Houston's 10 Best-Sounding Music Venues
Listening is not necessarily the strong suit of Houstonians who frequent live-music venues. But for those who do choose to silence themselves and their phones for live performances (or those drowned out by the sound system), there are certain places around town that are built for great sound. These venues, be they large or small, find ways -- either through acoustics, great sound systems or both -- to generate sounds that are pleasing to the ears even if the bands aren't.
Photo by Jeff Balke Sound makes a difference.
On this list, we have purposefully left off the big venues like Cynthia Woods or Toyota Center. So many of these larger venues are not built for sound and what fans do hear is largely reliant upon the sound engineer and system provided by the touring artist, it is unfair to include them here. Suffice it to say big traveling acts rarely sound bad, but that is not always the case with locals, so having great venues is even more of a blessing when you can't afford a great sound guy or PA system.
10. THE BIG EASY
This dive-y blues bar on Kirby is still one of the best places to see the blues in Houston. Its cozy confines and the regularly full dance floor provide just the right acoustics for the artists who take the stage nightly. There's a kind of magic to this place, and the sound is almost always perfect.
9. SCOUT BAR
Say what you will about venues featuring bands that aren't current and cool, but places like Scout Bar still cater to a willing audience. And, when they do, they understand the value to making it sound good. You might need earplugs on many occasions, but the sound, while deafening, is virtually always clear.
The great thing about jazz music is that it rarely needs more than the musicians to make is sound amazing, but when the venue happens to have nice, intimate acoustics, like this venerable bar above the Black Lab on Montrose, it's all the better.
List continues on the next page.