Five Local Venues That Need To Step Up Their Game

Not sure if you caught last week's Show Announcements post. There was some pretty good stuff in there, especially now that we're entering live music's busy season, but week after week the House Of Blues listings catch my eye. It's one of the best venues in town. In fact, we gave it a Dallas Observer Music Award. Great sound. Great sight lines. Great lighting. Aside from drink prices, it's a pretty immaculate music venue.

Thing is, the booking has been terrible lately:

Friday, May 4 - Back In Black
Wednesday, May 9 - Yellow Dubmarine
Wednesday, May 9 - Extreme Midget Wrestling
Wednesday, May 16 - Jon McLaughlin
Friday, May 18 - Guns 4 Roses
Wednesday, May 23 - The Dandy Warhols
That's three cover bands, The Dandy Warhols and Extreme Midget Wrestling. Extreme Midget Wrestling! C'mon, House Of Blues. You're better than that. Maybe you could learn a thing or two from the Granada Theater.


The Loft
Remember when The Loft had fantastic shows throughout the week? Camera Obscura, British Sea Power and The Antlers are some of the great bands that performed there. It's really a pretty decent venue, but right now the website has two shows booked (and, to be fair, Deer Tick is coming April 28). To top it off, the venue sends out regular tweets soliciting the space for private events. C'mon, The Loft. You can do better than that.

The Curtain Club
The Curtain Club is the single best club to see a show in Deep Ellum. The sound is incredible, as are the sight lines and lighting, not to mention that the venue is steeped in Dallas music history. Problem is, not very many people know about it, because the local hard rock band format is relentless. Could you imagine seeing an indie touring band like Real Estate, Grimes, White Denim or even a local like Preteen Zenith? I have no doubt that it would be awesome. Perhaps the club could reach out to local promoters like Tactics Productions, Parade of Flesh or Spune and add some much-needed variety to its concert calendar.

Hailey's Club
Hailey's used to be what Dan's Silverleaf is now. It's the place in Denton where mid-level national acts perform rather than going all the way to Dallas. The vibe at Hailey's is fantastic -- plenty of room, great beer on tap and good sound -- it's just that there's no reason to go anymore. Gone are the days when bands like The Walkmen, The French Kicks and School of Seven Bells performed. Even a recent attempt at booking Here We Go Magic and John Oates fell flat. It would be sad to see a great venue like Hailey's go the way of the college dive bar, but it looks like it's heading there fast.

Verizon Theatre
I've seen some fantastic shows over the years at Verizon Theatre, but each time I've had to shell out $20 to park my car and the cost of a premium import six-pack of beer for a Budweiser in a plastic bottle. Even if they cut their prices in half it would be too much. A date there could easily cost over $100, very difficult for a hundredaire such as myself. Or you could do the same thing at Dada for $20.

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Daniel Hopkins
Contact: Daniel Hopkins