Best Venues to Watch Local Bands in Austin, Texas


Dubbed the "Live Music Capital of the World," Austin, Texas truly ought to have a wealth of amazing live venues, at least to live up to its nickname. And it does. Since each concert hall and dive bar has their own sound, crowd, and feel, it's only appropriate to list a handful of the best places to catch a gig by genre.

Best Country & Western Clubs
Rockabilly swing country jamboree gals and guys have a lot great options for toe-tappin' and boot scootin' around town. Cowboys and girls have been heading to the Broken Spoke for all their honky-tonk needs for five decades now. If you're looking for something closer to downtown, Midnight Cowboy and the White Horse will both satisfy your cravings for cold spirits and tons of live tunes. The north side of town also has a fine C & W watering hole known as the Ginny's Little Longhorn.

Best Rock 'n Roll Dives
Feelin' loud and snotty tonight? When that certain agro mood hits, you know the one, Austin has plenty of places to run wild in the streets – er, in the clubs, anyway. Perennial Red River dive mecca Beerland always puts on a sweaty good show. In addition, upstarts The Sidewinder and The Brixton, as well as fairly recent rebel The Lost Well are some of the best places in the city to blow off some steam.

Best Hip Hop Spots
Unfortunately, Austin still doesn't have a lot of places to catch local hip hop on a regular. A few places around town, such as the Mohawk and Empire Control Room, host occasional local, regional, and national DJs and hip hop happenings. Emo's East also puts on a handful of big name and regional rap shows in its hangar-like show space.

Best Places for Mellow Music
Just because you want to catch a show doesn't necessarily mean it has to be loud, right. Right? Of course not. If you're looking for a mellower mood than a rock or dance club can provide, there are plenty of low-key options around town. Hit up the Cactus Club for folksy vibes, or swing by the Flamingo Cantina on a slow night for some catchy reggae. Or, you can sway along to a catchy acoustic set at Saxon Pub.

Best Big Bands Cozy Atmosphere Venue
Ranging from roving indie rockers to up and coming stars, there are a several fine spots to catch a famous acts in intimate settings. The hottest regional and national acts often wind up at the Moody Theater for Austin City Limits. In addition, Antoine's latest locale serves up a broad palette of popular musics, often featuring the latest names across numerous genres, while the historic Continental Club will keep you rocking in a mid-level setting.

Andy L. Kubai is a freelance writer and transplanted Austinite who's been exploring the internal and external wonders of his new home for the last 5 years. Find out more about Andy on his website.

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