Fort Worth is home to a pretty great live music scene, complete with some excellent venues that are reflective of the people and atmosphere of the city. Just in the last 20 years or so, some notable musicians and bands have come out of Fort Worth: Pat Green, the Toadies, Flickerstick, Green River Ordinance, and Leon Bridges, among others.
There are too many venues to name, and some people may get offended when they don’t see their favorite on the list. (Spoiler alert: Billy Bob’s is not on here.) But we wanted to highlight the less obvious gems of the Fort Worth live music scene, each offering a singular experience.
This is, admittedly, the sentimental pick. Although it has gone through some changes over the years, The Aardvark was the center of ’90s Fort Worth rock. And it’s still rocking today over on Berry next to TCU. (Now with barbecue as a tasty side to complement the musical main course.) See the venue that helped launch the Toadies, Flickerstick, Bowling for Soup, Green River Ordinance, and more, and then stick around for the next generation of up-and-comers in this historic little hovel of awesomeness.
Friday on the Green
Friday on the Green is a concert series put on by Fort Worth South that runs April through October, one Friday a month. So, yes, it’s limited, but totally worth it. Bring your lawn chair and cooler to Magnolia Green Park (on Lipscomb), grab a snack from one of the many food trucks that ring the perimeter, and sit back listening to the best music our local scene has to offer.
Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge
On Lipscomb Street, right off Magnolia, is the laid-back Live Oak. The music hall is cozy, and there is ample patio space for relaxing and enjoying a local beer and some good food. The Live Oak has a capacity in the hundreds, so it can accommodate any of our talented local bands while also bringing in touring acts from around the country. Only about 5 years old, it has quickly become one of the best places in town to see a show.
Amid the haughty elegance of Seventh Street, on Sixth to be exact, is this grungy dive bar with a small stage. We mean that as a compliment. This has become ground zero for Fort Worth live music, and the energy rarely gets higher than when a packed house is jamming out to a great local act. Add in some cold beverages and a breezy outdoor area for quick breathers, and you have the beating heart of local live music.
Panther Island Pavilion
Lawn chairs not your thing? Then, maybe you prefer lounging in an inner tube on the Trinity while listening to music, which you can do at the Panther Island Pavilion. Don’t worry; there’s also plenty of dry land from which to watch the shows. But how cool is it to watch a concert while floating on the river?
Scat Jazz Lounge
The entrance is in an alley, making it feel like a 1920s speakeasy, and once inside, your ears are treated to the best jazz they’ll hear anywhere in the area. This place oozes cool, which drips from the ends of trumpets into the souls of everyone in the room. This is the perfect place to order a dirty martini, sit back, and just get lost in aural paradise.
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