Sounds of the City: Music-lovers share the pros and cons of Houston’s most talked-about concert venues

We asked a few music enthusiasts (Freshman Yonglin Huang, juniors Wakita Hodges, Dennis Duong, and Alex Koufakis, and seniors Kristi Arroyo and Elisha Bonnetteabout the pros and cons of the some of the most talked-about concert venues around the city. Here is what they said.

1. RELIANT STADIUM/CENTER (On map: Light Blue)

Reliant Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054


“Reliant Stadium is really big, it offers a lot of places to eat besides in the stadium, you get a good view of the stage regardless of whether you’re in the nosebleed seats or down in front, and there’s a retractable roof so it can open and close.” — Hodges

“It was pretty big and the sound, even the back of the stadium could hear it.” — Huang

“It’s very, very big. I like big stadiums.” — Duong


“The seats are really close together, in my opinion. It’s really hot, it’s so hot in there when everyone’s in there. Even though it helps the view, the back of the stage goes around in circles as the person performs, that bothers me. The stage goes in circles too, it rotates. Because it’s a complete 360 degree stadium so everyone can see as it goes around.” — Hodges

“It’s really hard to get to the restroom. The food is definitely over-priced. The seating sucks; the stage is too far from the crowd.” — Duong


2. TOYOTA CENTER (On map: Red)

1510 Polk St, Houston, TX77002



“It was really big. It was the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert which means that there was a light show which actually being far away was a good thing for that reason and so the lights were really cool.” — Koufakis


“Honestly for a concert it probably wasn’t that good of a venue because it’s a long stadium for basketball games and the stage is at one end and we kind of sat ON the other end so we couldn’t see very far.” — Koufakis

“It’s really hard to get around, the food is overpriced, the seating sometimes sucks. I hate nosebleed seats.” — Duong


3. FITZGERALD’S (On map: Green)

2706 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007



“Free water! That’s the best thing about concerts, you get free stuff, the merchandise was cheap, well depending on the artist, and if you need to get to the restroom it’s never crowded.” — Duong

“I’d recommend the Fitzgerald. You’re likely to meet your favorite artist, tickets are cheap, as long as you get there early you can still find pretty good parking, and the venue, most likely there’s not going to be a lot of people so you‘ll still get a good view.” — Arroyo

“Majority of the time you can buy the ticket on the spot and they don’t tax it so the tickets are cheaper cause it’s not from a second hand spot so most of them will be like $10 to $30. You can also buy them like on the night of. And the venue is really, really small. It’s for intimate shows. So you have like an 85 percent chance, if you stay behind after the concert, of meeting the artist so you can get autographs.” — Arroyo


“There’s always a lot of people that are drunk.” — Duong

“There’s no parking lot, because it’s in The Heights and the majority of the streets do not allow you to park on the road.” — Arroyo



813 St Emanuel St, Houston, TX77003



“It was easy to get around and they also give you free water.” — Duong

“Majority of the artists that perform there, it’s just like, you’ll have a really good time. It’s a little bit more conventional so it’s big, and they have everything that you need and they have things like Battle of the Bands, it’s just a different experience of going to concerts.” — Arroyo


“It’s hard to get there. In my mind, It’s one of those places that’s just hard to get to.”— Arroyo


5. BAYOU MUSIC CENTER (On map: Yellow)

520 Texas St, Houston, TX77002



“That’s usually where all of the really good alternative rock bands go. Tickets are still pretty affordable, they’re probably going to range between like $40-$50 and you can also still buy them on the night of. It’s also pretty big.” — Arroyo


“A bottle of water is like $3 so drinks are really expensive. Parking at the parking garage is going to run you about $12. You can’t really meet your favorite artist unless you stay behind a little bit past midnight and you sneak into the back of the venue — that’s what I did!” — Arroyo


6. HOUSE OF BLUES (On map: Dark Blue)

1204 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77002



“You can eat downstairs and then you can go upstairs to watch the show because they have a little cafe downstairs. It’s just like Bayou. There’s valet parking so you don’t have to worry about parking there. It’s more accessible than Buffalo Bayou because Buffalo Bayou’s a little bit tricky.” — Arroyo


“They don’t really offer you a lot [of amenities]. It’s okay, I give it a seven.” — Arroyo



7326 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX77074



“It was awesome because it had a rotating stage which meant that they could fit a lot of people without having to back people up and instead of just making it further away, it went all the way around. That was really cool because there really were no bad seats. And at some point in the concert they would be facing away but even then when they were facing away they would have at least one person that would run over to the side that’s kind of at the back so no one ever feels left out everyone had more of like a personal experience.” — Bonnette


“The only con I can think of is that the drummer kept trying to throw his drumsticks and catch it and he missed it a couple times because the stage is moving.” — Bonnette



3801 Polk St, Houston, TX77003



“It’s a place that a lot of local artists go to so tickets are really cheap and if you can go there then you can discover new music.” — Arroyo


“There’s no air conditioning, so it’s either gonna be really cold, or really hot. It looks like a place where hobos live. It’s kind of scary. I don’t like going there, it’s just that my boyfriend’s band played there and so it’s not bad but it just looks really scary. I only go there if I have to.” — Arroyo

Houston Concert Venues
Photo Courtesy: Google Maps