Austin is home to a diverse live music scene, with more venues per capita than any other city in the nation. Slip on your dancing shoes and enter your attorney’s number in speed dial before driving down for a wild night in what is also known as The Towing Capital of The World. Here is a taste of choice venues, from hot kitsch lounges to dirty soviet dive bars:
617 E. 7th
One of seven among cities including Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles, this bar is large enough for live bands, and you always find great DJ’s spinning. A damn good dance party location with vintage décor and a photo booth.
Escape the 6th Street scene for a down and dirty dive bar with serious dancing, drinking and sweating to fabulous music. The au thentic Blues night every Monday is a must.
2100 Barton Springs
Zilker’s giant green lawn reopened just two weeks ago after completion of 2.5 million dollars in renovations. Beyond ACL Festival, which will be October 2-4 this fall, Zilker is home to great music and the longest running kite festival in the United States. BYOB, blanket and picnic basket to Blues On The Green, a free music event hosted weekly on summer evenings.
917 Red River
This downtown venue is layered like a fine cake of indoor and outdoor stages with an extravaganza of decks and porches for your listening pleasure, allowing you to step inside to get another beer without missing a beat. Mohawk hosts quality shows from national touring bands and local Austin flavors.
412 Congress # D
Climb 59 steps to the roof terrace for a breezy, panoramic view of Downtown Austin while you watch sports on flat screens, or stay i n the main lounge for a variety of live music and a dirty Martini. The cocktail menu is peppered with favorites named for gangsters and bootleggers of the Prohibition Era. Heels, vodka and stairs are a dangerous combination, but the view may just be worth it.
612 W. 4th
This small venue has an intimate atmosphere, with famous shows selling out quickly, but the stage location makes visibility accessible to only a portion of the crowd. Come early and bring cash.
Hard to find if you’re not looking, Elephant Room is hidden under a sushi restaurant on Congress. Slip down the stairs to this subterranean pub where Jazz is still alive nightly. Some nights you will find no cover charge, and UT Professors playing intense sax. This legendary underground pub is not for sensitive non-smokers.
603 Red River
Forgive the poor air circulation and dirty bathrooms, the music just rocks. This famous dirty punk rock venue books fabulous shows.
801 Red River
This Austin hot spot offers Texas BBQ, cold beer and outdoor concerts nightly, offering everything from Texas Country to wild electronic beats. Gospel Brunches are served up every Sunday: build your own Bloody Mary to the tune of classic hymns. Stubb’s offers a “taste of Texas”, so beware of tourists.
611 E. 7th St.
One of the best bars in the city, 7 is the place to go for a sweaty, screaming, moshing punk and metal show, even on a Sunday night. A great outdoor stage and bar are in the back, and inside you will find soviet décor, air hockey, cheap drinks, and huge shots. If your collar is popped, or you’re looking for Bud Light, you better head over to 6th Street. Best venue in town for an unpretentious, intense metal show.
1315 S. Congress
An Austin relic since 1957, The Con tinental is known for fabulous weekly blues, funk and especially fine jazz music, in addition to big music acts. This neighborhood bar atmosphere offers fine live shows nightly.