Since moving to Nashville in 2018, I have spent some time on the road with a few different acts and had the pleasure of experiencing bars, clubs, theaters, sheds and even arenas of all shapes and sizes throughout this great country of ours. So I figured we might as well turn it into some content and start telling y’all about some of my favorite spots where any rowdy music fan (like us here at Raised Rowdy) should go see a show.
When thinking of where to start, one place that’s very near and dear to my heart came to mind, and it isn’t where most would think. It’s not back home in the “Tri-State Area” of New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. It’s not in the state of Alabama, which I have spent A LOT of time in. It’s a small college town in Mississippi, where the sound of a ringing cowbell gets you feeling a certain type of way. That’s right – I’m talking about “StarkVegas” and the legendary establishment, Rick’s Cafe.
Rick’s first opened in 1994 and has been a staple in the southern music scene ever since. Its owner, Rick Welch who may as well be the Mayor of StarkVegas, has prided himself with booking all types of genres ranging from Rock and Hip-Hop to, of course, damn country music. Having everyone from Kenny Chesney to Snoop Dogg, the walls of Rick’s can tell lots of stories and should be credited with being a major part of the college experience for students of Mississippi State.
Over the past 15 years it has seen artists such as Dierks Bentley, Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Lainey Wilson, Hardy, Jon Pardi, Riley Green & Muscadine Bloodline on their way up the country music ladder. Rick’s had a date on Wallen’s famous “Whiskey Glasses Tour” back in 2019 that had Hardy and Lainey on as support acts at a CLUB SHOW!
Rick’s is a spacious spot and full of backwoods country charm. The front room features the main bar area, a side corner stage where local acts like Paxton Peay and Caleb Shirley once cut their teeth playing stripped down covers, and a good size merch area that doubles as the spot for post show meet and greets.
The main concert area for the rowdy 800+ folks in attendance doesn’t have a bad spot in the house, offering an intimate yet rambunctious atmosphere. There are seated options and of course places to get a cold drink (or two).
Rick’s also has some incredible food options. My personal favorite is the signature Cajun Fettuccine Alfredo, something that many would not expect me (as a proud New Yorker) to say, but the pasta is in fact THAT GOOD! There are many other options of course but for me the Fettuccine is a staple.
I highly recommend visiting my man Rick Welch and his staff down in Starkville. You’ll get a real rowdy experience while taking in some premium music. Coming up they’ve got some great acts like Mississippi Native and American Idol Contestangt Colin Stough, Frank Foster, Morgan Wade with our girl Harper O’Neill opening, and our guy “Mr. Rowdy” himself Jon Langston making his return to Rick’s!
For more on Rick’s Cafe check out their website and give them a follow on social media! Hope to see y’all there in the Front Row!