The best Tampa Bay concerts of 2011 (Part 2): Iron Maiden, Sondre Lerche, Tropical Heatwave and more
(Just as we did in 2009 and 2010, this week Soundcheck is reflecting on the greatest Tampa Bay concerts of 2011. All week various Soundcheck contributors will weigh in with their picks. First up: former Tampa Tribune music critic Curtis Ross.)
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (Feb. 4, Skipper's Smokehouse): Blues master Smith had no problem heating up Skipper’s on his own when partner Pinetop Perkins, who died in March, got snowed in.
Iron Maiden (April 17, St. Pete Times Forum): No “you shoulda seen 'em back when” here. The British metal veterans (above) were as tough, taut and tight as ever in their first Tampa appearance in more than two decades.
Sleepy Vikings (April 30, Crowbar): Few things are more exciting for a music fan than witnessing a great young band coming into its own, which Sleepy Vikings did this year and particularly at this show, celebrating the release of debut CD They Will Find Us Here.
WMNF Tropical Heatwave (May 14, in and around the Cuban Club): The 30th anniversary lineup nudged an always good show into the amazing category. Sleepy Vikings, Those Darlins, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Cracker and Bright Light Social Hour were just some of the highlights.
Sondre Lerche (Nov. 16, Capitol Theatre): His self-effacing humor was almost as winning as his music, but when you make pop this effortlessly graceful, you can afford to make fun of yourself.
-- Curtis Ross, tbt*. Photo: Luis Santana, tbt*
PREVIOUSLY ON THE BEST TAMPA BAY CONCERTS OF 2011: