Best Of Dallas

The 5 Best New Music Venues in Dallas-Fort Worth in 2015

With the 27th annual Dallas Observer Music Awards just around the corner — in fact, voting is open right now at — we're highlighting some of the nominees for this year's awards. And when we say these venues are the "Best," don't just take our word for it: We polled 200 local music experts to pull together the nominees this year, so they come on pretty good authority.

Much like every music scene needs an influx of new acts every now and then, it also needs an evolution when it comes to the venues such acts can play. Thanks to the recent economic boom in Dallas, and Deep Ellum finally being B-A-C-K (and no, we're not talking about plans for those high-rise condos, as much as those set our hearts aflutter), it means we’ve seen a bunch of new venues pop up in the area. Now more than ever, people seem to want to venture out and explore what the city has to offer, and when it comes to finding new places to hang out, these five concert venues have become overnight go-tos.

The Bomb Factory

The granddaddy of them all in Deep Ellum rose from the ashes in March after an almost two-year renovation. Locals had been buzzing over the fact that the neighborhood would finally have a venue large enough to cater to the type of acts that you normally have to drive to the 'burbs to see. This place has everything: D’Angelo shows, Badu shows, music fests, tattoo conventions, Ja Rule with hologram J. Lo, and that’s all just the tip of the iceberg. Expect things to get even bigger and grander in Deep Ellum as The Bomb Factory solidifies itself as a premier venue in the state, because the team behind it does just four things: Eat, sleep, blow your minds and repeat. (They probably drink too, but that's a different cycle.)

2713 Canton St., Dallas,

The cOoompound

Not since the glory days of the Annex House has Dallas had a true house show venue that was worth a damn, and thankfully this hidden North Dallas gem popped up to claim the title as the best place to catch something totally unexpected. The location is a “secret” and the events are “secret,” but the bands are always some of the most interesting in the area. If you know about it, you don’t really talk about it, because you don’t want to spoil the magic (by, uh, nominating it for an award in a local publication). Shine on you crazy cOoompound diamonds; you’re doing the DIY Lord’s work.

"Secret," Dallas,

Gas Monkey Live!

When your brand reaches its apex, you throw a lot of money around to solidify it in people’s minds, and that's exactly what the Gas Monkey team did when they realized their cult-like following had provided a window of opportunity to establish themselves as the most fun venue ever. So, when Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill died the death we all expected, the dynamic duo who had already opened a restaurant and venue across the street jumped at the chance to expand their horizons with a room that could easily hold 1,400 people. Gas Monkey Live!, nestled in a concrete jungle, brings in rock fans by the bus load for everything from Dwight Yoakum to literally every metal band from the '80s, and occasionally mixes things up with a Latin music festival. It doesn’t quite make sense, but it works.

10110 Technology Blvd., Dallas,

Harvest House

Since opening its doors during the return of 35 Denton last March, Harvest House has become the Denton watering hole to catch a live band, mostly due to its giant patio stage. The new centerpoint for festival booking and free music in the bustling college town provides an excellent selection of beer and other strong libations, while offering locally made Kombucha that is just. So. Denton. With the looming close of Hailey’s Club, this is now the largest venue in town, and it seems like it’s poised to take over as the place to catch some of the most exciting shows coming through the area. Also, everyone needs a home base during Denton’s many festivals, and Harvest House seems like the best spot to set up shop.

331 E. Hickory St., Denton,

Mother Truckers

We know the mere concept of Northwest Highway brings the fear down upon you like a drunken uncle on a Thanksgiving turkey (hey, look at us — topical reference!), but you should really take a deep breath and make it up there once in awhile because you just might find something like Mother Truckers. Imagine every Thin Lizzy song you’ve ever heard come to life and serving beer. That’s the most apt description of this North Dallas watering hole that’s home to rock, roll, pin-up style and frozen moonshine. You’re gonna have a good time earning that hangover at this place.

2110 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas,
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Jaime-Paul Falcon