Make us your home page

This week in Tampa: Drake, Rascal Flatts, Bret Michaels and more




Three weeks ago the most buzzed-about female rapper in years, Nicki Minaj, came to Tampa. This week, it's time for her male counterpart, Drake, who headlines a handful of noteworthy shows in Tampa Bay this week.

Drake, of course, is finally returning to Tampa Bay after skipping out on a show here due to a knee injury last year. Another guy who's braving injury to perform for us this weekend is Bret Michaels, who's performing a free postgame concert at Tropicana Field on Saturday. Click here for a preview of that show.

After the jump, get Carole Liparoto's details on Drake, Rascal Flatts, Crosby Stills and Nash, Nikki Yanofsky, Los Amigos Invisibles and the finale to Skipper's Smokehouse's 30th anniversary week ...

With The Clipse
FRIDAY 8 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $46-$103.95. (813) 974-3002.
“Buzz so big, I could probably sell a blank disc.” With those words, much-hyped Canadian-American actor and artist Drake introduced himself to the hip-hop world on Best I Ever Had, the platinum-selling ode to one very lucky (and apparently sheets-skilled) lady. So how’d a guy best known for his role on teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation come to dominate hip-hop in 2010? For one, the 23-year-old Lil Wayne protégé proved that even in rap, charisma moves people more than sheer volume (so step aside Lil Jon). Drake is a lover, not a fighter, with clever, anti-thug flows and a soft spot for simple ladies (Fancy). To that end, what woman doesn’t love the line, “Sweat pants, hair tied, chillin’ with no makeup on / That’s when you’re the prettiest / I hope that you don’t take it wrong.”

Skipper’s 30th Anniversary Week
FRIDAY-SUNDAY Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. Free. (813) 971-0666.
Skipper’s Smokehouse wraps up its week of anniversary celebrations with three more nights of free shows. Starting at 8 p.m. Friday, piano-boogie master Rev. Billy C. Wirtz and homegrown blues whiz Damon Fowler are the headliners. At 2 p.m. Saturday, it’s a day of some of the best local acts around, from Ronny Elliott to Poetry 'n’ Lotion to Magadog to Headlights. And at 4 p.m. Sunday, it’s another round of blues with Blue Dice and Mod Squad. For full lineups by day, see

Rascal Flatts
With Kellie Pickler, Chris Young
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $39.25-$79.75. (813) 740-2446.
A harmonious country act with major pop appeal, Rascal Flatts was among the first to give traditionally “down-home” country music some polish. Over a 10-year, 26-single career, the well-moussed trio has forgone rugged plucking and singing for a glossy, vocal-driven style, one that still manages to conjure up average-guy blue jeans and summer get-togethers. Rascal Flatts has influenced countless contemporary country acts, including Lady Antebellum, who played here earlier this week. New disc Nothing Like This is due out in October. Opener and American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler does a nice Dolly Parton impression, but as Randy Jackson might say, she’s a little pitchy, dog.  

Denise Moore CD Release
SATURDAY 8 p.m. 442 Lounge, 442 Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $10. (813) 254-5373.
Leading local jazz lady Denise Moore will release The History of Jazz, an ambitious live disc recorded at The Palladium that covers everything from early New Orleans jazz to smooth jazz. Moore, who has played casually with folk acts, country acts, blues acts and so on, “really didn’t get this going until I was 40,” she said, after a friend told her to lead her own group. “And I went to what I love — jazz,” Moore says. Moore was recently awarded an artist grant for music from the Hillsborough Arts Council.

Los Amigos Invisibles
With Rocksteady @ 8
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $18-$20. (813) 241-8600.
Los Amigos Invisibles, a Venezuelan-born dance band, has risen from relative obscurity (invisibility, if you will) in the U.S. to rock Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo and snag a Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Album this year. Not too shabby for these Latin-disco-funk lovers discovered in a Manhattan record shop by David Byrne. It’s music that “hits the sweet spot between the heart and the hips,” said the Boston Globe.

Nikki Yanofsky
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $32-$42. (727) 791-7400.  
Tony Bennett called Nikki Yanofsky “the most talented singer since Judy Garland.” We’d have to believe that’s insanely high praise for a sweet 16-year-old who loves chicken quesadillas, tanning and her puppy Rafa. Yanofsky played to rave reviews at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2006, but it was her performance at the Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony this year that garnered her attention worldwide. Listen for Yanofsky’s rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s famous scat Airmail Special and we think you’ll come away impressed.

Crosby, Stills & Nash
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $62.50-$129.50. (727) 791-7400.
When the varied voices of Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and David Crosby come together, you realize why these guys never fared as well solo. One of the first-ever “supergroups”, CSN’s signature three-part harmonies, wistful folk-pop and AM-radio country tones were so dulcet, you’d forget the group was crying out for social change. To this day, each member has much to contribute live: Nash with folksy sing-along Teach Your Children and nimble Marrakesh Express; guitar virtuoso Stills with Love the One You’re With and Southern Cross; Crosby with hippie hymn Almost Cut My Hair and poetic ballad Guinevere. CSN influence has also run rampant among today’s harmony-smitten indie acts like Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes.

Also playing

Donald Glaude Fri. 9 p.m. The Venue, 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. Free for ladies, $10 for guys. (727) 571-2222.

Dunedin Starlight Concert Series: The Voices of Jazz, Big Band Night. Fri. 7 p.m. Highlander Park, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin. Free. (727) 812-4530. 

Dementia Fri. With Azalea, more. 8 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N, Largo. (727) 532-0265.

Alias Punch Fri. With Emergency Pizza Party, Shifted Grimm, I Kill Pxls, Yogurt Smoothness. 8 p.m. The Emerald, 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3.

Cosmic Gospel Hour Sat. With The Black Swans, Paxico Via Mexico. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.

Mark Erelli Sat. 7:30 p.m. Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 644-7895.

Rock Solid Pressure Industry Showcase Sat. 1 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13. (727) 895-3045. 

3 Pint Harmony Sat. 8 p.m. Three Birds Tavern, 1494 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 895-2049. 

Jollipalooza Sat. Featuring Lucid Druid, Obvious Dysfunction, Full Fledged Unit. 12 p.m. Dunedin House of Beer and JolliMon’s Grill, Huntley Ave., Dunedin. (727) 902-1671.

Craig’s Knight (Craig Van Tilbury benefit) Mon. featuring Damon Fowler, Ed Wright, Jimmy Griswold, Sean Chambers, Elvis Forevermore, The Marys, Swinging Mooks, Mike Tozier, Vodkanauts, Stephanie Anderson, The Beauvilles, Do It Again, Joey Dee, Tommy Mara. 7 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10 suggested donation. (813) 971-0666.

Dignan Mon. With Auto?Automatic??, Mrenc. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.

Kinch Thurs. With Broken. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $8-$10. (813) 248-9500.

Robbie Hazen and The Riot Thurs. 9 p.m. Pegasus Lounge, 10008 N 30th St., Tampa. $5-$7. (813) 971-1679.

Devil’s Day Parade Thurs. 9 p.m. Felicitous Coffee House, 19015 N U.S. 41, Lutz. (813) 948-6540.

-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*

[Last modified: Thursday, September 23, 2010 12:33pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours