So in the middle of our crazy move we decided to add on one more activity that we couldn’t resist. Andrew noticed one of our favorite bands would be in Orlando the same weekend we would be moving to the area. The venue they were playing at? House of Blues in Disney Springs. We had always seen House of Blues at the West end of the shopping district, but neither of us had actually been over to check it out. This sounded like the perfect opportunity to see what this intimate venue was all about. Read on to hear about our fun night out…
House of Blues is both a restaurant and live event venue. They host a variety of different acts as well as special events such as beer festivals. Looking at their event schedule we recognized quite a few names, others not as much, there also seemed to be a lot of fun cover bands as well. Tickets can be purchased directly through the website using Live Nation. We also noticed there seem to be a few shows featured on Groupon as well, so keep your eyes out there too!
Most of the tickets offered are General Admission tickets with standing room on the main floor in front of the stage. Behind that area are open bar stools that are first come first served. There are some premier style options available too. House of Blues offers “Loge” seating which features reserved seats along the edge of the upstairs balcony. This tickets also includes bar and food service without having to leave your seat. From what we could tell Loge seating varies per show and can be anywhere from 2-7x the cost of a G.A. ticket. There are also V.I.P. seating packages available.
House of Blues also has a promotion called “Pass the Line”. If you are sending $25 (per person) on food or merch before the show it will get you ahead of the regular line. We didn’t find this worth it for our particular show, but others may find value in this. You can see more info about that here. The night we attended it was raining. All of the Pass the Line people were lined up in the rain. We actually just waited under a nearby cover and just joined the end of the regular line when it passed by since it wasn’t that long anyway.
House of Blues is themed with a funky southern vibe. The aesthetic feels very rustic with a lot of wooden beams, and crafty with eclectic decor. We absolutely love the size as well, there really isn’t a bad viewing spot in the place. We were stoked to be able to see one of our favorite bands up close and personal with just the feeling of hanging at a local bar, as opposed to normally seeing them in huge amphitheaters. We arrived early to see all the acts and it is good to note the merchandise tables were on the upper level. It was a fun place to hang out for a drink even before the shows started. For the General Admission area people gathered close to the stage on a first come, first serve basis. We wandered a bit before things began and still ended up dead center and at most about 10 people back from the stage. We can’t imagine what we would have to pay for tickets elsewhere to be this close.
FOOD & DRINK
We weren’t really sure what was offered at the venue and were running around with moving stuff, so we ended up grabbing dinner beforehand. But it is good to note there are a great selection of bar nibbles offered in the show area. A menu can be viewed below. Keeping with the southern theme you can order items such as cajun popcorn shrimp, jambalaya, and even gator bites. There is also the option to grab a pre-show meal with a full menu next door at the House of Blues Restaurant.
There were also a lot of bar areas which made it easy to grab a drink. There was a wide variety of liquors and drink prices ranged from $10 for well drinks up to $14 for premium liquor such as a Patron margarita. So standard resort drink prices, but honestly $14 didn’t seem bad for premium Patron.
One of our favorite bands we have seen several times is O.A.R. The quintet started in Montgomery County, Maryland where Julie went to high school and we thought it would be so appropriate to see a Maryland based band in Orlando the same week we just made the move from Maryland to Orlando! O.A.R. features lots of great instrumentals with a unique style and has had multiple chart-busting singles such as “Shattered”. We have seen them at venues in MD, VA, and PA and were excited to see them in a different setting.
O.A.R. was joined by American Authors well known since 2012 for hits such as “Best Day of My Life” and “Go Big or Go Home”. We were familiar with some of their songs but really loved the rest of their set too! Also joining the tour were newcomers the Huntertones. We enjoyed their instrumental and beat box mix of popular covers and original songs.
About the Huntertones
Huntertones brings people together around the globe with fun, imaginative and fearless music. Their high energy, horn-driven sound features genre bending composition and unconventional covers. Every show is a social experience celebrating the joy of music. The band formed in Columbus, Ohio and is now based in Brooklyn, NY. They’ve performed in over 20 countries world wide and continue to tour the US and abroad. Their latest release, Passport, is a collection of songs inspired by their experiences sharing music with people from all over the world.
About American Authors
American Authors is an American rock band based in New York City currently signed to Island Records. It currently consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Zac Barnett, lead guitarist and banjoist James Adam Shelley, bassist Dave Rublin, and drummer Matt Sanchez. They are best known for their hit singles "Believer" and "Best Day of My Life" from their debut album Oh, What a Life, as well as their top 20 hit, "Go Big or Go Home", from their second album, What We Live For.
O.A.R. (short for Of a Revolution) is an American rock band founded in 1996 in Rockville, Maryland. The band consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Marc Roberge, drummer Chris Culos, guitarist Richard On, bassist Benj Gershman and saxophonist/guitarist Jerry DePizzo. Together, the band has released nine studio albums, including their latest release, The Mighty, in March 2019. The band is well known for their live shows and extensive summer touring, and have released five records of various live performances to date. Four of the band members grew up in Rockville, Maryland and attended Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School. After graduating, they went on to study at Ohio State University. There they met the fifth member, saxophonist/guitarist Jerry DePizzo from Youngstown, Ohio.
We had an absolute blast seeing this show at House of Blues Orlando. It was a nice intimate venue to get up close to a band with decent ticket prices. Being located in Disney Springs also makes it the perfect spot to grab food or drinks before a show. (Next time we want to try the restaurant side too!) Now that we are locals we think this is a great spot to keep on our radar. We are going to keep our eyes out for upcoming shows and check out another one soon. We also think this could be a fun night out for folks on vacation too. We suggest you check the schedule for when you have an upcoming trip planned and add in a concert if it makes sense. Have you ever attended a concert at House of Blues? We would love to hear what you thought below!