McCall Plaza. Photo Plano Magazine Archives
While people may not think of Plano when they think of live music, there are plenty of places to grab a brew, check out a good band, take in a play or laugh at a comedy show. Here’s seven of the best, including three of Plano’s Best Places to Hear Live Music.
7800 Windrose Ave.
The Box Garden at Legacy has quickly become one of Plano’s most popular event venues. Its stage has played host to many bands and televised sporting events since opening in 2018. The venue is both dog- and kid-friendly, but its largest claim to fame is Legacy Hall, dubbed around town as a fancy food court for the whole family. Among the more than 20 food venues, built-in bars, never-ending events, and grassy lawn, it’s no wonder The Box Garden ranked second for Best Place to Hear Live Music in Plano and has ranked on dozens of best patio lists over the years. Those seeking a more VIP experience can rent one of the second-level VIP seating areas with comfortable seating and full bar service.
509 H Ave.
The 321-seat Courtyard Theater originally served as a high-school gym. It was built in 1938 as a Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, but a 1999 renovation project brought the facility into the modern era. Housed in Historic Downtown Plano, the theater just celebrated 20 years earlier this year. Today, the Courtyard Theater houses art galleries, musicians, dance recitals and more, offering Planoites a peek into history with every performance.
998 E. 15th St.
In contrast with the theater’s classic performances, McCall Plaza boasts weekly karaoke nights and frequent live musical performances of all genres. Located between the DART rail line and bustling downtown businesses, you never know what kind of music will be playing at any given time. As a bonus, the site also acts as a de facto playground for kids when not in use because who doesn’t like to be on stage?
Red Tail Pavilion
2810 East Spring Creek Parkway
Formerly known as the Amphitheater at Oak Point, the recently renamed Red Tail Pavilion is one of the city’s biggest venues with a capacity of 2,000 people. Patrons can frequently be found sprawled out on picnic blankets and lawn chairs soaking in the sun and live music. Located on the edge of the sprawling Oak Point Nature Preserve, the venue has played host to several national rock, pop and country acts. The site also serves as a host for various festivals and a starting point for 5Ks around the park.
The Plano House of Comedy
7301 Lone Star Drive, Suite A-110
Since opening last year, The Plano House of Comedy has quickly filled the void for those looking for laughs. The venue attracts a mix of established acts and up-and-coming comics. The house of comedy show boasts a lineup of former The Office cast members, former The Onion writers, and subjects of many streamable comedy specials. As the only comedy-centered venu in Plano, it is a must visit for stand-up fans in the area.
601 East Plano Parkway
For more than two decades this quintessentially Texan venue has been showcasing some of the best in Americana, country and red dirt music. Ranking in third for Best Places to Hear Live Music in Plano, Love and War features a mixture of national acts and local artists, but what makes it unique is the Texas-sized menu at the attached dinery that features items inspired by different regions of Texas. There’s even open mic nights, for those looking for their 15 minutes of fame.
Taste of the Islands
909 West Spring Creek Parkway, Suite 300
If you’re looking to change up the vibe and try something new, Taste of the Islands is a Jamaican-themed restaurant, Caribbean grocery store and event space. The event space is host to many reggae artists, comedians, festivals, steppers and more.
On the Rocks at Urban Rio
1000 East 14th St., Second Floor
Coming in first for Best Places to Hear Live Music in Plano is On the Rocks, a second-floor bar with patio, full bar and frequent live music scene. Sitting atop Urban Rio Cantina and Grill, the patio overlooks Historic Downtown Plano, and just celebrated its 10th anniversary at the location. Local live artists are on scene Thursday through Saturday every week, and the extended bar menu and sunset views make up for the Texas heat hitting the patio.See Plano Magazine's Best of 2022 Winners