Want the music but not the crowds? Try Dallas' top small music venues

There's an endless bounty of intimate music spaces in D-FW, from repurposed movie theaters to nightclubs, honky-tonks and restaurants with tiny stages tucked into the corner. Here are five of our favorite small music spots.

At Deep Ellum music venue Trees in Dallas, the bark-covered columns help the spot live up to its name.


Along with its Elm Street neighbor Club Dada, the 600-capacity Trees is one of the last holdovers from Deep Ellum's glory days in the 1990s. Just a handful of seats are available, and the faux-tree support beams restrict sight lines. But Trees is a delightfully quirky temple of rock, lined with memorabilia from the hundreds of bands that have graced its stage in the last quarter-century.

2709 Elm St., Dallas. Check out our listings for upcoming concerts.

Radney Foster performed at Poor David's Pub, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in March of 2017.

Poor David's Pub

Since 1977, David Card has booked a who's who of country, folk and blues-rock acts at his namesake music venue. The club's third and latest location is a 400-capacity room in the fast-growing Cedars neighborhood near downtown. It's not as intimate or funky as the former Poor David's spot on Greenville Avenue, but the lineup is as eclectic as ever.

1313 S. Lamar St., Dallas. poordavidspub.com. Check out our listings for upcoming concerts.

The Band La Santa Cecilia performed at The Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff.

Kessler Theater

Reopened as a concert venue in 2010, the art deco Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff has become one of the best small music halls, not just in Dallas-Fort Worth, but anywhere in the country. Intimate and elegant, with reserved and general admission seats available at most shows, the 500-capacity room is a perfect sit-down-and-listen type of place.

1230 W. Davis St., Dallas. Check out our listings for upcoming concerts.

Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge

This renovated Lions Club hall in Fort Worth's thriving Near Southside neighborhood boasts a 1950s-style lounge as well as a classy, 300-capacity music hall. The lineup is a far-flung blend of local, Texas and national acts from a dozen different genres. Get there while you can, it's set to close down April 29.

1311 Lipscomb St., Fort Worth. Check out our listings for upcoming concerts.

Local band the Filter Kings performed at the Balcony Club.

Balcony Club

Full-time jazz venues are few and far between if you don't live in the Big Apple or the Big Easy: Count Dallas lucky to have one of them. While the future of the Lakewood Theater is up in the air, this tiny second-floor nightclub adjoining the theater is still going strong with local jazz musicians playing seven nights a week. There's no cover charge Sunday through Thursday; admission is just $5 on Friday and Saturday.

1825 Abrams Road, Dallas. Check our listing for more info.

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