The independent Evolution stimulates the Lakeland scene by selling an eclectic selection of both mainstream and underground music while providing an intimate venue for local and touring musicians to present their craft. Evolution's stock consists of T-shirts ($10+), CDs and vinyl records ($1+), and posters for music fans to coat their empty walls with artist admiration. Peruse Evolution's thousands of vinyls, from timeless classics, including The Beatles and AC/DC, to exciting new artists (though Bob Dole's ambient-metal album is currently sold out). Evolution hosts shows nearly every weekend, featuring artists advancing the cause of rock, hip-hop, folk, and more.
The Bluesmasters Music Festival brings together entertainers fluent in the language of lament for an all-day celebration of melancholy set to music. The lyrical lineup kicks off at 11 a.m. with left-handed guitar legend Eric Gales, followed by artists such as John Mayall, Elvin Bishop, and Shemekia Copeland. Headliners The Bluesmasters (featuring Mickey Thomas and a special guest) will round out the evening at 10:15 p.m. with a satisfying set of regret-filled rock. Festival-goers enjoy the entertainment from lush lawn seats, and are invited to bring low-slung lawn chairs and blankets to sit on or build into forts shaped like a castle fit for Cinderella. Osceola Heritage Park’s gates will swing open for entrance and seat scouting at 10 a.m., and Groupon-purchased tickets will be waiting at will call.
Champion over the ghoulish attractions gracing all 18 holes at Monster Mini Golf. The Winter Garden location contains enough geometric challenges to make the course interesting for all ages. Navigate your illuminated golf ball past horrible goblins, a disgruntled swamp monster, impolite specters, and a scarecrow jack-in-the-box, or just stand in awe at the 3-D spectacle. Be sure to listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, "W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio)," whose live, on-site DJ hands out prizes for random reasons on the links.
As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
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.