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If Austin-area jazz lovers feel ignored, it is justified; the local music scene, multi-faceted as it may be, has always neglected their genre of choice. However, what the region lacks in quantity, the Elephant Room more than makes up for in quality. It has been deemed as one of the finest venues in the country by none other than Wynton Marsalis (and subsequently honored by a unanimous resolution of the Texas Senate for having earned the jazz legend's admiration). The appeal stems largely from the club's unceasing lineup of regional favorites, touring greats, and, once in a while, plain ol' jam sessions consisting of anyone who cares to take the stage.
Constructed using sustainable technology, ACL Live at The Moody Theater is a state of the art facility hosts a variety of musical acts throughout the year. With a capacity to hold more than 2,700 guests among three levels of seating, this venue has drawn musicians such as Willie Nelson, Robyn, the Gipsy Kings and more. If you've ever watched Austin City Limits Live on television, you'll no doubt recognize this Austin staple.
This is an intimate venue for those with sophisticated taste. From jazz to house, from acid rock to rap, from shoegaze to dub, the Parish Room runs the musical gamut. Touring acts such as Smog, Guided By Voices, Autechre and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have graced the stage here. Texas artists Sub Oslo, Lift To Experience, Explosions in the Sky, the Swells and more have also played here. This is the ultimate haven for music lovers and party animals.
Scoot Inn, one of the oldest bars in Texas, is still going strong till date. And rightly so, as the amount of history that this bar has to offer with its interiors is inevitable. Apart from the classic decor, this beer garden serves beer and other drinks at great prices. Music is the core product of this dive bar, as people move to the sounds of Rock & Pop, Blues, Alternative Rock, Funk and lots more. A jukebox too to add to this musical atmosphere. One of the most visited and the best dive bars in Austin, is the place to go to at least once.
A lively hangout for those in the neighborhood, The White Horse is known for its eclectic music and tasteful drinks. Located at Comal Street, the club lies to the east of downtown and exudes a rustic charm. Serving whiskey on tap, The White Horse hosts several live music shows and gigs. Drop by during the weekend to witness the crowd grooving to country music and reasonably-priced alcohol.
Built to honor the late great Johnny Cash, the Mean Eyed Cat has a crowded back patio and plenty of man-in-black collectibles. The Mean Eyed stage, featuring live music almost every night of the week, is popular with patrons of all ages. Order a shot at the bar to go down, down, down into a burning ring of fire.
This venue, south of the river, is a throwback to the 1950s. Roots rock and country reign supreme in this bar, where one can often find men in leather jackets and classic Cadillacs out front. With live music nightly, tributes to Elvis, and celebrations of Hank William's birthday, this place is great for dancing, drinking and kicking back on the high stools. Happy hours feature some of Austin's favorite songwriters. The venue has broadened its range of live music to include occasional indie rock.
Austin's largest park, Zilker Park, houses Zilker Hillside Theater, a beautiful outdoor theater. During the summer, catch free musicals, concerts and "Shakespeare in the Park". Large crowds often line the grassy hills with blankets. During the rest of the year, enjoy a variety of performances (call ahead for seasonal schedules). Bring a picnic lunch, or perhaps just some wine and cheese for a snack and watch the stars come out, in the sky and onstage. Admission is free for most events.
Seating nearly 3,000 people, the largest auditorium on the University of Texas campus is host to a myriad of performances. Opera, symphony, ballet and even traveling Broadway shows use this venue. A computerized lighting board and orchestra pit that can be raised or lowered provides a wealth of options for performing organizations. Perfect for an aria or a symphony, Bass Concert Hall is likely to have a show to fit everyone's taste.
With its little stage having played host to some big names over the decades, Hole in the Wall has long been regarded as one of the city's most storied venues. Today, it mostly serves as a launching pad for local up-and-comers ranging in size and genre from 9-piece bluegrass bands to individual singer-songwriters. And although the nature of the crowd itself is subject to similarly sudden shifts (this often being a function of the performing schedule), the bar's proximity to UT brings in a steady flow of students and associated youngsters, most of whom come in for pitchers of Shiner and Lone Star.
A hip concert venue, Emo's is home to regular shows and live music events. Located on East Riverside Drive in East Austin, it draws huge crowds during major events and shows. While showcasing a range of contemporary music concerts, it also rents out its facility for private events like parties and receptions. To see their upcoming schedule, please visit website or call ahead.
Carousel Lounge is a mildly unorthodox bar in Austin, with a crazy circus theme. Check out the pink elephant and lion-tamer murals including a real miniature carousel behind the bar. Carousel Lounge is well-known for their unpredictable stage acts, from amazing musical acts or sensuous belly-dancers. Opened in the 1960s, this bar is still the favorite of many an Austin resident. The bar has a divey feel to it, with drinks available at dirt cheap rates.