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.