Things to do this week: Tacos and Tequila, Fitz and the Tantrums, Incantation, Steely Dan

click to enlarge Steely Dan: Clearly ready to rock Orlnado on Monday and Tuesday - Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
Steely Dan: Clearly ready to rock Orlnado on Monday and Tuesday

Our picks of the best stuff to do this week.

Wednesday-Thursday, July 27-28

Chris Rock
Megastar comedian Chris Rock is out on his first tour in five years, and Orlando is one of two Florida cities lucky enough to land a date on his post-“slap” Ego Death jaunt. Rock was almost unquestionably the biggest comedian in the world at one point. Following a stint on Saturday Night Live, he became a household name through a series of HBO comedy specials, particularly 1996’s Bring the Pain. The 2000s saw him transition into feature films, and in the last decade he’s made the turn toward more dramatic roles: He starred in the fourth season of the FX series Fargo and has a role in the upcoming biopic of gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin. And, of course, he got slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars a few months back. But he ain’t talking about it, so don’t ask. He has, however, been covering plenty of fertile ground on previous legs of Ego Death, including Trump supporters, anti-vaxxers and getting pretty damned introspective about his own personal life and family.. — Alex Galbraith

Saturday, July 30

Tacos & Tequila
Our signature event Tacos & Tequila is back this weekend for a fifth year, bringing Orlando’s best taco-makers together alongside the world’s best spirit. This year’s iteration has a ton of tequila brands to try inside the Historic Cheyenne Saloon, including Herradura, El Jimador, Hornitos, Tres Gen, SALT Tequila and Tanteo. The sips are perfect companions to the host of tacos on offer: Orlando Meats, Jimmy Hula’s, F&D Cantina, Guacamole Mexican Grill and Cocina Maya are just a few of the local restos vying to win the title of best taco in Orlando. Guests will get the chance to sample tacos from all over the City Beautiful and vote for their favorites, granting bragging rights to chefs and great food to themselves. A donation will be made from event proceeds to the Getaboard Foundation. Early bird general admission and VIP tickets are available starting at $45. VIP admission grants access to a private bar with full-sized cocktails and doorbuster admission an hour before the crowd. — AG

Fitz and the Tantrums, Andy Grammer
Last year Fitz and the Tantrums gave you All the Feels. This time, though, the band is ready to make you “Sway.” We’re referring to, respectively, the Tantrums’ 2020 album and their latest single, which dropped in June. Fitz and the Tantrums are on the road again, and this time they’re aiming for nothing less than total dancefloor supremacy. Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick and his band headlined the Frontyard Festival when they previously visited the City Beautiful, but this weekend they’ll be here again with all the bells and whistles on their The Wrong Party tour. And they’ve even got singer-songwriter and hitmaker Andy Grammer along for the ride as co-headliner. Between the two headliners, they’ve got a vault’s worth of platinum records. Expect indie-pop earworms and infectious grooves aplenty. — Matthew Moyer

Sunday, July 31

Swedish House Mafia  UPDATE: Swedish House Mafia canceled a number of U.S.  shows, including Orlando, on Monday
When you think of Sweden, you probably don’t think of the rhythmic pulse of house music, but Swedish House Mafia are here to change all that. Swedish DJs Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello — each solo stars in their own right — teamed up in 2008 to put their home country on the 4/4 map, and now they’re power players in the worldwide EDM and dance scenes. The trio truly made their reputations with two blazing sets at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival in 2009 and 2010, and the anthemic “Miami 2 Ibiza” — at the time, a landmark moment in EDM. Fast-forward to the present and now the Mafia are touring the U.S. behind their long-awaited debut album, Paradise Again, on the heels of a climactic Coachella performance alongside
the Weeknd. These Swedes truly are made men. — Maitane Orue

Monday, Aug. 1

If you like the heavy stuff, this lineup is some serious Christmas-in-July type shit. Kicking off right here in Orlando, this North American co-headlining jaunt from Goatwhore and Incantation is an all-star team of antisocial and antichrist tendencies. (Only Florida date, so be prepared for crowd intimacy.) Goatwhore specialize in extremity that touches on all ends of the extreme metal spectrum — death, black and thrash — while death-metal lifers Incantation just sound guttural in all the best ways, like churning organs and serrated blades. John McEntee and his fellow thrashers have still got it after decades. Bewitcher are along for the ride too, and make sure to get there extra early so you don’t miss Miami’s Caveman Cult, perhaps the greatest war-metal ensemble currently drinking blood and grinding it out in these United States. — MM

Monday-Tuesday, Aug. 1-2

Steely Dan UPDATE: Steely Dan canceled three Florida shows on Thursday, July 28 due to concern over COVID protocols.
The previously postponed two-night stand in Orlando of dark-humored classic-rock outliers Steely Dan is finally upon us. So get your arched eyebrows and bleak chuckle perfected, because the Dan is going to sing you through the very end of history. Steely Dan, now led solely by founding member Donald Fagen after the passing of creative foil Walter Becker in 2017, are kicking off the very aptly named Absolutely Normal tour in Florida, complete with a residency at the Dr. Phil. This will be Fagen’s first time in town since a 2017 solo show with his Nightflyers. Expect Steely Dan’s most mordant groovers, like “Reelin’ in the Years” and “Hey Nineteen,” and a sizable chunk of material from Fagen’s actually-very-good solo LP The Nightfly. To think a Florian-free Kraftwerk and a Becker-less Dan will have played the same venue in Orlando the same year. Absolutely normal, indeed. — MM


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