North Texas already had more than its share of places to see live music. But it got a few notable additions in 2013, especially in Deep Ellum, where Three Links has wasted no time becoming a fixture and Twilite Lounge started to feel like it had been there for 50 years about three weeks after opening day.
There are a few more on the horizon for 2014, including a large venue called The Hive that hosted performances during 35 Denton, and work has begun to re-open The Bomb Factory. But here are our four favorite new places to see live music in DFW (note that we didn't include houses and other unofficial venues in order to not cause their operators trouble. Ask a punk about that stuff).
Queen City Music Hall DC9: What made you decide to open Queen City Music Hall?
Venue manager Jamie Knight: Fort Worth has several venues over 3,000 capacity and tons of venues under 400 capacity, but nothing in that sweet spot 700-1,200 capacity. That's the size room that the best mid-level bands play. All of those shows go to Dallas, unless it's a festival. South Side Music Hall, Trees, Prophet Bar Big Room, Dada, Granada. Fort Worth needed one of our own in that range.
The Rustic The Rustic has proper ambitions, with plans to host local music up to four nights a week, along with larger national acts a couple of times a month along Central Expressway. The whole thing feels like something that wouldn't normally happen here. Green, a member of Texas country royalty, has a simple vision for the restaurant's musical aspect.
"We'll have 30 big-ticket shows a year here," he explains as he provides a tour through the bar area and into the outdoor concert venue as gawkers stalk about a couple of hours before he would hit the stage. "But this is a restaurant first, not a music venue. People are going to come here for the food and the drinks. It has to be that way for this to work, I think." Read the rest of Kelly Dearmore's first look here.
Three Links It's no news to Deep Ellum frequenters that the longstanding building that once held the Elm Street music venue La Grange has completely transformed since the venue closed in late 2012. Now sits Three Links, a bar and venue owned by Tactics Productions founder Kris Youmans, talent buyer Scott Beggs and Elm Street Tattoo owner Oliver Peck. The three have been working on this space basically since the moment it closed, and it now hosts a larger stage, revamped sound system and wider beer selection. And a particular brand of artistic décor (like David and Goliath interpretations, repeating owl-over-pyramid diagrams and the like) that represents something significant to the three men -- an organization called International Order of the Odd Fellows. Read the rest of Rachel Watts' Three Links feature here.
Twilite Lounge It's a cool, breezy September night as Danny Balis and Jess Barr watch the Saints/Dolphins game on the patio of their new Deep Ellum spot, Twilite Lounge. They drink beer, and snack on some leftover pizza as the boys in black and gold dominate in the Superdome. Balis is the bassist for both Calhoun and The King Bucks, as well as a producer for one of Texas radio's longest-running sports shows, KTCK-AM 1310 The Ticket's "The Hardline." Jess Barr is the guitarist for longtime local favorites Slobberbone. Seven months ago, the close friends of 17 years opened the doors to their newest project, which has quickly become a favorite for East Dallas regulars -- Twilite Lounge just won our own Best New Bar award. Read the rest of Vanessa Quilantan's Twilite Lounge profile here.