Listen to live music at these venues


Photo courtesy of White Oak Music Hall

By Sara Davidson 06/04/22 00:09

Houston is home to a host of talented musicians, comedians, poets and more, including some right here at Rice. They showcase their artistry in various venues around the city, each with their own unique style and personality. Here are just a few of the places worth checking out, many with open-mic nights for anyone — i.e., Rice students — to try their hand on stage and wow the crowd.

Darwin’s pub

Located just off Buffalo Bayou, this pub offers several nights of entertainment in a discreet environment. In a nod to Charles Darwin, their mascot is a chimpanzee taped to the wall, and the ads provide a fun time for anyone interested. No cover is needed for any of the events, which include “Magic Mic Monday Karaoke”, Wednesday’s “Survival of the Fittest Comedy Open Mic”, “Thursday’s General Open Mic Night for Music, Friday and Saturday “Life’s a Dragshow Houston Burlesque Revue.” Some events, as the name suggests, are suitable for a louder crowd, while others can be enjoyed by everyone.


This pub is called “The Montrose Salon” and hosts a weekly open-mic comedy night on Mondays. With both stand-up comedy newcomers and veterans rotating, the free event is ideal for a night of laughs. In addition, karaoke is organized every Wednesday from 9 p.m. The pub also has a comedy club, called “The Riot Comedy Show”, which features some of the best comedians who have even been featured on Netflix, Comedy Central and more. Tickets for this must be purchased in advance, but they have weekly shows Thursday through Sunday nights. Rotations of local Houstonians and touring comedians come for shows, roasts and more to the space.


This downtown art bar Houston offers regular poetry readings and concerts. Labeled a work of living art as a bohemian place, it is definitely a place to discover for a more original artistic and performance experience. Many artists got their start there, and the space always has something going on even if their schedule isn’t fully updated. Non-traditional darts or billiards, this bar also offers chess for patrons looking for entertainment. To both be surrounded by art and watch it happen, NOTSUOH is the place to go.

White Oak Music Room

This performance space holds both famous artists and those as local as people who go to Rice, like Brian Wu, a freshman from Brown College whose band Hot Whips has played White Oak on several occasions. The venue itself hosts over 400 live music events a year and has everything from rock to country to hip-hop and more. With upstairs, downstairs and outdoor music venues, the venue offers space and style for anyone interested in live music. Upcoming shows include “Gimme Gimme disco – a Dancing Party Inspired by ABBA”, “The Bay Strikes Back Tour with Testament, Exodus, and Death”, and “Widowspeak”.


This location offers both live music and other artistic mediums, including life drawing, dance, fashion, photography, theatrical performances and more. Weekly events include “Write About Now Poetry” with slams and open mics on Wednesday nights and “Dr. Sketchy Houston” which describes itself as “art class without the class and all the sass” held in the ‘space. On the music side, jazz open mics as well as general open mics for music are welcome, with everything from string instruments to spinning dance records seen in the room. Almost all of the bands and artists are local there, and it’s a great opportunity for Rice artists to venture outside the hedgerows and show off their talents in Houston.


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