Best Of 2018

Choir Boy
Photo by Jen Cray
Choir Boy

Soft Kill/Choir Boy at Will's Pub

Saturday, March 10, 2018

For those who favor Joy Division shirts and unseasonable trenchcoats, this double bill of Chicago's Soft Kill and Salt Lake City's Choir Boy was the hot (cold?) ticket of the year. They showed up in force, largely through word-of-mouth buzz about these two formidable post-punk forces, and the bands brought the melancholy in spades. Choir Boy's set was like an angelic haze centered around the unique falsetto of vocalist Adam Klopp, riding a wave of opiated pop grooves. Soft Kill, on the other hand, was a force of propulsive nature, obscured by a row of headlights and a brutally effective fog machine. The sound was crisp and clear and minimal, and frontman Tobias Grave flew in the face of goth aesthetics with an outfit that he scored partially at International Drive's best sportwear outlets that day.

Best of Orlando: Music and Nightlife: The best in local bars, clubs, bands, DJs and more

Best of Orlando: Music and Nightlife
Best Bar

1. Will's Pub,

2. The Guesthouse

3. Mathers Social Gathering,

Best Bar Patio

1. World of Beer Lake Eola,

2. The Hammered Lamb,

3. Eden Bar,

Best Bar Rescue

The Copper Rocket

Ah, the Copper Rocket. The Maitland pub has gone through plenty of ups and downs with its different owners over the years, but the most recent owner, Selman Markovic, was really something special. And after the episode of Spike TV's Bar Rescue featuring the Rocket finally aired this spring – about a year after filming – everyone got to see exactly how special. As loudmouth host Jon Taffer pointed out several times throughout the episode, Markovic had problems taking responsibility for any of the problems at his bar, from poor service to health code violations to mistreatment of employees. To no one's surprise, the Copper Rocket was sold shortly after the filming of the episode, and since then, new owners AKT Enterprises have put a ton of work into rescuing the bar from Markovic's reputation.

Best Bar to Play Pool

1. Sportstown,

2. Trick Shots Billiards,

3. Spatz,

Best Bartender

1. Jen Harton, Lil Indies,

2. Rick Big, The Thirsty Topher,

3. Lee Courtley, Independent Bar,

Best Club DJ

1. DJ BMF,

2. DJ Ponyboy,

3. Matt Roquentin Lamen

Best Club Night

1. '80s New Wave Night at Independent Bar,

2. Mac & Cheese,

3. Girl the Party,

Best Country Act

1. Thomas Wynn and the Believers,

2. Whiskey Sharts,

3. Sean Holcomb,

Best Cover Band

1. Hayfire,

2. Nirvanna,

3. Skin Deep,