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This week in Tampa: 98 Rockfest, Funk Fest, WMNF Talking Animals Festival and more




That's right -- it's an all-festival edition of This Week In Tampa!

Okay, fine, not quite. There are some good "normal" concerts, too, from moe. to Aaron Lewis to Surf City to Janis Ian to House of Pain. But anyone who's anyone will be at a festival this weekend, it seems. From Funk Fest in St. Pete (with Kem, MC Hammer and Bobby Brown) to 98 Rockfest in Tampa (with 3 Doors Down, above, and Seether) to WMNF's Talking Animals Festival (with Damon Fowler, Magadog and tons of other great local bands) to the Chasco Fiesta's closing country concert (with David Nail and LoCash Cowboys), there are plenty of opportunities this week for you to hang and commingle with like-minded musical fans.

Here with a rundown of this week's festivities is Carole Liparoto...

Funk Fest 2011
Featuring Charlie Wilson, Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat, MC Hammer (Saturday) and Frankie Beverly and Maze, Kem (Sunday)
SATURDAY 4 p.m. and SUNDAY 3 p.m. Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. N.E., St. Petersburg. $45 and up. (704) 510-0539.
Last year’s Funk Fest, which drew an unexpected 15,000 people, was a bit of a disaster. Okay, maybe not an Altamont-level disaster, but still fairly serious. The crowd baked in the sun, water was scarce, and long lines formed at Port-O-Lets and food concessions. More than a dozen spectators required medical attention. This year, promoters are promising to do better by increasing water tents throughout the park, adding restrooms and improving the sound system. Performers include kings of the New Jack Swing movement (where 808s met funk and R&B) Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat, as well as fabled pants man MC Hammer. From the old school, there’s Charlie Wilson and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. And from the new school, soulful crooner Kem will offer a set full of sonic aphrodisiacs.
Featuring 3 Doors Down, Seether, Stone Sour, Theory of a Deadman, Halestorm, Skillet, Art of Dying, Crossfade, more
SATURDAY 6 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $30-$128. (813) 301-2500.
Is it us or do the bands playing this year’s edition of 98Rockfest seem a lot less pissed off than the doomy chest-thumpers of previous years? You’ll find this crop of hard rock acts mulling over topics as diverse as dry skin, kryptonite, awesome girlfriends and rain. But don’t get us wrong. There will still be plenty of the high octane riffage you’ve come to expect from Rockfest. Headliner 3 Doors Down, a group known for its compassion for the military man (When I’m Gone), provides confessional, slightly grunge-y rock with a dash of Allman-esque hospitality. The melodic Stone Sour is Slipknot’s unmasked, introspective sister act. Halestorm has a Heart-meets-Buckcherry vibe and Vancouver trio Theory of a Deadman is a hot-blooded Nickelback that likes to toast wild women. Finally, Christian metal act Skillet finds a husband and wife having a vocal faceoff over bludgeoning riffs.

WMNF’s Talking Animal Festival
Featuring Dirty Spoons and Trash Revue, Sandy Atkinson and the True Loves, Ronny Elliott, Bird Street Players, Lauris Vidal, Kelly McCrae, Dog Peter Pat, Rayzilla’s PBS, The Sun Society, Damon Fowler, Tribal Style, Sons of Hippies, Magadog
SUNDAY 10 a.m. Lowry Park Bandshell, 7530 North Blvd., Tampa. Free. (813) 238-8001.
Local musicians at WMNF’s Talking Animal Festival have been tasked with performing songs (both covers and originals) about animals. So, we thought we’d list a few possibilities: Duran Duran’s Hungry Life the Wolf, The Tokens’ The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Baha Men’s Who Let the Dogs Out, the Beatles’ Blackbird, Toby Keith’s Beer for My Horses, Cake’s Sheep Go To Heaven, or Three Dog Night’s Joy to the World (you know, “Jeremiah was a bullfrog...”).  Over a dozen acts will pay homage to our furry friends between pet trick showdowns and owner/animal lookalike contests at the second edition of this free and fun festival.

House of Pain
With Swollen Members, Big B, Dirtball, Demun Jones.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 895-3045.
House of Pain’s shamrock stamp was all over the ’90s, thanks to the ubiquitous hit Jump Around, plus jig-worthy jams like Top O’ The Morning to Ya and Shamrocks and Shenanigans. The group even managed to survive the white-rap chasm between Vanilla Ice and Eminem with street cred intact. After House of Pain broke up in 1996, Everlast, DJ Lethal and Danny Boy went their separate ways. But now, they’re rocking their first national tour in 15 years. Click here to read our interview with Everlast.

THURSDAY 8:30 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $23 and up. (813) 247-2555.
When vocals account for less than 15 percent of a concert’s content, the youth can get restless. But not moe. devotees. A jam band in every sense of the word, this crew rocks, rolls and rocks some more, performing lengthy, winding sets evening in and evening out. Check out this excerpt from a 2010 Rolling Stone show review: “Nearing the 90-minute mark in their second set … the upstate quintet moe. hovered with accelerated grace in a piece aptly called Haze — guitarists Chuck Garvey and Al Schnier dancing in treble, in twisting-snake patterns, with gun bursts of wah-wah; bassist Rob Derhak bouncing in the middle, riffing and holding time as drummer Vinnie Amico kept a steady sizzling rhythm, darted by Jim Loughlin’s percussion.” Are you snoozing or salivating?

Aaron Lewis
THURSDAY 9 p.m. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 North Orient Rd, Tampa. $35. (866) 502-7529.
From Darius Rucker to Kid Rock, Jessica Simpson to Jewel, we’ve seen our fair share of pop and rock artists go country. But top metal singer and endearing mope man Aaron Lewis’ arrival in Nashville was particularly surprising. The Staind singer’s debut single Country Boy, which features Charlie Daniels and George Jones, sold more than 20,000 digital singles in its first week and debuted at number nine on the Billboard Country Digital Singles sales chart. When asked what he says to Staind fans not particularly fond of country music, Lewis coolly replies, “Sorry.”

Surf City
With Alias Punch, Cassolette, The Equines
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-9500.
Huntington Beach, Calif., has rights to the title “Surf City U.S.A.” And there’s a band in England called Kill Surf City. So this New Zealand band had to settle for “Surf City” to serve as its Jesus and Mary Chain reference. Imagine the swoony tendencies of The Strokes, douse them with Zombies-style feedback and add some bleeps and blips a la Animal Collective, and you’ve got the ticket here. 

Janis Ian
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $29.50-$43. (727) 791-7400.  
Singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Janis Ian tackled any and all things taboo in the ’60s and ’70s — interracial romance, prostitution, war and the list goes on. (That’s like a one-woman Lilith Fair, kids.) She’d even earn the title “musical spokesman for the 'now’ generation” from the New York Times. But it was the bittersweet At Seventeen that made Ian a hero to just about anyone who went to high school — Tina Fey included. Ian played the Grammy-winning song on the first-ever episode of Saturday Night Live.

Also playing

Empire Cinema Fri. With Lil Daggers. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.

Cope Fri. With Buffalo Strange, Tornado Rider. 9 p.m. Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-2356.

The Loving Thorns CD release party Fri. 9 p.m. Dave’s Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg. (727) 576-1091.

Zombie Bash Fri. featuring Dementia, SupaVyllenz, Scar City, L.I.E.S., and DJ dNationb. 7:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 895-3045.

Chasco Fiesta Country Concert Sat. featuring David Nail, LoCash Cowboys, Wiley Fox. 5:45 p.m. Sims Park Amphitheater, 6341 Bank St., New Port Richey. $10 and up.

Rock The Burg Sat. featuring The Weller Band, Halibut, The Sun Society, Terra Sono, more. 1 p.m. Williams Park, 330 Second Avenue N., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 824-7802.

Speak Easy Sat. 7:30 p.m. Jolli Mon’s, 941 Huntley Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 735-0498.

Thomas Wynn and the Believers Sat. With Funky Panda, The Cosmic Gospel Hour. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.

Bleeding Money Sat. With Gonad Rehab, Mosquito Teeth, Magnolia. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free.

Skull N Bone Band Sat. With Groove Co. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.

Fusebox Funk Sat. With Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. (813) 241-8600. $5.

Afro-Cuban All Stars Sun. 7 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $24.75. (813) 229-7827.

Ron Pope Mon. With Ari Herstand, more. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $12.50. (813) 248-9500.

Pato Banton and the Now Generation Band Wed. 9 p.m. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third Street S., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 871-7874 or

Rotting Christ Thurs. With Melechesh, Lecherous Nocturne, Hate, more. 7 p.m. Brass Mug, 1441 E Fletcher Avenue, Tampa. (813) 972-8152.

-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 5:15pm]


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