large concert. Some refuse to make the journey just because of the inconvenience; but if you want to catch most of the big acts on tour, Nissan is your best bet.
-- Shayla Thiel