The largest city in the Lone Star State certainly has a little something for everyone. If you find yourself in Houston, Texas with a hunger for live music, you’ll be especially happy with what you find. After all, Houston’s musical alumnae include everyone from ZZ Top and Kenny Rogers to Lyle Lovett and Beyoncé. Fortunately, the live music scene in Space City is as alive as ever. Keep reading for the top spots you’ll want to hit to keep your ears happy.
Anderson Fair – Fourth Ward, Montrose Area
If you’re in the mood for traditional Texas rock, you’ll want to stop by Anderson Fair. It was here that artists like Lyle Lovett got their start, and the tradition is still loud and proud. To this day you can still enjoy a very intimate setting with some of Houston’s best singer/songwriters. Be sure to hit up the ATM first… this popular joint only accepts cash!
Boondocks – Montrose Neighborhood
Like the name suggests, this isn’t a musical venue where you need to dress to impress. Just the opposite, Boondocks is the type of venue where you can go to relax, enjoy great music, and have a few cocktails in between trips to the dance floor. The crowd here is decidedly alternative, which makes sense, given the indie bands that take the stage. With a large dance floor upstairs, you’ll have more than enough room to cut a rug, though don’t expect any square dancing to break out.
The Big Easy – West University Area
This is another great musical destination where you don’t have to worry about who’s watching. The Big Easy is aptly named, given the New Orleans feel of the place. Outside, it looks like a dive bar, complete with Mardi Gras lighting. Inside you can enjoy some of the best zydeco and blues in the entire city. Expect big crowds on the weekend and odd stares if you don’t make a home out of the dance floor. Of course, you can also get some air outside on the patio and take in the sights and sounds of Kirby Drive.
Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge – Fourth Ward, Midtown Area
Inside the Big Top Lounge, you’ll hear all kinds of music, as the club seems to only care about good times. They proudly claim “no cover ever” in an attempt at keeping this Houston spot a place where anyone from anywhere can come in and enjoy themselves. If you don’t like the band on stage, enjoy some shuffleboard or foosball with your friends.
Firehouse Saloon – Galleria Area
If you’re in Houston, you might have a country music itch that you just have to scratch. Head over to Firehouse Saloon, then, to enjoy all the live honky-tonk music your eardrums can take. As the name suggests, this saloon is firehouse-themed, and you can bet it’s accurate, given that the owners are former firefighters, themselves.
Fitzgerald’s – The Heights Neighborhood
For over 30 years, Fitzgerald’s has hosted the best local artists that Houston has produced. Most groups on tour who pass through the city will generally seek out the club for its reputation as an authentic Houston music venue. With two separate stages, you’re bound to find something you can at least tap your foot to when you visit Fitzgerald’s.
Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar -The Heights Neighborhood
On the other side of the spectrum is Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar. This venue is a hipster favorite in Houston. Inside, you’ll find the kind of dimly lit interior they flock to, with plenty of shady figures to round the place out. Nonetheless, you’ll hear music that is far more reminiscent than modern. They have plenty of beer and even some wine, but you won’t need either, as Dan Electro’s has no problem if you just bring your own.
You might not be in Houston for the music, but that’s no reason to miss out on a good show. Even if you don’t know the local acts, stroll into any of the above venues, and you’ll be sure to have a good time.
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