A couple of weeks ago I made my second visit to the Gexa Energy Pavilion to see John Mayer. The Pavilion sits right next to the Cotton Bowl Stadium on the Texas State Fair grounds and is one of my top venues for concerts. Gexa is able to hold just over 20,000 and has one of the biggest lawns I have ever been to.
Getting to the Gexa Energy Pavilion can be a bit exhausting due to the traffic, but the great thing about Dallas is that there are tons of shortcuts off the highway to avoid all the traffic. My wife and I were sitting in an outrageously long line at the exit for Gexa and decided to try and navigate it ourselves via smartphone. It was surprisingly simple and I recommend it to everyone going to the pavilion. Navigating around the line into the parking lot of the Gexa Energy Pavilion is something you can’t avoid, but (don’t take my word for it because I may have just gotten lucky) parking is free. I don’t know if it was a one-time deal or what but I parked in the back lot and was not charged a fee – keeping my fingers crossed that it will be the same for my next visit to the pavilion.
Where to Sit
For both the John Mayer show and my first visit, which was a Lil Wayne concert back when the pavilion was named the Smirnoff Music Centre, I had lawn seats. Though the sections offer great seating (literally every seat has a fantastic view) the Lawn is one of the best lawns I have sat in. It is a bit steeper than most lawns, allowing for a clearer view over anyone who sits in front of you. There are a few spots where your view could get blocked by the pillars holding the pavilion roof, but other than that most of the lawn offers a great seat for any show. Obviously the closer the better, but with two screens on both sides of the stage, you’re really not going to miss much in the back. I was sitting on the left side of the stage for the JM concert and had a great line of sight the whole time and was able to get the shot below during “Gravity”. My lawn seats for the Lil Wayne show slowly turned into section 202 seats as the section was nowhere near filled and the staff was pretty cool about letting us move into them once Weezy had been on for 20 or 30 minutes.
The sound at Gexa is phenomenal and the crowd is extremely energetic, no pun intended. I don’t know if it was because of Mayer or if it’s just a Gexa Energy Pavilion thing but the crowd was really into it which only made JM that much better. The guy was ten folds better than when I saw him in 2010 (yes the show I proposed at) but the Frank Erwin crowd was nowhere near as excited as the Gexa crowd. Knowing I planned to write this post after the show, I decided to move around a bit and see what the sound quality was like all over the pavilion.
If you can find a spot where the sound has imperfections let me know because I couldn’t find any. Literally every spot gets the same outlandishly clear sound that makes a live show so unforgettably good.