Antiwarpt Festival 2011: Is this St. Petersburg's Tropical Heatwave?
This year's Tropical Heatwave in Ybor City featured 60 bands on nine stages in and around Ybor City. It is, for all intents and purposes, the biggest annual day of music in Tampa Bay.
But that could be about to change.
The second annual Antiwarpt Festival in St. Petersburg recently unveiled its lineup, a who's who of the Tampa indie music scene. On Monday it unveiled the full schedule -- and our head is spinning just thinking about it.
Things kick off July 29, with a stellar pre-party lineup at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club: Sleepy Vikings, Greenland is Melting, the Living Arches and John Gold. But the scene will get absolutely insane on July 30, when eight venues (the State Theatre, the Local 662, Fubar, the Emerald, Star Booty, the Sake Bomb, Cafe Bohemia and the Globe) will host dozens of Tampa Bay's best bands.
As you might expect, the State Theatre gets the two biggest headliners -- the London Souls and the Bright Light Social Hour -- as well as three of the area's finest local artists: Have Gun, Will Travel (above); Thomas Wynn and the Believers; and the reunited Nervous Turkey. That's just a murderer's row.
But really, you can't go wrong with any of these venues. We're seeing no fewer than eight former tbt* Ultimate Local Artists on the bill: Nervous Turkey, HGWT, Sons of Hippies, Rebekah Pulley, the Tim Version, Will Quinlan, the Beauvilles and the Semis. And let's not forget such brilliant artists as Andy Matchett and the Minks, the Pauses, Poetry n' Lotion, New Bruises, Car Bomb Driver, Lauris Vidal and too many others to count.
This the best introduction you'll ever get to the local rock 'n' roll scene (and yes, there are a few DJs and rappers on the bill, too). While Tropical Heatwave may have the bigger national headliners -- for now -- Antiwarpt is looking like the best mostly local music festival Tampa Bay has seen, maybe ever. It's hard to imagine a more thorough look at the Tampa music scene.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*