Best Of 2018

Best Mic Drop
Photo by Jen Cray

JPEGMafia at Will's Pub

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018

Similar to the fateful 1991 tour when Nirvana opened for Red Hot Chili Peppers just as "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was going supernova, so it was that by the time the Milo/JPEGMafia touring tandem hit Will's Pub, the buzz around JPEG's new album, Veteran, was deafening. And, you know what, sometimes you have to believe the hype. From the first song, the Baltimore noise-rap maestro was on the floor and in the crowd, the audience tightly circled around him. The fiery young MC dropped lyrics referencing Trump, Morrissey, Burzum and white gentrification against discordant soundscapes and trap beats as sweat flew off him and the equally young crowd around him exploded. Thirty minutes later, we were all just as exhilarated.

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,