Let's be honest, going to concerts at outdoor venues really sucks during the hot Texas summer. Not only is it still hotter than hell after dark, but you're going to get eaten alive by mosquitos and have to share a crowded space with a bunch of sweaty strangers. Put simply, it's much better to enjoy your tunes in a climate-controlled environment, no matter how dedicated of a fan you may be.
Fortunately, Dallas is full of great places that include air conditioning in the ticket price. Whatever your favorite bands or genres, you're sure to find a show at one of these 10 indoor venues that can also serve as a chilly respite from the godforsaken heat on a particularly miserable Friday night.
10. The Balcony Club 1825 Abrams Pkwy., Dallas
Dallas doesn't exactly have a lot of jazz lounges to choose from, but the Balcony Club is the only one you'll need. Still, this stage isn't solely dedicated to jazz music. On every night of the week, the style of music varies from traditional jazz to blues, showtunes and Americana. There's something for everyone at the Balcony Club and the atmosphere feels much more Mad Men than modern in the best way possible. Order a martini, extra dirty, and let some of the most talented musicians in the metroplex transport you to another time.
9. South Side Music Hall 1135 S. Lamar St., Dallas
Every venue at the Gilley's complex in Dallas is a great place to catch a show, but South Side Music Hall is a tiny hidden gem. This venue only holds 1,500 people, so it's a great place to catch a cozy show from a band that always seems like they're famous enough to be playing much bigger rooms. The infamous mechanical bull makes an occasional appearance, but this isn't your average country venue.
8. The Kessler Theater 1230 W. Davis St., Dallas
Dallas certainly has an abundance of historic and beautiful theaters, but few have the history of the Kessler Theater. This Oak Cliff institution was once owned by Gene Autry and is a favorite of contemporary local superstars like St. Vincent. Music fans are treated to what is likely the most diverse calendar of musicians, like Malaysian singer and songwriter Yuna, kings of western swing Asleep At The Wheel and local faves Centro-Matic, to look forward to at The Kessler this summer.
7. Billy Bob's 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth
Billy Bob's is one of the best country music bars in the entire country, and certainly the best in the Metroplex. It's no surprise that Texas is home to millions of country music fans, and seeing a show at Billy Bob's is their trip to Mecca. This summer, legends like Merle Haggard, Steve Earle, Stoney LaRue and Ronnie Milsap will grace the stage at Billy Bob's, continuing a decades-long tradition of hosting the greats of the genre. With shows like these, we're lucky that Dallas-Fort Worth is home to the world's largest honky-tonk.
6. Trees 2709 Elm St., Dallas
You can't talk about live music in Dallas without mentioning Trees. Erykah Badu, the Toadies and even Radiohead have graced the historic stage at this Deep Ellum bar, and it doesn't show signs of slowing down as one of Dallas' most diverse and important music venues. Trees has been around for well over two decades, but a recent renovation has made the venue better than ever. In the next few weeks alone, there are hip-hop, pop, rock and metal shows on the schedule, so there's always something for any music fan.
5. Adair's Saloon 2624 Commerce St., Dallas
Red dirt country music enjoys a great deal of popularity in Dallas-Fort Worth, and there's no better place to see it than Adair's Saloon. Adair's is more than just a bar, it's an institution. It's the kind of place that makes you realize that good country music can survive Nashville's strongest attempts to lead the genre away from its roots. Every night of the week, there's some kind of free country music being played at Adair's that will serve as perfect background music for drinking whiskey and nursing a heartbreak, just as Willie and Waylon intended.
4. Dan's Silverleaf 103 Industrial St., Denton
The small but stellar music community in Denton has always been a crucial component of Dallas' music scene and Dan's Silverleaf has been holding down the scene in Little D for over a decade. You can really appreciate live music at its best at Dan's and there are plenty of opportunities to expand your musical horizons with acts that are just flying under the radar. You may not recognize all of the bands on the bill, but there isn't much mediocrity on the schedule at Dan's Silverleaf.
3. Granada Theater 3524 Greenville Ave., Dallas
The Granada Theater has been around in one way or another since 1946, but it still remains a fixture of the Dallas music scene. Local bands and national touring acts alike have cut their teeth on the Granada's stage and the venue is loved by critics and fans alike. There's always an eclectic mix of bands at the Granada on any given week and music fans shouldn't ignore those acts that are on the verge of becoming mainstream. Use these shows as your opportunity to hear great acts before the indie buzz machine catches on.
2. Club Dada 2720 Elm St., Dallas
There is no music experience more intimate than hearing a great band play in a tiny club. Even with a storied past as favored stomping grounds for Dallas greats like the Old 97s, Club Dada has certainly had its ups and downs. Now, though, the future looks bright at this venerable Deep Ellum venue. The acts on the cozy stage at Dada range from hardcore bands to local alt-country groups, and there's plenty of room to get up close and personal with your favorite groups on the rise.
1. Winspear Opera House 2403 Flora St., Dallas
You don't have to be classy enough to appreciate the opera to love seeing a show at the Winspear Opera House. This is the kind of place where rich people spend their evenings, so it feels like a walk-in freezer compared to that inferno outside. Aside from smash-hit touring Broadway shows and critically acclaimed dance companies, the Winspear will host some of the most exciting concerts of the summer, including Tori Amos on July 29 and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers on August 1st.
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