The inaugural Moonstone Festival just kicked it up a notch. Already boasting KISS, Def Leppard, The Flaming Lips and Kansas, today the Orlando-based festival announced a slew of exciting new acts. Read on for the highlight acts, but simply put, this is shaping into one hell of a special event.
The inaugural Moonstone Music Festival is starting to shape up its lineup and the early details are enticing. Rock legends KISS will headline night one, on April 30th, while Def Leppard closes out the May 1st schedule.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley Open Rockin’ Oviedo Eatery
Let me start off by clearly stating that I am not a card carrying member of the KISS Army. I know and appreciate many of their hits and realize they played a huge role in paving the way for many future metal acts. I don’t own any of their albums, and although I’ve seen about 500 concerts in my life, I have yet to catch my first KISS show. So, when I learned that two legendary KISS members were opening a restaurant in Oviedo, I wasn’t totally enthused. After today’s event, I’ve made a complete 180.
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Check out all of our photos of the event here: Rock & Brews Grand Opening
Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, two iconic founding members of KISS, are behind a cool new restaurant concept, Rock & Brews. On Tuesday, they held the Grand Opening celebration for their first East Coast location, in our own backyard, here in Oviedo. Why Oviedo? Simmons summed it up clearly, “We wanted to show everyone that we’re not about the highfalutin city life and that rock star thing, but we’re good neighbors. This is a family place, where you can bring your family, bring your kids and bring your dogs.” And, yes they do serve dog beer, as well as offering 56 draft beers including a great selection of local craft brews for their human customers.
The rock-themed event revolved around a bountiful luncheon honoring our country’s true heroes, the many Veterans of our Armed Forces. There were more than 100 honorees present including a few octogenarians who fought in World War II. The event was a smashing success and a harbinger of good things to come from this group.
The magnanimous hosts, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, joined by Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere, kicked off the celebration with a touching tribute, the Pledge Of Allegiance, followed by the ceremonial ribbon cutting where Stanley did the snipping.
Stanley and Simmons were the focal point throughout the affair, but both performers were constantly humble, personable and thankful for the veterans who filled their dazzling new joint. The large, open restaurant is plastered with cool rock ‘n roll memorabilia, colorful over-sized portraits, huge album covers and greater than life concert performance photos, where legends of rock seemed to stare down at the guests of honor, many of whom were in full military uniform.
The food flew out non-stop, and I sampled the ribs, chicken wings and pizza, all pretty damn good. The servers were everywhere, oozed friendliness and seemed happy as hell to be there. Scott Paul, the chain’s GM for the Florida region noted how focused he and his staff have been on hiring the right fit, looking for family-oriented employees willing to work hard and have fun. From what I saw this day, he’s been quite successful.
After the meal wrapped up, Stanley presented a $10,000 check to the Central Florida VA Hospital. It’s obvious that Stanley and Simmons, who openly discuss their deep appreciation for our veterans, are quite willing to put their money behind their beliefs. We spoke to Winter Park’s Marc Simon, an Army veteran who was among the honorees, and who spent some quality time with Simmons and shared the experience. “I thanked him for his appreciation of veterans and everything he does. It was very humbling to meet him. As Gene is humble himself, he said it’s all about us, we’re the real heroes and he’s appreciative of us.”
Stanley seemed to be having a blast, and was singing along to various songs constantly. Two musical highlights from the affair included Stanley and Simmons grabbing acoustic guitars from members of the VA hospital and spontaneously jumping into a pair of Elvis Presley classics, and more poignantly, during a quiet moment, Stanley led an impromptu singalong version of “America The Beautiful” that left more than a handful of eyes just a bit watery, including the aforementioned Scott Paul, who had the unenviable task of following that act on stage.
We spoke to Paul a bit later. He’s a microcosm of the employees we met, he’s passionate about his job, is focused on morals, values and integrity and he made it abundantly clear that Rock & Brew is not just a huge corporate behemoth looking to make a buck off of the area. No, this crew is ingrained in the area. They hire local, buy local and support numerous area groups. He explained the decision to start their East Coast operations in Oviedo, “This fits our demographic of nuclear families, middle class. It’s middle America.”
The restaurant in Oviedo is the first in Florida, but two more will follow soon in the Orlando airport area and then one in New Tampa.
Check out the Oviedo spot soon, and get to meet your rocking new neighbors.
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Check out all of our photos of the event here: Rock & Brews Grand Opening
August Rock Music Calendar
It’s a great month Rock And Roll Animals with a diverse appetite for rock music. The weekend of May 17th in Orlando is a whole month’s worth of great, and very different rock music packed into three fantastic nights – from the ultimate in classic rock, to some great new punk and a killer free show. Over the rest of the month there is amazing alternative rock all over the schedule. Lots of stuff to choose from, especially when you add in Jacksonville and Tampa area shows. Nice…
8/01 – American Idols Live, Amway Center. We don’t watch the show, so not really sure, but have to imagine at least one or two of the acts are rock…
8/02 – “Big Night Out Tour” – Fuel, Hoobastank, LIT and Alien Ant Farm – this is one hell of a nice 90’s line-up at HOB.
8/09 – Saigon Kick, The Social
8/10 – Adam Ant, Hard Rock Live
8/12 – OneRepublic, Hard Rock Live
8/14 – The Cult, House of Blues. These guys are just great live and this time they offer up their near perfect album “Electric” in its entirety.
8/14 – Hunters, The Social
8/16 – KISS, Amway Center
8/16 – The Killers, Hard Rock Live
8/16 – Icona Pop, House of Blues
8/17 – Victoria Justice, Hard Rock Live
8/19 – Ted Nugent, House of Blues
8/22 – Parachute, Andrew Ripp and Matt Hires, The Plaza Live
8/23 – Scott Weiland, House of Blues
8/23 – Slightly Stoopid, Riverfront Park (Cocoa)
8/24 – Jars Of Clay, The Social
8/24 – Less Than Jake with Badfish, House of Blues
8/27 – Bruno Mars with Fitz and the Tantrums, Amway Center
8/30 – We The Kings, House of Blues
8/09 – Panic! At The Disco, Jack Rabbits
8/13 – Hunters, Jack Rabbits. RARA’s Farm will be on hand to check out these Brooklyn-based rockers.
8/16 – Victoria Justice, St. Augustine Amphitheatre
8/22 – Slightly Stoopid, St. Augustine Amphitheatre
8/23 – Jars of Clay, Murray Hill Theatre
8/29 – Ballyhoo!, Cafe Eleven (St. Augustine)
8/29 – The Dangerous Summer, Jack Rabbits
8/01 – Whitesnake with Red Line Chemistry, Ruth Eckard Hall (Clearwater). Red Line Chemistry is the real deal…
8/04 – Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
8/09 – Adam Ant, Palladium Theater At St. Petersburg College
8/10 – Panic! At The Disco, Jannus Live (Saint Petersburg)
8/18 – Victoria Justice, Tropicana Field (Saint Petersburg)
8/23 – Phil Vassar, White Buffalo Saloon (Sarasota)
8/24 – Rock ‘N Blues Fest, Ten Years After, Edgar Winter Band, Canned Heat, Rick Derringer, Pat Travers – Some great 70’s guitar rock on one stage! Ruth Eckard Hall (Clearwater)
8/25 – Jars of Clay, State Theare (Saint Petersburg)
8/26 – Santana, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
8/28 – Bruno Mars and Fitz and the Tantrums, Tampa Bay Times Forum
8/30 – Big Country, State Theatre
The Summer doldrums. Not as many rocking shows in Orlando this month with the college students gone and so many outdoor festivals in Tampa and across the rest of the country, but still a few interesting shows:
7/3, Boston – Hard Rock Hotel – They were just a local band out of Boston…
7/6, Reel Big Fish – House of Blues. Great ska music from The West Coast, Cali style.
7/9, Best Coast – The Social. Another West Coast band, this time Surf Punk style.
7/10, Tyler Hilton – The Social. The part-time actor plays rock star this month, singing and playing guitar for us this month
7/25, Styper – House of Blues
7/27, The Toadies – House of Blues. Reunited and back on tour supporting a new album. Make up Your Mind…
7/27, Vans Warped Tour – Central Florida Fairgrounds. This year’s festival features about 3,000 bands, including Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard, All Time Low, New Found Glory and The Lost Prophets.
Lots of cool shows to pick from at the amphitheater this month!
7/4, Three Dog Night – Sutton Park Pavilion. Should be Joyous
7/11, Tyler Hilton – Orpheum.
7/13, Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival – 1 800 Ask Gary Amphitheater. Headbangers special with Slipknot, Slayer, Anthrax and Motorhead, plus a few others
7/17, Last Summer on Earth Tour – 1 800 Ask Gary Amphitheater. Some 90’s Bands hanging out together again under the stars: Barenaked Ladies, Cracker, Big Head Todd &the Monsters and Blues Traveler
7/18, Dave Matthews – 1 800 Ask Gary Amphitheater. Still don’t understand the appeal for this guy…
7/20, Unity Tour – 1 800 Ask Gary Amphitheater. 311, Slightly Stoopid, The Aggrolites
7/26, Toadies – State Theater (St. Pete)
7/28, KISS and Motley Crue – 1 800 Ask Gary Amphitheater. This one just reeks of fun! Might have to make the trip for this one.
7/29, Vans Warped Tour – Vinoy Waterfront Park (St. Pete). This year’s festival features about 3,000 bands, including Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard, All Time Low, New Found Glory and The Lost Prophets.
7/20, Unity Tour – St. Augustine Amphitheater. 311, Slightly Stoopid, The Aggrolites
7/24, Toadies – Jack Rabbits.
7/28, Yes with Procul Harem – St. Augustine Amphitheater. Some classic Progressive rockers who have found the Fountain of Youth visit the oldest city in America. These bands may have been playing back when Ponce DeLeon was roaming these streets.
7/31, Little Feat – Florida Theater