Halls of Fame

The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Concert Venues.

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Ouch: Ben Godfrey after the crash.
Courtesy of Ben Godfrey
Ouch: Ben Godfrey after the crash.

The Continental Club serves as the heart of the quirky and eclectic mid-Main strip that is quickly becoming a Mecca of sorts for the local indie scene — and no surprise, since the two-block hipster oasis is the innovation of CC managing partner Pete Gordon. Ideally nestled amid vintage dress and barber shops and adjacent to both the Metrorail and a B-cycle charter station, the Continental is the perfect size for catching a local or regional act: small enough to maintain a dive-y, intimate feel but big enough to make room for a dance party should the need arise.

For a little peace and (relative) quiet, the back room houses a second bar, a billiards table and some damn-good barbecue, which (ask anyone from around here) is a staple of any legitimate Texas dive-bar experience. And when the weather gods are smiling, it's arguably the best venue in town for soaking up those rare cool evenings — a large patio out back boasts ample seating and kitschy-chic decor, from the trademark "Elvis" sign to a real live tiki bar (grass hut included). LEILA CHEMAM-ALFARO

3700 Main, 713-529-9899


Most of Houston's mid-size venues hardly feel "mid-size," which is why we're so lucky to have Warehouse Live. Because the ballroom boasts a capacity of 1,500, Houstonians have been able to catch big names while still taking advantage of the venue's intimate layout, which is even more pronounced in the adjacent Studio room. Since Warehouse opened its doors in February 2006, thousands of acts such as Pink, Bruno Mars, Sunny Day Real Estate and Deftones have graced the venue's two rooms, with no sign of slowing down.

And despite the fact that Warehouse Live's sound system gets loud enough that you can feel the volume in your chest, the venue is known for being both subtle and fancy all at once. With LED chandeliers hanging overhead and a bar set off to the side that allows drinking patrons to do so without fighting a crowd, every piece comes together to make Warehouse one of Houston's most beloved live-music gems. ALYSSA DUPREE

813 St. Emanuel, 713-225-5483


With all due respect to Numbers, there isn't a longer-running or more beloved music venue in town than Fitzgerald's, the creaky old club on White Oak Boulevard in the Heights. Built in freaking 1918 as a Polish dance hall and community center, the place was taken over in 1977 by Sara Fitzgerald and hosted once and future rock and roll legends on its upstairs and downstairs stages for decade after decade, with anecdotal evidence suggesting the bathrooms were cleaned once or twice during that span.

From James Brown to Death to Iron and Wine, Fitz has been the place to see the best local and touring rock and roll acts for generations of Houstonians, and it's changed so little over the years that it still feels like home no matter how long it's been since your last visit. No other spot in town has as much music history baked into its black walls. NATHAN SMITH

2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838


Houston has newer and arguably nicer music venues than Jones Hall, but the building at 615 Louisiana has been offering one of the most satisfying concert experiences in town since opening in 1966. Jones is of course best known and most often employed as the home of the Houston Symphony, but has also recently hosted concerts by junkman bard Tom Waits, R&B sexmonger R. Kelly, Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and even "The Power of Love" time-lords Huey Lewis & the News, among others. Award-winning for both its architecture and its acoustics, and with several significant pieces of civic art on the premises, Jones is everything a world-class, big-city concert hall should be. CHRIS GRAY

615 Louisiana, 713-227-3974

Only in Houston

Local musician Ben Godfrey got a little too close to the recent Grand Prix of Houston race.

Alyssa Dupree

When Houston musician Ben Godfrey headed to the Grand Prix of Houston at Reliant Park on October 6, he wasn't aware that he would go from simply watching the action to becoming a part of it.

Godfrey, best known around town for his role in indie-folk acts listenlisten and B.E. Godfrey, was struck by fence and car debris after Dario Franchitti crashed when he was bumped by another driver, Takuma Sato.

"It was the last lap; I saw the two leading cars race by," says Godfrey. "There were more cars coming, but I figured it was all over, so I checked my phone. Next thing I know, there's a loud noise, I look up, and an explosion of dust and debris is forming just to the right of my stand."

Godfrey, who says the three-day event was his first-ever auto race, said a "spray of car parts and a huge section of the fence" flew into the stands where he was sitting.

"The fence basically landed on me and the group of 20 people around me," he says. "I watched in what seemed like slow-motion as the side of the fence slammed right into my forehead. I did make a futile attempt to block it with my arm, but somehow forgot to duck."

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