Best Places in FL to Catch a Concert
House of Blues Orlando - Located in Downtown Disney. I think the best place to watch a show here is up on the second floor. If you can get a seat on the railing, or at least line up behind those seats, than you've got a great view of the stage, without being super-squished on the floor. I've seen Maroon 5, Marc Broussard, Gavin DeGraw, and Default there.
State Theater - St. Petersburg. This place used to be an old movie theater. It's a very tiny venue. Wherever you are, you have a great view of the stage, and chances are, you can get very close. I actually don't mind being in the back, because if the bar is closed, you can hop up there and have a seat. The floor slopes downward towards the stage, so you're actually higher in the back, anyway. And there's a balcony on the second floor. I've seen Eric Hutchinson and OneRepublic there.
Jannus Landing - St. Petersburg. This is a small outdoor venue. There are merchandise stands and bars all over the place. There are some awkward poles and planters here and there, but you really do have a good view no matter where you are, and you can probably get pretty close to the stage if you want. I've seen Keaton Simons and Sister Hazel there.
TBPAC - Tampa. In 1998, I saw Cool for August and Matchbox 20 there. Matchbox 20 was just getting out there at the time, so they were in a small theater at the Performing Arts Center. We got a balcony seat close to/almost hanging over the stage, so when Rob Thomas came to the edge of the stage to sing to the crowd, it was like he was singing right up to us.
St. Pete Times Forum (Ice Palace) - Tampa. This one is kind of iffy. If you sit up high, you probably won't hear very well. I saw Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews and had nosebleed seats and was very disappointed in the sound, even though I'm a big fan of both. However, I've seen Matchbox 20, Sugar Ray, Alanis Morissette, Mute Math, and Janet Jackson and sat on the floor (4th, 9th, and 11th rows) and thought the concerts were incredible. If you're going to see a show at the Forum, get the floor seats and enjoy yourself.
Ruth Eckerd Hall - Clearwater. Another "not a bad seat in the house" kind of place. I've seen Toby Lightman, Jewel, Rob Thomas, and comedian Ron White there. I've been in the middle every time and never had a problem seeing or hearing. It's not a huge place, so I think you'd have a good seat wherever you were.
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