Monday, February 28, 2011

Ultra Music Festival: Sold Out

I was going this year. I still have hotel reservations in downtown Miami within walking distance of Bicentennial Park. But I procrastinated. And now it's sold out!  You see, every year in the past they would sell the 2-day tickets until they couldn't sell anymore and then they'd offer 1-day tickets. This year they made it a 3-day event which meant tickets were even more expensive. So surely the 1-day tickets were coming. But no, the entire event sells out. The biggest damn EDM concert in the world. So now I either buy them on StubHub or take my chances with scalpers. TiĆ«sto, Carl Cox, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Armin van Buuren! A Hundred others. Damn!!

Ultra Music Festival 13 2011 Spot from Ultra Music Festival on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Club Report: Bliss Ultra Lounge

OK, there's no revolving dance floor and there's no CO2 spray-downs, but the music at Bliss Ultra Lounge downtown is as close to Mannequins as you're likely to find around O-Town. DJ Mickey Bono owns Saturday nights here and there's nearly always a line to get in and a big crowd inside!

An interesting phenomenon at Bliss is that the dance floor seems to stay empty until exactly 11:30pm when suddenly it fills up. Last night this occurred at 11:28pm. 

The music is 100% Dance/House and no one is putting in any Hip Hop requests!

Another awesome feature are the well drinks for just $1 until midnight. Try finding that at Disney!

Spotted: The trio of DJ AJ (CityWalk, The Groove), DJ Mickey Bono (Beat Thrillerz, K5,, and DJ Smooth (XM BPM, Red Coconut Club, Royal Pacific Resort, plus Maria trying to hide!

Elsewhere downtown, Boss can't seem to make up its mind as to the market they're going after. Seems that they want to feature House music on Saturday nights but it was all Hip Hop last night as I wandered by.

This location just seems to be bad luck for clubs. The new club Deja Vu has folded. Others that have come and gone from this location include Voyage', Red Velvet and Blue Room. Maybe I'd have better luck if I put my 8TRAX clone in here!

Great Scots! Some guys will go to great-lengths to snag a girl.

And like most Saturday nights, Wall Street Plaza was jammed. But since none of the venues in there are playing EDM, I rarely wander in there.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Valley Girl

If you want to hear some of the songs featured on the film Valley Girl, come out to Independent Bar on Saturday nights. Featuring early-to-mid 80's, the club is the place to find your own valley girl!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Club Reports: Why Not Lounge, Dexter's, Vixen, Vintage

When I realized that I had not been up to the clubs in Seminole County in nearly three months, I knew I had to fit that into my schedule. I'm glad that I did! The Why Not Lounge has contracted with a new DJ company which includes DJ Baby above. The music between band sets is now more electronically oriented with Dance and House mixed in with the Top 40.
Darlene is the hip lead vocalist for the current band playing at the club, Top Secret.
Located in the Magnuson Grand Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn), the Why Not Lounge has been doing a Ladies Night on Thursday nights since the 70's! The club manager says they will be going to a 7-night operation with different nights but continue to offer bands on Thursday through Saturday nights.
Moving further north to Lake Mary/Heathrow, Dexter's continues to do well with their Thursday nights featuring the buzz-cut DJ Michael Knight.
While I have experienced larger crowds there, the place was hardly empty!
The music is a mix of Top 40, House/Dance, Disco, Oldies and even some Rock. It's one of those places where the crowd on the dance floor will suddenly wane and you think it's late and people have left but all of a sudden you look again and the floor is jammed again!
Always a hot, upscale crowd on hand made-up of locals from the area along with business people from the nearby hotels.
But only on Thursday nights will you find a DJ. Knight brings in all of his own equipment including the light bridge, lasers, speakers....everything!
Heading back south to downtown Orlando, Thursday night means famous DJ Jimmy Joslin at club Vixen on Orange Avenue. The music is generally all-EDM.
It's a small club with a small dance floor which no one was partaking to during my visit. The music: great!
Next door at sister-club Vintage things were considerably more lively for DJ Freefall and his Top 40/Hip Hop mix of music.
There is really no defined dance floor in this place so people just dance where they're standing including this group in front of the booth. Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Concert Calendar

From sister-blog, here is a list of upcoming EDM & DJ concerts around Orlando that I'm aware of:


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

PI Update: Story of the Eagles Nest

A recent article in the Orlando Sentinel referred to a poll conducted of New Yorkers or other northerners asking if they planned to head south this year for Spring Break? The overwhelming answer, following their  cold crappy winter up there, was yes. And by far the destination of choice was Florida. And that's great for the economy of Central Florida because lots of them are going to want to ride the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and then go partying on beautiful Pleasure Island. At least they'll be able to do one of the two!
This is the Eagles Nest dock on Pleasure Island at the beginning of February. It was located on the off-limits side of club Motion which of course is no longer there either.
It's now been demolished along with the club. Save Pleasure Island Blog roving reporter Thommy reports that it was called The Eagles Nest because when Michael Eisner would visit the Island back in the day, the radio call would go out that "The Eagle has landed". Eisner was a big PI fan.
From the water side one can see that Adventurers Club and Soundstage are one building. Competing rumors are not resolved; one has this being demolished right after Spring Break while the other has the demolition on hold until next year. Stay tuned to the Blog for updates!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DJ Steve Angello Coming To Orlando

This is another show not to miss! DJ Steve Angello (S) will be performing on Tuesday, March 29th at The Beacham in downtown Orlando. If you don't recognize the name then you might instead recognize the production group that he is a part of: Swedish House Mafia. He is one-third of that team along with DJ's Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell. Tickets are $30 and will likely be a sell-out. It's great to see The Beacham (formerly Tabu Night Club) starting to bring in big name DJ's as part of their makover.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Concert Report: KC & The Sunshine Band

Being the 8TRAX fan that I am, there was no way I was passing up KC & The Sunshine Band's live appearance in the Mardi Gras series of concerts at Universal Studios Florida last night!

KC opened with (Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty followed by Boogie Shoes from the Saturday Night Fever album. Stopping to chat with the audience, he displayed a self-depreciating sense of humor; acknowledging his recent weight-gain from having stopped smoking, he denied the band's name was being changed to KFC and The Sunshine Band! Having just turned 60, he told younger audience members who wondered who the heck he was, he said his band was the "NSync" of its day and he was what Justin Timberlake was going to look like thirty years from now!

The place was absolutely jammed!

Perhaps only one or two other people in the current band were even born back in the day when KC turned out all those hits! But older backup vocalist Maria de Crescenzo (far left) was looking mighty-fine!

The great thing about late 70's & early 80's 8TRAX music is that it transcends ages. Every age group know the songs and the words. It's why The Groove needs to add late 70's to it's Thursday 80's Night. Everyone was singing out in unison as KC sang Keep It Coming Love, Please Don't Go and Give It Up!

At his age he don't move like he used to but he definitely was trying. Classic fun music. Check out the band if they're playing in your area!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Club Report: The Blue Room

High up in a far corner of The Groove, The Blue Room had its first House music night last night featuring DJ Steve Tillman (Peacock Room). The music was awesome but the crowd overall was rather limited. There was no advertising that I'm aware of (other than this Blog) so unless you knew about, it was not likely you'd know to check this out.
The small space was actually well-suited for the event; the most I counted in there at any one time was 42 people.
The bar was set up in there; the first time I've ever seen that. I asked management how success would be measured and the response was that it was not just bar sales. I pointed out that my regular bartender was downstairs so that's where my tab was and the same was true for many others.
Lots of fun groups on hand, some staying for hours and some just fueling up and moving on!
There was no designated dance floor but plenty of open space allowed people to dance wherever!
It was fun watching people come in by accident and turn around and walk right out. For some it was the music (it was not Hip Hop) but for some they thought it was a private party so they left. This bachelorette party got drinks and then went out to get that wish list fulfilled!
House music at The Blue Room will likely return later in the year during main tourist seasons. I think it was a success overall but they'll need to advertise it and put up some signs.
Over in the main part of The Groove, DJ King played the more-expected mix of Top 40, Hip Hop and Mash Ups.
Several people attended.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

House Music Tonight at The Groove!!

I always thought it should be called The White Room; the fluorescent glow up there appears more white in my eyes than blue. Nonetheless, The Groove is going to try something different tonight and your support is needed. While the regular DJ is going to be playing his normal music in the main section of the club, they're putting a second DJ upstairs in the relatively small Blue Room who will be spinning House. My understanding is the DJ is someone who usually plays over at The Peacock Room in Orlando. So Mannequins fans, come on out tonight if you can! There is no extra charge; normal The Groove ($7.00) or CityWalk ($12.77) admission charges apply. Anyone buying the 5pm Mardi Gras tickets to see the parade and B52's concert at Universal Studios, be aware that those tickets also include free CityWalk admission!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Club Report: Latin Quarter Ladies Night

Competing with a nearby Latin Night at Blue Martini, club Latin Quarter continues to draw in large crowds for its Thursday night Ladies Night. DJ Leony (Sirius/XM BPM, Radio mixes the expected Salsa, Merengue and Bachata with House, Dance and Reggaeton to create a jammed dance floor.
Spotted: Announcer Gaby Calderon of Telemundo's Orlando affiliate WTMO and radio station Rumba 100.3.

Latin Quarter is often the only place in CityWalk that you're likely to experience House music and I feel fortunate to have "stumbled" upon it shortly after Pleasure Island closed!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

PI Update: Turkey Legs

It was a beautiful February afternoon today in Orlando with temps near 80F-degrees. So what better place to enjoy the great outdoors than beautiful Pleasure Island.
With RRBC and Motion now gone, there's not much left to see when peering over the demolition walls.

Considering the speed at which they demolished the two clubs, the pace now seems much more subdued although I'm sure they're working hard each night.
One can see that the goal now is cleaning up the site and make it ready for the next phase which apparently includes a waterfront concrete amphitheater in the area where RRBC used to stand and some sort of fast food restaurant in the area where RRBC and Motion used to come together.
You have to take the good with the bad. While we don't have Mannequins and 8TRAX to party in any longer, we never had turkey legs on Pleasure Island either! And rumor has it that turkey legs will be one of the food items available at that fast food kiosk. The Mouse taketh away, but he also giveth.
We've been discussing waste removal from Raglan Road and Portobello once their current rear service area is removed to make way for the new main pathway from Marketplace into Hyperion Wharf. I wondered how Paradiso deals with the same situation so today I spoke to managing partner Leland Lewis. He says they have a large refrigerated cooler in the restaurant dedicated solely to the collection of waste. Then at night, after the Island closes, multiple portable containers are transported to various waste collection points elsewhere in Downtown Disney. They are allowed to do this during the day too if the need arises. We can speculate that this is how the other restaurants will deal with their waste as well.