Weekend Concierge

Nov 232013
 

This year, Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 28th.  Since the majority of American workers will be off that day and the festivities don’t usually start until the afternoon, it has been tradition to visit your local bar to meetup with friends and have a drink or two on the night before Thanksgiving. When I Google’d the Night Before Thanksgiving Drinking, I found Urban Dictionary with a name for this day – Black Wednesday.  According to the definition, it is “the biggest party night of the year“.  And they go on to say that this day was NOT made up by marketing geniuses.

So, how did the day before Thanksgiving become so popular that it is now known as one of THE most popular nights to go out drinking, in line with St. Patty’s Day, Halloween, Cinco de Mayo and New Year’s Eve?  From what I have read, a lot of college students come home for the Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy seeing friends in town the night before they gather around the table with their family.  That makes a lot of sense to me!  I will extrapolate that as these college students aged and matured, the tradition stuck and voila!

busloopNow that I have convinced you that you should make an exception by going out on a Wednesday night instead of waiting for the weekend, where can you go for live music this November 27th 2013?  It looks like Downtown Fort Lauderdale is going to be abuzz with the 20-something crowd enjoying the 12th Annual Gobble Gobble Street Party at Tarpon Bend on 2nd street starting at 7pm.  As if that were not enough, the infamous bus loop will be going “turkey” this year and dropping people off at  The Dubliner, Tarpon Bend, Shuck ‘n Dive, Waxy O’Connor’s , Quarterdeck, Shula Burger, Cold Stone Creamery, and America’s Backyard. Check out www.busloop.org for more details.

revenge of the turkeyAll your favorite biker bars will be doing something special too.  Chit Chats of Pompano Beach always has a great Wednesday “bike nite” and this one will have the annual PIE giveaway and feature a local favorite band – Shovel-Head.  On the other end of town, Cagney’s Saloon in Davie will be having what they call a “Revenge of the Turkey” party with the perfect band the occasion – Soulicide.   Up in Margate, newcomer to the scene O’Meara’s Irish Pub, will not be outdone and has invited the Sooner or Later band to entertain the mix of bikers and non-bikers who will be dropping by for a drink on Wednesday.

Pre-Thanksgiving PartyIn Hollywood, you might want to check out Stone Mojo,  a great local party band, at Whiskey Tango.  There are several events posted on the Weekend Broward live music events calendar right now but I can guarantee that many more will be posted as we approach “Black Wednesday” so keep checking back.

Whether you decide to stay in or go out and support your local band at your local bar, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving and let’s not forget a joyous festival of lights for my Jewish friends too!

 

See you somewhere soon!

Rob aka The Weekend Concierge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 November 23, 2013  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »
Nov 132013
 
Joe Dog Starr

Down Durty BoyzThe competition among local bars and restaurants for cover bands in and around the Fort Lauderdale area is heating up and so are the field of candidate musicians to perform at the many venues offering live music two, three or more days a week.  Local fans will surely win out as bands go all out to impress them and insure that they get a call back for repeat performances.  It’s no longer good enough to just sound good.  Bands are finding out that a little extra investment in equipment can really pay off.  In the past, that would mean getting better PA’s and speakers or wireless mic’s for the lead singer and guitars to get out in the audience.  Rarely do I even hear feedback coming from the speakers and sound quality has now improved overall, no matter how large or small a room they play.  However, as I stated, just investing in better sound is yesterday’s investment.

Dog Starr RiderI’m not sure if it has anything to do with my complaints about taking pictures in the dark or the increase in the number of fans using cellphone cameras but bands with stage lights look a LOT better when their photo’s are being posted on Facebook, Instagram and other social networks in real time or the day after an event.  That’s one investment I really appreciate because camera flashes can wipe out the beautiful colors but the right amount of stage lighting can turn any local bar into a concert hall.   Even better, that sound guy that made the band sound better can now play with the lights too and make the stage look brighter at the same time! Some questions to consider regarding lighting:  If a bar gets too used to bands bringing their own equipment, will they start expecting it from everyone?  If lighting takes an extra hour of setup or hiring an outside company, should these bands charge more for the same amount of hours played or only bring lights when they are payed extra to cover costs? I think that if venues feel that lighting adds to the concert experience and makes their stage more entertaining, they really should look into a permanent installation and not rely solely on the bands to bring their own.

Down Durty Boyz FansSpeaking of making stages look better, I have noticed more bands getting bigger banners to cover up the existing decor and promote the band’s name is a nice touch.  Of course, the banner should also have the band’s website and Facebook page promoted so fans can LIKE the band before they leave for the night.

Joe Dog StarrWith the added quality sound and lighting, the line between bar and concert venue can start to blur! Same goes for the lines between cover bands and original bands when it comes to self promotion.  It used to be that only original bands would sell branded merchandise hoping to make it big some day.  However, some local bands have decided to brand themselves too,  creating a loyal following by investing in branded merchandise, even if they will never sell a million CD’s.  The branded merchandise creates a better sense of loyalty and makes seeing the band with other fans wearing their merchandise more like a concert-going experience.

O'Meara's Irish PubOne recent example of a band going the extra mile is Down Durty Boyz.  This 80’s rock cover band tries to put twists on the classics and sells $5 souvenir shot glasses in between songs and t-shirts in different styles and colors in between sets!  Not to be outdone by their brethren, another new band on the scene, Dog Starr Rider, gives out dog paw stickers and dog tag necklaces to their fans.   The bands are finding out that their fans have a better time, stay longer and make the bars more money as a consequence.  Some other musicians are probably balking at the thought of having to give up time usually spent putting together set-lists to brainstorming over the latest gadget to brand with their band’s name.  Whichever side you are on, it seems to be a win-win for everyone.  My feeling is that as long as the band keeps sounding and looking good, they have my blessing to do whatever it takes to keep me from leaving my seat to see the next band!

See you somewhere real soon!

The Weekend Concierge

 November 13, 2013  Posted by  Weekend Blog 1 Response »
Nov 012013
 
harvest_drive logo

Since 1992, The Harvest Drive has been providing families with a week’s worth of grocery staples, all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner and much more. Many of the volunteers are school social workers who know first hand how children are affected by tough times.  This year, Weekend Broward will be asking local bands and local venues to support this worthy cause by allowing fans and customers to bring donations to their events.  Local fans of live music can help by dropping off non-perishable food items, toiletries, new or gently used books and toys as well as housewares at designated drop-off points.  Donation boxes will be set up during designated live music events around Broward County and will be announced via The Weekend Concierge on Facebook.  Donations will be picked up by The Weekend Concierge and delivered to collection centers situated throughout Broward County where they will be distributed prior to Thanksgiving to designated families.

By coming together to support the annual Harvest Drive, we can bring smiles to the faces of children and families who may not have been as fortunate as others during these rough economic times.  This is an easy way for people to help out and enjoy a night out at the same time.

Non-perishable food items requested include: Peanut Butter & Jelly, Pasta or rice, Spaghetti Sauce, Cereal/Oatmeal,  Pancake syrup, Pancake mix, Juice, Stuffing, Canned or boxed potatoes, Canned Gravy, Canned Cranberry, Canned Meats, Cannned Fruits and Veggies, Canned or Packaged soups, Healthy Packaged Snack foods, Toothpaste, toothbrushes, soaps, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant,  toys, new or gently used books, and small housewares.  Please check expiration dates before making your donations.

More information about The Harvest Drive is available at www.harvestdriveflorida.com

 

 

 November 1, 2013  Posted by  Local Events No Responses »
Oct 292013
 

RIR-all-star bandSay goodbye to Halloween and hello to Thankgiving and Fall Festivals starting off this weekend in South Florida.  The clocks will be turned back and the air slightly cooler so hopefully we can get out a little early and enjoy free concerts without getting sunburned too quickly!  While Facebook has been abuzz with word of a certain outdoor food & rock festival in Miami, I have some suggestions for staying inside Broward County.

First, I am quite interested in The Rockers In Recovery Music and Art Festival  taking place this Saturday at CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.  The festival will feature musicians from many famous bands playing together and having a good ‘ole time sans alcohol, if you know what I mean?  As an example, the RIR All-Star band includes RIR Musical Director Ricky Byrd (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts), RIR Unplugged Director Richie Supa (Aerosmith), Kasim Sulton(Todd Rundgren and Utopia), Mark Stein(Vanilla Fudge), Liberty Devitto(Billy Joel) , and Christine Ohlman(SNL Band).  Where else can you expect to see such a blend of talent on one stage?  Check out their WeekendBroward event page for more details including admission prices.

back2back tributeAnother outdoor event that might be of interest to music fans, especially those that grew up listening to Elton John and Billy Joel.  This tribute act takes place at Park Trails Park in Parkland.  This free monthly concert series features quality entertainment on a big stage with a dance area, a huge park to relax in your folding chairs, kids can run around, and don’t worry about bringing food because a large selection of Food Trucks will be on-hand to cater to every appetite.  More information can be found on my new website, www.foodtrucksfortlauderdale.com.   Several meetup groups will also be there so don’t feel obliged to bring your family if you just want to mix and mingle.

Of special interest to Coral Springs residents is a Bruce Springsteen tribute concert taking place at the Sportsplex Athletic Complex.  There will also be an opening band by one of our local blues superstars – Albert Castiglia.  Tickets are free to residents but they are limited and must be picked up in advance at City Hall, City Hall in the Mall or The Coral Springs Gymnasium.  This event is one of several taking place this year to celebrate Coral Springs’s 50th anniversary.  Food will be available for purchase on-site and the only admission fee will be $3 for parking.

bruce springsteen tributeAll of the above will be taking place early enough in the day this Saturday so that you can still see some of our great local bands in and around Fort Lauderdale afterwards.  Check the live music events calendar at WeekendBroward for a complete list of who will be where this Saturday night.

See you somewhere soon!

Rob aka The Weekend Concierge

 

 October 29, 2013  Posted by  Local Events Comments Off on Outdoor Festivals this Saturday November 2nd
Oct 222013
 
halloween weekend premier billiards

chit chats dogs halloweenKids will be celebrating Halloween on October 31st, but us adults have TWO other nights to dress up and party without worrying about having to wake up early and go to work the next day (sorry, if I offended any weekend workers).  You know that every bar in town will be celebrating so I picked out just a few interesting events to highlight and encourage you to keep checking the Weekend Broward calendar to decide for yourself where you want to head out this coming Friday and Saturday.

First and foremost, the “Cutist Halloween Party in Town” belongs to Chit Chats Bar in Pompano Beach, where judging will take place between 7pm an 9:30pm to see who can dress their dog up in the best costume.  Prizes will be awarded for best female dog costume, best male dog costume, most original and other categories as well.  $10 registration will be donated to charity.   Head back to Chit Chats on Saturday night for the adult costume contest with over $1000 worth of prizes and entertainment provided by SLEJJ starting at 9pm.

FRIDAY

halloween weekend premier billiardsThe Black Rose Irish Pub in Boca Raton – This little pub situated at Royal Palm Plaza is celebrating all week long with some unique events including a giant electric chair photobooth, Body painters, Fortune Tellers, and $3000 in cash prizes this Friday night for the sexiest, scariest and funniest costumes.  Combine that with a reggae band and DJ with Bacardi girl giving out free samples and giveaways all night – now that’s my kind of party!

Cheers Sunrise presents Riverdown and their first annual Halloween Bash.  There is probably no better band in town to headline a party than Riverdown.  I have seen them host Thankgiving, St. Patty’s Day and Cinco de Mayo and they are pro’s so if they’re at Cheers’ newest location this Friday, you can bet there’s going to be one heck of a party to go along with it.  Cheers will be giving away $500 in cash and prized in their costume contest.

If you prefer seeing bands that best fit the occasion, don’t miss Godsend and Cadillac Creeps at Premier Billiards in Coral Springs.  They are so hyped about this one, they made a YouTube video for the event that can be found on the Weekend Broward calendar page!

SATURDAY

Soulicide at JDs HalloweenWant to see what is, without question, the most authentic 80’s Rock Tribute band in all of South Florida?  Check out Lazy Bonez at Whiskey Tango in Hollywood this Saturday night.  And don’t forget your costume because they are giving out thousands of dollars in cash and prizes!

If you are looking for something closer to North Broward, stop by JD’s Lounge in Coral Springs where you can catch a brand new formation of Soulicide which promises to rock the house with classic hits at a local bar that knows how to throw a party on any occasion.  Bring your costume AND your dancing shoes for this one!

One more local rock party band I can always recommend is Stone Mojo.  They will be playing at Packy’s Sports Pub in Lighthouse Point.  They will also be holding a costume contest with cash prizes.

Packys Halloween Stone MojoWell, there you go! Seven places to visit this weekend to celebrate Halloween.  Of course, there are MANY more places I did not list, but if you like live music and want to get all costumed up or people watch, these are definitely some good choices.  If you are just looking for a DJ spinning house music, you found the wrong blog! On the other hand, if you are looking for the best selection of live bands from Delray Beach down to Hollywood, check out the events calendar at www.weekendbroward.com!

 

P.S. If you are reading this on the actual date of Halloween, you are a little LATE.  However, anticipating that not everyone reads my blogs on the date that I write them, here are two major Live Music events taking place on October 31st:

6th Annual Rock-n-Roll Halloween Block Party at Tijuana Taxi in Coral Springs

Hoodoo Voodoo Halloween Blues Ball in Fort Lauderdale

I have linked both of the above events direct to their events pages so I don’t have to rewrite the book.

Have a safe but scary Halloween folks!

The Weekend Concierge

 October 22, 2013  Posted by  Local Events, Weekend Blog No Responses »
Oct 032013
 
Cagneys Saloon

Local bar owners and managers are always on the lookout for something new and different to offer patrons and over the past few months, a new trend has been taking seed and now starting to grow.  The biggest problem that bars complain about is how to fill the seats in the middle of the week.  That is why they offer everything from pool and dart tournaments to karaoke and free buffets.  During the month of October, a record number of venues will either continue or begin to offer Country Music nights.  Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to see and hear this month alone, according to the WeekendBroward calendar.

Mardi-Gras Casino in Hallandale – Every Sunday night at 7pm-11pm.  Bands this month include Shadow Creek and The Rodeo Clowns.

FishtalesFishtales on 33rd – Every Thursday night at 9pm-Midnight.  It’s also ladies night with 2 for 1 drinks! The month of October will get started with Pete Lundblad on October 3rd followed by the Nash Carey band on October 10th.   Come hungry because they have great dinner specials – especially seafood.

Also on Thursday nights, Lulu’s Bait Shack, located on Fort Lauderdale beach, features their Country & Western night starting with Rough Shot on October 3rd, Ciara Rae on October 10th, Shane Duncan on the 17th and Andrew Morris on the 24th and Blue Audio on the 31st.

Noticeably missing from the weekly list of places to see live Country bands are two venues in Davie that tout themselves as Country Music clubs – The Roundup and  Cowboy’s Saloon.  A quick search revealed that The Roundup will have Brett Eldridge on October 10th but it is sold out.  Cowboy’s Saloon is advertising $15 tickets to see Craig Campbell on October 3rd. Other than that, both venues consider themselves as nightclubs rather than live music venues and rarely have a free live band.

Cagneys SaloonBrand new to the Country Music Night weekly listings is Cagney’s Saloon in Davie.  Beginning Sunday, October 6th, they will be testing the waters with Sucker Punch followed by Shadow Creek on October 13th.  If all goes according to plan, you can expect to see free country music bands from 8pm-Midnight every Sunday night in Davie.

Chit Chats BarAnother local “biker bar” Chit Chats is also testing the waters this coming Saturday night (October 5th at 9:30pm) with local favorite, Shadow Creek – offering a blend of both Rock AND Country.  Another band that plays both sides is Rough Shot and they will be at Gamaroff’s Bar & Grill in Cooper City this Friday night from 8pm-Midnight.

A quick survey of local country music fans also turned up the following shows:

Maggie Baugh will be playing at the grand opening of Indian Motorcyle of Pompano Beach on October 26th at 11am.

Tom Jackson will be at Maguire’s Hill 16 (Irish Pub in Fort Lauderdale) on October 19th, starting at 9pm.

It’s amazing how many country bands there are out there, especially when you ask! I have noticed that many are based in Palm Beach County and I’ll try to cover some of those in a future blog.  In the meantime, if you are a fan of country music, make sure you support your favorite bands by showing up for their shows and letting the venues know that you appreciate their taking the time to find great local country bands – we know they’re out there!

 

 October 3, 2013  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »