Weekend Concierge

Dec 212013
Happy New Year

New Years Eve Party Cagneys SaloonMaking a decision where to celebrate the final day of the year will be harder than ever this year with a fantastic lineup of live entertainment featured at local bars in and around Fort Lauderdale this year.  Not only that, but most bars will be transforming themselves into the cleanest and most classiest places to hang out on New Years Eve.  No matter how fancy it gets, you can still put on your best or your worst pair of jeans and be perfectly welcome at any of the places on this list.  (Am I talking to the men or women out there? I’m not really sure!)  What’s also great about going to a bar on New Year’s Eve is that you don’t have to take a date.  While it can be embarrassing for some people to attend a New Year’s ball or masquerade party at a swank place all alone, you really don’t have to worry about that when it comes to these places.  On top of that, none of the bars in town are not charging outrageous sums of money just because it’s the very last day of the year.

omearas new years eve partyWe, in South Florida, are privileged to have so many talented musicians in our midst that are so dedicated to their artistry that they will give up a special night with their significant others or families to entertain us at local pubs and restaurants – even on a Tuesday night, barely giving them enough time to recover from the final weekend of the year.  Call it dedication if you will, but the bars and restaurants around town see it as one last opportunity to bring patrons to their establishments in the middle of the week when their places are usually half-empty.

During the past week, I asked friends on Facebook for any details about their New Year’s Eve gigs, but aside from getting the names of the bands and the places they will be playing, it wasn’t easy.  Here, then, is my most up to date list of who is playing where on New Year’s Eve and I can only recommend that you check out the beautiful flyers that will be streaming across your screen on the Weekend Broward Live Music Events page and the notes section on the calendar which I will do my best to keep up with as we get closer to the END OF THE YEAR.  Whether you decide to go out or stay in, I will take this opportunity to thank you for supporting live music in and around Fort Lauderdale and wish you all the best in 2014!

The ResolversBoston's on the BeachDelray Beach$25 door charge
BounceWhiskey TangoHollywoodBalloon drop with prizes inside and free champagne toast at midnight.
Far from GracePacky's PubLighthouse PointSpecial New Years Eve Dinner Menu $15.95-$19.95. Complimentary champagne toast. RSVP suggested.
The New PlanetsSeminole Hard Rock CasinoHollywoodCenter Fountain at Seminole Paradise
Livin' on a Prayer & Don't Stop Believin'Lulu's Bait ShackFort LauderdaleNo Cover. Hosted by Mindy from Magic 102.7 from 8pm-Midnight.
The DropoutsCagney's SaloonDavieFree Breakfast Buffet
CrushFishtales on 33rdFort Lauderdale$49.95/person RSVP required. Incl. appetizers, 2 drinks, dinner and more!
Payback BandJimbo's SandbarHollywoodnear Dania Beach
Stone MojoCheersSunriseFree Champagne Toast at Midnight
SoulicideCuddy's Sports ShackCoconut CreekDinner specials starting at $16.95/pp. Free Champagne toast at midnight. Also giveaways & raffle prizes.
Adam Jason BandDubliner PubBoca Raton
Project-XCheersFort LauderdaleChampagne toast at midnight. $10 cover
The Double StandardJD's LoungeCoral SpringsBar seating only (Tables all booked in advance)
Albert CastigliaMaguire's Hill 16Fort Lauderdale$10 Cover. No reservations accepted.

Looking for a family event? Read all about New Year’s Eve Party in Downtown Fort Lauderdale

Did you stumble across this in the wrong year?  Here’s our update for December 31, 2014: http://weekendbroward.com/new-years-eve-bands-around-ft-lauderdale/

Here’s he update for December 31, 2015: http://weekendbroward.com/ring-in-2016-with-a-new-years-eve-party-with-live-music-around-fort-lauderdale/

Payback New Years Eve JimbosProject-X New Yers Eve Party Cheers Sunrisemainstreet fishtales new years eve partyNew year's Eve Party

Dec 122013
Project Magic School Bus

Toys for Kids Collection BoxIf you are headed out to one of the more than 50 bars and restaurants offering live music this weekend, don’t go empty handed.  A last minute effort, spearheaded by local rock cover bands and bars featuring live music on a weekly basis, has grown virtually overnight to collect a minimum of 600 toys for a select group of families with children in the Broward County School District.  Organized by School Social Workers, this effort code named “Project Magic School Bus” is employing the social network of Facebook to spread the word about this sudden need for Christmas gifts.  Unwrapped toys will be collected throughout Broward County on December 13th and 14th if the fans of live music pull through and bring a gift when they visit their favorite band.  Many bars, including Chit Chats in Pompano Beach, O’Meara’s Irish Pub in Margate, Johnny O’Brian’s Irish Pub in Coconut Creek, Cheers in Fort Lauderdale and Sunrise, have offered patrons free drinks in return for bringing an unwrapped toy.  So, if you are intending on seeing one of the many great free shows provided by local bands this weekend, do NOT go empty handed!

Here are the participating venues & the bands that are performing in support of this effort:

*Chit Chat’s in Pompano Beach
Fri Down Durty Boyz
Sat Dog Starr Rider

*Cheers in Ft Laud
Fri Lazy Bonez
Sat Grindstone

*Cheers in Sunrise
Fri The Crush
Sat Tuxedo Jesus

*Packy’s in Lighthouse Point
Sat Slejj PartyBand

*Boston’s on the Beach in Delray
Fri Stone Mojo
Sat Ryan and the Rockers

*Johnny O’Brian’s in Coconut Creek
Fri Mr. Nice Guy Band
Sat Knockdown Rock-Band

*O’Meara’s Irish Pub in Margate
Fri Sucker Punch Country
Sat Down Durty Boyz
Sun Wooden Shovel <– extra day for drop off!

Luke’s Place in Davie
Sat The Double Standard

* Fishtales Bar on 33rd Street in Ft Laud
Sat Marschs Law

Mardi Gras Casino
Fri The Livesays (Free CD with toy)

* Cagney’s Saloon

* FREE DRINK offer for those dropping off an unwrapped toy.

More information is available on the Facebook events page.


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







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

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



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