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13 crucial spots to hear live music in Orlando




Amway Center

400 W. Church St., 407-440-7000, amwaycenter.com

The place to see the biiiiig shows: Lana Del Rey, Sam Smith and the Dead & Company have all made the Amway a tour stop. This major-league arena also is home to the Magic and the Solar Bears, and only a few steps from downtown.

The Beacham

46 N. Orange Ave., 407-246-1419, thebeacham.com

The downtown concert venue provides a much-needed home for larger-scale shows in the center of the city – think Kali Uchis, Adam Ant or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The open floor provides multiple pathways to edge your way up to the front, though good luck navigating tightly packed crowds.

CFE Arena

12777 N. Gemini Blvd., 407-823-6006, cfearena.com

The complex seats roughly 10,000 and hosts pop, rock and hip-hop, as well as comedy and other events. It's a welcome connection between UCF and the broader show-going populace of the city.

Hard Rock Live

6050 Universal Blvd., 407-351-5483, hardrock.com/live

Venture deep into the heart of Universal's CityWalk entertainment complex for entertainment that straddles mainstream (Kid Cudi), nostalgic (Alice Cooper) and outside-the-lines (Ministry) all at once.

Henao Contemporary Center

5601 Edgewater Drive, 407-272-0317, henaocenter.com

Sprawling arts center a short trip down Edgewater plays host to myriad arts events, sure, but also presents shows by cutting-edge music collectives like SR50, Chkn + Beer and Ugly Orange.

House of Blues

1490 E. Buena Vista Drive, 407-934-2583, houseofblues.com

Shows may start on the early side, but that's really the only overt sign that this concert venue is nestled in the Disney Springs adult playground. Expect to see anything from Janelle Monáe to Echo & the Bunnymen. The sightlines and sound are stellar.

Iron Cow

2438 E. Robinson St., 407-317-4197, facebook.com/ironcowcafe

New Milk District space steered by the people behind Sandwich Bar is an expanded space for live music (To Live and Shave in L.A.) and club nights (Body//Talk), further enticing the curious with a full food and drinks menu.

The Plaza Live

425 N. Bumby Ave., 407-228-1220, plazaliveorlando.com

This Milk District mainstay has found a new footing in partnership with the Orlando Philharmonic, hosting shows by the Phil plus a wide-ranging slate of '80s icons, guitar legends and comics.

The Social

54 N. Orange Ave., 407-246-1419, thesocial.org

Mainstay downtown venue is the very definition of "intimate"; most nights this small room is packed to the gills with the devoted, straining to get as close as possible to their favorite touring artist.


37 W. Pine St., soundbarorl.com

Rebranded, retooled and under new management, Soundbar (formerly Backbooth) pulls off the deft balancing act of hosting late-night themed dance nights alongside earlier, all-ages-friendly shows with everyone from Rich Homie Quan to Evergreen Terrace.

Stardust Video & Coffee

1842 E. Winter Park Road, 407-623-3393, stardustie.com This Audubon Park eatery/bar also plays host to a wide array of leftfield music events – recently taking in everything from hardcore punk to techno-industrial to indie-pop.

Uncle Lou's Entertainment Hall

1016 N. Mills Ave., 407-898-0009

For better or for whatever, there is nowhere else like Uncle Lou's in the City Beautiful. A close-quarters, gritty staging area for DIY music both local and national, where (almost) anything goes.

Will's Pub

1042 N. Mills Ave., willspub.org

The Will's/Lil Indies/Dirty Laundry compound is an essential component of both local scene-building and providing a stage to touring acts of all adventurous stripes. The event calendar reads like a genre collage, and that's a very good thing.

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