Report From Houston: Can’t Stop The Music

Houston’s tragic, unprecedented natural disaster appeared to be cresting at press time, but there was no telling its future condition – including the status of live shows and performance venues in the region.

The sun was out and many venues were preparing to reopen their doors, having managed to escape any damage from Hurricane Harvey.

Surviving Harvey
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP
– Surviving Harvey
Josh Benoit and his dog, Lilly, travel to safety after being rescued by boat from his home in Beaumont, Texas, on Aug. 30, 2017.

“The Wortham had water penetration into the front of house areas at a low level due to high water; that water has now receded and left residual dirt. In the back of house, water surged over the storm defense and some water went onto the Brown Theater stage. This was at a low level but has resulted in damage to the surface of the stage. The Cullen Theater stage has little water damage and the dressing room corridor had water, but also at a low level. The basement of the building is completely full of flood water.”

The post adds that the theatre district garage was flooded and will be closed for repairs.

A representative for

Houston Press reporter Chris Gray has been monitoring local venues and said that he’s checked up on about 50 facilities. Last Concert Café, a Mexican restaurant that hosts live music, “is closed for a few days after [it was filled with] 10 inches of water,” according to the publication.

A representative for White Oak Music told the Houston Press that the venue is “hanging in there. Just a little water through one door, nothing major.”  


FEMA director Brock Law has declared that Harvey is probably the worst natural disaster in the state’s history, the Washington Post reported.  

An estimated 30,000 people were expected to head to shelters and 450,000 were predicted to seek disaster assistance, according to a CNN report earlier this week. The death toll related to the storm is at least 39 people, CNN reported Aug. 31.  

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told ABC News Aug. 30 that Harvey had destroyed an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 homes in the Houston area. He said that thousands of residents were likely still stranded as of Wednesday. 


After postponing its Aug. 25 Coldplay concert, Houston’s

NRG Center Tackles Harvey
Michael Ciaglo /Houston Chronicle via AP
– NRG Center Tackles Harvey
Volunteer Paige Atkinson sorts donated clothing Aug, 30 for evacuees at Houston’s NRG Center. The venue opened its doors as a shelter Aug. 29.

“At the Superdome, they suffered for a variety of reasons, from not being prepared to handle that level of citizenry to the venue and the city itself not being girded for that kind of event,” Rafi Kohan, author of “The Arena,” told Pollstar. “Doug Thornton makes clear in his own harrowing recounting of that time, things came pretty close to disaster.  I can only hope that it is not replaying in Houston.”

“I’ll tell you, it’s one of the most amazing humanitarian things that I’ve seen,” Juan Rodriguez, general manager of BBVA Stadium, told Venues Today. “It’s people helping people,” he said. “The things you’re seeing on TV are night and day compared to what this community is going through.”


While the threat of additional damage from Harvey may have moved on from Houston, the National Hurricane Center predicted Aug. 31 that flooding rains would “continue across far eastern Texas and western Louisiana with heavy rainfall spreading northeastward through the lower Mississippi Valley [Aug. 31] and into the Tennessee and Ohio valleys and central Appalachians over the next day or two.”

Fans are advised to check with their local venues for more information. It is possible that other shows outside of the area may be affected because of routing and travel delays.  

An earlier version of this article appeared on on Aug. 28.