After serendipitously acquiring a vintage organ, six-musician band Fitz and the Tantrums lit upon a part-soul, part-pop sound that rocketed the band from its living room to the stage of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in about a year. Eschewing guitars in favor of powerful, Motown-esque vocals from Noelle Scaggs and instruments ranging from keys to saxophone, the sextet dedicates its first album, Pickin' Up The Pieces, to classic rock ‘n’ roll subjects that include heartache, politics, and child-rearing strategies. Named a Band to Watch by Rolling Stone, Fitz and the Tantrums satiate cravings for be-bopping melodies and ever-larger saxophones with hits such as Moneygrabber and Don’t Gotta Work It Out. Opening band Walk the Moon paints an aural canvas with shades of synth-pop and New Wave. Exposed brick walls back The Social's wide, shallow stage, placing musicians up close to congenial audiences.
Although The Rapture’s euphoric new album, In the Grace of Your Love, reveals a band that has matured into an art-rock juggernaut capable of captivating a wide spectrum of audiences, its defining essence remains rooted in the primal punk energy of its live show. Having taken the past few years to collect its thoughts and dust off its cowbells, the band marks its triumphant return with a night of pounding drums, pulsing synthesizers, and high-pitched howls courtesy of frontman Luke Jenner. Though described by Pitchfork's Andrew Gaerig as a “patient, skilled rock band unafraid to look uncool,” the trio’s suave brand of digifunk more than compensates for their between-song lectures on steampunk and multiverses. Opening duo Poolside draws on its experience playing in bands such as Ima Robot and the Calculators to incite bouts of dance fever with songs that fuse the clap-your-hands cadences of '70s disco with the casual leanings of '80s synthpop.
Top of the Hops Beer Festival Stretching along the northern Gulf Coast, The Wharf Marina serves as the picturesque venue for the Top of the Hops Beer Festival, a celebration of the craft-beer industry. Abita Brewing Company, a Louisiana outfit known for its large variety of seasonal and flagship brews, joins local sponsors, including Maggie's Bottle & Tail and Alabama Gulf Seafood, in hailing the beloved concoctions made of barley, wheat, and hop leaves known for their ability to inspire Elizabethan conversational skills. The festival introduces patrons to tastes of more than 150 craft brews and offers a variety of beer-related seminars.
A winner of the Best Theater Company award from Orlando Magazine, Mad Cow Theatre attracts a wealth of thespian talent and produces several contemporary and classic productions from American and world literature every year. Now in its 13th season, the theatre company has received recognition from national publications for its intelligent productions. The newest of these is a "chamber version" of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, in which performers Sophia Wise, Bobbie Bell, and Michael Sapp will tackle every role in the Bard of Avon's timeless tale of regicide, madness, and dirty hands on the misty moors of Scotland. In addition to being one of Western civilization’s best-known plays, Macbeth has an almost unparalleled aura of mystery surrounding it, with the play itself rumored to be cursed; as such, actors and actresses superstitiously refer to the play as "the Scottish play," "Htebcam," or "Bio-Dome".
Legendary rock icon and influential multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter struts his decades of musical savvy as his latest tour rollicks generations of fans. A child prodigy, Winter has built a long-lasting career on imagination and inimitable virtuosity. Famous for such classic-rock staples as “Tobacco Road,” “Free Ride” and the hummable No. 1 hit “Frankenstein,” the performer left his forever stamp on popular music by pioneering the use of keyboard body straps, synthesizers, and solar-powered kazoos in his live shows. Winter whisks away audiences on an electrifying trip through his oeuvre, hitting all the hits and running through genres with no regard for the genre guard.
Helmed by coaching wunderkind Guy Boucher and managed by Hockey Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman, the ice-carving squad enthralls fans with powerful slapshots and magical hat tricks. Groupon getters can toast NHL history as they drink in the league's first bout at the new Amway Center, or anxiously gnaw lower-terrace seats as players slam into the glass just a few feet away. Center Steven Stamkos looks to lead the league in scoring after his 45 goals nabbed the No. 2 spot in the NHL last season. Veteran right-winger Martin St. Louis returns as well, after having filled up stat sheets with 68 assists, 99 points, and drawings of his pet kitty cat in 2010.