essemtial sounds-waco-live-music

Essential Sounds: Waco Live Music (4/14-4/19/23)

Dave Wild Trio | WXYZ Bar at Aloft | 7 pm, Friday, April 14

Along with local jazz guitarist Chuck Jennings, pianist Dave Wild is one of the elder statesmen of Waco jazz. And like most jazz cats, he’s always playing gigs around town, often at places such as Stay Classy Waco and Valley Mills Vineyards. The WXYZ Bar at the Aloft hotel is quickly proving to be a happening jazz hangout as well, so it should make for a good Friday night show.

Battle of the Bands | Southern Roots Brewing | 2 pm, Saturday, April 15

Southern Roots is ground zero on Saturday from 2 pm to 8 pm for Battle of the Bands, as eight different groups competefor a $1,000 prize and recording time at Texas Music Cafe:

  • Avenue Rage
  • Wes Cunningham
  • Far From Reach
  • The Lindsley Brothers
  • Madstone
  • Lucas Jon Turner & The Leftovers
  • 3rd Street Chaos
  • Fooligan

The diversity of bands is the real appeal of this show. (And, of course, Southern Roots’ craft beer doesn’t hurt!) On the one hand, you have an act like The Lindsley Brothers, who play upbeat pop-folk music driven by their vocal harmonies and acoustic instrumentation.

On the other hand, then you’ve also got Avenue Rage, which plays Pantera-esque heavy metal: loud, fast, and heavier than heavy.

Falling somewhere between The Lindsley Brothers and Avenue Rage is Madstone, a throwback to ’70s Southern country-rock. Powered by lead singer and guitar player James Madstone, the group has been together for 20 years, releasing multiple albums while developing a devoted following.

It’s an eclectic group of bands that promises to be entertaining from start to finish. Plus, not only is admission free, this event will help support CASA of McLennan County, Karem Shriners Waco, and the Humane Society of Central Texas.

The Atkins Tent Revival | Freight Bar | 8 pm, Saturday, April 15

Anyone who’s followed the Waco music scene over the last couple of years knows The Atkins Tent Revival boasts real star power. Fronted by Ben Atkins, the band’s music slips seamlessly from soul to rock to gospel to the occasional ranchera with some ukulele thrown in for good measure. Atkins is back from an extended sojourn in Norway, and this show at Freight Bar should not only be good but also be a good tuneup for the band’s appearance at Bridge Street Plaza on April 29 as part of the Levitt AMP Waco Music Series.

No cover… and the band promises to play until the police show up!

La Energia Norteña | Backyard Bar Stage & Grill | 8:30 pm, Sunday, April 16

Formed in 2010, La Energía Norteña plays romantic norteño music with accordion and saxophone. Originally playing weddings and quinceañeras, by 2013 they’d released Sin Restricciones, their debut album. Since then, the band has only expanded its fan base and profile through relentless, non-stop touring, which brings them to the Backyard on Sunday night.

Tickets are $45 and are available online.

More Live Music

Have a band or venue with an upcoming live show? Submit it to our events calendar.

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Mark Roy Long's various incarnations have included college English instructor, book publisher, freelance writer, editorial content manager, and professional lawn mower. He is a devotee of craft beer, disc golf, and live music. A long-time Waco resident, he was tired of asking, “What’s going on around town?” and decided to answer that for himself... and anyone else who wanted to know.

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