As the semester is now in full swing, everyone will be looking for ways to keep from going completely insane. One of the best ways to do that is chilling out and listening to live bands. Luckily, you don’t have to escape to Dallas to have some fun. Denton has loads of cool places to check out the music you love and discover bands you never imagined.
Located in the always busy Downtown Square, this two-story burger joint is the perfect spot to hang out on a Friday night. Making sure to spotlight the musical geniuses that have come out of the lone-star state, you can always catch a local band entertaining the diverse crowd. You can even be the live music yourself with an open mic night taking place every month.
If you’re on the Square, you’re probably going to hear the party that’s going on here. The building is right across from Denton’s historic courthouse, where patrons can lay on the lawn and enjoy the music from LSA. It’s a common thing to do considering how fast the place fills up. Not just for the live music and food, however. If you’re over the age of 21, you can also enjoy the Texas-themed drinks (they have a drink named after the incredible Barry White). Their menu and story can be found on their website.
Credit: LSA via Facebook
2. Murchison Performing Arts Center
It only makes sense that the home of the University of North Texas’ College of Music would be on a list of the best places to catch live music in Denton. The world-renowned music program’s band, orchestra, opera, and wind symphony regularly perform here and have had several alumni gone on to win Grammys. That might sound boring, but UNT’s music program is world renowned and several alumni have gone on to win Grammys. The best of the best have taken the Murchison stage to entertain the incredible crowd. Faculty and community members are able to stage their performances in the 1000 seated dome, as well.
If this type of music isn’t your thing, taking a visit to marvel at the building’s architecture is a must-do. The venue comfortably seats 1,000 in addition to being wheelchair accessible. This is a go-to place is you’re looking for a refined evening with some of the best up-in-coming musicians in the state of Texas. For a great date night or evening out with friends, start their night off here, and make your way down to The Square to visit LSA.
Credit: Discover Denton
3. Backyard on Bell
Located south of the square, is Backyard on Bell (or Bell as it’s often called). This family and dog-friendly place are for all ages that even help local non-profits in supporting their causes. The space is mostly used as a bar that always has multiple bands playing each weekend. The bands that play here might not be well known, but it’s not for a lack of talent. Go to a show and you’re sure to discover your next, new obsession.
Outside, numerous food trucks of a wide variety wait to feed you. Leila’s Vegetarian Middleastern Fusion and Rachel’s Riding Lawn Mower are two of the longstanding favorites. Besides food trucks, they have a wide variety of other options that includes a pizza with house-made dough and sauce.
Backyard on Bell has also been used for a voguing class taught by the incredible Drag Race alumni Laganja Estranga. It’s one of the most versatile music venues in the city. They have all of their live events posted on their website if you would like to know more!
Credit: Discover Denton
4. Campus Theatre
If you’re not into bars, rock music, or a long food truck in but love a sing-a-long, Campus Theatre is the place for you. Another staple of Denton’s Downtown Square, Campus Theatre is Denton’s finest musical theater performances. It’s home to the city’s community theatre program. While Murchison is for students, Campus Theatre is catered towards the community members of Denton, TX taking the spotlight. That doesn’t mean the musicals being performed aren’t up to par, though.
Opening in 1969, it has been Denton’s community theater for the past fifty years. You don’t stay open that long without putting on some captivating performances. Plays they’ve put on in the past include: Cats, Annie, Little Shop of Horrors, Oliver! and Shrek.
One of their upcoming productions is the well known Shakespeare tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. You don’t have to be into musical theatre to want to see that. Aside from the performances, they also offer acting classes, including classes on stage combat and stage design. You find Campus Theatre’s schedule and purchase tickets on their website.
Credit: Discover Denton
5. Harvest House
Harvest House is another live music venue that locals often go to for it’s eclectic atmosphere. One of the things about Denton is that it’s a very inclusive town, and it likes to have something for everyone, especially music. This place echoes that sentiment pretty perfectly. It’s not just a bar with a diverse and awesome selection of music. The building serves as a concert venue, yoga studio, beer garden, patio, coffee shop, and restaurant. They even serve kombucha tea and freshly squeeze the juices for their beverages.
It’s not only a place for the weekends as Smash City hosts a weekly Super Smash Bros. tournament that anyone is invited to. The venue has been used for fundraisers, comedy shows, and is home to an improv funk band. You’re likely to visit this place if you ever find yourself in Denton.
If you need something to do or want to hear UNT alumni perform, just go to Harvest House, they always have something going on. All of their upcoming events can be found on their website.
Credit: Harvest House via Facebook