Thursday, June 27, 2013

Best Live Music Venue in Dallas? Annette Strauss Square

I recently attended a concert at Annette Strauss Square and have decided that it is my favorite new place to see an outdoor show.  ASS is named for the late former mayor of Dallas, Annette Strauss. Located behind the Winspear Opera House and the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center, ASS provides a serene setting for outdoor performances, festivals and events. The primary feature of the venue is the large lawn, named the Shannon and Ted Skokos Pavilion and the Performance Plaza.  It's roughly a 1/3 of the size of Gexa Enery Pavilion (Starplex to those of us over 40) but set up in much the same way. It's small size make it a intimate venue and there's absolutely not a bad seat in the house.

PROS:  You can bring in a cooler (hard or soft - but it can't exceed 16" x 16") with your own food and beverages, lawn chairs, and blankets. There is ample parking and the line was well-organized and moved quickly.

CONS: There is fantastic bar located on premiss that sells delicious cocktails and food. There are wonderful cushy couches and tables & chairs. So, why is this listed as a CON? Because you can't take your alcohol out of the bar area. HUH? It has to be some ridiculous TABC law that would allow you to roll in your own cooler but not pay $12 for a drink and walk it down to your seat. S-T-U-P-I-D. Good thing there's not a bad seat in the house because I spent much of the evening not in my wonderful seat, but perched up at the bar... Lesson learned. Next time I am bringing a cooler. It's cheaper and you can drink at your seat!

The front of the stage house incorporates roller shutter doors, which retract to allow large speaker arrays to project out of the stage house during performances, then return to their protected enclosure when not in use. Concrete site walls border the lawn to ensure patrons are not distracted by nearby traffic noise from Woodall Rodgers Frwy., and to provide a barrier for ticketed events. The space is open to the public when not being utilized for private events, so that visitors may enjoy the setting. The entire venue can accommodate more than 2,000 visitors. I give the space two thumbs up and highly recommend you take in a concert or performance there if you get the chance. Just take a cooler.