It’s an old cliché that everything is bigger in Texas, but when it comes to live music, the saying definitely holds true. From famously “weird” Austin, where Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings took country back from the slick Nashville sound, to Houston’s red-hot hip hop scene (Bun B for mayor!), live music is at the heart of the Texas way of life. We’re thrilled to be working with some of the best Texan promoters and venues around, including some big names who came on in 2014. And with so many more great potential partners here in Texas, we don’t expect anything less in 2015.
Here are some of the loud and lively watering holes you should put on your list to check out pronto (suggested pairings: Shiner Bock or Lone Star on tap):
- Alamo City Music Hall in San Antonio is a relaunch of the former Backstage Live, by our good friends at ScoreMore Shows. Check out what the local paper has to say about the new club, booking killer talent in hip hop, rock, and more. Given ScoreMore’s track record, we predict great things from these guys, starting with shows like G-Eazy, Wale, and Silverstein (put on by our new partner Twin Productions).
- Bomb Factory is a legendary Dallas venue that was originally built as a (wait for it) munitions factory in World War II, then hosted live music for years. After a long hiatus, the venue is back, with some great metal shows on the calendar this spring, including Sixx:A.M. (Nikki Sixx from Mötley Crüe’s side project), Apocalyptica (yes, the cello quartet that covers Metallica songs), Ministry, and Nightwish.
- Gas Monkey Live in Dallas is a sprawling, roadhouse-style venue serving up Texas-style barbecue and burgers, local beer, and all ages punk and metal shows with bands like Queensrÿche, Coal Chamber, Pennywise, Anti-Flag, Good Riddance, the Bouncing Souls, and Less Than Jake/Reel Big Fish. Named one of Dallas’ hottest concert venues by the Dallas Morning News, Gas Monkey is known for more than its mosh pits and grub. The owner Richard Rawlings also runs the Dallas hot rod shop Gas Monkey Garage, and is the star of Discovery Channel’s hit show “Fast and Loud.”
- Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge is a unique place to dine, drink and hear some of the best music in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Music Hall boasts a state-of-the-art sound system, the Lounge brings back ’50s cool along with 92 beers on tap, and the rooftop patio has a killer view of the Fort Worth skyline.
- Tricky Falls is the coolest rock club in El Paso (affectionately dubbed “Hell Paso” in the name of local band At the Drive In’s first record). Housed in a 1914 building on the National Register of Historic Places, and home to craft cocktail lounge Bowie Feathers, upcoming shows include Cursive, Senses Fail, Twin Shadow, and Nightwish.
- The Texas Craft Brewers Festival is one of the hottest tickets in Austin, with 150 beers from over 50 local breweries, all benefiting Austin Sunshine Camps for at-risk and disadvantaged children. This year’s festival in September sold out ahead of time, so make sure you keep this on your radar for 2015.
Photo Credit: Gas Monkey Bar & Grill, Dallas Morning News.