08/21/18 10:00am


Tickets go on sale this Friday for the digital likeness of Roy Orbison that’s making a tour stop at the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land on October 26, reports the Chronicle‘s Joey Guerra. It’s part of a 28-concert run the hologram will be performing throughout the US, to be followed by a 2019 tour in Australia. Houston’s own BASE Hologram — headquartered at 3009 Post Oak across from the waterwall — developed the laser technology that imitates Orbison. Aside from him, the rest of the band is real (it’s London’s Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in the video above from a UK performance in April) and they’ve even got a rapport going with the ghost singer. “Between songs,” reads the tour website, “you will clap your hands numb as he interacts with the other musicians and reacts to you in the audience.” [Houston Chronicle; more info] Video: Jai Freeman

01/30/18 12:37pm

A show-stopping announcement posted on the Walter’s Downtown Facebook page yesterday brings sad news for thrashers, metal-heads, punks, and indie fans: the 18-year-old live music venue on the corner of Naylor and Vine streets plans to close down on February 4. Walter’s moved to its current location — the former classic car showroom, video production studio, car parts distribution center, and cabinet warehouse pictured above — in 2011. Before that, the club was located on Washington Ave, in a building just east of Thompson St. that’s since been transformed into the office of Carnegie Custom Homes.

The photo below views the venue from its north side on Naylor back in 2014:


The Last Set
12/16/16 1:45pm

Post HTX Day for Night Layout
Former Barbara Jordan Post Office, 401 Franklin St., Downtown, Houston, 77002Here’s the site plan from the folks running the Day for Night festival, showing how the art installations and music stages will be laid out in the decommissioned post office at 401 Franklin St. this weekend. The Downtown building was sold last year to Lovett Commercial, which will be redeveloping the building over the next 8-ish years into a mixed-use complex called Post HTX. The circle sketched onto the gray-shaded area marked above as The Courtyard appears to match up with the circular garden feature visible in this aerial shot (looking northwest across Franklin St.) — here’s a closer view:


Post-Post Office Downtown
12/16/16 11:30am

Levitt Pavilion Rendering
The city signed off this week on the plan to put an outdoor concert and performance venue into one of the Willow Waterhole Bayou detention basins along S. Post Oak Dr., north of the intersection with S. Main St. Specifically, the project is planned  alongside the basin just north of Gasmer Rd., west across S. Post Oak from that area previously wrapped in barbed wire to reserve it as habitat for endangered Texas prairiedawn. Rebecca Elliot writes that the stage will be paid for by the California-based Levitt Foundation, which has performance spaces geared toward public concerts and events in 6 cities around the country (and more in the works). The Houston venue will have to host at least 25 public events per year, and the city will be on the hook for up to $1 million in repairs during its first 15 years of operation.

Like some of the city’s other basin-bottom park infrastructure, the structure will be designed to flood on occasion: the rendering above shows the structure largely elevated on stilts, with the basin’s smaller permanent retention pond reflecting fireworks behind it. The structure should be somewhat hurricane-resistant, too — at least  according to an information packet dating back to 2012. That packet also included a drawing of the potential placement for the stage, along with some landscaping and parking lot layout:


Staging in Westbury
10/20/16 9:45am

CITY RED TAGS WHITE OAK MUSIC HALL FOR ILLEGAL OUTDOOR STAGE CONSTRUCTION Rendering of White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N. Main, Houston, 77009A city inspector issued a red tag to White Oak Music Hall on Tuesday to stop what appears to have been unpermitted construction work on a permanent outdoor stage, Zach Despart reports this morning. The venue’s permit for the long-term temporary stage it had been using for outdoor shows expired on October 5th, a few weeks after mayor Turner publicly nixed the organizers’ just-take-it-down-real-quick renewal plans; this week a real estate agent who lives in the area handed out photos to city council ostensibly showing that crews were already at work to put up a new structure, despite the plans for the stage still not having passed the city’s permitting review process. Despart also notes that a show previously billed on the outdoor stage for this Saturday is now marked on its ticket purchase page as planned for one of the venue’s indoor performance spaces. [Houston Press; previously on Swamplot] Original renderings of White Oak Music Hall with planned outdoor stage:  Schaum /Shieh

09/07/16 1:30pm

CITY NIXES WHITE OAK MUSIC HALL’S DEJA-VU STAGE PERMIT PLAN White Oak Music Hall April Construction and Temporary Stage Setup, 2915 N. Main St., Northside, Houston, 77009The city isn’t planning to renew a permit for White Oak Music Hall’s temporary-but-kinda-not-temporary outdoor stage once it expires next month, Erin Mulvaney reports this week. Tickets have already been sold for concerts scheduled later in October and November, but the public works department now says that the temporary stage’s operating permit will expire on October 5th when the structure has been up for 180 days — and no, says Mayor Turner, the venue can’t just take the stage down and put it back up again to get a new one, as the developers told Mulvaney they were planning to do. Mulvaney writes that the White Oak folks applied for permits for a planned permanent outdoor stage several times in the winter and spring, but took a break from resubmitting after the plans failed code review a few times; another set of application materials was submitted last Wednesday. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of White Oak Music Hall’s temporary stage during setup in April: Swamplot inbox

04/15/16 10:15am

If you missed the free Fallout Boy and Kendrick Lamar concerts during Final Four weekend, here’s your chance to catch both, condensed down to less than 5 minutes (no sound, though). This week photographer Geoffrey Lyon posted his time-lapse capture (from the upper levels of One Park Place) of Discovery Green filling up during the Friday and Saturday events held in conjunction with the college basketball championship finals; the park reached its maximum capacity on both that Saturday and the following Sunday and stopped admitting visitors. [KTRK; previously on Swamplot] Video: Geoffrey Lyon

Turned Up and Down Downtown
01/06/16 3:15pm

The Raven hasn’t landed yet — but the metal-fabrication-shop-turned-icehouse’s website and Facebook page are touting a January 19th Grand Opening date, complete with the kickoff to the venue’s live music lineup. On the other side of the complex, associated White Oak Music Hall itself isn’t scheduled to open until May.

The ice house and its sky-high 70s-bachelor-pad lounge are tucked back off of N. Main along North St., separated from I-45 by only the Skylane Apartments. (The iconic den-on-a-stick can be spotted through the trees from I-45 north of Quitman, just before the freeway ducks under the North St. bridge.)

New renderings posted last month by the bar show the details of the rest of the Raven Tower’s indoor and outdoor spaces:


Winging Over White Oak
12/10/15 10:00am

White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N. Main, Houston, 77009

Steel is up at 2915 N. Main just east of I-45, where the White Oak Music Hall is slowly getting ready to party. The indoor-outdoor concert venue, a project of former-Fitzgerald’s-operator Pegstar, is expected to be finished dressing up some time next May.

The photo above, peering northwest up N. Main Street, looks through the skeleton of the main building on the site, where 2 of the venue’s 3 stages will be situated. The rendering below looks at the structure from the opposite corner, facing the street:


Rock on the Bayou
08/05/14 3:45pm

Rendering of Proposed Concert Venue by Schaum/Shieh Architects, 2915 N. Main St., Houston

Map of Planned Sites Adjacent to 2915 N. Main Concert Venue, Houston

The operators of Fitzgerald’s and the Free Press Summer Fest are planning a large multi-venue development on N. Main St. on the east side of I-45. Renderings of 2 of the buildings, designed by a firm run locally by Rice architecture professor Troy Schaum, show a separate concert building with at least 2 separate stages inside and a freestanding ice house, which would be adjacent to a separate outdoor stage at the corner of N. Main and North St. The southern portion of the site (outlined in yellow in the map above) where those 2 structures would sit backs up to Little White Oak Bayou.


North Main Music Central, by the Bayou
09/05/13 3:45pm

Here’s a look at the recently approved designs of the new arts and concert venue that could start being built as soon as 2014 in Sugar Land. Drawn up by Washington, D.C., firm Martinez & Johnson, the 200,000-sq.-ft., 6,500-seat theater will eventually sit on 39 undeveloped acres in Telfair, just off the Southwest Fwy. and University Blvd.


09/30/11 8:58am

Next month, real estate brokers Randy Fertitta and John Nguyen plan to reopen the former Zula Restaurant spot at 705B Main St. Downtown as a 250-600-seat concert venue. The Capitol at St. Germain will include a bar, a restaurant, and jazz, R&B, and “old-school” country performers. Coming to the Main St. streetfront at Capitol St. (next door to the Flying Saucer): a sidewalk cafe and a new neon marquee, subsidized in part by a $20,000 grant from the Downtown Management District. The 8,400-sq.-ft. space will include an elevated reserved seating area called the Vintage Lounge and a “floating” VIP booth next to the 320-sq.-ft. stage.

Photo: Capitol at St. Germain