As a music venue, the Cafe’s key attraction to both artists and fans is its unique vibe. Nothing feels rushed or forced here. Tucked between I-10 and a block of warehouses, the venue is an urban oasis where the music is free to stretch and breathe with few of the restrictions inherent in more conventional clubs. With no real back stage, artists often mingle with the crowd and share a beer or two before the show and during set breaks. The net result, more often than not, is a show featuring atypical setlists, extended jamming, or other musical surprises.
The Cafe features three separate stages. The smallest hosts acoustic fare such as jazz, folk, and singer-songwriter stylings for the dinner crowd on the indoor patio. There is no cover charge, as performers on this stage continue the tradition of playing for their meal and tips. Directly behind the patio stage is the larger wooden deck which serves multiple purposes ranging from a side stage for big events to an intimate venue.
The crown jewel of the Cafe’s stages sits at the far end of the “dance floor,” a large lot covered in sand and surrounded by picnic tables, providing the ambiance of a beach side bar. Augmented by renovations over the past decade, this outdoor concert venue features professional sound and lighting and a large, fully covered stage. Every weekend showcases regional and national touring bands.
Last Concert Cafe has been typecast as a “jamband” venue, perhaps due to its success in breaking in the Houston market such now well known bands as Umphrey’s McGee, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Railroad Earth. But the booking policy has always been eclectic, with recent and upcoming shows ranging from livetronica acts such as Big Gigantic and VibeSquad; to bluegrass artists Danny Barnes, Drew Emmitt, and Billy Nershi; to the sacred steel of the Lee Boys; to the New Orleans sounds of Anders Osborne, Stanton Moore, and Papa Grows Funk.