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This week in Tampa: Big Time Rush, O.A.R., Manchester Orchestra and more




Say, is anything big going on next week? Oh yeah, ALL OF THE THINGS are going on next week.

The Tampa Bay area will be party to a cavalcade of musical performances next week for the Republican National Convention -- Journey, Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wyclef Jean, Gavin DeGraw, many more -- but you won't be allowed anywhere near them. Instead, you'll have to make do with some of the other big concerts on tap this week -- O.A.R., Manchester Orchestra, Big Time Rush (above), Cody Simpson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Conrad Oberg, Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter and more.

Here to walk you through it all is Carole Liparoto...

FRIDAY Following Rays vs. Oakland Athletics. First pitch at 7:10 p.m. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg.
O.A.R. is quite the rarity: A jam band that’s managed to get played on the radio. Though they started as high schoolers in Rockville, Md., gained popularity in college at Ohio State University and rose to headliner status through word of mouth and relentless touring, they’ve also scored a few catchy, airplay-friendly singles, such as Heaven, This Town and Shattered (Turn The Car Around). But live, they’re still known for breaking into 10-minute house-party jams, especially on rambling breakthrough That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker.

Big Time Rush and Cody Simpson
SATURDAY 7 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $20-$80. (813) 740-2446.

It’s scientifically proven that when Big Time Rush and Cody Simpson step on a stage, tween girls must emit sounds similar to those of excited dolphins. America’s answer to scallywag Brit boy band One Direction, Big Time Rush is the Nickelodeon pop creation garnering a ferocious storm of ear-bleeding screams across the country. (But hey, Mom and Dad — the boys have a few Beatles covers, too). The band is also coming off a performance at the first Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House. Opening Aussie phenomenon Cody Simpson, who shot to fame at age 12 with a two-minute YouTube cover of Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours, has the shaggy blond hair, dreamy Australian accent, and a contagious smile that might just caution reigning bubblegum king Bieber to watch the throne.

Manchester Orchestra
With River City Extension
SATURDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16.50-$20. (727) 895-3045. 
The product of wunderkind Andy Hull, Georgia quintet Manchester Orchestra has a knack for combining the unlikely — emo, folk-rock, grunge and math-rock — for something altogether harmonious. Once described as “music to swoon to,” the sound conjures up a combo of Bright Eyes’ soft woes and Nirvana’s famously frantic ways. Fans of Brand New and Kevin Devine should dig it, too. With the addition of children’s choirs and extra brass on latest disc Simple Math, the band “supersizes the kitchen-sink approach,” says Rolling Stone. Any conversation about opener River City Extension usually begins with Joe Michelini, the group’s charismatic singer and guitarist who leads the eight-member act on a genre-jumping journey of rock, beardedness and sweater vests.

Featuring Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter Band, Rick Derringer, Leslie West, Kim Simmonds
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$80. (727) 791-7400.  
For this summer’s edition of Hippiefest, Ruth Eckerd offers a gala of guitar gurus, including Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Leslie West and Kim Simmonds, and one commander of keys, Edgar Winter. The Winter brothers are somewhat regular players here in the Bay. And their talents are best realized in the live format. Same goes for big man Leslie West of blues-rock act Mountain, who lays down the Cream-influenced Mississippi Queen (a Homer Simpson favorite) on his first tour since the amputation of his leg. A “hippie marketplace” with vendors and groovy goods will open up before the show at 5 p.m.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $39.50-$49.50. (727) 822-3590.

When the all-star axefest known as the Experience Hendrix Tour hit Ruth Eckerd Hall in March, the final act to grace the stage — the man designed to really drop the hammer of the gods — was self-taught, Grammy-nominated bluesmaster Kenny Wayne Shepherd, a blues prodigy who delivered some of the evening’s finest jams on Come On and Voodoo Chile/Voodoo Child (Slight Return). Judging by some recent setlists, you may get an encore of one of those songs during this show.

Conrad Oberg
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.

Blind teen Conrad Oberg dazzled during Woodstock’s 49th anniversary concert in 2009 with a Hendrix-inspired rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. Since then, his guitar athleticism has been praised by CNN, USA Today and Rolling Stone. Oberg will play this intimate Skipper’s show following touring gigs with swamp-blues stars JJ Grey and Mofro.

Zulu Wave
With Sons of Hippies, DieAlps!, Macrame Owls
FRIDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
After finding themselves in a room with Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock and Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Tampa act Zulu Wave still has trouble curbing its elation. The band, which blends rock, experimental sounds and African elements, is kind of on a roll after a gangbusters set at New York’s CBGB Festival, and more recently, at Antiwarpt. Opener Sons of Hippies is a psych-rock that writes songs about “post-apocalyptic candy wastelands” and “seeks spiritual guidance from colorful souls.” But there are big changes on the horizon for the band, says Sons of Hippies master multi-tasker Jonas Canales. And those changes might just start with the band name.

King of Spain
With Sleepy Vikings, Beach Day
SATURDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
King of Spain’s first album was titled Entropy. Its follow-up, which comes out Aug. 28, is titled All I Did Was Tell Them The Truth And They Thought It Was Hell. The Fiona Apple-esque album title isn’t the only sign of a more expansive worldview for King of Spain founder Matt Slate. Originally conceived as a one-man bedroom-pop band, King of Spain expanded a couple of years ago to include bassist/songwriter Daniel Wainwright, and Slate got married in 2011. Granted, much of All I Did... was still recorded at home, but at least it shows some signs that Slate is expanding his horizons. All I Did... features several songs that will be familiar to those who’ve seen King of Spain in concert in recent years, including the hypnotic Motions and the gently rollicking country-folk number Green Eyes. Yet Slate, in a statement, calls the album “simultaneously darker and more pop-oriented.” This show kicks off a Southeast tour for the band.

Also playing

Room Full of Strangers Fri. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $8 and up. 

Bush Hawg Fri. 7 p.m. The Round-Up, 13918 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. (813) 855-1464.

Terravita Fri. 10 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10 and up. (813) 873-8368.

Damon Fowler Fri. 9 p.m. and Sat. 8 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $12-$15. (727) 822-3590.

Lucid Druid Sat. 8 p.m. Dunedin House of Beer, 927 Broadway Street, Dunedin. Free. (727) 216-6318.

Heart of Darkness Summertime Forgiveness Tour Sat. featuring Greg Barris, New Beard, Corrupt Autopilotm Yazan and the Wigmaker’s Son. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $6. (813) 241-8600.

Bohemian Bash Sat. featuring Big Blu House, Primavista, Villanova Junction, Summersill, Wreckless Rendition, Crown, Rockstarr Bentley. 4 p.m. Cafe Bohemia, 937 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 895-4495.

John Q Sat. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.

-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 6:43pm]


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