Barbra Streisand Wows Crowd at Tampa Concert

Barbra Streisand Wows Crowd at Tampa Concert - photo by Gerardo Mora/WireImage

The legendary Barbra Streisand played the Amalie Arena in Tampa last night (November 30, 2016), and completely wowed the audience with her voice.

Her tour, BARBRA: THE MUSIC…THE MEM’RIES…THE MAGIC!, is her first in four years, and she drew upon her immense catalog of songs during the show.

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Out and About: The Orchestra feat. Members of ELO at Plaza Live! Orlando

The Orchestra feat. Members of ELO at Plaza Live! Orlando

It is just human nature that we are a nostalgic group of beings, it is easy for us to be carried back to memories of our childhood through TV shows, books and music.

We can sit on the couch for hours mesmerized by a “M*A*S*H” marathon on television, and how many of us get sucked in when The Godfather is on? I, for one, could listen to music from the 70’s and 80’s on an endless loop, never again tuning into hip hop or whatever they call music nowadays.

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Out and About: 101.9 AMP Radio Electric Bounce House feat. Steve Aoki

101.9 AMP Radio Electric Bounce House feat. Steve Aoki

Watching a performer smash cake into an enthusiastic fan’s face sounds like something that would happen at a Blue Man Group show, not an EDM concert.

But when the EDM performer in question is Steve Aoki, all bets are off.

On June 30, 101.9 AMP Radio‘s Electric Bounce House packed the House of Blues Orlando with local and visiting EDM fans for an extended lineup of DJs performing, finishing the evening with headliner Aoki and the popular singer Bebe Rexha.

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Out and About: Soul Asyulm Rocks Velvet Sessions at Hard Rock Hotel Oct 29

Every month (except November and December), the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando hosts a concert series called Velvet Sessions, and October’s band was Soul Asylum.

Soul Asyulm Rocks Velvet Sessions
Seeing a show at Velvet Sessions is akin to seeing a band in a small club, as the stage is actually set up in the hotel’s lobby.

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Out and About: WALK THE MOON Plays to Sold-Out Crowd at House of Blues Orlando on Oct 14

The lights went down at the House of Blues and Walk the Moon takes the stage. As the adoration of the packed crowd calms down slightly, the band launches into a rendition of “Circle of Life” by Elton John. Fitting since they are on Disney property.

Walk the Moon - Nicholas Petricca; photo by Michelle Snow

The crowd appears slightly bewildered but rises to occasion to sing along by the time the band gets to the chorus.

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Day Trip to St. Augustine – Dinner at A1A Ale Works and a Bryan Adams Concert

This past Sunday, my friend Joan and I made a day trip up to St. Augustine. Our primary goal was to see one of our favorites, Bryan Adams, in concert at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, but we figured we’d go early and try out one of their restaurants.

St. Augustine Bridge of Lions

We left around 2pm and got up there just before 4pm, slowed slightly by a thunderstorm en route. But as we rolled into the Historic Downtown area, it was sunny skies.

My connection at the St. Augustine CVB recommended A1A Ale Works as a restaurant to try, citing their craft brews and water-side dining. The restaurant is actually upstairs in a converted building on the corner next to the historic Bridge of Lions, with a bar area downstairs.

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Out and About: Peter Hook Brings Joy Division and New Order Favorites to Plaza Live Orlando

Seeing Peter Hook and The Light live at the Plaza Live was like taking a trip back in time. The calendar may have said it was April 19, 2015, but the music said it was the 1980s.

Peter Hook and The Light live at Plaza Live Orlando 4-19-15

That’s because Hook was co-founder of the bands Joy Division and New Order, and his show incorporated plenty of songs from those bands.

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Out and About: Extreme Celebrates Pornograffitti 25th Anniversary in Concert at House of Blues Orlando

In 1990 Extreme‘s Pornograffitti album came out, and I was blown away by how good it was from start to finish. It was rock with a touch of funk and a lot of attitude, with some beautiful ballads thrown in.

Extreme at House of Blues Orlando Apr 15, 2015 - shot of the band

Flash forward 25 years, and I’m waiting inside the House of Blues Orlando, waiting to hear Extreme perform the entire Pornograffitti album live. Yes, I’d heard most of the songs live in various concerts over the years, but this would be the first time I would hear the album played all the way through.

Extreme at House of Blues Orlando Apr 15, 2015 - shot of the band

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Out and About: KANEHOLLER Impresses Crowd at The Social

Ever go to a concert knowing nothing about the opening act, and then they blow you away with their performance? That happened to me this week when I saw KANEHOLLER at The Social on April 14.

KANEHOLLER at The Social 04.15.15

KANEHOLLER was the opening act for The Ting Tings, but this duo brought it like they were headliners.

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Out and About: Howard Jones at Velvet Sessions at the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando

Last week, I took in this month’s edition of Velvet Sessions at the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando to see one of my favorite musicians of all time: Howard Jones.

Howard Jones live at the Velvet Sessions at Hard Rock Hotel Orlando on March 26, 2015

The Velvet Sessions take place the last Thursday of the month (most months) in the intimate setting of the hotel’s lobby area. The seating is removed, bars are set up around the side and back from the stage, which occupies one wall.

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Out and About: The Very Best of Celtic Thunder Tour 2015 at Hard Rock Live Orlando

Celtic Thunder Tour 2015 at Hard Rock Live Orlando. Photo by J.M. Wetherington.

This past Sunday evening, Hard Rock Live Orlando was THE place to be for the kickoff of The Very Best of Celtic Thunder Tour 2015 in North America. The 3,000-seat venue was sold out with “Thunderheads” (as their fans are called) who were more than ready to hear “the boys”, Ryan Kelly, Neil Byrne, Emmett O’Hanlon, Colm Keegan, Keith Harkin and Special Guest Artist (and former founding member) Damian McGinty do what they do best.

Celtic Thunder Tour 2015 at Hard Rock Live Orlando. Photo by J.M. Wetherington.
Celtic Thunder at Hard Rock Live Orlando. Left to right: Keith Harkin and Colm Keegan.

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Out and About: Erasure ‘The Violet Flame’ Tour at House of Blues Orlando by @GoEpicurista

Andy Bell of Erasure at House of Blues Orlando - photo by Christina Thomas

House of Blues Orlando witnessed synth-pop is alive, and doing quite well, with iconic 1980s band Erasure on Saturday September 13.

Orlando, the second city of ‘The Violet Flame’ 58-stop tour, welcomed Erasure with open arms. The tour, promoting their 16th studio album, runs through December. The album is due September 23. Listen to an early preview here: soundcloud.com/erasureinfo/the-violet-flame-continuous-dj-mix/ or scroll down to hear it.

NINA at House of Blues Orlando - photo by Christina Thomas

Opening act NINA, supported with strong percussion and vocals by Laura Fares, stayed in line with the synth beats the crowd was there for, yet paired them with spiritual and soulful voices that gave us a trance-like, almost ethereal feeling. Their music, described as a blend of dream pop / moody disco, with songs like ‘Dark Rider’, ‘We Are The Wild Ones’ and ‘Sweet Surrender’, got us started on this retro-modern kind of evening.

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Out and About: ZZ Ward, The Wild Feathers, and James Bay at House of Blues Orlando on Sept 24, 2013

ZZ Ward at House of Blues Orlando

Before last night, I was a fan of ZZ Ward‘s music. But now, I’m also a fan of her personally, along with her openers The Wild Feathers, and James Bay. If you weren’t at the House of Blues Orlando on September 24, then you missed one hell of a show.

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Singer/songwriter James Bay opened the show. Hailing from the UK, Bay reminds me of artists like Gavin DeGraw and John Meyer, with a lot of British Soul mixed in.

James Bay at House of Blues Orlando

He took the stage with just a guitar – no backing band at all – and proceeded to do an amazing set, that seemed way too short to me. Yes, he was that good.

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