Ryan Bingham has probably outgrown a venue the size of South Side Ballroom
Ryan Bingham has probably outgrown a venue the size of South Side Ballroom
Anne Axster

Ryan Bingham's Show Friday Night Proved Just How Much Dallas Loves Roots Music

Ryan Bingham With Lucero South Side Ballroom, Dallas Friday, March 6, 2015

For all its shortcomings in terms of some other genres, Dallas has an incredibly strong taste for rootsy, country-infused rock music. Maybe it's the bucolic settings that exist just a short drive outside the city, but people in Dallas love to put on their cowboy hats and go see an artist that is just as likely to fire off a banjo riff as he is to cover a Metallica song. This crowd was in full-force attendance at roots rock hero Ryan Bingham's show on Friday night.

See also: The 50 Best Red Dirt Texas Country Songs Cory Morrow Leads All-Texas Additions to Dallas Observer's St. Patrick's Day Concert

Once the crowds started to pour in, it was impossible to even take a few steps inside South Side Ballroom. People piled on top of each other into the pit, filled up walkways and made it impossible to find a solitary spot on the smoking patio. In most cases, such a well-attended show would be a nuisance for true fans, but this kind of packed house means that artists like Bingham will always have a home in Dallas.

The similarly rootsy Lucero opened for Bingham, and played for well over an hour to a relatively engaged crowd. There were a few fights in the pit, but the generally rowdy concertgoers weren't too badly behaved. Even though Lucero's catalog is full of down-tempo songs that will make you cry into your beer, the folks packed into the first few rows really didn't seem to care. Lead singer Ben Nichols may also have a little mid-2000s pop-rock gravel (a la Aaron Lewis from Staind) in his voice, but the songwriting is solid and the stellar accompanying seven-piece band didn't hurt.

Resale Concert Tickets

Powered By
powered by Seats For Everyone SEE MORE

  • Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 / 8:00pm @ House Of Blues - Dallas 2200 N. Lamar Street Dallas TX 75202
    2200 N. Lamar Street, Dallas TX 75202

  • Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 / 7:00pm @ Majestic Theatre - Dallas 1925 Elm Street Dallas TX 75201
    1925 Elm Street, Dallas TX 75201

  • Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 / 7:30pm @ House Of Blues - Dallas 2200 N. Lamar Street Dallas TX 75202
    2200 N. Lamar Street, Dallas TX 75202

When I wasn't really feeling the set, a friend told me to go home, break up with my boyfriend, and then the songs would sound right. I feel like that was probably pretty accurate. Either way, the fact that an hour-long set from an opener was so well-received by everyone in a crowd that was clearly there to see Bingham is a further testament to just how successful this kind of music is here.

When Bingham did finally take the stage after a short reset, the crowd had just as much energy as they did when they got there two hours earlier. Surprisingly, though, this wasn't the kind of set that you would necessarily expect from someone that is touring in support of a wildly successful new record. Bingham mixed in plenty of tracks from previous recordings, including Junky Star and the Grammy-nominated theme from Jeff Bridges' Crazy Heart, "The Weary Kind," with songs from the new record. Somewhat to my surprise, most of the people in the crowd seemed familiar with both bodies of work.

As an artist, Bingham could not have been more comfortable on the stage at South Side Ballroom. He was laid-back, cool and occasionally comedic. Mostly, though, he was intense. To watch Bingham sing is to feel all of the pain and loss and emotion that went into writing those records. Bingham is one of few artists who can be entirely successful at making you want to raise your beer and cry at the same time.

As the evening wound down, the energy of the crowd was still entirely palpable. This was an audience that lined up out in the cold to see Ryan Bingham, and they would have eagerly watched him play all night long. For fans of this genre, this excitement is, well, deeply exciting. If what I saw on Friday night is any indication, Dallas will continue to attract the top talent in roots and Americana music.

As for Bingham, he may have outgrown a venue the size of South Side Ballroom. Friday night's show sold out well in advance, and tickets were going on StubHub for upwards of $100, a pretty steep markup on the original ticket. That would seem to indicate that he could sell out much bigger venues.

No matter how big the venue needs to be, though, Bingham will always have a place to play in Dallas. And that's an encouraging sign for our city's musical tastes.


50 Signs You've Been Partying Too Long in Denton Florida Georgia Line Danced on the Grave of Country at Gexa on Saturday HOT 93.3 FM Has Already Given Up on Classic Hip Hop The 50 Best Red Dirt Texas Country Songs The Best Places in Dallas to Go When You're Stoned

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >