Thursday, February 28, 2013

Club Report: SYN Nightclub

In last Wednesday's Downtown Update article, we reported that SYN Nightclub would be opening on March 1st at 57 West Pine Street.  The club was advertising (and still is) that they will be changing Orlando nightlife forever.  The opening unfortunately isn't going to happen this Friday...they're getting close though.  SYN Nightclub will be occupying the ground floor of the building pictured above, apparently with some second floor VIP accommodations overlooking the action.

But there is some other SYN news that has me excited!  According to their website, "SYN will be the delivery mechanism by which high energy vocal house music will be pounded into the Orlando Club Scene". That has me excited!  Ever since Bliss Ultra Lounge ft. DJ Mickey Bono closed and relocated to Loft55, there's been a dearth of Vocal House/Dance in downtown Orlando. There's lots of Progressive, lots of Breakbeats, lots of Dubstep, but none of the music that is the whole reason to begin with why EDM is so big now.  SYN is advertising that they're going to do it.  And if they do, and if they promote it right, and if they have top local DJ's, they really will change Orlando nightlife forever!  Bring it on!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This Weekend In Techno Town

First Orlando visit tomorrow night from DJ/Producer Audien (USA) at Roxy Nightclub.  His hit "Leaving You" ft. Michael S has been getting a lot of airplay. 
Vain Nightclub's Friday night EDM series continues with DJ Eran Hersh (IL/USA) spinning House and Progressive House.  He typically plays at clubs in South Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
(Ladies Free until Midnight/Guys $10) 
Right next door at Suite B Lounge it's the "Road to WMC" with a mix of House, Trance, Breaks, Progressive, etc from DJ's Mustafa, Intrikit, and J13!
(Ladies Free All Night/Guys Free Until Midnight)

Over at House of Blues at Downtown Disney West Side in Lake Buena Vista, it's a crazy loud night of Dubstep as DJ/Producer Excision (CDN) brings his tour to town.  Early start at 8am.
($25 Advance/$30 Day of Show)
Just a few weeks away from playing at Ultra in Miami, Dzeko & Torres (CDN) first ever visit to O-Town, performing at Roxy Nightclub!
Over at Suite B Lounge they have their own "I Love Florida House" night this Saturday featuring DJ Mark Hunt.
(Free until 11pm, then $5)
For those over in Tampa this Saturday night, enjoy that revolving dance floor while listening to our very own Baby Anne at Amphitheatre!  Can't get much better than that!

Uni is going after the Service Industry crowd on Sunday nights, offering up DJ Jimmy Joslin at The Groove!  You can see the crowd last week. The music is EDM & Top 40.
(FREE - $7)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PI Update: Zooming In On Those Plans

Last week's filing of plans with the South Florida Water Management District by Disney contained a lot of information about what's to come to Downtown Disney Disney Springs in the coming years.  That information was converted into a map by the Admin of the Park Rumors website and today we zoom in on that map and take a look at the far corner of Pleasure Island where Rock'n'Roll Beach Club and Motion used to stand.

A) At the time the PI clubs were closed and long before Hyperion Wharf was dreamed-up, the goal of DTD planners was to route pedestrian traffic away from Raglan Road and Mannequins and get them to the water quicker.  The plan was to route pedestrians in what was (still is) the restaurant service/waste area between Raglan Road and Portobello Yacht Club.  By doing so, pedestrians would make the turn to the west and immediately see the newly located No. 4 Bridge to the West Side where of course, seeing the blinking lights, they'd want to go. To make this happen though, Motion and RRBC had to come down.  The new Disney Springs plans still show the pathway routed that way with 1-2 retail locations in the former service area.

B) Original rumors told of a "lighthouse" looking restaurant in this area and later rumors told of a Schussler Creative Mahogany Bay Classic Old Boats and Good Food Restaurant to be located approximately here.  The two may be the same thing and the map does show two fingers reaching up towards the waterfront which could be for boats.  Interestingly, the rear of Portobello was renovated a few years ago and they replaced their rear patio with a blank wall. Whatever Restaurant B is going to be does apparently fit flush up against that wall.

C) The plans still show an outdoor amphitheater in this area. This was introduced with the Hyperion Wharf concept art.  The main walkway is at a higher elevation with stairs and a ramp leading down to the seating area which faces the water.

Disney Springs is supposed to have some type of railroad theme to it.  Pleasure Island, supposedly renamed The Landing, would surely have some sort of nautical theme to it yet have the railroad theme as well.  This should be interesting.  Looking at the plans, the Mannequins/8TRAX building stands as does the Adventurers Club building.  But the BET Soundstage part of the AC building does appear to be gone!    

Monday, February 25, 2013

Concert Report: Pink (Amway Center)

Amway Center on a Sunday night for the Pink concert, watching opening act The Hives perform in their mandatory black and white outfits.  

Their music is Rock but with a heavy dose of 80's New Wave!
Pink arrives via trapeze singing her 2010 hit "Raise Your Glass" which at the time went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  (I like the faster Dance version better.)
Great views from the VIP floor area!

Crazy arrival in the runway area of the main stage for this acoustic guitar song!

The new Amway offers great special effects.

Pink performs in Sunrise tonight and in Tampa on Wednesday night.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Club Reports: Bikkuri Lounge, The Other Bar, Slingapours

If you were out looking for sushi, you might stop here.  If you were out looking for Trance, chances are you would not.  You have to know that upstairs tucked in a far corner is a really cool dance club...Bikkuri Lounge!
DJ Mustafa was playing House and Trance during my visit.  And this was not the obscure stuff, this was all EDM recognizable from satellite radio!
But only a couple dozen people in the place and no one dancing.
Finally a couple clubbers putting on a light show for the spectators.  I'm told that the "Lost In Trancelation" crowd arrives quite late. The LIT event now takes place on the last Saturday night of the month.  Cheap beer and well drinks makes for an inexpensive venue with great music!
Standing in front of the club's incredible light wall, DJ's Agni (Suite B Lounge) and Robb Blak (Roxy Nightclub, Firestone Live, Universal Orlando) would be playing later.
Now over to The Other Bar to catch up with DJ PopRoXxX.
But he was not home.  Instead we had DJ Moore spinning Top 40 at this club located inside the Wall Street Plaza complex.
It was hard to move about the place!
Packed in every corner although it was mostly chit-chat and just a few dancing in place.
Admid temps yesterday in the mid-80's, the entire Wall Street Plaza was packed that way last night!  The elimination of their $5 cover charge makes it practical to just come in and stay as long as you want and not feel that you're wasting money if you leave too quickly.
Slingapours is the only real dance club in the complex.
Resident DJ Digital up in the booth playing, and this was no surprise, a lot of Hip Hop.  If that's what you're seeking then this place might satisfy you.
The dance floor was packed though.
And a good time was had by all!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Club Reports: Retro Room, Pleasure Island

Checking out Retro Room on a Friday night.
On weekends at RR you're likely to hear a live band out here as they've shifted away from DJ's.  They're more expensive to hire but they've been drawing larger crowds.  That's Bad Mannerz playing retro tunes last night and they're back for more tonight!
Large crowd watching and most of the tables were full.
As was the dance floor!
Between sets and after the band finished, resident DJ Boston in the booth spinning 70's Disco!
And a good time was had by all!
Heard a rumor that some buildings at Pleasure Island were already partly covered up for renovations.  Such was not the case; no construction activity anywhere on the Island.
But the Island was abuzz with chatter about this week's PI rumors that include Planet Hollywood leaving for International Drive's I-Drive Live/Orlando Eye development, being replaced here by The Observatory.  But CM's don't know any more than we do!

Friday, February 22, 2013

PI Update: Rumor Roundup

In response to Downtown Disney supposedly being renamed Disney Springs, this is what one forum reader posted on the WDW Magic website in response to others commenting that the new name reminded them of a retirement center!  One of the funniest things I've ever seen posted.

At this time I've complied rumors from several sources about what's supposedly coming:
1) The Landing, the alleged new name for Pleasure Island, will be full of dining and drinking options. (Park Rumors)  Comment:  And thus hope of an adult entertainment area later at night!
2) On plans, The Landing is labeled as "Dining and Libation". (Lee-WDW Magic)
3) Wetzel's Pretzels on the West Side to be replaced with a Starbucks. (Park Rumors)
4) Planet Hollywood to close and is being replaced with The Observatory.  (Park Rumors)  Comment: DJ Tony Z has confirmed to the Blog that PH is closing for renovations. The new name is likely a code name for something else.
5) World of Coca Cola and American Girl Place coming to Disney Springs, locations unknown. (Theme Park Insider) Comment: American Girl likely to be located near AMC DTD 24. Will Planet Hollywood become the new World of Coke?  Will AMC Pleasure Island 24, which changed its name to AMC Downtown Disney 24, have to change its name again to AMC Disney Springs 24?
6) New footbridge across lake to connect Fulton's Crab House area to Cap'n'Jacks area, offered as a bypass to the congested area near World of Disney and the Lego store. (Theme Park Insider)
7) On plans the Adventurers Club is labeled as "Lounge/Cafeteria Concept" and an artist's rendering has a train locomotive sticking out of the building! (Lee-WDW Magic)  (Comment: Say what?)

Will continue to keep you updated with rumors until Disney finally makes an official announcement.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Club Report: The Fifth Lounge

I've been to The Fifth several times at night for drinks, but never during the day for a meal.  Today was their very first "Throwback Thursday Lunch".  The third Thursday of every month will feature music from a specific decade, this first one being 70's Disco!
When I've been here at night there has been no DJ or dance floor and I've actually never seen anyone dancing.  The music is typically piped-in from the DJ next door in Vintage Lounge and the venue is for socializing in an upscale setting. Today it had it all:  A new DJ Booth, Dance Floor and.....
what, no dancing?  My timing was horrible with my 11:30am arrival time coinciding with when they first opened the doors.  Consequently, no one was there yet except me!  So I missed all the fun. Besides letting patrons get their "groove on" during the day for a change, the gimmick here is that if you dance to one song completely, you get 50% off your meal & drink tab.  That's certainly an incentive to get up and boogie!  You can find some video from FOX35 here with more details!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This Weekend In Techno Town

For something completely different, The Fifth Restaurant & Lounge introduces the "Throwback Thursday Lunch".  This first session there will be a DJ spinning 70's Disco from 11:30am to 3pm.  And if you get up and dance to one complete song, you get 50% off your lunch tab!  Event will take place the 3rd Thursday of every month; in March the DJ will be spinning 60's.
(No Admission Charge) 
The "House Party" at Vain Night Club continues this Friday with Los Angeles DJ Borgeous performing.
(Free - $10) 
Also Friday night at new club Thee Grotto, DJ Lars Behrenroth (D/USA) will be spinning, performing a set similar to his worldwide radio show "Deeper Shades of House".  The venue is downtown on mini-street State Lane, directly behind the Bank of America tower.
"Lost In Trancelation" moves to Saturdays this month, the only club night in Orlando dedicated to Trance.  Resident DJ Agni & Robb Blak on the decks at Bikkuri Lounge.

Over at Port Canaveral aboard casino ship Victory Casino Cruises, Club V will be packing the ship with the biggest name in Drum & Bass, DJ AK1200 (EDC - Orlando)!  Opening sets from DJ Shal (House of Blues, Suite B Lounge), Irene Pardo (Firestone Live, Bliss Ultralounge, LuvDub) & Collaborator (Future Sound of Breaks, EDC - Orlando)!  Admission includes dockside parking and boarding pass.)  Sails 7pm, Returns 1am.

Downtown Update

Continuing our regular series of articles covering the openings and closings of Orlando's downtown nightclubs, here's our Downtown Update.  Senso Supperclub has closed and will reopen as the Avenue Gastropub.  This is a huge disappointment as Senso brought in regular big-name DJ's.  The recent downtown trend of venues offering "small bites" type of restaurant food coupled with a nightclub later on may be what's happening.  This location was originally the home of pure nightclub Zinc Bar and then reopened as restaurant/night club Senso.  But tables and chairs took up a lot of space to support the restaurant, leaving little room for late night dancing to EDM.  Hopefully the new format will open more space for the latter.  Will provide an update once more info is available.
One South Nightclub has closed.  This was yet another Orlando venue that used no imagination in its naming and thus had no discernible theming.  It seemed to only attract the UCF crowd paying $20 for "all-you-can-drink" offers.  I never went in.  I don't think it will be missed.
Club 57 West has closed.  It focused more on live bands than DJ-driven music and usually seemed to have a crowd so I'm surprised.  Replacement Syn Nightclub is taking over the space and construction inside is evident.  Opening March 1st, they say they're going to change Orlando nightlife forever.  We've heard that before.  But I hope they're right.
Terrace 390 has closed. Located on the ground floor of the Bank of America Tower, the venue featured an inside bar with one DJ and then the huge outside plaza without more bars and another DJ.  The inside restaurant/bar is apparently still in business but the outside section is closed.  Under new management, cleverly named Bistro 390 is coming!
Last but not least, Hip Hop club Limelight has become Hip Hop club Parallel.  The place had received a lot of bad publicity last year when a patron from Texas was murdered outside following an altercation with someone inside.  The name change should cure that!
PRIOR DOWNTOWN UPDATES:  1/15/13 & 8/24/12