Everybody’s Somebody at the Grand Stafford Theater

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The Grand Stafford Theater’s rich and unique history and architectural design creates an intimate music venue that has attracted the likes of Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Greenday, Tripping Daisy, Dead Horse and other talented musicians.

By: James Cashion

The Grand Stafford Theater’s rich and unique history and architectural design creates an intimate music venue that has attracted the likes of Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Greenday, Tripping Daisy, Dead Horse and other talented musicians. “It is the best music experience in Bryan/College Station,” says Carlton Lee, the General Manager of the historic downtown venue located right smack-dab in the middle of the “Golden Triangle” of Texas formed by Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston.
“I see the Grand Stafford Theatre as a hub of Texas music,” says Lee. “I see us as a bigger part of the Texas scene because of our location. It’s a perfect spot for touring bands; Thursday in Dallas, Friday [in Bryan/College Station], and Saturday in Austin.”

Over a century old, the rustic brick walls of the theater have beheld everything from the bizarre suicide of its founding father to the unjust implementation of Jim Crow Laws– yet still it stands– a beautiful testament of its appeal through the generations. Sporting an upper balcony that provides a terrific view of the stage, the Grand Stafford Theater “…is a place that feels about the music,” says Lee.  Every aspect of the theater’s design is geared towards directing eyes to the stage, which creates an intimate environment not only conducive to a good show, but also to the intermingling of attendees.

After assuming general management in June 2012, Lee’s first project of renovating the Stafford was a grueling yet beautiful success. The contributed efforts of many earned recognition from the City of Bryan in the form of the Willie Bennett Spirit of Downtown Award in December of 2012.

“What we offer here is different,” expresses Lee. “This is a music experience. It’s not just a dance hall with a band. It’s not a back porch with a PA system. RDM Audio designed a fantastic system for our space and professionally manages the sound for each of our shows.” While there still is a fully equipped bar with plenty of space to wiggle to your hearts content, the state of the art renovation of the Grand Stafford Theater, its unique history, and intimate setting truly set it apart from other venues.

“Part of our mission is to bring quality music, so even if you have not heard of them, you can bet they’re going to be good,” assures Lee. “We cranked up on supporting local and regional artists, the up-and-comers.” Management at the Stafford is constantly on the lookout for the next priceless jewel of the Texas music scene.

Typical genres include Texas country, Texas rock, blues rock, Southern rock, and even Latin, instrumental, electronic, singer-songwriter, Indie, and heavy metal. “That’s one of the cool things about this place,” comments Lee. “We haven’t pigeonholed ourselves with one type of music. We are definitely diverse.” The Grand Stafford Theater fosters intimate musical vibrations with delicious beverages. “It’s a place where everybody’s welcome. We look forward to new faces.”

Other delightful venues, bars, restaurants and establishments also add to the wonder and awe of the spirit of downtown Bryan. Check out the Grand Stafford Theater website for detailed line-ups, history, and other information at grandstaffordtheater.com

Upcoming Concerts:
Thursday 4/18–HiFi with Should’ve Been Cowboys and Daniel Gonzales

Friday 4/19–Cody Canada & The Departed w/Folk Family Revival and Emily Bell
Saturday 4/20–Anon Magazine Launch Party

Sunday 4/21–Big Texas Nights feat. Jamie Talbert and the Band of Demons w/Nathan Quick