Best Sound System - 2009
House of Blues
Really, now: You didn't think we were going to give Houston's newest (and priciest) concert hall "Best Drink Prices," did you? But House of Blues deserves credit where it's due, and it has due aplenty for bringing in artists who might otherwise skip Houston altogether — legends like Willie Nelson and rising stars à la Santigold alike — and even more for a sound rig that makes them all sound as good as they do on record, if not better. HOB's all-digital setup looks more like an instrument panel from the Starship Enterprise than the levers-and-knobs soundboards most other local music venues use, and it shows. Most nights, it even works well enough to drown out the conversations of HOB's exceptionally chatty clientele.