We’ve taken our shots at the Florida Music Festival, now entering its seventh year. Crass commercialism, questionable organization and spotty lineups are complaints that have stuck to the event like a lingering boys’-room stink. But here’s what we know: The last couple of years have shown remarkable improvements in at least two of the three above categories (exception: the shocking absence of credible hip-hop, after a solid showing last year). As FMF organizer Sean Perry tells us, “Our goal this year is to promote the diversity of genres and culture in Orlando. We made an active effort not to just rely on mainstream music this year.”
Here’s what else we know: For $25, you get three days of total musical access to over 250 bands at more than a dozen downtown venues. For the exact same price, on the exact same weekend, you can see Bryan Adams at B.B. King’s. Comprendé?
If, however, the recession has hit your beer fund especially hard this year, FMF is there for you. For $10 you can pick just one night and do it up Greenspan-style.
My fellow broke-ass Orlandoans, this should be your night:
Thursday, May 15
Strangers, 8 p.m. at Tanquerays Orlando psych-rockers are near the forefront of the new wave of great local indie bands.
X.O.X.O., 8:30 p.m. at Back Booth Speaking of new, these heavily Beatles-styled locals are fresh out the womb and already impressive.
Tooth and the Enamels, 9 p.m. at AKA Step up your drink game right about here. Skate-punks can be counted on for a balls- out party.
The Queues, 9:30 p.m. at Voyage If you’re the restless sort, scuttle over to see this act, which sounds like a lost Colin Blunstone side project.
The Attack, 10 p.m. at AKA This is the prime hour of the night, and some tough choices must be made. Ryland Bojack is front-porching at CityArts Factory and hip-hop funksters ArtOfficial are fully representing at the Social, but ultimately, the Attack are the proven showmen.
Blue Man Group, 10:30 p.m. at Wall St. Plaza You need to get some food in you. This is at least an interesting backdrop.
Gerry Williams Band, 11 p.m. at the Social Funk-soul bruvas warm up for the main man. Xylophone solo!
Sam Rivers, 12 a.m. at the Social Duh.
Cletus Axle, 1 a.m. at Cheyenne Saloon You know you can’t drive home. Walk it off, all the way to Church Street, and see this flu-dream country firstname.lastname@example.org