Two-Steppin’ in Texas

They say that Austin, Texas is the Live Music Capital of the World, and I certainly can’t disagree. With concerts on every corner and live music in every bar, it’s hard to deny that Austin has earned that name. And although I’ve lived in Austin all my life, I’m sad to disclose that I really never attended any of those concerts or lingered long enough on an impromptu jam session to really appreciate them. However, since I started classes at UT, I’ve been more interested in experiencing the unique scene that is Austin, and that desire has driven me to places that I never expected to go. Now, mind you, I’m not really the kind of person to be that adventurous, so this feat of mine really only stretched as far as to go listen to live country music.

Ever since I was little, country music was the only genre played in my house, so I always had a soft spot for the nostalgic love song and the George Strait twang. I’m not sure why, but my parents never took me to a concert in my youth (disappointing, I know), so I had to venture off on my own to figure out just how great music is when played live.

So for my 20th birthday, accompanied by my best friend and my boyfriend, I visited Midnight Rodeo, a country dance hall in South Austin. Even on their website, they announce, “It sounds just like Texas in here!” And boy, are they right. As soon as I walked in, I knew the night was bound to be special. The atmosphere was absolutely amazing, completely unlike any place I had ever been before. There were boots and cowboy hats everywhere, and if you weren’t wearing boots, you could bet that you’d stick out like a sore thumb.

Midnight Rodeo in all its glory.

Midnight Rodeo in all its glory.

In the beginning of the night a DJ played mostly Nashville country, so we two-stepped to the honkytonk beat and had a great time. Eventually, though, it was time for the live music and soon Texas country artist Roger Creager took the stage. Before that night, I had never heard of Roger Creager before, mostly because I really wasn’t ever a fan of Texas country; it just has a completely different sound than your typical “radio” country. But the longer he played, the more I found myself dancing along and loving it. He played “The Everclear Song” (a popular crowd favorite, as I could tell) and “Love Is Crazy,” which brought all the couples out to the dance floor to enjoy the love ballad. By the end of the night, I was completely in love with Roger Creager’s music and the whole idea of live Texas country music.

My best friend and I with Roger Creager!

My best friend and me with Roger Creager!

The whole experience really opened my eyes to the world of live music, and also the subgenre of Texas country. Now I can’t help but sing along to “The Everclear Song” and linger a little longer when I hear live music being played around town. I’m so thankful for the experience and I’m excited to pass on the love of live country music to others.

Feel free to reply with a comment below about your favorite country music experience or respond to mine!


Filed under Dancing, Live Music, Reflection

3 Responses to Two-Steppin’ in Texas

  1. Dustin Hixenbaugh

    Your post reminds me how wonderful it can be to see people you don’t know very much about performing live. This was my experience with Willie Nelson back in the late 1990s/early 2000s. He was playing the Cheyenne Frontier Days, and somehow my parents lucked into seats fairly close to the stage. Since Willie is so famous, I definitely knew who he was, but I hadn’t ever given his music much of a chance. In retrospect, I think I loved the concert so much because it came as such a surprise. Because concerts can be expensive and inconvenient I think a lot of people only go to see performers they already love. I think this is a shame.

  2. Mark Anderson

    That is awesome! Sadly, I have been living hear in Austin since fall of 2013 (originally from southern California) and I have not experienced as much of the live music as I probably should have by now. I am making that one of my goals for this upcoming year so I don’t feel like I am not making the best of my time here. But, country dancing doesn’t exactly sound like my idea of fun, so I would most likely just stick to concerts going on in the Austin area instead of various dance halls. I do agree with the fact that many people don’t know what they are going to get until they get out there and experience it, which is always a good idea. I found reading this post very interesting and it inspired me to make more of an attempt to see live music!

  3. Alyssa Hazen

    Love your post Tori! It really painted a vivid picture of a typical night at a country dance hall. I have to agree I have not gone to see enough live music as I would like to since moving to Austin. I’ve gone to a few dance halls but none in Austin. During highschool and in the summer a lot of my friends would make it a habit to go to Wild West and Midnight Rodeo in Houston. I’ve been a few times but I don’t really think it was my scene. However, your post makes me want to give it another shot but I think I’ll switch locations this time. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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