2706 White Oak (@ Studemont)
Houston, TX. 77007
(713) 862-3838
“info” at “fitzlivemusic dot com”
Booking: “booking” at “fitzlivemusic dot com”
Ticket prices seem to generally hover around the $5-$15 range, depending on the size of the band

General Info: One of the granddaddies of them all, this is the only large club of its kind (meaning not a dance club, blues bar or a smaller venue-club like the Satellite Lounge or Emo’s) that has survived since I’ve been here. I know there are several other old-timers — Rudyard’s and Emo’s, for two — but neither one can hold the huge high-schooler crowds Fitz can. It’s a pretty decent place, with two separate floors for shows (at the same time, often), a nice (crowded) deck outside for between bands…and unbelievably shitty air-conditioning (seriously, it’s so bad it makes me want to stay at home and listen to records, instead). This is one of the bigger hang-outs for Houston AlternaTeensTM — they flock here in droves, smoking cigarettes and trying to look cool with all their piercings and shit, so be warned. (Don’t mind me; I’m just older and cynical. After all, it’s fucking traditional for punks to be “disaffected” white kids from suburbia, so what the hell.) I’ve only been to this place a few times when it wasn’t crowded (it does happen, though, esp. on weeknights — there’s not much of a crowd unless there’s a well-known punk or ska band playing). They’re packed full so damn often that they apparently get busted for fire-code violations on a regular basis… They book good bands, lots of ska and punk, and let local bands play, too.

Anyway, it may be hot and filled with annoying thirteen-year-olds wearing t-shirts for bands that broke up when they were in elementary school, but Houston desperately needs an independent, big venue like Fitz, and I hope it stays alive a while longer. (And unless I was just really lightheaded at the recent Old 97s show, it feels like the ventilation has been fixed, at least in the balcony area, which used to be hotter than hell during shows of any size…) Thankfully, the last few years have seen some renovations in the downstairs area (formerly known as Zelda’s, then as Lucky’s Lounge, then as Zelda’s again, and now I dunno what the fuck they’re calling it, so I’ll lump it up here with Fitz proper).

Setup/Equipment: Very good sound system — which isn’t surprising, considering lots of “bigger-name” bands get to play here. You shouldn’t need to bring anything; they’ve got a soundboard, monitors, big-ass speakers, cables, mics, stands, the whole mess. I’ve heard good and bad things about the sound guy, these days, but hey, I haven’t had to deal with him, so I dunno…

Booking: For bands that play there, well…let’s just say I’m not real fond of some the management. They’re pretty aloof and businesslike, which I guess is because they’ve been screwed over several times and have teetered on the edge of bankruptcy at least once. I will admit, however, that they can be friendly — past booking folks have been friendly to me, anyway. There was recently a big housecleaning, though, it sounds like, and I dunno any of the folks booking shows there anymore. However, if their policies haven’t changed, they charge a $35 “deposit” to play (at least, if you’re a largely-unknown band playing on a weeknight, which is the only situation I’ve been in, myself) — if 35 people show up, you get your money back. Weekends are $50, if I remember right. So, that kind of sucks — and as far as I know, it’s one of only two places in town where you have to pay to play, so be warned (the other, at least from reports I’ve heard, is the Satellite Lounge).

Venue writeup by . Venue writeup posted Wednesday, December 27th, 2000. Filed under Venues.

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