The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Rock Venues
10. Concert Pub North
It's probably safe to say that Concert Pub North is the only venue in the area attached to a seafood restaurant/bar, known as the "Concert Pub Yacht." Like its cover-band-oriented Galleria-area counterpart, CPN programs plenty of "party bands" like the Velcro Pygmies, Electric Circus and the Stars, but has also seriously stepped up its hard-rock and metal bookings. Just recently, it's hosted Austin's Vallejo, a rare appearance by near-forgotten Houston prog-rockers Ozz Knozz and the Michael Schenker Group just this Thursday night. Manny Charlton's Nazareth and Kill Devil Hill (ex-Pantera) are on the horizon. 2470 FM 1960 W., 281-583-8111, www.theconcertpub.com/TCP-North.html
9. Scout Bar
For anyone who misses the '90s and is still interested in the likes of Cypress Hill, Smile Empty Soul, Eve 6, Taproot and Everclear (all of whom perform here in the next two months), Scout Bar is the place to be. The venue also boasts the best hair-metal cover band in the city (a regular at the venue), and local and regional acts perform every Sunday during the 94.5-sponsored Texas Buzz. It's a bit of a drive from most of the other venues in town, though. Ooooooo-weeeee, what up with that? 18307 Egret Bay Blvd., Clear Lake, 281-3335-0002, www.scoutbar.com.
For regional and smaller acts, Mango's is a great venue. Located in the heart of Montrose just next door to AvantGarden, this place was expected to flop when Omar Afra left to focus on his acquisition of Fitzgerald's. But a succession of promoters have stepped up to the plate and kept the eatery/venue relevant in the local scene. Mango's doesn't put itself into a corner when booking acts, but rock shows are a sight to be seen at this place. It feels like you're hanging out in your friend's living room... if your friend's living room had big ol' amps and a friendly bar staff, that is. 403 Westheimer, 713-522-8903 or www.mangoscafehouston.com.