My Take On TU: Music Scene in Tulsa

Today’s My Take on TU comes to us from Tali Harris, a sophomore Computer Science and Mathematics major from Owasso, Okla.

Tulsa is home to a number of unique music venues, each bringing in a different crowd and mood. Here are seven of the best:

7. Reynolds Center – This is the basketball arena for The University of Tulsa. It made the list because once a year, TU has a week of fun called Springfest. This themed week includes exciting events, games, raffles, and more food than imaginable. At the end of the week, TU brings in an artist voted on by the students. We’ve seen bands from Misterwives and The Mowgli’s to Imagine Dragons to NEEDTOBREATHE (2017). The Reynolds Center may only host a concert once a year, but it’s sure to be spectacular.

6. Foolish Things Coffee House – While many local Tulsa coffee shops bring in live music, Foolish Things does it to the next level. They host several events per month highlighting varying local artists. The ambiance of the modern yet quaint little shop has a New York-esque vibe in urban Tulsa.

5. The Vanguard – The Vanguard is an intimate music venue in the heart of the downtown Brady Arts District. Concerts here are guaranteed to be affordable, fun, and loud. The Vanguard has hosted bands like Nevershoutnever, Colony House, The Wombats, and several local Tulsa artists.


4. The Brady Theater – This allegedly haunted theater also resides in The Brady Arts District. Its medium size accommodates larger artists such as The 1975, Ben Rector, and Ke$ha. The building was built in 1914 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Cross visiting one off your bucket list while enjoying live music!

3. The BOK – The Bank of Oklahoma building is the largest venue in the Tulsa area. Its downtown location compliments a weekend dinner at a local restaurant. The BOK is relatively new, and has had wild success. Bands from all genres have played here, including Brad Paisley, Ed Sheeran, Eric Church, Imagine Dragons, The Black Keys, The Chainsmokers, Florida Georgia Line, Chance the Rapper, Billy Joel, Journey, Miranda Lambert, Greenday, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and more. This venue brings in popular artists and creates spectacular shows.

2. Guthrie Green – Guthrie Green is an expanse of grass in the middle of downtown. During First Friday Art Crawl, there is always live music playing, kids playing in the fountains, and couples dancing. When The Green is not being used for live music, there are people practicing yoga, doing barre, taking pictures, and enjoying the outdoors. But the real excitement surrounding Guthrie Green is its yearly music festival, Center of the Universe. Center of the Universe is relatively new and recently took a year off to make the upcoming year’s festival extra special. In 2013, its opening year, OneRepublic, OKGO, and Neon Trees headlined. The next year, Young the Giant, Foster the People, and Capital Cities. The following year, Panic! At the Disco, Three Days Grace, and American Authors. The Center of the Universe festival perfectly illustrates the growth of Tulsa’s music scene in the last few years.

1. Cain’s Ballroom – Cain’s Ballroom takes the number one spot for music venues in Tulsa. It is rich in history, as it was a popular performance location for Bob Wills in 1932, as boasted on the stage. It then became a popular dance hall, and now serves as a historic music venue. It is a smaller venue, but proudly hosts vibrant, upcoming bands appealing to all genres. Cain’s has recently hosted The Head and the Heart, Young the Giant, The Mowgli’s, Band of Horses, Eli Young Band, and others. This iconic venue provides a closer experience with the band.

My Take on TU: Music in Tulsa

tali-4Today’s blog comes to us from Tali Harris, a sophomore Computer Science & Mathematics major from Owasso, Okla.

Growing up near Tulsa, I never really thought of it as a hip college town. But as I’ve gotten older and Tulsa has evolved, I have realized I could not be more incorrect. Tulsa is a thriving city with plenty of opportunities, increasing community involvement, and, most importantly, extensive entertainment.

My absolute favorite aspect of Tulsa is the live music scene. I have been able to see some of my favorite artists in the past few years thanks to Tulsa’s developing music culture. Even though I have a particular taste, I have been exposed to several different genres of music.

We saw Young the Giant at Cain’s Ballroom!

One of the best parts of a concert is the venue. Tulsa has several different venues that bring in a diverse array of artists.

The Vanguard is one of Tulsa’s more intimate venues. Many local Tulsa groups play here. I fulfilled my middle school dream of seeing NeverShoutNever when they came this past summer. It is located in the heart of the Brady Arts District, and is near coffee shops, brunch spots, and Guthrie Green.

Cain’s Ballroom is one of the most iconic Tulsa music scene symbols. It is just down the street from The Vanguard, and it brings in the most artists I like. I have seen artists like The Head and the Heart,  Young the Giant, The Lumineers, and Ben Folds. Cain’s often hosts bluegrass festivals, country nights, and other popular bands.

I saw Brad Paisley at the BOK Center. Country isn’t my genre of choice, but he put on a great show!

From Taylor Swift to Ed Sheeran, from Justin Bieber to Mumford and Sons, the BOK is centered downtown and brings in the most popular names. It was here I attended my very first concert (Imagine Dragons), won tickets from a radio show (The Black Keys), and experienced my first ever country concert (Brad Paisley). Artists who play here appeal to the largest majority, and trending music stars frequent this venue.

In addition to the multiple venues Tulsa has to offer for live music, one of Tulsa’s most valuable musical events is the music festival Center of the Universe. It is a fairly new music festival, but it is quickly gaining momentum. Three years ago, it featured Young the Giant, Foster the People, Capital Cities, and other local artists. Two years ago, Panic! At the Disco was the headliner. The festival did not return this past summer in order to give the planners ample time to prepare, but I am ecstatic for them to release the lineup for summer 2017. This festival brings in an audience from across the nation and attracts multiple bands.

Despite the flourishing venues for live music in Tulsa, much of the entertainment comes locally. At each First Friday Art Crawl, there is free live music on Guthrie Green downtown. This event has brought in the Tulsa Symphony, a steel drum band, and other local talent for entertainment.

My friends and I went to see Knox Hamilton in Tulsa!

Growing up near Tulsa, I never thought of it as a strong presence on the music scene. After hanging out downtown on the weekends, my opinion has completely changed. Tulsa has so much to offer musically, even to a pretentious music lover like myself.

Following My Passion for Music…as a Communication Major

odssey picToday’s blog post is written by Erin Jones, a junior Communication and Spanish major from Bemidji, Minn.

Music has always played a very important role in my life.  At a young age, I started playing piano, and not long after, I picked up the harp.  During fifth-grade band, something within me decided that trumpet was a good idea, but my band teacher knew that I was meant to play the French horn. On top of that, singing has also been a passion of mine.  I often find myself with a tune in my head and many times, my friends let me know when I’m singing softly and I don’t realize it! Okay, so maybe not as softly as I think.

I participated in band and choir all throughout high school, and coming to TU as a wee little freshman in 2014, I thought I would take a break from music. That was my biggest mistake of freshman year.  I quit the one thing that I enjoyed most for no good reason.  After speaking to my friends who were members of TU’s outstanding music school and the various ensembles here at TU, I realized that I wanted to share their experiences; I wanted to play music again.  Not because I had to, but because I wanted to…because I longed to.

kathleen and erinIn 2015, I joined the Sound of the Golden Hurricane Marching Band as a sophomore.  Yes, it was weird to be a Communication and Spanish major in a group largely composed of music majors, but that didn’t make a difference in this group.  In the Sound, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a music major or a nursing major, whether you play clarinet or baritone.  This outstanding group of musicians knows when to be serious. They know when to have fun, and most importantly, they know how to make people feel at home.  Music brings people together, and that’s exactly what the Sound does.  In the Sound, we are a family.  Every family is unique, and our 100+ members come from all different majors, backgrounds, and cities across the U.S.

As a freshman, get involved with the activities that make you happy, the ones that bring out the best in you, and the ones that fulfill your happiness.  I know I am glad that I did!

Mellophones Sound 2016The Sound is my home. The University of Tulsa is my home. Welcome home, TU students. Welcome home.

20 Reasons Why Tulsa Is Actually A Happenin’ City

Aerials 2007056From The Huffington Post:

Don’t believe what’s said about cities in fly-over states. Tulsa, Oklahoma has got it goin’ on.

With its vibrant food culture, ever-growing art scene and rich history, the oil capitol is bursting at the seams. This makes it the perfect place to visit for a quick vacay, food crawl or shopping spree. Plus, the people couldn’t be nicer, which puts the cherry on top of this up-and-coming destination.

Click here to check out 20 reasons to head to the spirited city nestled in the northeast corner of Oklahoma.