Verizon Wireless Theater will no longer be known under that name, because owner Live Nation's sponsorship deal with the communication provider has expired. The venue, which holds about 3,000 people within downtown entertainment complex Bayou Place, will now be known as Bayou Music Center.
Rocks Off learned of the change late Wednesday through a Live Nation press release with the conspicuous headline "Show updates at Bayou Music Center (formerly known as Verizon Wireless Theater)." The press release went on to say that Human Nature's April 14 show has been cancelled, and DJ Kaskade's "Freaks of Nature" tour visits the BMC July 20. The venue has also changed its name on Twitter.
So there you go. The former Verizon opened in the late '90s as the Aerial Theater and took on its current name in January 2002. Perhaps its last show as the Aerial was the Strokes that same month - we were actually at that show, come to think of it.
In its 15 years or so in downtown Houston, Verizon has hosted literally hundreds of shows, if not a thousand or two. One of the earliest and most famous shows was in March 1998, when Radiohead played on their OK Computer tour. We still hear people talking about that show.
Other names include Neil Young, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Skrillex, Wilco, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, Velvet Revolver, Audioslave, Jane's Addiction, Primus, Toadies, Judas Priest, Jeff Beck, Ray Davies, Alicia Keys, Nelly Furtado, Kylie Minogue, Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, and Pixies.
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A long list of comedians such as Jeff Foxworthy, Chelsea Handler, Cheech & Chong and Chris Rock, has also performed at the venue. Verizon also hosts the annual Mariachi Invitational in conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and can can also be yours for the evening if you and your group have a few grand lying around.
Rocks Off's own first time at Verizon was Social Distortion in the late '90s, if we remember correctly. Our blog has covered many shows at the venue since we started in 2008, so we picked out a few of the more memorable recent ones.