Tampa Bay's best concerts of 2012, Part 2: The Kills, Regina Spektor, the Civil Wars and more
(All week on Soundcheck, our contributors are looking back at the best local concerts of 2012. Up today: Tampa Bay Times pop music critic Sean Daly.)
The Kills (Jan. 30, Ritz Ybor): As soon as Alison Mosshart stalked onstage at the Ritz Ybor, that throbbing leopard-print backdrop behind her made total animalistic sense. The Kills’ femme-fatale frontwoman, her thick untamed hair tussled like a howl, is a restless, unhinged performer, one of the most dynamic, and sensuously dangerous, singers in rockdom.
The Civil Wars (Feb. 2, Straz Center): The duo immediately jumped into their curious stage routine: Joy Williams’ flirty twirl (she often looks like she’s about to break into a tap dance) and John Paul White’s gruff countenance. It should be noted that the Civil Wars are married — to other people. And yet their public relationship and all those exquisite disharmonies are not without heat, and their 70-minute show was fueled by their unique affections.
Fiona Apple (Sept. 29, Ruth Eckerd Hall): At the end of brushstroked torch song I Know, which was almost too intimate, too pained in its delivery, Apple paused for an unsettling amount of time. You weren’t sure if she were laughing or crying or both. It was so crystalline, so eerie.
Regina Spektor (Nov. 15, Ruth Eckerd Hall): You can’t fault ambition, of course, and when Spektor reins in her ideas, she can be otherworldly. Sweeping breakup dirge Howwas one of the most transcendent songs I’ve ever heard at Ruth Eckerd. It’s string-laden and sad, and yet still injected with her curious touches: chirpy bird coos, Beatlesesque chord changes, a big-finish holler. It was different but sweet, and it was far more palatable than the song where she approximated what it sounds like to drown.
-- Sean Daly, tbt*
PREVIOUSLY ON THE BEST TAMPA BAY CONCERTS OF 2011:
Jay Cridlin’s picks: Fun., Mutemath, Coldplay, Fiona Apple, Rubblebucket, 97X Next Big Thing, 97X Memorial Day Backyard BBQ