This week in Tampa: Beach Boys, New Edition, Creed, A Taste of Pinellas and more
After a so-so concert month in April (no offense, Rammstein), the Tampa Bay music calendar heats up big time in May, and it all starts this weekend with a slate of massive shows around Tampa Bay. Maybe the biggest: A Taste of Pinellas, featuring Sheryl Crow (above), All-American Rejects, Dashboard Confessional, Ziggy Marley, Big and Rich and Joe Nichols, among others.
Other huge shows going on this week: The reunited Beach Boys, New Edition, Creed, Gipsy Kings, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Mayer Hawthorne and the County, Soulfly, Markus Shulz, Kottonmouth Kings, the Aggrolites, Enter Shikari, Fear Factory and Dunedin Brewery's huge annual Ramones tribute show.
And let's not forget tbt*'s 2012 Ultimate Local Artists Showcase on Friday, with Sleepy Vikings, the Groves, Drake and Sofia and Crash Mitchell! We're once again partnering with the Rock the Park folks for the free showcase at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa.
Here to walk you through it all is Carole Liparoto...
The Beach Boys
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $49.50-$295.50. (813) 229-7827.
After decades of mental breakdowns and bitter lawsuits and raging streaks of jealousy, Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Mike Love are once again sharing a rock band, a legacy. Wilson is regarded, along with the McCartneys and Lennons of the pop world, as one of music’s true geniuses. He built the Beach Boys, imagining lush, teen-angel harmonies that reinvented radio. Love, 71, never stopped touring with the surf-pop pioneers, and yet he is often blamed for snuffing out the creative spirit of the band, diffusing its genius in lieu of wheezing nostalgia tours and, even worse, Kokomo. And yet, the Boys, along with Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks, are back anyway. On Saturday, they’ll bring their 50th anniversary tour (even though they formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, Calif.) and all those hang-ten hits — Good Vibrations, God Only Knows, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Sloop John B, Surfin’ U.S.A. — to Tampa’s Straz Center for the Performing Arts. -- Sean Daly
A Taste of Pinellas
FRIDAY 5 p.m. featuring Big and Rich, Joe Nichols, Connor Christian and Southern Gothic. SATURDAY 3 p.m. featuring Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley, RPM. SUNDAY 12 p.m. featuring All-American Rejects, Dashboard Confessional (solo acoustic), The Kinected, A Rocket to the Moon. Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St Petersburg. $20 and up. (727) 823-8534,.tasteofpinellas.com.
The entertainment at this year’s A Taste of Pinellas fest is as neatly packaged as the seafood empanadas on the menu. Friday night goes country with Big Kenny Alphin and John Rich, the costumed duo muddying up country boundaries with splashes of rock, “hick-hop,” and comedy. No doubt you’ve heard Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy), or at the very least, seen the phrase slapped across the bumper of a Ford F-250. Saturday night, take in airy, summer-style ditties from Ziggy Marley and Sheryl Crow, and Sunday go emo with Dashboard Confessional (a.k.a. Chris Carrabba solo and acoustic) and “gives-you-hell rockers” the All-American Rejects.
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $52.50 and up. (813) 301-2500.
Dubbed the “new edition” of the Jackson 5, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant and Bobby Brown fused R&B and hip-hop to jump start the New Jack Swing movement in the ’80s. But most importantly, New Edition paved the way for boy-band mania and your accompanying New Kids on the Block lunch box and/or slap bracelet. The fully-reunited cast (yes, even crazy Bobby B.) celebrates the 30th anniversary of Candy Girl. In addition to New Edition jams, you’re likely to hear Brown’s My Prerogative and Bell Biv DeVoe’s Poison.
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39.50-$69.50. (727) 791-7400.
After Creed’s own fans sued the band for $2 million in a class-action lawsuit over a dreadful Chicago show in 2002, (“They totally sucked,” stated one plaintiff), we were certain Creed and its albums were destined for the bargain bin. Ten years later, the Florida act is back on its game performing blockbuster album Human Clay (With Arms Wide Open, Higher) in its entirety, along with hits from My Own Prison, Weathered and Full Circle. The tour reviews have been pretty positive thus far. So, whether you hate to love ’em or love to hate ’em for preachy tunes, leather pants and heavy borrowing from Eddie Vedder, you can’t argue that Creed, one of the most commercially successful rock bands of all time, isn’t trying to do right by its longtime fans.
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $69.50 and up. (727) 791-7400.
Working the strings like crazed puppeteers, Gipsy Kings bring flamenco pop-rock to life Tuesday in Clearwater. While plenty of artists have toasted the proverbial nomad (see Willie Nelson’s On the Road Again, Dion’s Wanderer or Johnny Cash’s I’ve Been Everywhere Man), it’s the Reyes and Bailiardos families, descendants from Spanish gypsies who fled to France during the Spanish Civil War, doing the wanderer way proud well into the 21st century. Since releasing Bamboleo, a three-and-a-half minute version of a popular Venezuelan folk song, in '87, the OG gitano rock band has enjoyed international crossover superstardom. A flamenco rendition of Hotel California is in the arsenal, too.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
With Whole Wheat Bread, Victims of Circumstance, Rise of Saturn
FRIDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $23 and up. (813) 247-2555.
When we think about 2-Tone ska revivalists The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, we can’t help picture the band’s performance of Where’d You Go? in coming-of-age classic Clueless. In fact, we’re still totally buggin’. Behind throaty snarler Dicky Barrett, the well-dressed men of Boston continue their sassy, brassy ways. That’s the impression that we get, anyway.
Mayer Hawthorne and the County
With The Stepkids
MONDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16-$18. (727) 895-3045.
“Most of the best music ever made came out of Detroit,” says singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne, who counts Isaac Hayes, Leroy Hutson and Barry White among his influences. Mayer Hawthorne grew up in Ann Arbor, Mich., just outside of Detroit, and looks back fondly on father-son drives with the region’s rich soul and jazz playing on the radio. The Walk, for one, shows Hawthorne as a fine modern interpreter of classic soul sounds.
The Bricks Star Wars Tribute Party
Featuring DJ Cub
FRIDAY 10 p.m. The Bricks, 1327 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 247-1785.
The Star Wars Tribute events have been going down all week at Ybor’s The Bricks, but folks have been waiting to culminate the party with the phrase, “May the fourth be with you.” On Friday, they’ll get that chance. DJ Cub will get his geek on with plenty of interplanetary sampling Friday. Costumes encouraged.
Rock the Park
With Sleepy Vikings, The Groves, Crash Mitchell and Drake and Sofia
FRIDAY 6:30 p.m. Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa. Free. rocktheparktampa.com
A few weeks ago, we were at tbt* picked our 2012 Ultimate Local Artists, all of whom play some of the best music in the local scene. On Friday, four of them will come together for a free edition of Tampa’s monthly Rock the Park concert on a special night. Sleepy Vikings have an acclaimed sound they call “southern shoegaze” that has taken them on tour around the country and out to South by Southwest. The Groves have an earthy, blues-rocky sound reminiscent of My Morning Jacket and the Black Keys. Drake and Sofia play indie pop that’s driving yet delicate, and still catchy as all hell. And longtime Tampa troubadour Crash Mitchell returns to the local stage with his usual collection of anthemic cowpunk singalongs. -- Jay Cridlin
Eighth Annual Ramones Tribute
Featuring Boney Fiend, Lazaras, The Scurvy, Hell-Bent, Doll Parts, Transmogrifier, Den of Ghouls, Sons of the Working Class, Dead Cat Lounge, Jason Engelke, Scatty G, Doug Burns, Crystal Gee and Scott Fagersten
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. $5. (727) 736-0606.
We can say with confidence that the annual Ramones tribute show is the loudest night in Dunedin. And we’ve been to both bike and bagpipe nights there. Upholding the decibel-demolishing traditions of Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone are power-chord purveying girl group Doll Parts and snarky, old-school punk traditionalists Dead Cat Lounge, to name a few.
Safety Harbor Art and Music Center groundbreaking celebration
Featuring Rebekah Pulley, Shaun Hopper, TG Weger, Tony Wylie, Imani Woomera, Aimee, Shannon Whitworth, Gareth Asher, more
SUNDAY 2:30 p.m. 8th Street Pub, 103 Eighth Ave., Safety Harbor. Free (donations accepted). (727) 725-4018 or safetyharborartandmusiccenter.com.
A new art and music center in Safety Harbor gets one step closer to lift-off. The Safety Harbor Art and Music Center (also known as SHAMc) is being developed by long-time Safety Harbor residents Todd and Kiaralinda Ramquist. The couple plans to turn a small historic home in downtown Safety Harbor into a center with a stage for intimate concerts as well as gallery to showcase art works. The project even received an additional $50,000 from a Pepsi Refresh Project grant. To celebrate the ground-breaking, honey-voiced troubadour Rebekah Pulley and a half a dozen top-notch locals perform.
Soulfly Fri. With Lody Kong, more. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 895-3045.
The Outlaws Fri. 5 p.m. Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. $25-$30, $100 VIP, children under 12 $5. codylongbenefit.com.
Geri X CD Release Fri. With The Deep Dark Woods, Have Gun, Will Travel, Seri Fana. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $7-$10. (813) 241-8600.
The Fab Four Ultimate Tribute Fri. 8 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $26.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.
Betty Fox and the Dirty Bastards Fri. With Wester Joseph’s Stereo Vudu. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.
Winter Sounds Sat. With The Seedy Seeds, Mini Prophets. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Fear Factory Sat. With Shadows Fall, The Devastated, more. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $22. (727) 895-3045.
The Jazz of Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald Sat. featuring Denise Moore, Nate Najar, John Lamb. 8 p.m. The Independent, 5016 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 341-4883.
Markus Schulz Sat. With Doco, Mondo. 9 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15 and up. (813) 873-8368.
Kottonmouth Kings Sat. 8 p.m. With Twiztid, Blaze, Big B. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $20 and up. (727) 565-0551.
Dirty Bourbon River Show Sun. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
The Aggrolites Tues. With Old Man Markley. 7 p.m. Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13-$15. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Overkill Tues. With Belphegor, Aborted, more. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $22 and up. theorpheum.com.
Enter Shikari Wed. With Letlive, At the Skylines. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13-$15. (727) 895-3045.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*