For many college students, a typical Friday night doesn’t entail study sessions at M.D. Anderson Library or an all-nighter with the Calculus text. Those looking for a brief weekend getaway from work and class have a booming metropolis at their fingertips, with an assortment of nightclubs, bars and live music venues guaranteed to suit virtually every taste.
Numbers, 300 Westheimer Rd., one of Houston’s oldest and most decorated nightclubs, still manages to impress in a landscape oversaturated with competitors. The first few steps into Numbers, formerly an elite live music venue for acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Green Day and Snoop Dogg, is akin to sensory overload. With The Cure, Depeche Mode and other long-forgotten hits playing on what was apparently ’80s night, an impressive display of lights and video screens entertain a frenzied crowd.
But Numbers’ appeal doesn’t come without caveats. Its inclusive atmosphere – no dress code, cheap cover, and lax age restrictions – attract a unique and sometimes younger audience that contributes to Numbers’ love-it-or-hate-it reputation. The eclectic mix of regulars include a raucous punk crowd, disaffected emo youth and the inexplicable fifty-year-old man in leather garb and a leash. Needless to say, Numbers isn’t for everyone, but those who come with a carefree mindset and penchant for cheap beer are sure to find something to enjoy.
Venue, 723 Main St., has an atmosphere almost opposite of Numbers. The club has a trendy, sophisticated design, and the staff is more than willing to impose the same standards on their patrons. That aside, the modern d’eacute;cor, fluorescent lighting, and chic elegance give Venue a visual style without equal. The DJs can be predictable and those who consider the upscale feel of the club overly showy have some merit. Still, Venue is a matchless nightclub similar to what one would expect in Los Angeles.
Students looking for a change of pace in a bar should look no further than Flying Saucer, 705 Main St. With 85 different brews on tap, Flying Saucer is home to Houston’s most extensive collection of beer, complete with a comfortable, carefree atmosphere without pretentiousness or fuss. Nestled in the heart of downtown where bars are a dime-a-dozen, Flying Saucer isn’t the madcap setting 20-something club-goers are accustomed to, but there’s enough variety in its selection and ambiance to make it worth experiencing.
Houston may not have the live music credibility of sister cities Austin or Dallas, but those looking for a worthwhile venue to see their favorite bands won’t be disappointed. The Meridian, 1503 Chartres St., home to many of the most popular indie and alternative acts in Houston, provides concertgoers with a smaller, more intimate setting to enjoy music.