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 Silver Spurs Rodeo story began in 1941, when pioneering ranchers gathered in Tallahassee to ride in a parade honoring Florida's newly elected governor and received statewide attention for their impressive and entertaining riding skills. Now the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi, the Silver Spurs Rodeo is annually ranked as one of the top-50 events sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Ticket holders can check out eight different riding and roping events, all of which test a cowperson's strength, character, and readiness to be bested by an overly emotional beast and a dust-covered clown. In the dangerous and exciting bull-riding event, riders attempt to ride a bucking bull for eight seconds, and tough and talented cowgirls participate in barrel-racing competitions, in which each contestant rides at full speed around large barrels, making sure to hit the electronic clock upon entering and exiting. Eyes can also feast on quadrille performances, which can best be described as square dancing on horseback. Watch couples dressed in fanciful costumes seated atop prancing horses that weave in and out of different formations to create eye-pleasing patterns while kicking up dust piles that resemble John Wayne.
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.
The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre's Educational Shakespeariences project aims to give students access to professional theater by performing 91 student-matinee productions of main-stage plays during the 2011–12 school year, with complimentary tickets for students from underserved schools. During the show, students can experience professional sets, costumes, and musical arrangements, bringing their school literature curriculum to life on stage. Student matinees introduce youth to the language and eternal themes of Shakespeare and the arts in general, which can help improve performance in social and academic endeavors.