Saturday, March 31, 2012

Club Reports: BB King's Blues Club, Opa, Fire Lounge & Icebar, Señor Frogs, Dave & Busters, Backstage Nightclub

When living in a tourist town, sometimes you gotta act like a tourist! Friday night in the tourist district of International Drive.  Not that many years ago there was a dearth of  nightlife along I-Drive but that is no longer the case.  First stop on a Friday night is the Pointe Orlando complex, formerly geared towards shopping but now much more of a restaurant and nightlife complex including BB Kings Blues Club.
The BB King All Star Band was in the house as they nearly always are here.  While there can be some "blues" the music is mostly older Top 40.  And while no one was dancing at this moment, the floor does get pretty full.
The venue is more of a restaurant earlier in the evening but is more of a club later on!  Cover $5.
Also in Pointe Orlando is the Greek-themed restaurant turns into club Opa.
The DJ booth was on auto-pilot during this visit, playing Dance.
Napkins are strewn all over the floor and many of the females like to hang out on top of the tables!  There were fortunately no Greek austerity-measure riots taking place!  No cover.
First visit to Ice Bar Orlando which consists of both Fire Lounge and Icebar.
$20 will gain you entry into the Icebar itself but it's only $12 if you buy your ticket on-line in advance.  It's a nippy 20F degrees in the club and music from Fire Lounge is pumped inside.  Drinks are pricy, extra and limited to different flavors of vodka. It's a really cool vibe....literally.
Drinks are served in "glasses" made out ice!  You may recall the Blog reported in December, 2009 that a rumored "Water, Fire & Ice" could be part of the Pleasure Island re-do, part of a Schussler Creative Winter Wonderland restaurant.  We'll see if that actually happens!
The adjacent Fire Lounge was pretty empty but I'm told it gets pretty crowded by midnight and Friday's "Siberian Nights" theme are a gathering place for the local Russian community.
DJ Sher-Khan was playing music reminiscent of what gets played in The Groove.  By that I mean a mix of Top 40, 80's, 90's, House, Hip Hop, all of it.  No cover for Fire Lounge.
OK, finally made it here for a review.  Nothing else quite like the Frog!
Normally associated with various cruise ship ports like Nassau, San Juan and Cozumel, Orlando now has one of its own Señor Frogs and it's exactly where it should be located, in the tourist district.  The music is all Hip Hop and Latin.
Crazy, crazy, crazy!
No guys allowed on the stage!
The place is 80% tourists and only 20% locals.  Admission is $5 with local ID, $10 for everyone else!
There is no parking.  You either must use the free valet service and pay the expected tip or do as I did and pay to park at Pointe Orlando and walk. I'm told local towing companies are making a killing towing people from the various hotel parking lots in the area.  I'm also told that various I-Drive powers are not happy this place is here and would like to see it gone.  But after seeing all the money being poured into their coffers, that's not likely to happen anytime soon!
Quick visit to Dave & Busters across the street.
It's more like a sports bar with music but no DJ or dance floor.
And of course it's mainly a game room; kind of a Chuck E Cheese for adults!  I've attended a couple of work-related functions here during the day when it's not crowded and the place is a lot of fun! No cover.
Final stop of the night at Backstage Nightclub located in the Rosen Plaza Hotel.
The live band Top Secret was performing to an empty dance floor when I arrived.
But it was late and the band ended and DJ La Pause took over.
The floor quickly filled up to the Top 40/Dance mix being played.
The place reminded me of the Why Not Lounge, but slightly younger.  They do have cover charges on some nights but it was free last night. I-Drive is now a lot of fun and many restaurants (i.e. Fridays, Ale House, Funky Monkey) have open-air seating and even they were packed.

Friday, March 30, 2012

PI Update: Sentinel Reporter Visits The Island

In today's edition of the Orlando Sentinel, reporter Dewayne Bevil pays a visit to Downtown Disney. In the article he mentions several of the former comedy and dance clubs as he crosses over beautiful Pleasure Island, which he refers to as "once populated", lol. The entire story can be found at this link.  He also mentions the now defunct Hyperion Wharf concept.  Good article Dewayne!

Sunset Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival & AAHZ Reunion Updates

Looking for a dance music festival to attend over Memorial Day weekend (which by the way is just 2 months away)?  Well look no further than the north parking lot of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for the Sunset Music Festival on Saturday, May 26th, presented by Insomniac.  More DJ's to be announced but the lineup as you can see on the flyer above includes Morgan Page (USA), Nervo (GB), Derek Smith dba Pretty Lights (USA), Datsik (CDN) and Alesso (S).

But wait, you say! Memorial Day weekend means the 2nd annual Electric Daisy Carnival in Orlando, doesn't it?  Apparently not this year.  HTG's Facebook page says "EDC is in the works. We are working diligently to make this year substantially bigger than last. Because we are moving the date to a cooler time of the year we are simply not ready to announce it". The Blog has heard November for EDC-Orlando.

But wait, you say!  November is when Kimball Collins (USA) and Dave Cannalte (Mannequins, Promo Only) put on their annual AAHZ Reunion, isn't it?  Apparently not this year.  Kimball's Facebook page indicates that his travel schedule (which includes substantial time in Thailand) means the next AAHZ Reunion may need to be in July, not November.  In fact, they're looking at Tuesday, July 3rd.  And since the next day is a holiday in the U.S. for most people, it seems to be a very viable date!  Pics from last year's AAHZ Reunion here.  Thanks to our roving reporter Thommy who contributed to this report.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

PI Update: Spring Break On The Island

Where to go for Spring Break this year?  Daytona Beach, Panama City Beach, Destin, Fort Lauderdale? No need to travel so far.  The place to go for Spring Break this year is right here...beautiful Pleasure Island!
Long line for drinks at Laffers Cantina last night. (No line at PI Live Bar though.)
At Celebration Plaza in the West End Ultra Lounge, Nicholas Marks and his gypsy guitar were part of the evening's entertainment at the Green Stage.
He alternated with band Nova Pop who was playing Top 40 songs on the Purple Stage.
Decent-sized crowd in attendance to watch.
Who says there's no dancing on Pleasure Island!
Human statues still appear at the ultra lounge.
Checking out the clubs, Adventurers Club remains hidden but not forgotten behind the strategically placed foliage!
At Mannequins, the dancing neon lights flash quickly above the entryway!
Click to enlarge this picture and you can see that the interior of 8TRAX is still being used for storage space as it is piled high with boxes.
Finally, a quick visit over to Planet Hollywood which had a long line outside.
DJ Tony Z (Atlantic Dance Hall, Paradiso 37) was on the boards playing Top 40 requests.  Tony Z returns to ADH next Friday/Saturday night, Easter Weekend!  He was at Ultra this past weekend and says it was just meh.....too crowded and too expensive!  (It was held at Bayfront Park this year instead of the larger Bicentennial Park.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Weekend In Techno Town

WED MARCH 28:  DJ Jimmy Joslin at Suite B Lounge! (Orlando)
THU  MARCH 29:  DJ Jimmy Joslin at Vixen! (Orlando)
FRI   MARCH  30:  DJ Jimmy Joslin at Mai Tai! (Daytona Beach)
SAT  MARCH 31:  DJ Jimmy Joslin at Summersplash! (Tallahassee)
SUN  APRIL 1:      DJ Jimmy Joslin at House of Blues! (Lake Buena Vista)  
MON APRIL 2:      DJ Jimmy Joslin at One80 Grey Goose Lounge! (Orlando)
Make it a Jimmy Joslin weekend!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pleasure Island: RIP (3.5 Years)

Today marks 3.5 years of nothing.  Can you believe it's been that long?
Mannequins Dance Palace:  closed, replaced with: nothing
8TRAX:  closed, replaced with: nothing
Comedy Warehouse: closed, replaced with: nothing
Adventurers Club: closed, replaced with: nothing
Soundstage Club: closed, replaced with: nothing
Motion: demolished, replaced with: nothing
Rock'n'Roll Beach Club: demolished, replaced with: nothing

Monday, March 26, 2012

IDMA Winners Announced

Winter Music Conference in Miami Beach has drawn to a conclusion for 2012 and one of the most popular events at WMC are the announcements of who won the International Dance Music Awards.  Some of the major winners this year are:
BEST POP DANCE TRACK: We Found Love/Calvin Harris (GB) ft. Rihanna (BDS)
BEST TRANCE TRACK: Feels So Good /Armin van Buuren (NL) ft. Nadia Ali (USA)
BEST GLOBAL DJ: Armin van Buuren (NL)
BEST PRODUCER: David Guetta (F)
BEST US CLUB: Pacha / New York City
BEST GLOBAL CLUB: Space / Ibiza, Spain
See the entire list of finalists and winners at IDMA.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Club Report: Atlantic Dance Hall (Pleasure Island Reunion)

Beautiful Atlantic Dance Hall on a beautiful Saturday night.  Time for the 3rd annual Pleasure Island Reunion!
DJ Tony B (Motion, Rock'n'Roll Beach Club, PI Live, The Groove) on the boards playing a mix of music from Motion, 8TRAX and even a bit of Mannequins!
When I came in shortly after 10:30pm the place was already packed!
Recognized soooo many people from PI.
Spotted:  DJ Pete Haynes (8TRAX, Retro Room, Pat O'Briens, Motion, BET Soundstage).

Adventurers Club!
Motion & 8TRAX!  David Clements (far left) organized this event.

 Mannequins & Motion!
DJ Tony B with his lovely wife Michelle!



As the evening drew to a close, the crowd thinned out a bit but the place was still jamming when the lights came on close to 2am.  Great time at ADH.  Great to see so many PI friends again!  Pleasure Island lives!  Big thanks to David Clements for organizing this via Facebook!  Anyone desiring copies of any pictures, please email me and I'll email them to you!