Content Produced in Partnership with Visit Irving
There's no doubt music is an element deeply ingrained in the history and culture of Texas. Although Dallas and Fort Worth claim a lot of the fame, the suburb of Irving has a lot to offer when it comes to live entertainment, too. With music around practically every corner — from restaurants to clubs and even museums — and big names heading the marquee nearly every day, finding music to enjoy in the city isn’t hard. In fact, Irving has made it its goal to be one of the best music destinations in the entire US. From the stages that have hosted Sublime and Lauryn Hill to the bars that bring in the up-and-coming acts, we’re shining a spotlight on the best venues to experience the Music City of Texas.
Rock Out at a Live Music Venue
Nicknamed the “Optimus Prime of live music venues” and operated by the largest entertainment company Live Nation, the Pavilion notoriously plays host to a series of incredible concerts throughout the year. Located on the Toyota Music Factory property (a site already home to eight different music venues), the complex features three venues in one, including an intimate theater, indoor theater and a boutique open-air amphitheater. The venue has already hosted big names like Dave Chappelle, Lauryn Hill, Sublime, Evanescence, Above & Beyond, and Young the Giant and promises more big names in 2018, including Post Malone, Paramore, Foreigner and Charlie Puth.
Big Beat Dallas is a sister venue to Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth and Cat’s Meow on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Within Big Beat there are a total of five restaurants, bars and clubs that each feature a different genre and feel to satisfy virtually every music taste under the sun. Nestled around the Texas Lottery Plaza, each venue plays live music every day of the week and rocks out until two in the morning.
Texas Lottery Plaza at Toyota Music Factory
Live entertainment isn’t taken lightly at the Toyota Music Factory, which is exactly why the Texas Lottery Plaza hosts live shows literally every day of the year. Big Beat Dallas provides free entry to all attendees before 9:00pm, too. If you thought the New Orleans' French Quarter was the only place you could wander by foot with a drink hand, think again. The complex has a special license so guests can experience all the sights and sounds while enjoying a drink from the complex’s collection of 160 handcrafted cocktails. We'll toast to that.
We’ve mentioned the diverse venue selection at the Toyota Music Factory. If you’re looking to see a live show from your favorite artist, no doubt they will make an appearance in Irving. But if you’re looking for sounds that are more local to the area, Bar Louie is the place to be. Bar Louie hosts live music every Friday, giving guests the opportunity to experience the raw sounds of Texas music. Bar Louie reserves bragging rights and full attribution when those bands hit the big time.
Not only is the Irving Arts Center home to four galleries and a sculpture garden, it also hosts music shows and art performances in its two state-of-the-art theaters. Combining various elements from the local culture and a variation of dance and performing arts performances, live music events at the Irving Arts Center are as diverse as they come. Upcoming shows feature Cirque De La Symphonie, Sima Ballet Folklorico, and a John Denver tribute — just to name a few. Visit their events page here to see more.
Enjoy dinner and a show
The Ranch at Las Colinas has a way of, as they say, corralling together some of the best talent in Texas. The establishment is known for its intimate setting and performances from up-and-coming artists, who perform on the outdoor porch. Guests can enjoy a traditional Texas dining experience, featuring local fare in a ranch-style restaurant, for truly a intimate night out.
Much like outlaw musicians Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan, OUTLAW takes a wild and rugged approach to Texas' music culture. Complete with classic guitars and photos of famous musicians lining the walls, the Taproom offers guests the opportunity to enjoy good eats and local beers, wines and craft cocktails while listening to live music every Thursday and Saturday on the outdoor patio.
Paying homage to its Texas roots, Southern Junction takes on the feel of an Old West town complete with a full bar, live music and a restaurant steakhouse. This establishment not only has a giant dance floor perfect for dancing, it also offers dance lessons on Wednesdays and 2-step lessons on Thursdays. Toss in live shows scheduled every week, and you’ve got the perfect spot to enjoy a steak dinner and the local sounds of the area.
The Cool River Cafe is a Southwestern steakhouse with a sophisticated twist. An upscale restaurant complete with cigar lounge, the establishment offers an environment that is as equally laid back as it is posh. In addition to a luxurious Texas dining experience, guests can enjoy live music on the weekends.
New York Pizza & Pasta
We know, seeing something about New York in Texas seems off, but hear us out: This classic Italian restaurant is for the relaxed type who love a modern ambiance and brick-oven pizzas. Live jazz shows are offered every Thursday evening (make sure you say hello to Beno!), proving its a welcome addition to experience another side of the music scene in Texas.