If you love music, you love San Antonio. Perhaps that’s because the city’s got it all: rock, honky-tonk, Latin, blues – and of course a whole lot of country. And the music is everywhere – including some of the city’s most popular bars and clubs. Next time you’re spending a night on the town, consider one of these live music venues:
502 Bar showcases some of the area’s best local and regional bands – even some major national touring acts. Die-hard music fans will appreciate the effort the owners have gone to upgrading the bar’s high-quality sound and lighting, features you can’t always find in this kind of setting. You’ll fit right in if you’re a young indie/alternative type, but as long as music is your thing, so is 502 Bar. Located at 502 Embassy Oaks.
Club Rio Discotheque & Concert Hall offers something for every music lover. This eclectic spot is one of (if not the only) venues to feature major Latin rock and pop-rock acts, and Afro-Caribbean orchestras. Club Rio doesn’t stop there; this is also the place to find Latin rockers, salseros and Latin pop fans. The club was remodeled in 2013 and the new look is big, bold and very high-energy – perfect for dancing! Check the website before leaving for the night because the dress code varies with each event. Located at 13307-A San Pedro.
Graham Central Station
This venue offers six nightclubs under one roof (with only one entrance fee that applies to all), each showcasing a different music theme – and all with lots of room to dance. The tejano stage offers some of the best of this genre in the city. For those unfamiliar with this music, tejano is a blend of accordion-based conjunto and a polka “oompah” beat – a real “must-hear”! The crowd is “hit or miss” as one reviewer wrote; sometimes Graham Central is filled with 20-somethings and other times an older crowd. Located at 4902 Fredricksburg Road.
While this venue is located a bit outside the city (about half an hour drive), it’s worth the trip; after all, this is the oldest dance hall in Texas, built in 1878. Gruene Hall’s website proudly tells visitors that “By design, not much has physically changed since the Hall was first built.” Surely this is one of the reasons people gravitate toward Gruene Hall; in some ways, it’s like stepping back in time. Music styles featured include country, conjunto/tejano, and Americana/blues. Some of the world’s greatest country acts performed here and you can almost feel their presence. If only walls could talk…
Located at 1281 Gruene Road, New Braunfels.
John T. Floore Country Store
If you’re looking for real Texas honky-tonk – and if Gruene Hall is a bit too far a drive for you – check out the quintessentially Texas Floore’s Country Store. This is an outdoor venue that’s been around since the 1940s and hosted all the greats, like Elvis, Little Richard, Dylan, Willie Nelson and Los Lobos. When we last checked, the upcoming events list included a variety of musical styles (The Turnpike Troubadours, The Georges, Uncle Lucius, Merle Haggard and Arty Hill & The Pearl Dusters, to name just a few), some of which perform on “Family Night & Free Dance” nights. Located at 14492 Old Bandera Road in Helotes.
Sam's Burger Joint
The name is no mistake – many San Antonio residents and visitors go to Sam’s Burger Joint just for the burger (maybe it’s the branded buns!). But what it does best is music and features primarily blues and rock. Some of the Joint’s upcoming acts include Bubble Puppy, Spanish Gold, Joe King Carrasco, David Grissom Bank, The Blind Cats and Reverend Horton Heat. Sam’s was voted Best Live Music Venue (both Readers and Editors Choice) in San Antonio Magazine in 2010. Located at 330 East Grayson Street.
Each of these venues share upcoming acts, so check out their websites before you step out on the town to make sure you don’t miss something truly special!