Now that the weather has turned to something other than scorching, we can turn our attention to catching a show outdoors. Although most promoters (and many in the crowds) don't seem to mind a show taking place in the middle of August, I sure don't mind having dehydration and hyperthermia being the exception rather than the norm.
With that in mind, here are the best eight outdoor venues in the DFW area.
9. Quicktrip Park Home to the Grand Prairie AirHogs, this ball park has hosted the likes of Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, but is woefully underused as a concert venue. Located next to the Verizon Theater and Lone Star Park, Quicktrip is a just begging for a couple of Fall festivals.
8. Toyota Stadium Formerly known as FC Dallas Stadium and Pizza Hut Park, this 20,000 seat beast has hosted an MLS Cup, an NCAA Division 1 Football Championship and even an Ozzfest. At the moment, only pro soccer games and a few local high school football games are all that are scheduled in Frisco, though the stadium just played host to Breakaway Music Festival, and Edgefest was held there earlier this year.
7. Gexa Energy Pavilion Featuring abundant free parking and a central locale, Gexa Energy Pavilion has become the default outdoor venue for most major concerts coming through the area. Originally opened in 1988 as the Coca-Cola Starplex Amphitheater, the venue has also been known as the Smirnoff Theater and the Superpages.com Center. By any name, Gexa has hosted a bevy of great shows and festivals. Upcoming Show October 13: Jason Aldean
6. AT&T Performing Arts Center Known to host just about any event, the outdoor porch concerts at the Sammons Park portion of the AT&T Performing Arts Center are surefire crowd pleasers. Plus, by booking lots of local talent, the venue is helping to highlight the area music scene.
Upcoming Shows October 3: Somebody's Darling, Ryan Thomas becker October 10: Bravo, Max! Eric Harvey October 24: Centro-matic, Daniel Rush Folmer
5. The Foundry This rustic spot came about as part of Dallas' ongoing Westside revitalization project. The Foundry books some final touring acts as well as some equally fine local bands. The atmosphere is always friendly and the food is possibly the best of any area music venue.
Upcoming Shows October 7: The Mike Haskins Experience October 14: Home by Hovercraft October 28: Sturgill Simpson
4. Levitt Pavilion Offering 50 free concerts a year, this Arlington hotspot is located close to the University of Texas at Arlington. With a wide ranging booking policy, the Levitt Pavilion can appeal to concert goers of all ages and tastes. Although the October schedule has yet to be finalized, the September calendar featured the likes of Marcia Ball, Seryn, Foreigner, Ronnie Milsap and Ray Wylie Hubbard.
3. Panther Island Pavilion The newly expanded Panther Island Pavilion, situated on the Trinity River in Fort Worth, is now capable of hosting everything from one-off country shows to large scale festivals, as it did recently with Dia De Los Toadies and Fort Worth Music Festival earlier this year. It also remains the only place in town you can watch live music while sitting in a raft. Well, except for...
2. The Dallas Arboretum Featuring the most scenic of scenic views, concerts at the Dallas Arboretum have a majestic feel that cannot be matched. In the past, the musical offerings were a bit stale, but these days a lot of fine local talent makes it to the beautiful confines of the Dallas Arboretum.
Upcoming Shows October 3: Max Stalling October 17: A Hard Night's Day October 24: Le Freak October 31: Emerald City Band
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1. Lee Harvey's Sitting outside on a chilly evening and being warmed by an open fire is just one of the blessings of this longtime downtown nightspot. Normally, the music is provided by cover acts, but they are some of the best cover bands our area has to offer. In terms of overall ambiance, local history and quality of music, Lee Harvey's is the best outdoor venue around.
Upcoming Shows October 17: Naked Lunch November 1: Petty Theft