Fort Worth is growing and so is its live music scene. Luckily, that means you don't have to search far to find a great place to hear it.
1.) Naturally, the first place you might look is Sundance Square, in the heart of downtown. The largest outdoor stage there by far is the covered patio at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, which hosts bands every Saturday and Sunday evening.
2.) One block south and several feet underground is Scat Jazz Lounge, where local jazz ensembles like Flipside and torch singer Tatiana Mayfield perform weekly, along with visiting and touring artists from around the country.
3.) Just to the north is the nightlife of the Stockyards National Historic District and Billy Bob's Texas. The music hall is billed as the world's largest honky-tonk. Virtually every major country star has performed here, but local and regional faves also grace the stage. Don't miss the Thursday Night Live Series ongoing now through December 17.
4.) The West 7th District offers more than fine dining and cocktails. Magnolia Motor Lounge hosts singer/songwriter Jody Jones every Monday evening for a popular open mic night series called Jody Jones Songwriter Showcase. Many now-popular locals had early exposure through the event, and Jones books touring talent as well.
5.) Also located in the West 7th District is Capital Bar, which is quickly becoming one of the top venues for music in Fort Worth. Live music pumps the crowd Thursdays through Sundays with local acts POO Live Crew and The After Party Band. Mix it up with Texas Country Wednesdays that runs March through August.
6.) Within walking distance and just north of West 7th Street is Lola's Saloon, a must-see bar and music venue that hosts every genre imaginable. The saloon is undergoing a massive expansion that will add a large outdoor stage.
7.) The TCU area boasts a legendary music venue of its own. The Aardvark is known for nurturing local talent, much of which goes on to regional and countrywide acclaim.
8.) The Near Southside area encompases a wide swath of neighborhoods and businesses south of downtown and along Magnolia Avenue. Closer to downtown is Shipping & Receiving Bar, which just celebrated its second anniversary. The outdoor stage and spacious patio offer dozens of tables and picnic tables. On weekends you can order from food trucks and take in live music until the wee hours of the night. The indoor bar alone boasts some of the best craft beer selections in town.
9.) The Live Oak and Music Hall and Lounge is one of Cowtown's more swanky venues. Several bandleaders I've spoken with have said the hall has some of the best acoustics and one of the best sound systems in town. You can catch everything from large jazz ensembles to rock and hip-hop here most nights of the week. On the rooftop patio you can catch the mellifluous strummings and vocals of country acts like Matt "Songbird" Jones and others.
10.) A fun and quirky dive bar, The Boiled Owl Tavern is one of the best local spots to catch live acts. It's also a favorite venue for bands too. Without a stage, fans are encouraged to step right up to the musos.
These mentions only scratch the surface of what Fort Worth has to offer -- not to forget Panther Island Pavilion - the only waterfront stage in Texas -- but if you haven't been keeping up with the local music scene these venues are a great place to start catching up.
Find more live music venues here.