Trees

This veteran Deep Ellum outpost has been the site of many shows that elicit an "I was there, man." But since reopening three years ago, they've stepped their game way up and started pulling in acts beyond the typical Trees metal/punk/rock fare, including a healthy new roster of hip-hop. Makes sense: All those acts sound great pumped out of Trees' top-notch sound system, but that volume only serves as a reminder that Trees started out a rock club and will die a rock club.

Love and War in Texas Plano

We've lauded their fried pickles in the past, and those wild boar quesadillas are a glutton's dream, but Love & War in Texas' best feature is a wealth of Texas music pride to match its epic name. Every weekend, L&W's dance floor is packed with two-steppers hootin' and hollerin' to the best country Texas has to offer. Hayes Carll has dropped in, and Rusty Wier was a venue favorite. It's a true Texas honky-tonk that's managed to keep up with the times while still keeping its dusty charm.

As much as we love Adair's, we actually fit in with the crowd there, and we don't wear Stetsons or shit-kickers. As great as the band schedule at Billy Bob's Texas may be, it's big enough to be host to Willie Nelson and has live rodeo action — more a country-music Six Flags than actual tonk. Post Time feels like the real deal. Its older crowd, line dancing, live country and cheap drinks at happy hour give it an authentic enough feel that we wondered if we'd even pass a dress-code inspection without a trip to Western Warehouse first. But we managed to have a good time nonetheless.

Majestic Theatre

Hey, Majestic Theatre. Has anyone told you lately how beautiful you are? It's true. You are ... majestic. What we wish is that you had more concerts in you, because your sound system is also pretty great. Not just the odd summer show here, or comedy gig there, but a regular string of shows at which your talents could really shine as brightly as that lovely chandelier in your lobby.

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