As the country alternative to Dallas in the DFW Metroplex, Forth Worth is home to a real western vibe. ‘Cowtown’ is known for western wear, honky-tonk, and barbecue. While music fans are sure to find country-western haunts, the city also showcases the best music venues in North Texas, creating an eclectic music scene worth experiencing. Here is our guide for great live music in Fort Worth.
Home to honky-tonk and classic country music, Pearl’s is a local favorite, preferable to the larger establishments that cater exclusively to tourists. Located in the Stockyard District, Pearl’s is a former brothel run by the famous Buffalo Bill Cody. Now transformed into a Texas Two-Step dance hall, the saloon retains a nude portrait of the illusive Pearl herself near the entrance, celebrating the spirit of old Fort Worth with musicians playing traditional country and couples dancing in perfect unison. Pearl’s is a great spot to try dancing Texas-style or to belly up to the mahogany bar and watch the locals.
Dive Bar With The Best of Local and National Bands
Consistently voted as the best music venue in Fort Worth, Lola’s is a dive bar well known for drawing popular touring bands to the city. With a stable of local bands, Lola’s is also a great place to see music any night of the week. A small stage creates incredible musical showcases, and an outdoor patio often hosts local acoustic sets or solo acts. Just off of Fort Worth’s West 7th District, Lola’s is a spot to hit after a weeknight dinner or on a weekend night out.
This jazz spot with carefully crafted cocktails would be at home in New Orleans, showing the depth of Fort Worth’s music scene. Scat – a speakeasy-themed lounge off of Sundance Square – entertains the after-dinner crowd. After discovering the elevator entrance hidden down an alley, enjoy a martini while local and national acts play in an intimate, 20-table setting. Scat is open every night of the week, offering cover-free nights on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On weekends, make sure to book a reservation and to look for the neon sign that illuminates the entrance to this hidden gem.
Located in an old warehouse in the Near Southside District, Shipping and Receiving plays host to Texas craft beer, art installations, Fort Worth food trucks and local music highlighting the best the city has to offer. A night at this venue is wildly entertaining: the bar inside is constructed from the old shipping dock of the warehouse, and has couches and a lounge area for enjoying small acts. Outside, larger local bands play in front of a beer garden and a food truck (that rotates each night) serves patrons tasty street-eats. Play shuffleboard or listen to music while seated at one of the tables constructed from old doors. This live music bar is an unmissable Texas experience.
Panther Island Pavilion, on the banks of the Trinity River west of Downtown, hosts concerts and festivals throughout the year. With a waterfront stage – the only one of its kind in Texas – overlooking the river and a view of the skyline in the background, Panther Island is a serene outdoor venue. In the summer, the pavilion showcases one of the best concerts in North Texas, the Rockin’ the River Tubing and Music Series. Free concerts are offered every Thursday, and there are Texas bands and a fireworks show. Concert-goers are encouraged to watch from a tube as they lounge in the river with a beer and some buddies. Rockin’ the River is truly a unique Forth Worth event to behold, so grab your inflatable tube, lilo or giant shark and come on down!
On the outskirts of TCU’s campus lies The Aardvark, a college bar known for booking some of the best up-and-coming acts. Displaying national and local talent, they also serve some of the best barbecue in Fort Worth, including succulent brisket. The Aardvark caters to the rock, country, and indie scenes, with musical acts most nights. This spot is open until 2:00am seven days a week, serving Texas-favorite Frito pie and fried pickles, making it the perfect place to catch some music and late-night eats.