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Soundboard - Orlando Sentinel

Orlando Sentinel music critic Jim Abbott reviews concerts, albums, and interviews artists

Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2018 08:00:38 -0400

Copyright: ©2018 Orlando Sentinel

Elton John tour to stop at Amway Center in Orlando

Thu, 8 Jan 2015 04:49:00 PST

He's still standing, as the song says, and he's headed to Amway Center in Orlando,

Venerable pop star Elton John will perform March 7 at Amway Center in Orlando. Ticket prices for the 8 p.m. show have yet to be announced, but tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 16, at the arena box...


Jimmy Buffett headed to Amway Center in Orlando

Mon, 5 Jan 2015 04:32:00 PST

It's 5 o'clock somewhere, as the song goes, and it'll be happy hour for Jimmy Buffett fans soon at Amway Center in Orlando:

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band are slated to return to Orlando for an April 16 show at Amway Center, part of the "Margaritaville" man's 2015 "This One's For You"...


Concert review: Billy Joel at Amway Center

Wed, 31 Dec 2014 14:31:00 PST


Forget the year in review.

Venerable singer, songwriter and – yes – piano man Billy Joel looked back on decades of memorable music for more than two hours in a stylishly executed New Year’s Eve show Wednesday at a packed Amway Center.

Sitting at a piano on an understated stage equipped with a...


Beth McKee's First Thursday Songwriter Series returns New Year's Day

Tue, 30 Dec 2014 11:37:00 PST

Although singer-songwriter-pianist Beth McKee is known for her New Orleans roots, she also has embraced the music scene here in Orlando.

Since it launched in March, McKee's First Thursday Songwriter Series at The Smiling Bison has become one of Orlando's most pleasing monthly musical fixtures....


John Charles, Sandy Shugart slated for stops at Garden Theatre

Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:20:00 PST

Two guitar-toting singers are on the January lineup at the Garden Theatre (160 W. Plant St.) in the historic district of downtown Winter Garden.

John Charles, a listening-room veteran at Walt Disney World now known for his work on the Disney Cruise Line, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9 at...


Concert review: The Black Keys at Amway Center

Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:25:00 PST

Most arena rock shows unfold with all the spontaneity of a touring Broadway musical.

No matter how much the singer shouts that “anything might happen,” it’s unlikely that anyone on stage will do anything that might screw up a lighting cue.

So it was refreshing to watch the bluster of the Black...


Concert review: Joe Bonamassa at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:36:00 PST

Times are tough for guitar gods, what with all the electronica, hip-hop and laptop-generated rock.

So six-string deities -- even slightly flawed ones -- must be worshiped with the appropriate devotion. That was no problem on Tuesday, when guitar-slinger and neo-bluesman Joe Bonamassa displayed...


Iggy Azalea tour headed to Amway Center in Orlando

Mon, 15 Dec 2014 13:48:00 PST

Chart-topping female rapper Iggy Azalea will perform May 15 at Amway Center in Orlando.

Azalea -- who emerged from hip-hop's underground to become a mainstream star with her debut album "The New Classic"-- is one of the most buzz-worthy music stories of 2014. Her Great Escape Tour also will feature...


Concert review: Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Amway Center

Sun, 14 Dec 2014 10:38:00 PST

Forget the Ting Tinglers – and even the Jing Jinglers.

If the Whos down in Whoville really wanted to make noise, they should have consulted the musicians and singers of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the resilient holiday rock opera that returned for its annual visit on Sunday at Amway Center.

It turns...


Tickets go on sale Dec. 8 for Jackson Browne at Bob Carr Theater

Fri, 5 Dec 2014 12:25:00 PST

Veteran singer-songwriter Jackson Browne is booked for a Feb. 24 show at Bob Carr Theater.

Tickets -- at $49, $69 and $99 -- will go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 8, at the box office for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando.

Tickets also will be available at


Fleetwood Mac tour to stop at Amway Center in Orlando

Thu, 4 Dec 2014 10:44:00 PST

If you were among those planning a road trip to Tampa to see Fleetwood Mac on Dec. 20, there's now another option to see the band closer to home.

Fleetwood Mac has announced additional dates on their "On With the Show" tour, including a March 23 date at Amway Center in Orlando. Tickets for the...


Concert review: Georgia On My Mind at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:46:00 PST

Legend is an over-used word, but the description would apply to Ray Charles.

A visionary who combined R&B, country, jazz and blues in ways that defied expectation, Charles exerted an incalculable influence on all corners of American music after his emergence in the 1950s.

That free-wheeling stylistic...


Concert review: James Taylor at Amway Center

Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:00:00 PST


When James Taylor visited Orlando in 2011, he performed in the relatively cozy confines of the Bob Carr Theater.

So it was worth wondering whether the understated singer-songwriter would be able to conjure the same intimacy on Tuesday at the much larger Amway Center.

No worries.

In a charming...


Concert review: Emmylou Harris at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:45:00 PST

With a subtle, occasionally ethereal twist on country music, Emmylou Harris and her band were an excellent test of the acoustics in the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater at the new Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Orlando.

In a well-paced 90 minutes on Friday, both the band and the room deserved...


Sweet Soul of the '70s headed to Bob Carr Theater in Orlando

Wed, 12 Nov 2014 12:57:00 PST

There's more than football on display at the Florida Classic, an event that also offers its share of memorable musical diversions.

Fans of 1970s R&B and soul music will want to check out Sweet Soul of the '70s, two nights of classic sounds Nov. 20 and 21 at Bob Carr Theater.

The throwback soundtrack...


Battle of the bands added to Big Orlando concert lineup

Mon, 3 Nov 2014 14:17:00 PST

A Battle of the Bands featuring local and regional acts has been added to the lienup for the inaugural Big Orlando concert on Dec. 7 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando.

"The Big O Battle Of The Bands" offers local and regional unsigned bands the chance to open the festival's Jägermeister...


Linkin Park to launch Hunting Party Tour at Amway Center in Orlando

Mon, 3 Nov 2014 10:53:00 PST

Alternative metal veterans Linkin Park will launch the band's  2015 Hunting Party Tour with a Jan. 15 show at Amway Center. "The Hunting Party" also is the title of the band's latest album, a return to the hard-edged style of Linkin Park's earlier releases.

The tour also features opening acts Rise...


Concert review: Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias at Amway Center

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:50:00 PDT


When Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias shared the spotlight on Tuesday at Amway Center, it wasn’t the first time the two Latin pop superstars had worked the arena together.

In 2011, the rapper and the romantic balladeer showed that their different approaches can be complementary, if one arrives with...


Luke Bryan headed to Amway Center for Feb. 21 concert in Orlando

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 08:30:00 PDT

Country star Luke Bryan is extending his That's My Kind of Night Tour into 2015 and there's an Orlando stop on the itinerary.

Bryan will perform with opening acts Randy Houser and Dustin Lynch on Feb. 21 at Amway Center. Tickets -- at $37.75 & $67.75 -- will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct....


Concert review: Garth Brooks at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

Fri, 10 Oct 2014 21:10:00 PDT


Like everyone, Garth Brooks is getting older – a fact that he hammered home at every opportunity on Friday at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

“I’m about 114 years old now,” he told the nearly packed house in the early going on Friday, opening night in a six-show engagement. “I’m gonna need...


Garth Brooks meets the press in Jacksonville

Fri, 10 Oct 2014 05:01:00 PDT

His upcoming album is called "Man Against Machine," and country star Garth Brooks was dressed for combat when he met the media Friday in Jacksonville.

At a 20-minute press conference hours before the opening night of a six-show run at Veterans Memorial Arena, Brooks sported the official tour outfit:...


John Mellencamp art exhibit set to open in DeLand

Wed, 8 Oct 2014 14:13:00 PDT

For singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, painting is appealing for the opportunities that it offers to refine creative ideas.

"Once a song is done and released, you really can't take it back," Mellencamp said Thursday at the Museum of Art -- DeLand, where an exhibit of his art opens on Friday, Oct....


Concert review: Marc Anthony at Amway Center

Sun, 5 Oct 2014 09:51:00 PDT

It was cooler on Sunday in Orlando, the first sign that Central Florida’s elusive fall might have arrived.

Inside the Amway Center, however, there was a tropical heat wave courtesy of the infectious sounds of salsa king Marc Anthony.

Like the seasons, the singer’s arrival is easily tracked on the...


Garth Brooks announces album title on eve of Florida concerts

Fri, 3 Oct 2014 13:16:00 PDT

"Man Against Machine."

That's the title of highly anticipated comeback album by Garth Brooks, set for Nov. 11 release.

Brooks unveiled the tile on Friday, along with the cover art. The latter features the country superstar dressed all in black, with matching shades, looking like he's ready for...


Garth Brooks beats his own record with Jacksonville ticket sales

Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:50:00 PDT

Garth Brooks has surpassed his own record for tickets sold in Florida.

Ticket sales for a string of five shows opening Oct. 10 in Jacksonville have exceeded the 56,243 tickets sold by Brooks for five shows played in 1997 at the Jacksonville Coliseum. That record broke a previous sales mark set...