Waco Live Music: Essential Sounds (5/5–5/9/2023)

La Fiera de Ojinaga with Los Texmaniacs | Indian Spring Park | 7 pm, Friday, May 5

The Brazos Nights concert series continues on Friday with headliner La Fiera de Ojinaga. And while they’re bona fide stars, make sure you’ve got your spot for the show staked out by 7 pm so you can see opening act Los Texmaniacs. The San Antonio–based band’s 2010 album Borders y Bailes won a Grammy for best Tejano album of the year, and their infectious mix of conjunto, bajo sexto, accordion, and Vox organ is keeping the spirits of Doug Sahm and Freddy Fender alive and well.

Free admission.

Bears & Bugs Festival | McLane Stadium’s Touchdown Alley | 2 pm, Saturday, May 6


The Bears and Bugs festival comes to McLane Stadium’s Touchdown Alley on Saturday at 2 pm with a five-band lineup: Giovannie and The Hired Guns, CaCean Ballou and The Dirty Crawfish, Kin Faux, Huser Brother Band, and Holly Beth.

Headliner Giovannie Yanez and his Hired Guns have earned their stripes as a rock-and-roll force with a country twang. Hailing from Stephenville, Texas, this band’s got the goods: a live show that’s a sweat-soaked, cathartic frenzy, and a sound that’s gritty and raw—qualities that both rock and country music have been craving.

Buy your tickets online for $25 or pay $30 at the gate.

Ryan Glenn & The Honky Tonk Heat with Brandon Padier | Texas Music Cafe | 8 pm, Saturday, May 6

North Texas troubadour Ryan Glenn’s got a sound that’s a musical melting pot, drawing on the legacies of Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and even a dash of Dylan for good measure. But don’t let the name-dropping fool you—Glenn’s live show is a beast of its own. With a fusion of country, Texas blues, and rockabilly, Ryan Glenn & The Honky Tonk Heat deliver a high-octane performance that’s both precise and impassioned, perfect for the intimate environs of the Texas Music Cafe in downtown Waco. Brandon Padier opens.

Tickets are $20 and are available online.

Jeremy Parsons | Freight Bar | 8:30 pm, Saturday, May 6

A San Antonio native, singer-songwriter Jeremy Parsons has deep roots in the rich musical heritage of Texas. Despite discovering his musical talent relatively late in high school, Parsons quickly became an adept self-taught guitarist, playing stages across the US and Europe. While he started off with a more traditional roots-rock country sound, his latest singles, “Tickin'” and “Humanity,” see him exploring new sonic landscapes, drawing inspiration from the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Puscifer. Hear the results for yourself on Saturday night at Freight Bar: a daring and innovative sound that signals an exciting evolution in Parsons’ musical journey.

Kolten Benton | Lounge ’93 | 6 pm, Tuesday, May 9

Texan Kolton Benton is a country artist who’s no stranger to life’s trials and tribulations. A Texas Tech University alumnus, Benton faced a crucible in 2021—a year marked by loss and heartbreak. But from the ashes of adversity, Benton found solace in songwriting. His pen became a conduit for catharsis, his acoustic guitar a companion in healing, producing a collection of songs born from raw, unfiltered emotion. Benton’s music is a testament to the power of empathy, a balm for those riding their own emotional rollercoasters—and a reminder that we’re not alone. Catch him at Lounge ’93 next Tuesday night.

More Waco Live Music

  • At 8 pm on Friday, Markus Miller (aka “The Alone Wolf”) performs at Blue Dog Wine & Martini Bar.
  • This Saturday night, the next free concert in the Levitt AMP Waco Music Series, with Suede and Leaf Vxllage, starts at 6 pm at Bridge Street Plaza.
  • The upcoming Monday Funday, a weekly staple at Hemingway’s Watering Hole, features Venus E and its always eclectic setlist of covers.

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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