Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms Crowbar into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “Contact High,” lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of its latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces dance floors with 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, Swedish dance wizards Lo-Fi-Fnk enchant with instant club hits and songs for strobe-light campfires, and pop enthusiasts Dom charm with stargazing Casios. Crowbar invites Groupon holders backstage after the show to meet the band, discuss musical influences, and take notes on how to hit the elusive high Z note.
In creating a recipe for a romantic and pleasurable night out, few ingredients create the same synergy as wine, cheese, and jazz. The founders of Crumb&Cork put their spin on this formula by offering a menu with more than 28 artisanal cheeses and 40 wines from around the globe, which their patrons sip and sample amid an atmosphere permeated by live jazz music on Fridays and Saturdays. In an effort to encourage tastings, the owners sell their wines by the glass and decorate the space with comfortable furnishings so their clientele feel free to linger and chat.
Canadian pop-rock troupers the Barenaked Ladies play ringmasters to a freewheeling circus of brainy pop, brawny blues, and carefree jams as the Last Summer on Earth tour lights up arenas and amphitheaters across the continent. On stage, they maintain their 20-year reputation as an engaging live act with audience interaction, hook-laced lyrical patter, bookworm wit, and mastery of the tone sequences that steered '90s hits such as “One Week” and “If I Had a Million Dollars” into perpetual ubiquity.
Though entertainment fads come and go, movie theaters remain, tempting audiences with fantastical stories new and old. The film buffs behind the Tampa Pitcher Show understand this craving for narrative connection, filling their movie hall and bar space’s calendar with first-run films, alternative events, and live music that helped them take home the prize for Best Kept Secret in Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay 2011 Reader’s Poll. Within the theater, projectors hum to life with current hits and cult classics every night; weekends welcome special happenings that include Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow-casts, art bazaars, and comedy shows. The Take 2 Lounge dispenses a sprawling menu of bar fare, including burgers, pizzas, and beers such as Magic Hat #9, Southern Tier, and Florida Avenue Ale flowing from 13 tap lines.
Chillounge Night moves the atmosphere of a nightclub outdoors, freeing warm pulses of bass to tremble under the stars and roll beneath the chatter of guests perched on plush sofas. Glasses from a cash bar clink together, adding treble notes to the organic symphony as the sun sinks below the horizon and the atmosphere takes on the feeling of Carnival. Samba dancers parade past tables laden with snacks from local restaurants, and fashion shows parade intriguing threads. As fireworks crackle against the darkening sky at some events, live music begins to fuel dancing or make metronomes feel more comfortable.
MPC Models works to attract, manage, and prepare potential talent for the modeling world. A staff of knowledgeable photographers sets up in-studio photo-sessions for new models so that they might gain first-hand studio experience and develop signature styles and looks, aided by the support of make-up artists and wardrobe stylists. The shutterbugs also snap headshots, providing those in the corporate, realty, or acting world with relatable portraits to send to clients and agents, or to tape to their faces in the event of a bad hair day. Outside of its modeling forte, the studio also captures shots of families and pets during more low-key photo shoots.
The State Theatre was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s when disco balls replaced light fixtures and complex hand-slaps were substituted for tickets. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster and terracotta exterior. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.