Best Live Venue (Medium): 713 Music Hall
Any place hoping to be considered a serious music city is going to need an array of mid-sized venues in its downtown area in the present live music climate. This particular demographic was strengthened locally when 713 Music Hall opened its doors late last year.
While it hasn’t quite marked its first anniversary, there’s been lots of cause to celebrate the 5,000-capacity venue. For one, it’s eased the heavy lifting of downtown-area stalwarts like Bayou Music Center, House of Blues, Warehouse Live and White Oak Music Hall. Because more touring bands are likely to fill halls of these sizes than arenas like Toyota Center or NRG Stadium, the more we have the better. More options means less likelihood bands will beeline past us from Austin to New Orleans or the other way around.
Being one star in a constellation isn’t enough to be considered best. What makes 713 Music Hall shine brightest is all the stargazing audiences have done there already, with the Live Nation-aligned venue bringing in some of music’s buzziest acts, like Olivia Rodrigo, Oliver Tree, Denzel Curry, Jason Isbell and Houston heroes Khruangbin and Tobe Nwigwe. Its first show was a sellout and ever since Houston music fans have flocked to the sleek space, which is intimate but also roomy and adorned with state-of-the-art sound and lighting, multiple viewing levels, mod furniture and chic lobby settings.
Perhaps best of all, its part of the POST Houston complex, downtown’s thriving social hub. It’s got proximity to the POST’s enticing upscale food court and breathtaking views of the city. 713 Music Hall has supernova energy which its visiting acts and audiences absorb and share.