2013 in review: Best concerts, top Tampa music stories, best 2014 concerts and more
We’ve come to the end of the year on Soundcheck. Time to look back and look foward at the same time. Trippy!
First, here’s a recap of our top 10 local music stories of 2013:
And here are links to our contributors’ favorite Tampa Bay concerts of 2013:
Last but not least, let’s look ahead to 2014. It’s already shaping up to be a pretty cool year for concerts. I’m only one man, but if I have to pick, these are the 10 shows I’m most looking forward to in 2014. Sorry, One Direction, but you just missed the cut.
Billy Joel (Jan. 17, Tampa Bay Times Forum): Joel has performed in Tampa Bay in the past decade, but only alongside Elton John and at one private lecture for St. Petersburg College students. This solo show should allow for a deeper reach into his catalog — something Joel, who may be inching toward retirement, has been yearning to try.
Against Me! (Jan. 24, State Theatre): This will be Tampa Bay fans’ first, long-awaited look at the Gainesville agit-punk heroes since frontwoman Laura Jane Grace underwent her transition from her previous life as Tom Gabel.
Willie Nelson (Jan. 29, Ruth Eckerd Hall): The Redheaded Stranger is one of the few country icons still walking among us. The death of George Jones last April is proof that you should never take them for granted.
Arctic Monkeys (Feb. 1, Jannus Live): They may never be as popular here as they are in the U.K., but still, Jannus Live is a way-too-ridiculously-small venue for the Arctic Monkeys (and in fact, this show sold out weeks ago). One week after they play Jannus, the Monkeys will headline Madison Square Garden.
Queens of the Stone Age (Feb. 4, Mahaffey Theater): Probably my most anticipated single concert of 2014. Josh Homme is one of rock ‘n’ roll’s great American badasses, and this’ll be QOTSA’s first trip to Tampa Bay since who can remember.
Young the Giant (Feb. 18, Jannus Live): The California indie rockers caught plenty of attention for their self-titled 2010 debut. It’ll be interesting to see what they’ve cooked up for their follow-up, Mind Over Matter, which is due in January.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (Feb. 20, State Theatre): It’s good to see Jones is recovering from cancer, and it’ll be even better to see the Dap-Kings’ dynamic stage show in a setting as intimate as the State Theatre. Last time I saw them was on the main stage at Bonnaroo, so this’ll be quite a treat.
Iron and Wine (Feb. 26, Straz Center): Sam Beam’s mumbly-whispery indie-folk project has evolved into a joyous pop-jazz-folk-fusion act, and they’re rightfully asserting their place on theater stages. Ferguson Hall will be a great setting for this one.
Gasparilla Music Festival (March 8-9, Curtis Hixon Park): As noted above, three separate writers listed the 2012 Gasparilla Music Festival as one of their favorite Tampa Bay concerts of 2012. The team behind the fest simply seems to get everything right, from the music all the way down to the weather. Expanding to two days is a gamble, but they’re hedging their bets with a big-name headliner, the Flaming Lips, and a diverse bill that also includes Jason Isbell, Delta Spirit and RJD2.
Funshine Music Festival (or whatever it’s going to be called): Even organizers Live Nation have admitted that 2013’s inaugural Funshine Music Festival at the Florida State Fairgrounds wasn’t perfect. Far from it. They’ve announced they’re retooling the entire event, giving it a new name and aiming for a younger demographic. At this point, the new name and 2014 dates haven’t been announced — though we expect it to remain the first weekend in May — but we have heard some pretty impressive rumors about acts they’re looking to book. If the lineup comes together, this’ll be one of the music highlights of 2014, no question.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*