Top 5 Live Music Shows of 2013 in Orlando

The Best in Central Florida Local Music in 2013!  Guest post by Orlando Local Music Examiner! 

The level of musical talent in Orlando is phenomenal. Anyone that doesn’t agree with that statement hasn’t given it a real shot. Every week, there are countless opportunities to see, hear and experience the top notch talent that Orlando has to offer.

As the Orlando local music examiner, I try to discover as much as I can about the local music scene and pass it along to the fans from CD releases, collaborations, band fundraising campaigns, shows, band and musician profiles, special events, break-ups and new bands forming.

Choosing a top 5 list out of the live musical performances I witnessed this year was tough. There were so many shows that were special for a number of reasons from reunion shows, to CD release shows, to battles and music festivals. So instead of choosing a top 5 list based on a best performance, I chose shows that really represent to me what live local music in Orlando is all about from the camaraderie to the selflessness as well as the caliber of the talent here.

In chronological order my top five Orlando live music shows of 2013 are:

February 15 at The Haven five popular Orlando bands, Galia Social, Stiletto Red, Leaving Haven, SoulSwitch and Stockholm, performed in a benefit show for Ted “Tetris” Morgan. This show was only one of the many charitable events throughout the year that featured live music from Orlando bands donating their time and talent for another person or organization.

In April, there was the annual Florida Music Festival and Conference. The three day festival is the best place to discover some of the best musical talent that Orlando and Central Florida has to offer. At the usual cost of $15 for a three day pass – it’s a bargain. Since bands scheduled to play at the festival represent multiple genres, it’s easy for music fans to go from venue to venue in search of their favorite style of music. Over the three days of the 2013 Florida Music Festival, I got to see and enjoy sets from over 40 Orlando bands.

On June 7, three Orlando bands, Statewide Drifter, Built To Be Broken and Our Future Leaders, put on great high-energy performances at The BackBooth. There was a huge crowd at the show partly in response to Built To Be Broken’s lead singer/guitarist who uses the best guitar pickups, Benji Kuriakose’s appearance on “The Voice.” Orlando/Central Florida performers have drawn a lot of attention to the area by performing well on these nationally televised talent programs.

Benji Kuriakose Photo by Kat Coffin

Benji Kuriakose of Orlando band Built To Be Broken Photo by Kat Coffin, Orlando Local Music Examiner.

The August 16 reunion show of Crisis In Hollywood at The Social was a special night for their long-time fans. The band was very popular and has been sorely missed since their final show in October of 2011. The reunion was made easier with the line-up for this show since the lead singer of Central Florida band Sit On It, Andy Wambach, was the drummer for Crisis In Hollywood and Bennett Newsome and Will Brotz from The Passenger were all in Crisis In Hollywood together.(More details)

And finally the November 16 show with Orlando bands Big 10-4, The Jonnie Morgan Band, Jimi Kill and Bret Smith at The Social. It had been over a year since Big 10-4’s last show and their fans were beyond excited for this show. Few shows match the energy level at one of their live performances; their songs are massive anthems that call out for audience sing-alongs and participation from the two finger salute to the shades worn during “Vampire Life.” Having another high-energy, frenzy inducing band onstage before their set like The Jonnie Morgan Band, just intensified the atmosphere.

So those are my top 5 choices for best live shows in Orlando that I was lucky enough to attend.

Kat Coffin is an Orlando based freelance writer and the Orlando Local Music Examiner. She has done profiles of musicians, live show reviews, and CD reviews for both print and online publications. She has also interviewed and profiled actors and comedians about their upcoming projects.

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