Best Of 2018

Best Oh L'Amour
Photo by Jen Cray

Erasure at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Sunday, July 8, 2018

How can we explain? Let's start with the basics: To see Erasure live in 2018 flies in the face of the truism that reunions are crap. To see Erasure live in 2018 is to experience the coexistence of decadence and ecstatic release tempered with the wisdom and humanity it takes to stick around and grow old gracefully. To see Erasure live in 2018 is to experience synthesizer soul at its peak (still): the combination of Andy Bell's outsized soulful voice and Vince Clarke's open-hearted pop optimism. The Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips made perfect sense, though everyone was standing from the first notes. Bell's outfit and shoes made equally perfect sense. And the extraordinary mix of liberation and tenderness made us way more misty-eyed than we want to admit.

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,