Live entertainment is never in short supply in Orlando, Florida. From the high-octane music experience of Blue Man Group Orlando to the historical luxury of a Titanic Gala Dinner to the tasty intrigue of Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows, Orlando offers shows for everyone. With the Summer Concert Series at Universal Orlando Resort and House of Blues located in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World, touring musical acts are another source of live entertainment for tourists and locals alike. Summer 2018 at Universal Studios is shaping up to be a massive party, with acts like Pitbull and Huey Lewis and the News taking the stage. Here’s a variety of musical acts that will be visiting The City Beautiful this summer.
But first, a brief disclaimer: Musical preference, like so many other things, is a matter of opinion. You’re highly encouraged to check the schedules of the venues mentioned in this article – Orlando is consistently visited by world-class acts, and you never know who may be in town.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert
June 23 & 24
Dr. Phillips Center | The Walt Disney Theater
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra has a habit of tackling profound soundtracks, but this performance is destined to be jaw-dropping. The third installment of the Harry Potter film series will be soaring onto the big screen in its entirety, accompanied by a live orchestra. If you’ve never heard music composed by John Williams in a live setting, this performance is a must-see. Of course, it wouldn’t do to leave out The Walt Disney Theater. The venue contains over 2,700 copper-accented seats (which include cupholders). The ceiling is a brilliant cobalt with draped white sails, calling to mind clouds suspended in the sky. It’s an environment built to absorb all the brooding moods of Prisoner of Azkaban. Do not miss this.
The home of the Orlando Magic will host Shakira for a stop on her El Dorado World Tour this summer. Though she originally planned to visit Orlando in January, Shakira took some time off for vocal rest and rescheduled her tour date for this summer. A global icon, Shakira is one of the most successful crossover artists of all time. She was recently named one of the world’s greatest leaders by Fortune Magazine, and is the only musical artist to receive the honor. With the Amway Center hosting this event, Shakira’s performance is guaranteed to be a massive spectacle.
You may know Big Boi better as one half of the legendary hip hop duo Outkast. With André 3000, Big Boi helped put Atlanta on the hip hop map in the early 1990s, long before the city became recognized as the genre’s center of gravity. More recently, Big Boi released his third solo studio album, Boomiverse, to critical acclaim. Expect plenty of those tracks live, as well as a sprinkling of Outkast’s megahits like “Ms. Jackson” and “The Way You Move.” Big Boi’s presence is sure to play right into The Beacham’s larger-than-life club atmosphere. The industrial interior features two gigantic 360 degree bars with roaming servers wielding neon-colored shots served in test tubes.
You may have never heard of this band, but you’ve certainly heard sounds that were influenced by them. American Football released a self-titled album in 1999, played three shows and called it quits. In any other era, that would be the end of the story. However, with the advent of the internet, American Football’s legacy persisted. Their music was passed around and discovered by innumerable listeners and is, today, widely considered to be the high-water mark of the emo genre. American Football reformed in 2014 and have been playing various international tours since. This is their first Orlando tour date.
Rent: 20th Anniversary Tour
June 5 – 10
Dr. Phillips Center | Walt Disney Theater
Can a musical be considered a concert? In the case of the groundbreaking rock musical Rent, absolutely. The show that won four Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize is back on tour for its 20th anniversary, and just as poignant and powerful as it was on its opening night in 1996. Now considered a vital piece of Americana, it forever changed the landscape of musical theater. Though nothing compares to seeing a production like this in a historical Broadway theater, The Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips Center is bound to be an exceptional setting for this event.