Houston's Top 10 Cover-Band Venues

As our sister blog Eating...Our Words does, from time to time Rocks Off will be giving your our picks for the top taverns in various Houston-area neighborhoods. Of course, the lines can be porous, but here anything with a TABC license that cannot reasonably be considered either a restaurant, coffeehouse or live-music venue is fair game.

10. LOCAL POUR If you're not already a Local Pour regular for the Sunday-brunch Bloody Mary bar, perhaps a little cover-band chaos will entice you. In addition to those Cilantro Lime Drop martinis, Local Pour adds a little sugar most nights with the help of acts like Obsolete August and Swagger. Or while you're there, try the Texas Indian Summer Sour that involves hibiscus pomegranate syrup and quail egg whites. Seriously.

1952 W. Gray, 713-521-1881, localpourhouston.com

9. HOUSE OF BLUES Obviously House of Blues is much more than a cover-band venue. Where else can you see big names like Imagine Dragons or The Naked and Famous on their way up? But when HOB isn't playing host to top touring acts, it often welcomes some of the area's top cover-band talent. Besides, where else could you spend an evening in a smallish club in the company of both AC/DC and Rush, like tonight?

1204 Caroline, 888-402-5837, houseofblues.com

8. SCOUT BAR Scout Bar's concert fare normally involves the likes of bands like Trapt or The Hunger, but when touring bands are absent, you know who fills the void? Acts like the Spazmatics, an '80s New Wave cover band featuring four dudes in knee-high athletic socks and fantastically nerdy head gear. Their next Scout Bar date is October 18.

18307 Egret Bay Blvd., 281-335-0002, scoutbar.com

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7. SAMBUCA If you're under the impression that Sambuca is primarily a jazz bar, you're right. Sort of. True, Sambuca showcases a fair amount of local jazz players, but the swanky restaurant/venue in the Rice Hotel building is also home to local cover bands such as FM, the Shapeshifters, The McClanahans and Fuse, who rotate busting out those old favorites a few nights a week.

909 Texas, 713-224-5299, sambucarestaurant.com

6. BFE ROCK CLUB The appropriately named BFE is a pretty sweet little place despite its relatively obscure location on Houston's far north side. But the drive out there is worth it. Not only does BFE book punk, metal, and rock acts playing original tunes, but it's quite happy to host some of the better cover and tribute bands around.

11528 Jones Rd., 281-894-1811, bferockclub.com

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5. ACADIA BAR & GRILL Part bar, part music venue, Acadia has four nights of live music a week and live broadcasts from Rock 101 KLOL every Wednesday. Besides some of Houston's better hard-rock and metal acts, Acadia also books some pretty sweet cover bands like Bogart. I mean, everyone loves classic-rock covers, right?

3939 F.M. 1960 W., 281-893-2860, acadiabarandgrill.com

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4. CONTINENTAL CLUB How can we leave Continental Club off of the list when they're home to one of the best weekly tribute shows in the city? Beetle, the Continental's long-running resident Beatles tribute, has been fab Thursdays without fail practically since the Continental has been open. The club also hosts Picture Book and Maven regularly, so that's three for cover-band three in our book.

3700 Main, 713-529-9899, continentalclub.com

3. MO'S PLACE At a place called Mo's, far far away in a land called Katy, one can find not only big country names playing more intimate shows -- Casey Donahew Band will be there in November -- but also groups like The Emotions and Horizon covering some pretty great music on weeknights. Throw in buffalo wings, nachos and all that beer, and we could totally live there... if Mo would let us, that is.

21940 Kingsland, 281-392-3499, mosplacekaty.com

2. THE SHERLOCK'S FAMILY You can't get much more cover band-centric than the Sherlock's/Baker Street/Watson's family, featuring a whopping eight Houston-area locations of cover-band goodness. Each bar's calendar is overloaded with bands like Rat Ranch and Snafu, so, it's literally always a cover-band party whether you're in Rice Village, Willowbrook, Clear Lake or The Woodlands. Also, bonus points for their ability to make a mean Black and Tan.

Eight area locations, sherlockspubco.com

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1. CONCERT PUB NORTH/CONCERT PUB GALLERIA Between Concert Pub's two locations, nearly every night of the month is covered, pardon the pun. Once in a while they do bring in a name like Bret Michaels, who's playing CPN next month, or a top local rocker like Downfall 2012. But cover and tribute acts are both Concert Pubs' bread and butter, and both really know how to pick acts saluting music that has stood the test of time: Zeppelin, Joplin, Stevie Nicks and AC/DC all the way down to Deftones and Marilyn Manson, or even hell-for-leather femmes Judith Priest. Just think of the Pubs as the creme de la creme of cover-band bars. We do.

Concert Pub North: 2470 F.M. 1960, 281-583-8111, theconcertpub.com/TCP-North.html Concert Pub Galleria: 5636 Richmond, 713-278-7272, theconcertpub.com/GALLERIA.html


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