Thursday, July 27, 2017

CW Update: CityWalk Club Guide

For those that are unfamiliar with CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort or for those that just haven't been there in awhile, today we're providing this Club Update.  Ironically, there have actually been very few changes since we started covering CityWalk right after the Pleasure Island clubs closed.
The Groove is CityWalk's largest dance club and you could consider it the anchor. The DJ's have been playing the same music since I started going in 2008 which is basically Top 40, Hip Hop and Line Dances. In fact, some of the same songs I heard last week were the same songs they played in 2008!  Nonetheless, it's fun and it's popular and you can expect a line on weekends.
Red Coconut Club was built to compete with Blue Martini, just with a different hue. It's got a Vegas vibe to the place and the dance floor stays crowded with DJ music of Top 40, Latin, EDM and more. On some nights there is a live band playing Top 40 hits.
Featuring Reggae music from a live band and recorded music between sets, Bob Marley's usually has a line to get in too and remains a popular option.  It also has a restaurant section.
Pat O'Brien's is a small version of its New Orleans namesake and offers similar decor. An outdoor courtyard out back often has DJ's playing while there is an inside bar section and a dueling pianos section. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Rising Star is an interesting place and I know of no other place quite like it. Yes, it's primarily a Karaoke club but on weekend nights those chosen get dancing girls and a live band to accompany them! I don't quite get it but the place is usually packed! DJ music between band sets consists of Top 40 and Classics.
Margaritaville is a restaurant by day and early evening but as the evening gets later, there is a live band playing Top 40 and Oldies. Occasionally there is an admission charge which is included in the CityWalk Party Pass but most of the time, even when there are cover charges at the other clubs, this one is still free.
About the only significant club change at CityWalk since 2008 was the closing of nightclub Latin Quarter and its replacement with Antojitos, a Mexican restaurant.  Except for private events, there are no longer DJ's spinning in here because sadly it's just a restaurant now.
One more important thing that also has not changed since we first started visiting in 2008: Price! An all-club Evening Pass is still $12.77 and allows you to visit all of the venues mentioned above. You can also still get into a single club for $7.00.  An all-club Pass with a movie at AMC Universal Cineplex is still just $15.98, just like in 2008! (All prices include tax.)  CityWalk is worth checking out!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

This Weekend In Techno Town

A summary of this weekend's best DJ events!
THURSDAY JUL 27
Looks like Vinyl Arts Bar is going to take a stab at an 80's New Wave Night similar to what we see at I-Bar on Saturday nights! DJ Will Roc. Sounds like a good new option! FREE.  80's New Wave / Goth.
FRIDAY JUL 28
More fun at Vinyl Arts Bar on Friday night too as Dirtybird's DJ Christian Martin (USA) comes to town, with Renzo Ruiz and the stunning Diana Montoya opening! Techno.
FRIDAY JUL 28
This will be a great one! DJ Mafia Kiss (GB) returns to Orlando at Peek Downtown with an opening lineup that includes DJ's Eddie Light (USA), Beni Hill & Navitas!  Haven't seen him play since 2015 at Native.  Breaks.
FRIDAY JUL 28
For the best in Trance, "Lost in Trancelation" at Bikkuri Lounge has another Englander playing Friday night as DJ Jordan Suckley returns to the stage!  Trance. 
FRIDAY JUL 28
You know if I'm going to fly to Chicago to see her, I'm definitely gonna see her locally! Yes, DJ Sandra Collins (USA) returns to O-Town this Friday night at Sandwich Bar for a do not miss event!  Progressive House.
SATURDAY JUL 29
First time visit to Orlando that I'm aware of DJ K?D (USA), pronounced Whose Kid. Should be an interesting one! Gilt Nightclub. Future House.
SATURDAY JUL 29
Usually taking place on Monday nights, this weekend we have a special edition of "Torque" and the lineup includes DJ's Matrix, Funkbaby, Circle K and more! Native Social Bar.  DnB. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

PI Update: More Mannequins Floor Evidence

In the shadow of a rapidly changing Mannequins Dance Palace, this Pleasure Island sign stood guard nearly 6 years after all the clubs were shuttered.
Continuing our discussion of the fate of Mannequins revolving dance floor, we see this September, 2014 file photo of construction activity taking place inside the club via the side garage door. If you're viewing on your phone, you probably can't see the detail but those viewing via their desktop or laptop can click the image one or more times to enlarge and you can see a forklift just inside the opening but not out where the dance floor was
By February, 2015 the side of the building had been stripped and the front wrapped.  I think that even those who believe the dance floor was removed have to agree that it could not have been taken out in one piece.
There would have been no way to get it past all the pillars that existed both inside and along the skeleton of the building. The only way to have gotten it out would have been to cut it into pieces but you all know how impossible that would have been. And our "thousand eyes" watching the Island would have spotted it as well!  So yet more evidence that the floor is still there, hidden beneath a faux floor inside Morimoto, waiting to spin again some day!

Monday, July 24, 2017

PI Update: The AC Curse

The Adventurers Club was filled with artifacts gathered from around the world by its membership of explorers and adventurers!
And this little fellow greeted the thousands of fans who walked past it into the mysterious and fun interior.  But he was also a protector of these hallowed grounds.
We observed this curious sight back in December, 2014 as heavy construction was taking place on Pleasure Island.  Look closely at AC's door.
A twenty year ancient curse to the dude that chopped his head off!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Club Reports: Bar B, Peek Downtown, Independent Bar, BackBooth, Attic Nightclub

Saturday night in the city; so many clubs, so little time!  Starting my tour at Bar B.
DJ Chris Ayo in the booth when I first arrived.
Even early there was already a crowd beginning to form.
DJ Fobia taking over about half way into the evening!
Bar crowded, dance floor crowded!
New York's DJ Monet (USA) taking over late!
House music all night long!
Peek Downtown is Orlando's home of Breaks!
DJ Jimmy Joslin in the booth when I first arrived!
Only one girl dancing at this juncture.
Although we did spot Denise up front!

 Spotted: Dawn & Marshall
With DJ KJ of K5 (USA) continuing the night's theme of Dance hits from back in the day, which of course so many of them were actually Breaks!
Dance floor got populated!
People bouncing all over the place!
KJ had a number of hits in the early part of the last decade, the biggest "Passion".
illDJChrisB (USA) taking over late with more of a Florida Breaks set compared to the Old Skool played earlier!
First time seeing Chris spin since the Baby Anne retirement show at The Social in June last year!
 
Peek went from empty to crazy within about 30 minutes!

Fun at the bar! (Photo: SammyCam)
You know if it's at all possible, I'm going to visit Independent Bar on a Saturday night!
Just as it should be, DJ Indie John in the booth!
Club absolutely jammed!
The Saturday night format of early-to-mid 80's New Wave is what brings out the crowd!
It's those songs that everyone knows the words to!
Over next to BackBooth for their new "UFO" night where admission is free!
DJ Adam Wright in the booth spinning EDM!
Featuring this new interactive dance floor!
When you step on a square, the square disappears!  At other times, walking across the floor makes waves behind you!
This is only the second weekend of "UFO" so it needs to catch on!
And the late departure of a live band show earlier in the evening delayed the startup of "UFO" from 9PM until after 11PM which was not conducive for crowd-building. We will followup on this!
Speaking of EDM, final stop of the night was Attic Nightclub.
Resident DJ Alex Wood in the perch!
Haze makes it very difficult to get pics in here but it was wall-to-wall impassible!
The peeps want EDM!
Confetti explosion!
Laser explosion!
You can never go wrong with Go Go girls!
A good time was had by all!