Someday Honey at the AMP’d Series, March 9:
Downtown’s gleaming Dr. Phillips Center
has unquestionably upped the average on the city’s stage game. Its programming focus, though, is primarily a Promethean one aimed at bringing us the fire from the major touring circuit. Its AMP’d Series,
on the other hand, is dedicated to showcasing homegrown music talent.
After nearly two years since its debut run, AMP’d is currently in its second season and will run monthly through June. The remaining shows, for your planning purposes, will be soul slayer Eugene Snowden
(April 20), fusion-rap crew Universal Funk Orchestra
(May 18) and Americana paragon Mike Dunn
The series happens in the more intimate Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater,
a comfortable room that’s a winning combination of theater-quality sound, intimate scale and impeccable sightlines. A seated general admission deal, all tickets are $20 and gain you access to any seat in the house on a first-come, first-sit basis.
Now just to really show that this ain’t yo momma’s old musical, a bar
is even set up inside the room for AMP’d concerts just like at a rock club.
OK maybe not exactly
like that, but it sure is a nice convenience for us rock & roll bar-scene types. It’s as unbuttoned as I’ve ever seen the Dr. Phillips Center get.
The season’s recent second installment featured Someday Honey.
Though they’re technically from St. Pete, the band features Orlando-grown vocal powerhouse Kaleigh Baker.
In a generous set nearly two hours long, the quartet showed their dizzying range, which spans country, rock, soul, blues and a bunch of the niches between. Even the covers that made their setlist were motley, from Tom Waits
to the Temptations
to Buck Owens.
But across the pastiche, the band proved solid, balancing deep chops with a light heart. And Baker, well, she’s never anything less than a knock-down encounter.
Experiencing a show at the posh Dr. Phillips Center is certainly a pleasure. But major venues like these don’t necessarily operate on the same altitude as the grass-roots local scene, so having ours open up to worthy Central Florida talent is a great and important community-building thing. And the AMP’d Series is a nice civic acknowledgement, boost and celebration of the true local music scene
that exists under and around it. More please.
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