This week in Tampa: Elton John, Toby Keith, Chris Isaak, Yelawolf and more
What a wild week in music we have coming up! Normally, when you say something like, "everyone from Toby Keith to Elton John," it's meant as hyperbole. But not this week!
Among the acts coming to Tampa Bay this week: Elton John, Toby Keith, Chris Isaak, Yelawolf, Arrested Development, Il Volo, Hoobastank, the Go-Go's, the Ataris, Grand Funk Railroad, Tony Lucca, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, Shemekia Copeland and more.
Here to walk you through it all is Carole Liparoto...
FRIDAY 8 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $39.50-$139.50. (813) 974-3004.
These days, it’s hard to recall the boundary-pushing artist behind the eyeglasses. When Elton John plays the USF Sun Dome Friday — a grand reopening of the gussied venue — he’ll be an efficient human jukebox, unloading all the hits you paid handsomely to hear: Rocket Man, Crocodile Rock, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Bennie and the Jets. If we’re lucky, however, the 65-year-old icon will reach deep into his underrated back catalog and dust off some long-lost gems, winking gifts for the loyalists who remember when he and lyricist Bernie Taupin took wild weird chances, when your mom frowned at the album art for Captain Fantastic. -- Sean Daly
With Brantley Gilbert
SUNDAY 7 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $30-$83. (813) 740-2446.
When it comes to supplying honky-tonk party patriotism in the modern age, corn-fed cowboy and Solo Cup collector Toby Keith is still the go-to guy. (Sorry, Mr. Eastwood.) The rebel Romeo, who has been opening his sets with American Ride and Made in America and closing with American Soldier and Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (the Angry American), will offer plenty of heartland poetry — some gritty, some witty — when he hits the Gary Sunday. Rising star Brantley Gilbert, co-author of Jason Aldean hick-hop smash Dirt Road Anthem, opens the show.
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $39.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.
Despite their youthful, dimpled looks, tenors Ignazio Boschetto, Piero Barone and Gianluca Ginoble of Il Volo have the ability to stir up feelings of old-time grandeur, even in a flip-flop haven like Tampa. The wide-eyed teen trio competed on popular Italian talent show Ti Lascio Una Canzone in 2009, where they covered Neapolitan standard O Sole Mio, now a setlist staple.
FRIDAY 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $17. (727) 895-3045.
Progressive rap-soul poets Arrested Development tackled political and social injustices in the ’90s with such buoyancy and hope, they reminded us of early Sly and the Family Stone, or better still, Public Enemy on Paxil. Strongly spiritual hit Tennessee and street-dweller ode Mr. Wendal — half the royalties from which were donated to the National Coalition for the Homeless — are among the band’s best-known works.
SUNDAY 7 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Pete. $39.50-$75.50. (727) 892-5767.
The “McDreamy” of lovelorn rockabilly introduced his soft vulnerability, great hair and stylized take on Roy Orbison-type ’50s rock with the steamy Wicked Game. And not that rolling around on the beach with Danish-Peruvian supermodel Helena Christensen was so bad, but Isaak says he’s finally getting around to acting on his real dream — recapturing the glory days of Memphis’ Sun Records. On latest Beyond the Sun, Isaak covers tunes by the visionary artists who got their starts there, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.
With Rittz, Trouble Andrew, DJ Vajra
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $19. (727) 895-3045.
With all due respect to Bubba Sparxxx and Paul Wall, white rappers have yet to find real presence in Southern hip-hop. But pasty Alabama rapper Yelawolf might just change all that. The Slim Shady signee has a Travis Barker collab in the works and enough rough-and-tumble, tatted-up rap tracks to get you up and moving.
Grand Funk Railroad
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Pete. $30-$50. (727) 892-5767.
“The wild, shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner! The bone-rattling bass of Mel Schacher! The competent drum work of Don Brewer!” Homer Simpson once described his beloved Grand Funk Railroad this way. Saturday, catch the American Band, minus Farner, in St. Pete.
Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown
With Red Rock/its, Lions After Dark, Bandit
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Pete. $8. facebook.com/thelocal662.
When you’re a blues-guitar prodigy from Honey Grove, Texas, it’s only natural to hear the phrase “the next Stevie Ray Vaughan” a time or two. That description’s been tossed at Tyler Bryant throughout his young career, one that includes Robert Johnson Blues Foundation awards, Jeff Beck duets, a track on Guitar Hero (a first for an unsigned artist) and opening sessions for Joe Bonamassa and Aerosmith. The only thing not so Vaughan-like might be the haircut.
Half Way to St. Patty’s Day Party
Featuring Hoobastank, Chris McCarty, Khora, Trust for Liars, The August Name, more
SATURDAY 11 a.m. Durty Nelly’s Irish Tavern, 149 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Cost TBD. (727) 823-3878.
Does an Irish pub really need an extra day on the calendar to excuse boozy overindulgence? Probably not. But the good folks at St. Pete’s Durty Nelly’s are doing their darndest with the “Half Way to St. Patty’s Day” party. Crawling in the Dark hitmakers Hoobastank headline the festivities.
With Todd Carey, Bracher Brown
MONDAY 7:30 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $25.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.
Much to Christina Aguilera’s chagrin, former fellow Mouseketeer Tony Lucca gave viewers an “edgy” (by cable TV standards, anyway) offering on The Voice finale, covering Jay-Z’s 99 Problems. He’s still playing by his own rules on this tour, which hits the Straz Monday.
WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $35-$60. (727) 892-5767.
High priestesses of kitschy ’80s pop (Our Lips Are Sealed, Vacation) The Go-Go’s trade their annual Rays postgame Trop stop for a full set at the Mahaffey Wednesday.
With Flatfoot 56, Red City Radio, Lemon Law
THURSDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12-$14. (813) 241-8600.
The Ataris continue to distance themselves from their accidental hit cover of Don Henley’s The Boys of Summer by trotting out a robust catalog of melancholic pop-punk on tour. Kris Roe remains the band’s sole original member.
Vodkanauts Fri. 7 p.m. Highlander Park, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin. Free. (727) 812-4530.
Miggs CD release Fri. With 10th Concession, Woody. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$12. theorpheum.com.
Shaun Hopper Fri. 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $20. (727) 791-7400.
Nate Najar performing Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz’s Jazz Samba Fri. With La Lucha. 8 p.m. Hough Concert Hall at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $25-$35. (727) 822-3590.
WMNF’s 33rd Birthday Party Fri. Blues Night featuring Shemekia Copeland, Stooges Brass Band, Billy Seward and Soulfonic. 8 p.m. $20-$25. And Sat. Alt-rock Night featuring Black Taxi, Florida Kilos, Alexander and the Grapes. 8 p.m. $10-$15. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. (813) 971-0666.
Girls Out Loud Music Fest Sat. featuring Geri X, Hunter Valentine, All the Pretty Cars, Kelly Neff, Lisa Noe, more. 1 p.m. Progress Energy Park, 230 First St. SE, St. Petersburg. $35 and up. girl2girlproductions.com.
Steampunk Ball Sat. featuring Gen-XX of Genitorturers, DJ Curse Mackey. 10 p.m. The Castle, 2004 N 16th St., Ybor City. $10 and up. (813) 247-7547.
Parmalee Sat. 7 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Free (with cover). (813) 987-2855.
Pretty Voices Sat. With Zanesville, Holiday, RUG. 9 p.m. FUBAR, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3. (727) 424-1809.
Sasha Gradiva Sat. 10 p.m. G Bar, 1401 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Cost TBD. (813) 247-1016.
Local Acoustic Showcase Sat. featuring Keith Jones, Max Arbour, Drew Disparte, Calico, more. 7 p.m. Neptune Lounge, 13 S Safford Ave., Tarpon Springs. $7-$8. (727) 943-5713.
Supersuckers Thurs. With No Loves. 7:30 p.m. Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13.50-$15. facebook.com/thelocal662.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*