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Let's Take a Tour Of Conference USA's Music Venues

As it turns out, CUSA has some pretty awesome music venues within a few miles (sometimes a few feet!) of its football stadiums. I spent way too much time on Yelp and Google in order to find the live music venue closest to each stadium. If I missed somewhere awesome be sure to let us know about it in the comment section.

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UNCC - PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte (3.2 miles)

The largest venue on my list, PNC is an amphitheater fit to host large national acts and small festivals. PNC can fit 19,500 fans with both reserved seating and general admission on the lawn. Charlotte has seen hundreds of touring acts pass through this venue, ranging from Aerosmith to ZZ Top.

FIU - The Fish House (3.9 miles)

When I first found The Fish House I was worried it wouldn’t fit our requirements to be a music venue by definition. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the restaurant hosts a strong residence of jazz and R&B artists. The Fish House also features weekly blues and jazz nights where both local and touring artists are welcome. No live music on Tuesdays but $.50 raw oysters might still bring you in.

FAU - Funky Biscuit (3 miles)

The Funky Biscuit has been bringing live music to Boca Raton since 2011, featuring rock groups, jazz musicians and themed shows. They really, really love Grateful Dead cover bands which sounds like my personal hell. The Biscuit looks like a top-notch venue with great lighting and acoustics. Seems like a great spot to check out while visiting Boca Raton.

LA Tech - Revelry (2.2 miles)

The Revelry doesn’t host shows often but when they do they make it an event. While I wish Revelry would invite smaller acts to perform more often, the list of big-time country artists the Revelry brings to Ruston is impressive. Whiskey Myers, Stoney Larue and the Eli Young Band will all be playing at Revelry in the coming months.

Marshall - V Club (1.7 miles)

If I was a Marshall student you’d be able to find me here every week. The V Club looks like a phenomenal music venue, hosting one open mic and two live shows each week. With both a large indoors stage and a smaller patio stage, the V Club has the capacity to comfortably host both local acts as well as smaller touring acts. This is an impressive venue for a town the size of Huntington.

MTSU - The Boro Bar & Grill (0.1 miles)

Our nearest stadium-to-venue pairing, The Boro mainly accommodates local performers with weekly open mic and swing dancing nights. Be advised; The Boro only takes cash but that’s to be expected in a dive-y joint with cheap drinks. The Boro might be missing some of the fancy amenities of other venues on this list but it is unapologetically local and deserves kudos for maintaining that.

UNT - Dan’s Silverleaf (3.3 miles)

The Silverleaf is what every college town music venue should aspire to be. Constantly hosting touring acts with local openers, The Silverleaf actually takes it a step further and promotes smaller acts with the same vigor of renowned artists like Band of Heathens and Justin Townes Earle. Denton has long had a thriving music scene and venues like this are a huge reason why.

ODU - The NorVa (3.9 miles)

A beautiful venue carved out a century-old Vaudeville theater with a hardwood dance floor, The NorVa is absolutely a top-notch mid-sized venue. The NorVa has won national awards for their incredible AV and fan-friendly policies. Norfolk is lucky to have such an incredible concert hall to call their own.

Rice - Houston: Mango’s (3.9 miles)

Houston natives reading this are probably confused as Mango’s closed down a couple months ago but a give a man a chance to grieve, okay? I only went to two shows at Mango’s in my youth but it left a lasting impact on me as Mango’s served as some of my first exposure to true DIY music venues. Plagued by poor parking and a poor location nestled in Houston’s historic Montrose residential neighborhood, Mango’s survived as long as it did off the dedication of Houston’s music fans. Houston's music scene has improved over the past few years so losing Mango’s doesn’t sting as badly as expected but it still serves us as a reminder of how hard it is to run a music venue, even when it’s successful.

USM - Thirsty Hippo (2.9 miles)

Another extremely cool CUSA venue, Thirsty Hippo is a cozy spot with a floor stage underneath a brick facade. The venue has a unique playhouse vibe thanks to string lights that hang from the rafters. Thirsty Hippo brings in some fantastic independent acts in an awesome, intimate environment. Plus the foods looks good. Damn good.

UAB - Iron City (3.1 miles)

You might not be aware, but Birmingham has one of the most thriving music scenes in the South. Iron City is versatile enough to host a wedding and a national touring punk band on consecutive nights. Iron City books high quality acts and its on-site restaurant landed on the top of Zagats’ rankings for Birmingham. This is a can’t-miss locale on your next Bham trip.

UTEP - Tricky Falls (2.6 miles)

El Paso’s contributions (At the Drive-In, The Mars Volta, Sparta) to Texas music history are often overlooked, perhaps unfairly. Fortunately for El Paso natives, Tricky Falls is carrying on El Paso’s proud history with rock music while also bringing in varied acts such as Snoop Dogg, Run the Jewels and Conor Oberst, providing some much needed diversity in El Paso’s music scene. Tricy Falls has a capacity of 1,500 with both general admission as well as mezzanine and upper balcony seating on the second floor.

UTSA - Tucker’s Kozy Korner (.5 mile)

Just a few blocks north of the Alamodome, Tucker’s has a strong reputation in San Antonio for their cheap southern eats and passion for live jazz and soul music. While Tucker’s is an old-school San Antonio mainstay, the venue has regained its once-lost popularity thanks to their Sunday gospel brunch.

WKU - Tidball’s (2.3 miles)

Tidball’s is a modest venue that focuses on bolstering local acts. With passionate management and a seemingly tight-knit community, Tidball’s prides itself on accessibility. Bowling Green natives and visitors shouldn’t have any problem supporting local music with drinks as cheap as Tidball’s slings ‘em.