Best Of 2018

Christopher Belt conducts the 60-Guitar Orchestra
Christopher Belt conducts the 60-Guitar Orchestra

Sixty guitars celebrate 60 years of Patrick Greene

Gallery at Avalon Island, Jan. 13, 2018

The 60-person Guitar Orchestra was an event comparable to Art Kane's classic "A Great Day in Harlem" photograph. On a cold Saturday morning in January, a small army of guitar-packing locals assembled at the Gallery at Avalon Island to celebrate the 60th birthday of Patrick Greene, the gallery's director. What unfolded was a great moment of communal music-making from the greater creative community at large: members of Obliterati, the New Sam Rivers Rivbea Orchestra, Tiger Fawn, Moon Jelly, Robotman, Steve Garron, Absolute Fantasy, Lush Agave, the Legendary JC's, Benoit Glazer, Acoqui, and a number of writers, visual artists and organizers, all under the calm and patient direction of conductor-composer Chris Belt. The experience of the music was as ethereal as the chilly morning. Big-city and fun. A great day in Orlando, indeed.

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,