This week in Tampa: Bruce Springsteen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tony Bennett, Black Lips and more
Dear HEAVENS, is there a lot of amazing music in Tampa Bay this week. From rock 'n' roll icons (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers) to jazz legends (Tony Bennett, Diana Krall), from indie-rock upstarts (Black Lips, the Naked and Famous) to globe-trotting DJs (Zeds Dead, SBTRKT), from pop groups (Wilson Phillips, Hot Chelle Rae) to Hollywood superstars (Kevin Costner and Modern West), there is no time for rest this weekend.
After the jump, get the details on all those shows, plus Little Big Town, Jake Shimabukuro, Santigold, Gramatik, Country Mice, Neil Sedaka, Tea Leaf Green, Foghat, Debbie Reynolds, Tornado Rider, Navah Perlman and more...
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $47-$98. (813) 301-2500.
It’s fitting that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band would roll into town on the weekend of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The Boss has always had a thing for songs about cars: The “’69 Chevy with the 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor” in Racing In the Street; the “Eldorado fins, whitewalls and skirts” from Cadillac Ranch; the “skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets” in Thunder Road; the Stolen Car and Pink Cadillac of, well, Stolen Car and Pink Cadillac. Last May, the souped-up ’57 Chevy Bel Air Convertable that Springsteen purchased after signing with Columbia Records in 1972 — the car that helped inspire some of his greatest driving songs — sold at auction for $468,000. So it’s clear Springsteen knows his way around a garage. As he tours behind new release Wrecking Ball — surely his most vital new work since 2002’s The Rising — Springsteen and the E Streeters will shake the streets of Tampa Bay with foot-stomping new rockers like We Take Care of Our Own and Death to My Hometown. The band will no doubt miss the Chesaire-Cat presence of saxman Clarence Clemons, who died in June, but filling the Big Man’s shoes will be his nephew Jake Clemons, proving that as long as Bruce is behind the wheel, life in the E Street Band will remain a family affair.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $39-$59. (813) 301-2500.
Spending nearly 30 years pogoing around in nothing but a sock can take a toll on one’s body. Just ask Anthony Keidis, who suffered multiple foot injuries earlier this year, forcing the Red Hot Chili Peppers to postpone their North American tour. Tampa fans ended up benefitting, as next week’s makeup date now marks the start of the group’s 2012 world tour, which includes a June headlining date at Bonnaroo. On latest disc I’m With You, Josh Klinghoffer replaced guitarist John Frusciante, who recently said he won’t rejoin the band for their April induction into into the Rock 'n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Still, if Kiedis and Flea bring the funk like we know they can on Give It Away and Higher Ground, we’ll be there. Even if you don’t dig the Chilis, alternative hip-pop starlet Santigold — the Robyn to M.I.A.’s Lady Gaga — is a plenty good enough reason to show up early.
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $49. (727) 791-7400.
You could probably count on zero hands the number of times Wilson Phillips has ever been compared to Mike Tyson. But just as Tyson got a career boost with The Hangover, Wilson Phillips found a new path back to the spotlight with a climactic performance in last year’s hit flick Bridesmaids. If Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph aren’t ashamed of lip-synching to Hold On, you shouldn’t be, either. In addition to solo hits like You’re In Love and Release Me, expect to hear songs from their upcoming album Dedicated, a tribute to their parents in the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas. Carnie and Wendy Wilson (the daughters of Beach Boy Brian) and Chynna Phillips (daughter of Mama Michelle and Papa John) tackle classics like California Dreamin’, Wouldn’t It Be Nice and Good Vibrations.
With The People’s Temple
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$12. (813) 248-9500.
Not to be confused with the Black Kids, Flaming Lips or Black Keys, Atlanta garage group Black Lips have a reputation for wild antics, both onstage and off. We’re talking casual nakedness, onstage vomiting and urination, guitar-smashing, plenty of drugs ... the usual. Spin magazine is a huge fan, which is how they ended up on the cover last year, aiming a flaming guitar at the camera. Though their ’60s-throwback sound is more Kinks and Combat Rock-era Clash than Sex Pistols and Ramones, Black Lips are a perfect fit to headline the Skatepark of Tampa’s biggest annual party, Tampa Pro 2012.
With Spies on Bikes, Sidedraft
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $16-$20. (813) 248-9500.
Things you need to know: (1.) It’s pronounced “subtract.” (2.) He’s a British DJ/producer named Aaron Jerome, but he prefers to work anonymously, wearing an elaborate native tribal mask during shows and in all promotional photos. (3.) He’s a favorite of artists like Drake, Little Dragon and Radiohead, who asked him to remix their single Lotus Flower. (4.) His music is slinky, soulful and free of the lunatic bombast that tends to dominate the electronic dance music world these days. You’re much more likely to hear moody songs like Trials of the Past or Never Never in an upscale fashion boutique than a brostep college night at your local vodkatorium — which makes his unexpected appearance in Ybor City all the cooler.
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $72-$135. (727) 791-7400.
We’d have loved to have seen Mrs. Elvis Costello on Valentine’s Day, the date she was originally booked at Ruth Eckerd Hall. But Krall postponed that gig when she was invited to perform with Paul McCartney at the Grammy Awards. Even we can’t blame her for that. The smoky-voiced jazz chanteuse worked closely with McCartney on his new album of jazz standards, Kisses on the Bottom, arranging much of the music and playing piano on all but one of the tracks.
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $69-$129. (727) 791-7400.
For an 85-year-old jazz crooner, Tony Bennett has sure found himself in the news for a lot of odd reasons lately. His nude sketch of Lady Gaga fetched $30,000 at auction in December. He got in trouble for stating his belief — on The Howard Stern Show, no less — that American military actions in the Middle East were to blame for 9/11. And Body and Soul, from his new album Duets II, was reportedly the last song Amy Winehouse recorded before she died. (Coincidentally, Friday’s show will take place exactly one year after the duo laid down the track at Abbey Road Studios, on March 23, 2011.) Through it all, though, Bennett still has his fans — Duets II took home two Grammys this year, giving Bennett 16 in his career.
Hot Chelle Rae
With Electric Touch, Cady Groves
SUNDAY $16-$19. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.
Radio Disney mainstays Hot Chelle Rae are no strangers to the Tampa Bay music scene, having opened for We The Kings at the State Theatre and The Script at Ruth Eckerd Hall. But ever so gradually, the Nashville pop group has attained national fame on their own, thanks to the so-dumb-it’s-brilliant smash single Tonight Tonight and its even-dumber-yet-even-more-brilliant follow-up, I Like It Like That. So omnipresent were these singles in 2011 that the group was invited to perform with Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
Little Big Town
FRIDAY Doors at 7 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 987-2855.
Little Big Town predates fellow coed country groups Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry, though they’ve never quite reached the same heights of success. Puzzling, since their folksy harmonies (Kiss Goodbye) and pop-rock leanings (Boondocks, Everything Changes) and multi-vocalist approach have led many to call them Nashville’s Fleetwood Mac. Enjoy this chance to see them in close quarters, before they tour amphitheaters this summer with good friends Rascal Flatts. Expect the Bull to be absolutely packed for this one.
The Naked and Famous
With Now Now, Vacationer
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18. (727) 895-3045.
Much like Shrek the Sheep and Flight of the Conchords, The Naked and Famous have burst forth from tiny New Zealand to win fans the world over. The indie-rock outfit’s debut album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, produced one of the most irresistible singles of the 2010s, Young Blood, a synth-packed power-pop anthem in the vein of MGMT and Passion Pit.
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $39. (727) 791-7400.
Between The Descendants, Eddie Vedder’s Ukulele Songs and the continued popularity of Zooey Deschanel, the humble ukulele had itself a moment in 2011. No one is better suited to capitalize on the trend than Hawaiian braddah Jake Shimabukuro, whose virtuosic fingerpicking keeps turning the uke world on its coconut. Mandated listening: His dreamlike cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and his bluegrassy rendition of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. “If everyone played the ukulele, this world would be a much happier place,” Shimabukuro said during a TED lecture in 2010. Correction: The world would be happier if everyone played the ukulele like him.
With Omarlinx, XI
SUNDAY 10 p.m. 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15. (813) 873-8368
Thanks to the Grammys, mainstream audiences are now hip to dubstep icons like Skrillex and Deadmau5. If you’re looking for electronic dance music’s Next Big Thing, try Canadian duo Zeds Dead, who temper a dark, ear-splitting wobble with slick hints of dancehall and gangsta rap.
Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. Fri.-Sat. 11:30 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. 1-888-800-5447. Free with park admission. buschgardens.com.
Police Unity Tour Benefit Concert Fri. With Greg Billings Band, Pitbull Toddler. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 565-0551.
Michael Burks Fri. With the Branson Welsh Group. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Bobby Lee Rodgers Fri. With Beebs and Her Money Makers. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $6. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Betty Fox Fri. 8 p.m. Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $10. (727) 644-7895.
Gramatik Fri. With Break Science, Paul Basic, DJ Casper. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 241-8600.
Navah Perlman Sat. 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $45. (727) 791-7400.
Andy McKee Sat. With Antoine Dufour. 8 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $27-$32. (727) 587-6793.
Vodkanauts Sat. With Stolen Idols. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
Not Tonight Josephine Sat. With Trust For Liars. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Michael Allman Band Sat. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 873-8368
Blood of the Broken Sat. With Arm the World, Miles from Alaska, Hoist the Colours!, Below the Depths. 7 p.m. Neptune Lounge, 13 S Safford Ave., Tarpon Springs. $8. (727) 943-5713.
Country Mice Sat. With Lauris Vidal, the Rosewoods. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-4969.
Neil Sedaka Sun. 2 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $39-$79. (727) 791-7400.
Brian Culbertson and David Benoit Sun. 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $59.50. (727) 791-7400.
Tea Leaf Green Sun. With The Groves. 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $13-$15. (813) 241-8600.
Foghat Sun. 5 p.m. (live music starts at noon). Screwie Louie’s Porpoise Pub, 8701 Seminole Blvd., Seminole. (727) 393-7616.
Debbie Reynolds Tue. 1 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $30.50-$39.50. (727) 791-7400.
Kevin Costner and Modern West Wed. With Michael Ray. 8 p.m. Lakeland Center, 701 W Lime St., Lakeland. $37-$125. (863) 834-8111.
Tornado Rider Wed. With Between Bluffs. 8 p.m. Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 248-2356.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*