Next week, Party on the Plaza returns for the second time around. The free concert series kicks off May 3 at Avenida Houston Plaza with a performance by Los Skarnales and will continue with different entertainment acts every Wednesday night in May and June. (UPDATE: The first Party on the Plaza has been rescheduled to Thursday, May 4, due to inclement weather.)
During the late '80s until around 2005, the popular after-work affair was held at Jones Plaza in the Theater District, providing downtown office workers a place to let down their hair at the end of a long day. It is being revived to showcase the new Avenida Houston as a "true entertainment destination," Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO of Houston First Corporation, said in a press release.
Houston First officials have been instrumental in the development of Avenida Houston near Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention Center, which now includes a number of new restaurants and bars, including Xochi and Biggio's at the Marriott Marquis hotel, and a new Grotto adjacent to the convention center, plus a pedestrian area with art installations and events.
DJ spins (5:30 pm) will get the party started, with the highlight of the evening, performances by an eclectic lineup of local and regional artists (7-9 pm), sealing the dance party deal. Mark your calendars now for the headliners below.
May 4: Los Skarnales with Muddy Belle
Dance the night way to the sounds of 20-year Texas music scene veterans Los Skarnales, who present a unique fusion of ska, cumbia, and reggae with a twist of punk. Also hitting the stage is Houston rock n' soul band, Muddy Belle.
May 10: Allen Oldies with Rudy and the Reckless
Expect a hit parade of '50s and '60s songs from The Allen Oldies Band, who have been performing since 1996, followed by smooth, fiddle-driven rock tunes by Ruby and the Reckless.
May 17: Mango Punch with Gio Chamba
Gyrate to high-energy dance music, in both English and Spanish, by Latin pop band Mango Punch. Keep on grooving as tropical fusion duo Gio Chamba takes to the stage directly after, with songs from latin cumbia to hip-hop and electronica.
May 24: SoulDig with Sherita Perez
SoulDig’s deep soulful grooves meet music by Gulf Coast indie-folk singer/songwriter Sherita Perez when the two headline Party on the Plaza at the end of May.
May 31: Nick Gaitan with Nico Diaz
Nick Gaitan and the Umbrella Man band take center stage, presenting a mix of swamp-pop, Tex-Mex, soul, straight-up country, swing and rock 'n' roll, while follow-up act Nico Diaz promises jazzy Latin rock influenced by Latin folk and Nova Trova (Cuban music).
June 7: Ishi with Romina Von Mohr
Soul, funk and house beats by electronic band Ishi guarantee a fun night, especially with Romina Von Mohr and her rhythmic tunes, featuring catchy, wandering melodies, also on the bill.
June 14: Say Girl Say with El Lago
Multi-instrumental female duo Say Girl Say are known for intertwining, haunting harmonies that break your heart while leaving you wanting for more. They're joined on the roster by Galveston band El Lago, who add a dream-pop, post-punk, shoegaze, and '80s alternative spin to the evening.
June 21: Brownout with Vodi
Hardcore grooves and breakbeats by nine-piece psychedelic Latin-funk collective Brownout, along with effortless hooks and nostalgic sounds by six-piece indie rock band Vodi, are sure to get you into a groovy state of mind.
June 28: Fat Tony with Young Mammals
Nigerian-American rapper Fat Tony brings his laid-back, lyrical swagger to Party on the Plaza. The Young Mammals offer a distinct combination of blustery power-pop and hushed art punk with drawn-out guitar riffs.
Party on the Plaza is a free event. For more details, click here.