Tampa Bay's best concerts of 2012, Part 3: Radiohead, Andrew Bird, Antiwarpt and more
(All week on Soundcheck, our contributors are looking back at the best local concerts of 2012. Up today: Frequent Soundcheck contributor Stephanie Bolling.)
Radiohead (Feb. 29, Tampa Bay Times Forum): Probably the best Leap Day ever. Granted, I’m not a giant King of Limbs fan, but that didn’t impede the opportunity to see one of the most significant bands of my generation. Between the hypnotic stage set and Thom Yorke’s groovy moves, the British rock stars threw the fans many bones with stretches to The Bends, OK Computer and Hail to the Thief. The sensory and audible overload made my face and heart melt right into the nostalgic soundtrack of my youth and transitioning adulthood. Hats off to these dudes for creating the musical threads of our lives.
The Ventures (Feb. 29-March 3 ,Stanleyville Theater, Busch Gardens): I know you’re all like, “What?” But, I’m like, YES. These dudes are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Playing three shows a day for four days at Busch Gardens is hardly a blowout spectacle. But it was an unlikely opportunity to snag piece of history, a representation of transitioning music, formats, venues and an era that we won’t hear live for much longer. Plus, the instrumental foursome played their top hits Walk, Don’t Run and the Hawaii Five-O theme song. Rad.
Fun. (March 7, State Theater): Riding the crest of their giant We Are Young wave, these New York City boys sold out the State and delivered a powerful, melodic and a theatrically modernized Freddie Mercury type of show. Maybe it was the energy that pop music garners, or maybe it was the love Nate Reuss dished out to the crowd, but the atmosphere and sound were solid and the setlist undoubtedly memorable. It made my heart soar like Reuss’ sopranos.
Antiwarpt Music Festival (July 28, Downtown St. Petersburg): The third annual event cemented itself as a definitive part of the Bay area’s local music scene. About 95 percent of the bands were from Florida. Between 10 venues and 99 bands, it was overwhelming yet highly stimulating and exciting. 'Twas the night I fell in love with Saskatchewan and Adrian Younge, reaffirmed my penchant for Jane Jane Pollock and shed some tears over the tender-hearted last set for Sleepy Viking’s drummer Ryann Slauson.
Andrew Bird (Oct. 9, Ferguson Hall): I knew that this was one of the best shows I’d seen all year before it even ended. Bird was classy, clever, clean and completely intriguing. His show was like watching Bob Ross paint. How did that turn into ... that? Bird’s approach to the stage, music and his craft put him and his gigs in a category all their own.
-- Stephanie Bolling, tbt*.
PREVIOUSLY ON THE BEST TAMPA BAY CONCERTS OF 2011:
Sean Daly’s picks: The Kills, The Civil Wars, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor