The Alamo City Marches to Its Own Beat, and the Nation's Seventh-Largest City Has the Music Venues to Prove It.
If you thought the live music capital of Texas rested somewhere north of San Antonio, think again. From places with links to the city's past to those aiming to carve out a sound for the future, the bars, nightclubs and concert halls of San Antonio conjure up a flavor for every musical taste. These five music venues are among the best in San Antonio.
There are many superlatives that could describe LUNA, but perhaps the best way to explain the club is just plain cool. Providing San Antonio a lively rhythm for nearly 20 years, LUNA is the place to go when you want to add a little spice to your life. Although the intimate nightclub specializes in flamenco and Latin Salsa (there's weekly live salsa and dancing), you'll also hear plenty of jazz, blues, and soul.
To experience the height of San Antonio's vintage music scene, head to 6740 San Pedro Avenue in Shearer Hills/Ridgeview.
Burgers, beer, and live music—what's not to love? Previously voted as the best venue for live music by San Antonio Magazine, the vibe at Sam's is decidedly low-key and relaxed. A variety of musical acts and styles have graced Sam's stage, including local bands and internationally acclaimed acts.
You can find Sam's Burger Joint at 330 E Grayson Street in between the Tobin Hill and Government Hill neighborhoods.
New, hip, and all about the music, the four-year-old Paper Tiger has rocketed up the list of popular venues in the Alamo City. If you're a fan of hip hop, indie, punk, electronic, or even country, Paper Tiger will undoubtedly have a show to interest you. The stage rooms (one big, one small) are minimalist chic. That nascent approach to decor, however, places the music front and center, and with the Paper Tiger's amped-up energy, that's exactly where it belongs.
The Paper Tiger is at 2410 North St. Mary’s Street in the St. Mary's Strip entertainment district.
No matter where you find yourself in the great state of Texas, country music is always within earshot. For a fix of genuine Texas honky-tonk, you'll discover an earful and then some at John T. Floore's. A few miles northwest of San Antonio in the little burg of Helotes, the country store and dance hall has played host to some of the all-time greats, including Elvis, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, and B.B. King. It also considers itself the "musical birthplace of Willie Nelson,” attributable to Nelson's longtime association with the venue.
John T. Floore's is located in Helotes, TX at 14492 Old Bandera Road, 30 minutes from downtown San Antonio.
Equal parts historic, eclectic, and just plain fun, The Aztec Theatre offers concert goers architectural eye candy upon entering the 93-year-old venue. A work of Meso-American art, the Aztec is more recently known for booking young up-and-coming performers along with staples of the indie dance and rock scenes. It's the perfect blend of old- and new-school that keeps the energy high regardless of who's on stage.
The Aztec is in the middle of downtown San Antonio at the corner of North St. Mary's and Commerce Streets.
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*Image: The Aztec Theatre