The thing about music, especially popular music, is that it's very youth driven. The thing about being youth driven, of course, is you need to make it possible for the youth culture to fully immerse itself via live performance. That's how fans grow from being little caterpillar iTunes song buyers into full-on butterfly super fans. Sadly, too many venues put age restrictions up to keep young fans from reaching their metamorphoses. Fortunately, we in Dallas are lucky to live in an area that features so many venues that are willing to help push these young fans to their destiny. These are the best 10 for you young folk to start your musical journeys.
10. Prophet Bar
DJs, punk music, soul, R&B, hip hop, country; virtually everything goes through the Prophet Bar, which is why it's always full with patrons of all ages trying to take things in. Hence why this is a perfect spot for a person to start their musical education: You get to taste everything, and enjoy it because the venue does such a good job of getting quality acts.
2548 Elm St., Dallas, theprophetbar.com
9. The Door
It's sort of like Prophet Bar, but way bigger. They're connected by a hallway after all. The Door has been bringing people to Deep Ellum since its days as the revered Gypsy Tea Room. Today, it hosts multiple fests, and what feels like weekly youth-centric shows that have masses of confused kids getting off the DART Green Line, asking for directions and annoying Deep Ellum drivers.
2513 Main St., Dallas, thedoorclubs.com
Hailey's has long been the place to avoid in Denton if you wanted to not be the creepy old person hitting on the college freshman. The youthful-leaning booking promises the spot is stocked with young adults getting their first taste of the club life — because let's be honest here, no one loves '90s night at Hailey's more then people born in 1997.
122 W. Mulberry St., Denton, haileysclub.com
Chalk this one up to hip parents as Dan's looks like a daycare on some weekends. Parents flood into the family friendly venue to enjoy a nice afternoon on the patio accompanied by live music and conversations with friends. This often leads to a wild age variety of kids hanging around with their parents getting their first taste of some of the best-booked music in the state.
103 N. Industrial St., Denton, danssilverleaf.com
This is a straight booking thing because these guys always have the new hot act kids are clamoring for coming to town about monthly. I've had the “Who the hell are these kids seeing at Trees tonight?” conversation over beers at Off the Record at least once a week for a year now.
2709 Elm St., Dallas, treesdallas.com
5. Club Dada
With all the up-and-coming indie acts and acts on swan song “Hey, you remember us from 2007?” tours, Dada has become the spot to run into high schooler's sporting Xs on their hands and joyfully dancing off their caffeine highs to bands they idolize. The fact that the 18 and up Red Bull Sound Select series uses Dada for a good portion of their events, including tonight's Bishop Nehru show, means this isn't stopping anytime soon.
2720 Elm St., Dallas, dadadallas.com
I mean they did host Meghan Trainor recently. That was pretty much the most youth-centric event we've seen all year, so it's sort of hard to deny the Granada's influence on the youth of the area. Add in the endless movies, and parent/kid friendly shows and it's not out of the ordinary to see whole families walking around the space. Now if they'd just bring back the pizza.
3524 Greenville Ave., Dallas, granadatheater.com
Much like every dude in his 40s in the music scene claims to have seen Nirvana play Trees in 1993, every dude in his 30s swears they saw Modest Mouse play Gloves in 2000. Dudes in their 20s, meanwhile, talk about how amazing Iceage was at Gloves in 2011. It'll be fun to see what band a bunch of current teens are raving about in f years that they saw in at Gloves, because Josh Baish and his crew are destined to do this forever.
411 E. Sycamore St., Denton, rubberglovesdentontx.com
2. Three Links
Punk rock is for the youth so it makes sense that Deep Ellum's most-punk venue is all ages and frequently packed with all types of kids dancing their little hyper-metabolised asses off. Oh, and having a cheap taco place next door doesn't hurt, because kids like tacos. And soda. And live music.
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2704 Elm St., Dallas, threelinksdeepellum.com
1. J&J's Pizza
Free shows are key for the growing music fan due to aid fans usually being pretty damn poor, so it's a good thing a place like J & J's exists in Denton, where everyone is poor and young. There's a free show every week, usually put on by bands who are just starting out, so really J&J's is the North Texas musical petri dish, incubating new acts and new fans alike. Honestly the best thing about J&J's is that the venue keeps getting older, but the patrons stay the same age.
118 W. Oak St., Denton, jandjpizzadenton.com