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Orlando live music bars

A sampling of places where the music is as important as the alcohol

Photo: Stardust, License: N/A


B.B. King’s Blues Club
9101 International Drive, 407-370-4550, bbkingclubs.com

Live music nightly is the hallmark of this massive blues club, which is part of the B.B. King’s chain that has locations in Nashville, Memphis, Las Vegas and West Palm Beach.

Horsepower Bar and Grill
171 S. Orange Ave., 407-985-5814, horsepower-bar-orlando.com

This brand-new to the scene bar located in the heart of downtown offers a menu of soups, sandwiches, wings and salads, as well as a satisfying mix of both craft and macrobrew beers. Thirsty Thursdays feature live acoustic music drink specials, and the space is actively recruiting new bands who want to play a new downtown bar/venue.

Howl at the Moon Saloon
8815 International Drive, 407-354-5999, howlatthemoon.com

Seriously they had us at “Rock N’ Roll Dueling Piano Bar”. This place is custom made for a high-energy, head rocking, drunken free-for-all, and is a nostalgic substitute for the good ol’ days of Pleasure Island binge drinking. If pounding your fist in the air and accidentally knocking an 86-ounce bucket onto a sorority girl’s belly-cropped chambray is your idea of a good time, then grab some friends and carpool your butts on out to I-Drive. Keep your eyes peeled for all of the fresh-faced Disney International program kids out for a good time.

2101 N. Epcot Resorts Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, 407-560-8770, jellyrolls.us

Jellyrolls is not just Howl at the Moon’s dumpier, harder-to-get-at little sister, it also happens to be a great place to retreat to after watching the Epcot fireworks for free at the Boardwalk bridge. The $12 cover charge is a bit much, but for those few who brave the tumbleweeds and buzzards out front, you will find a hidden oasis from the hectic pace of the parks. The drinks are cold, the staff is attentive and the performances are stellar.

Pat O’Briens
CityWalk at Universal Orlando, 407-224-2100, citywalk.com

CityWalk is generally a good place to be on summer weeknights, with plenty of outdoor seating, misting fans and waterspouts built into the pavement for an easy run-through if you’re sweltering. Pat O’Brien’s has arguably the strongest drinks at CityWalk, and the outdoor patio is walled up but open to the night sky, and quiet enough for conversation.

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

Local bands strive to perform on this stage, the one shared with most of the Pitchfork-worthy bands that come through Orlando. It’s a smaller room, which means nine times out of 10, you’re shouting the lyrics shoulder-to-shoulder with similarly impassioned fans. Get there early and snag a table in front of the pit.

Stardust Video & Coffee
1842 E. Winter Park Road, 407-623-3393, stardustie.com

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