In the second segment of a three-part series featuring the downtown Austin music scene, we shine the spotlight on some of the city’s most popular dive bars and music halls. Regardless of whether you are looking for a place you can group with your friends in grunge clothes or you want to get dressed up for a night of live music in a formal venue, you’re sure to find the perfect downtown Austin setting on this list.
In most cities, people who decide to spend an evening out at a dive bar can hardly expect to be entertained by live music. Austin is an exception. To be sure, there are plenty of dive bars where live music is an irregularity, but the following are a couple of exceptions. Both happen to be on Southern Congress Avenue, known as SoCo to locals. Like most other districts in this tuned up city, this hipster’s paradise has no shortage of live music.
- Continental Club: With doors open to the public since 1957, Continental Club is a downtown Austin music scene mainstay. Known across the country, this former supper club was once frequented by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Roky Erickson. A visit to this divey venue make you feel as if you have walked onto the set of American Graffiti.
- Stompin’ Grounds Lounge: Open since 2009, Stompin’ Grounds has made a name for itself as a place to see great acts over affordable beverages. An eclectic crowd frequents this venue to see some of Austin’s favorite country, indie, and rock musicians. Recent performances have included Donald James, Randy Tate, and the Dead Tree Duo.
If any other city of its size had as many concert halls as Austin does, it would be hard pressed to fill their seats on a regular basis. But Austinites love live music. And there is no shortage of musical talent—local and visiting—to occupy the stages at these larger venues every night. If you are looking to watch a live musical performance in a more formal setting, check out the schedules at the following locations.
- Austin Music Hall: Located just north of Ladybird Johnson Lake, and less than 5 minute walk from AMLI on 2ND and AMLI Downtown, Austin Music Hall has a capacity of 4,600 and has hosted countless memorable shows over the last decade. The venue is to undergo a much needed multi-phase renovation, but is not lying dormant in the meantime. Steve Aoki, The Pixies and Best Coast are among scheduled shows.
- The Moody Theater: Home of Austin City Limits Live, the Moody Theater is a LEED certified music venue with a seating capacity of 2,700. This eco-friendly building boasts some of the best acoustics in downtown Austin, and has already hosted dozens of world renowned artists. Follow ACL TV’s blog and website to win tickets to recordings of soon-to-be music legends.
- One World Theater: A special venue located in West Austin, the One World Theater was founded on a belief that exposure to the arts of other cultures is an essential element in breaking down barriers and refuting stereotypes. Featuring artists and musical art forms from around the globe, the theater offers a one-of-a-kind Austin experience. In addition to concerts, weddings and corporate events are also held at this family-friendly venue.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to check back in a week for part three of this series, featuring downtown Austin outdoor music venues and Austin’s most-beloved music festivals.