Sidecar Pub is closing and Walter’s is on the brink. Helios is done and Mary Jane’s has been gone. In reality, that leaves Continental Club, Rudyard’s, the Proletariat, Dan Electro’s and Last Concert Cafe as the only remaining live, original music venues in Houston that still cater to local rock bands. Even that is a stretch considering Dan’s is mostly blues, Last Concert is mostly hippie and the Proletariat is decidedly indie. And I don’t count Fitzgerald’s because it is still a pay-to-play establishment.
Numbers, the Engine Room, Meridian and Warehouse Live are for out-of-town guests and places like Scout Bar and Java Jazz cater to either the underage or the hard rock crowd. Mucky Duck is for folksters, Americana, Celtic or quiet rootsy rock. If you WANT, you might could include Cosmos, but that’s a tough place to draw a crowd and it has a decidedly bluesy edge.
It’s not as if Houston is Austin or Dallas, but I remember a time when there were at least 7 or 8 venues that could all be booked if you were a rockin’ band and even the smallest tended to be larger than many of the current rooms. With all that is happening downtown, there are no original clubs on the main strip of Main Street despite the city’s desperate cries for a thriving music scene.
It’s sad when you consider the possibilites. I guess the days of half a dozen options for booking at any given time are done.