You know what goes well with live music? Alcohol. A large amount of alcohol. But that's not always cheap. Some nights you'll end up spending more than the ticket price on non-discounted booze, which is exactly what the venue wants you to do. You're playing right into their hands. SO LISTEN UP, SHEEPLE! Here is some advice that will save you money and get you drunker than you could have possibly hoped, which is pretty much the best combination of anything I can think of, beyond coffee and donuts or Simon and Garfunkel.
Anvil Pub is right next to Trees and Dada, and runs a happy hour until 7 p.m. every day, along with excellent specials on weekdays, like $2 all local drafts on a Wednesday. Can prove a bit expensive on the weekends without any specials running, but is still an excellent bar. If you still want a cheap pre-game on the weekends, go to Reno's, which is just cheap and dirty all the time.
Reno's is also very convenient for a) looking at motorbikes and b) gigs at Reno's. If you enjoy both live music and the sound of motorbikes revving, it is some sort of heaven. After a Deep Ellum gig you'll want to go and get in a fight inside/outside Serious Pizza while trying to obtain a slice of pizza bigger than your head, a perfectly dignified way to end the night. Also Serious Pizza has cheap alcohol.
If you're really serious about post-gig drinking, head down to the Double Wide, where they will pour you a drink so strong you'll weep. Not only is there weeping, but live music at the Double Wide is on stupidly late, so why not follow up your gig with another gig?
Namely, House of Blues. If you're going to visit House of Blues, the best way to do it is to get utterly, tragically, drunk. And do I have some advice for you. Zenna, a sushi place about five minutes' walk away down towards the World Aquarium, has a happy hour till 7 p.m. every day that is so dangerous it's probably illegal. Basically, three liters of beer is $9 and margaritas are $1. Every day. You only need two people per tower. Then, if it's 7 p.m. and you've run out of alcohol, simply crawl to West End Pub, on the way between Zenna and HOB, where they will give you 32 ounces of their cocktail of the month for $6.50.
Warning - the last time I pre-gamed this successfully, I loudly and brusquely told one of the many West End horses to go back to Alabama. I don't even know if they have horses in Alabama. I presume they do, but why I felt this particular horse should relocate there remains unclear. As for post-gaming, well, by that stage all the alcohol in your system from steps one and two should have killed you anyway.
The Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie
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SHOW ME HOW
Bring your own alcohol. Tailgate that shit. Also, if you can, park at the horse-racing track next door, because that isn't FIFTEEN DOLLARS FOR PARKING. I dislike venues that make you drive to the middle of nowhere and then jack up all their prices so there's a monopoly. If some budding entrepreneur wants to open up a parking lot and a bar (which only has to undercut the perfectly reasonable cost of ten dollars for a Budweiser) nearby, then I can essentially guarantee a heavily profitable success.
I think I'm bitter, because the one time I went there, I assumed the time on the ticket was doors opening time, not first band goes on time, and missed virtually all of Mastodon. I was pretty upset.
Who wants to chime in with some more? Anyone? I enjoy a well-planned pre-game.