But yesterday the doors to The Hydro were opened to give a glimpse of its dazzling interior, which resembles the inside of a spaceship.
The £125 million venue has been in the making for more than eight years and will have its official opening day, with a concert by Rod Stewart, on Monday.
Designed by Foster and Partners architects, the dome-shaped 12,000-seater SSE Hydro is expected to generate up to £131m for the local economy every year.
Ben Scott, of Foster & Partners, said: "It has been a huge team effort on this since 2004 and it's a happy day. I'm looking forward to Monday when we get everyone in and see Rod on stage - that's going to be the real moment where you think 'it's doing what we intended it to do'."
The company, which designed Wembley stadium and the SECC building, said the Hydro was the biggest purpose-built arena they have designed so far.
The venue has more than 145 digital screens, along with two high definition video projectors to light up the exterior.
Project director Tom Doyle said: "It's a good day for the team here, and by extension it's good for the city and for all the music fans. It's looking absolutely beautiful and it's the result of many years of artwork and expertise, so it's a countdown until Monday."
Dozens of performers have been signed up for the venue, including Fleetwood Mac, Queens of the Stone Age, Calvin Harris and comedian Russell Howard.
Glasgow band Admiral Fallow were the first to perform there yesterday in a private concert.
Louis Abbott, lead singer, said: "Even the natural acoustic sound of the space seems to be pretty good and they've taken quite a lot of care in designing it. For the large amount of seating in the space, all of the seats seem to have a perfect view of the stage so it's good for folk who can't maybe stand for three hours at a gig."
SECC chairman Sir Ian Grant called the day "exhilarating" and said it will help put Glasgow on the map for more major artists.
He said: "We have now, with the creation of the Hydro, produced something which should satisfy both the customer and the artist."