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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wagners on a nice night

Wagners Backyard ( in Pflugerville, Texas is located right off of IH 35 North. Appearing to be in between a used car dealership and a movie theater, it's not what you would expect. It is not just a great watering hole, but a kid and pet friendly kind of place until 10 pm.

The actual bar is huge inside, an all log cabin look to the inside. It appesrs to be two stories, with a large bar along the wall immediately across from you when you walk in the door. There appears to be a small indoor stage directly to the left of the front door, where there are two nice motorcycles parked?! There is some seating inside, a pool table, and the bathrooms to the back, left of the bar. BY THE WAY, the bathrooms are awesome. All cedar lining the walls leaves the bathrooms not smelling like bathrooms at all! 

Order you drinks at the bar and step outside, to the right of the bar, into Wagners Backyard. The unexpected, huge outdoor area is pretty damn nice. A very large deck with some seating and a small bar as soon as you walk out. Walk down the steps to some more seating on a lower deck to your right and a really large outdoor stage immediately in front of you. As you stand with your back to the stag,e the backyard is comprised of a full size sand volleyball court. There are all sorts of 'booths' that line the perimeter of the yard. A poker table booth, washers, and bean bag toss area are to the right of the deck and stage as you survey the yard. A food trailer (haven't tried it yet so I can't speak), another bar (that looks to serve liquor and some beer), and a Hookah Booth (hum...okay...whatevs). There are random picnic style tables scattered around the yard for seating. 

The layout of the booths around the perimeter makes sense to leave lots of room for seating. Unfortunately, with the tables seemingly scattered about, it makes the seating awkward and difficult to find a place to hang out. Taking from my personal experience of another particular outdoor venue in way south Austin, it seems like they could just improve the seating by lining up the tables end to end. You could add more seating and it would allow folks to co mingle. C'mon...if you are there to have some drinks, a good time, and enjoy some music, do it with as many people as you can. 

To the music...

Fusion ( specializing in pop/rock covers. There is a female English lead singer who was very good. The band seemed more of a background or fill for the energy the lead singer provided. The crowd loved the covers and wasted no time dancing. Right away, though, my ear seemed to get bent at the sound quality. 

Not knowing if it was Fusion or the sound system, since this was both my first time at Wagners and the first time hearing/seeing Fusion. At this point I wasn't sure if it was the house system or the band. It was basically pretty bad. I mean this...the performance of the band was great! The crowd loved Fusion, their songs and performance, but DAMN! it just sounded like crap. For me it made me cringe. I can't slay the band for a bad sound man or sound system so I am going to reserve the full wrath of a Karaoke worthy cover band music until I get to see Fusion again in a different setting.

On a second trip to Wagners Backyard, on a different nigh,t we were treated to the Matt Cline Band ( Country covers and some originals. So this would tell me that the sound system for Wagners is pretty bad and Matt Cline Band brought their own set up. It was the same sound man (because I saw him) and it sounded completely different and amazing! 

First song out of the gates had people two stepping. Here again was another band playing to the crowd. Mixing up loved and known covers with some of their originals. I have always held out that I am not the biggest fan of country music - the truth is, it is probably the 'Bro Country' that ruins it. The so called 'Outlaw Country', pretty much everyone likes. 

The Matt Cline Band did a great job of being entertaining, letting the crowd tear it up, and sounding good and professional. Personal preferences aside, when it's good, it's good. 

Take your chance, take the time, and stop on in at Wagners Backyard. Without music it is a fine time with great people watching and things to do besides have some beer. With music, it poses for a good time as well. Glad they are there!