The music of the 2012 Republican National Convention: Kid Rock, Zac Brown Band, Journey, Steve Aoki, Gavin DeGraw and many more
Two years ago, when Tampa was awarded the 2012 Republican National Convention, we wondered: What does this mean for music fans?
At conventions past, it meant a host of big-name musical acts came to town for concerts both free and private. And while there aren't as many protest concerts planned for the Aug. 26-31 convention (sorry, Rage Against the Machine fans -- and that includes you, Paul Ryan), it's worth running down the massive list of what we know so far.
For starters, Sean Daly offers this list of 10 hotspots where you might spot a celebrity or two in Tampa Bay. Names keep getting added left and right -- we'll update this post whenever there's cause -- but some of the Republican National Convention's musical highlights so far:
-- Lynyrd Skynyrd (Aug. 26), Trace Adkins (Aug. 28), Kid Rock (Aug. 29) and Journey (Aug. 30) are booked for a series of parties in Liberty Plaza, at the corner of Whiting and Morgan streets in downtown Tampa.
-- Zac Brown Band will headline a private concert on Aug. 30 at a cruise terminal at the Port of Tampa for the American Petroleum Institute's Vote4Energy campaign, designed to urge leaders to invest in alternatives to foreign oil, including natural gas, nuclear energy and biofuels.
-- Country singer Rodney Atkins will headline the biggest event outside the actual convention, the RNC's official welcome party for delegates and journalists on Aug. 26 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
-- Got Your 6, a nonprofit organization that wants to "bridge the citizen-military divide," has had a devil of a time trying to line up a headliner. Willie Nelson had been booked for the private show, reportedly at the Dallas Bull. But he backed out due to a schedule conflict, so in came Randy Travis ... until, you know, that whole naked arrest thing. Then Got Your 6 signed up Wyclef Jean for a what promised to be a super-cool event at the Glazer Children's Museum co-hosted by Cindy and Meghan McCain ... but on Friday, he, too, backed out. Now the headliner is Sara Evans.
-- DJ Steve Aoki will headline a concert for Rock the Vote and StartUp RockOn at the Amphitheatre in Ybor City on Aug. 28. Click here. And this is smart -- immediately following the Aoki event, they're bringing in DJ 12th Planet for an after party. Attendees at the Aoki event can stay for 12th Planet, but the general public can also buy tickets for $10-$15. Click here.
-- Another Rock the Vote event, featuring pop group Far East Movement, will take place the morning of Aug. 28. Click here. And for more about Far East Movement and Rock the Vote in general, click here.
-- You knew this was coming: Lee Greenwood will bring God Bless the USA (and, um, all his other hits?) to Tampa during the Republican National Convention. He'll perform at the Hard Rock Cafe at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at 9 p.m. Aug. 27. Tickets are $28-$30. Click here.
-- Camp Freddy, a rock cover-band supergroup featuring Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction), Matt Sorum (Guns N Roses), Chris Chaney (Jane's Addiction), Billy Morrison (The Cult) and Donovan Leitch will be performing at Curtis Hixon Park on Aug. 27. The interesting thing about Camp Freddy: Every show, they bring in a super-secret surprise guest or two, and they tend to be some pretty big names -- everyone from Billie Joe Armstrong to Ron Wood to Ozzy Osbourne.
-- An official Ron Paul rally on Aug. 26 at the USF Sun Dome -- as well as an after-party later that night at Whiskey Joe's in Tampa -- will reportedly feature Jimmie Vaughan and Blues Traveler's John Popper.
-- Another of the convention's Ron Paul-centric events, the Paul Festival at the Florida State Fairgrounds, will bring in the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Burns and Poe and many more. Click here for a lineup.
-- According to Politico Influence, The Commodores (sans Lionel Richie, natch), are the headliners at a party honoring Republican leaders hosted by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas). It's Aug. 26 at the Cuban Club in Ybor City.
-- Country music everywhere! On Aug. 28, Eli Young Band will perform aboard the SS American Victory ship near the Florida Aquarium for a party for North Carolina and South Carolina delegates. That same night, Politico reports Montgomery Gentry will headline a party for the Republican Governors Group and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour at Stumps Supper Club in Channelside. On Aug. 29, John Anderson will perform for Florida delegates at Innisbrook resort. And according to this, Phil Vassar will headline a party for the Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi delegations at the Postcard Inn on the Beach.
-- On Aug. 28, the Tampa Theatre will host ARTSspeak@RNC and ARTSjam@RNC. The events will feature a panel including Gov. Mike Huckabee and former New York Yankee Bernie Williams, as well as music by Latin Grammy winner Amaury Gutiérrez. Click here for details.
-- The Tampa Bay Times reported Magnum Entertainment Group was bringing in a series of acts all week at the Ritz Ybor: Gregg Allman, Blues Traveler, Better Than Ezra, Drive By Truckers and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. However, after those names were made public, at least one of the bands, Drive-By Truckers, backed out of the event, saying a non-disclosure agreement had been broken. "We're not being sneaky, but playing a private function is not the same as having a public face shown hanging out at the RNC," DBT's Patterson Hood wrote on Facebook. "Playing a show during an election cycle for a party we don't endorse and being publicly linked to it implies a sort of endorsement (or possibly worse; indifference)." Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Big Head Todd said the group's show was private and could not provide further information. A spokeswoman for Better Than Ezra confirmed the group's appearance, but did not provide further details. Other outlets have reported Robert Earl Keen is in the mix at the Ritz, too.
-- What about plain ol' celebrities, you ask? In addition to Jon Stewart and The Daily Show taping a week's worth of shows at the Straz Center, we know that Donald Trump has pledged to show up for the first day or two of the convention. Actor Jeff Bridges and directors Kirby Dick and Eugene Jareki will apear at next week's non-partisan Impact Film Festival at Channelside Cinemas. Actress Rosario Dawson is scheduled to be in town to speak at a couple of Hispanic Leadership events. According to The Hill, game show host Chuck Woolery will co-host an event for young voters at the Channelside Cinemas. Northern Exposure actress-turned-radio host Janine Turner will speak on Day 2 of the convention.
And let's not forget, Vice President
is supposed to be in town, too. He's also kind of a big deal. Joining him on Monday will be
***UPDATE NO. 1*** Hurricane Isaac has caused Biden to postpone his visit to Tampa Bay on Monday. No word on Longoria's plans.
-- ***UPDATE NO. 2*** The RNC has announced its official lineup of performers inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum. On Monday, it'll be Lynyrd Skynyrd, Conrad Oberg and the Oak Ridge Boys. On Tuesday, it's 3 Doors Down, Night Ranger's Jack Blades, Alabama's Randy Owen, Lane Turner, Neal E. Boyd and Philip Alongi. On Wednesday, it'll be Danny Gokey, the Katinas, Beau Davidson and Ayla Brown. And on Thursday, it's BeBe Winans, Taylor Hicks, The Mighty Sound of SEVEN and a Tampa Gospel Choir under the leadership of Marvin Winans Jr. The GOP's house band for the week will be G.E. Smith and the G.E. Smith Band.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*