The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Concert Venues
|Photo by Jason Wolter|
|Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys at the Continental, February 2013|
The Continental Club serves as the heart of the quirky and eclectic mid-Main strip that is quickly becoming a Mecca of sorts for the local indie scene - and no surprise, since the two-block hipster oasis is the innovation of CC managing partner Pete Gordon. Ideally nestled amidst vintage dress and barber shops and adjacent to both the Metrorail and a B-cycle charter station, the Continental is the perfect size for catching a local or regional act: small enough to maintain a dive-y, intimate feel but big enough to make room for a dance party should the need arise.
For a little peace and (relative) quiet, the back room houses a second bar, a billiards table and some damn-good barbecue, which (ask anyone from around here) is a staple of any legitimate Texas dive-bar experience. And when the weather gods are smiling, it's is arguably the best venue in town for soaking up those rare, cool evenings --- a large patio out back boasts ample seating and kitschy-chic décor, from the trademark "Elvis" sign to a real, live tiki bar (grass hut included). LEILA CHEMAM-ALFARO
3700 Main, 713-529-9899, continentalclub.com/houston.html
3. WAREHOUSE LIVE
Photo by Marco Torres AWOLNATION at Warehouse Live, January 2012
Most of Houston's mid-size venues hardly feel "mid-sized," which is why we're so lucky to have Warehouse Live. Because the ballroom boasts a capacity of 1,500, Houstonians have been able to catch big names while still taking advantage of the venue's intimate layout, which is even more pronounced in the adjacent Studio room. Since Warehouse opened its doors in February 2006, thousands of acts such as P!nk, Bruno Mars, Sunny Day Real Estate and Deftones have graced the venue's two rooms, with no sign of slowing down.
And despite the fact that Warehouse Live's sound system gets loud enough to feel the volume it in your chest, the venue is known for being both subtle and fancy all at once. With LED chandeliers hanging overhead and a bar set off to the side that allows drinking patrons to do so without fighting a crowd, every piece comes together to make Warehouse one of Houston's most beloved live music gems. ALYSSA DUPREE
813 St. Emanuel, 713-225-5483, warehouselive.com
Photo by Marco Torres Riff Raff at Fitzgerald's, March 2013
With all due respect to Numbers, there isn't a longer-running or more beloved music venue in town than Fitzgerald's, the creaky old club on White Oak Blvd. in the Heights. Built in freaking 1918 as a Polish dance hall and community center, the place was taken over in 1977 by Sara Fitzgerald and hosted once and future rock and roll legends on its upstairs and downstairs stages for decade after decade, with anecdotal evidence suggesting the bathrooms were cleaned once or twice during that span.
From James Brown to Death to Iron and Wine, Fitz has been the place to see the best local and touring rock and roll acts for generations of Houstonians, and it's changed so little over the years that it still feels like home no matter how long it's been since your last visit. No other spot in town has as much music history baked into its black walls. NATHAN SMITH
2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838, fitzlivemusic.com
Houston's best concert venue on the next page. What'll it be?
2005 Lake Robbins Drive, Spring, TX