Major bands and artists appear at the MEN Arena, at Victoria Station.  Its one of the premier venues for concerts and events in the north west. Recent events include Franz Ferdinand, Elton John and Kings of Leon. Manchester Central (formerly GMex) also now has major bands. 

The Carling Apollo is a 15 minute walk from Piccadilly station where you can see popular acts such as the Strokes, Goldfrapp and Morrissey.

Up and coming bands can be seen in the Manchester University area of the city.  Venues include The Academy, Manchester University and Jabez Clegg.  Bands like The Kooks and the NME’s music tour hit this end of town.

For unsigned artists or new bands that are ready to burst onto the music scene head to the Northern Quarter and check out Night and Day Café and Dry Bar.

In the summer major pop/rock acts will play stadiums such as Old Trafford football ground (Bruce Springsteen), Lancashire cricket club (REM), Manchester City football ground (George Micheal).

A useful calendar of forthcoming gigs can be found at What's On In Manchester
And check this website ConcertWith.me that will show you all gigs in Manchester — simple, with song preview website.