Best of Houston® 2023

Best Of Houston® 2023: Best Live Venue (Medium)

Houston band Jumprope at Discovery Green's Thursday Concerts series
Houston band Jumprope at Discovery Green's Thursday Concerts series Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
Best Live Venue (Medium): Discovery Green Anheuser-Busch Stage

It’s weird to suggest anything about Discovery Green could be overlooked, as integral as the downtown park has been to the city in its 15 years. But even we avid concert-goers must admit we may have slept on  the park’s concert stage (figuratively, of course) in these annual Best Of proceedings. Maybe it’s because Discovery Green’s Anheuser-Busch stage is so different from other venues its size in Houston. It’s an open-air space surrounded by a dazzling cityscape, so that alone makes it an outlier among Houston’s mid-sized “rooms.” But as we reflected on choices this year, we realized the space ticked all the important boxes.

For instance, the sound engineers make everything pop impeccably, whether you’re hearing a mariachi band or a Mardi Gras Indian funk band or jazz on a Sunday. Even with state-of-the-art audio, that's no small feat in the middle of a 12-acre park, folks. And the programming is far more diverse (dare we say “cultured”?) than you’re likely to find in many venues here its size. The hillside view of the action makes a general admission show feel more comfortable than standing shoulder to shoulder on a concrete floor with your fellow music lovers. Just try laying a blanket out at any other Houston mid-sized venue and see what happens.

The best part of it all is Discovery Green isn’t just staging family-friendly shows in a unique environment, it’s actively working to push the Houston music narrative. Its music series – particularly the Discover Houston Music showcase, which leans on treasured Houston music hub Wonky Power – give Houston artists a one-of-a-kind venue to share their work with others.

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