This week in Tampa: Identity Festival, R. Kelly, Lindsey Buckingham, Ted Nugent and more
Electronic music once again finds itself in the spotlight this week as the Identity Festival returns to the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre in Tampa. Last year's Identity Fest was a spectacle of light, noise and fashion; this year's will no doubt be just as otherworldly, with artists like Eric Prydz (above), Wolfgang Gartner and Excision on the bill.
If you're after something smoother, try Ledisi, Eric Benet or R. Kelly. If you dig classic rock, try Lindsey Buckingham or Ted Nugent. Or check out The Cataracs, mewithoutYou, Plies, Yo Majesty or even the Wiggles.
Here to walk you through it all is Carole Liparoto...
With Eric Benét
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $25.50 and up. (727) 892-5767.
When it comes to contemporary jazz, soul and R&B of the self-empowering sort, singer-songwriter-actress Ledisi is the star of the show. The New York Times calls her “resilient and passionate … a woman not afraid to be strong.” And Patti LaBelle went as far as to anoint Ledisi her successor. Opener Eric Benét should add suave, falsetto-fueled Real Love to the warm summer eve.
SUNDAY Following Rays vs. Orioles. First pitch at 1:40 p.m. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. Free with game ticket. raysbaseball.com.
Score points with the wee ones at the Rays game Sunday when The Wiggles take to centerfield to perform retro rock and pop tunes about hot potatoes, magic buttons, fruit salad and sleepy bandmate Jeff. The Aussie group, dubbed “your child’s first rock band,” has garnered the adoration (and the squeals) of pint-sized pals across the globe. Special thanks to jubilant Wiggles fan Aurora Ritter for helping me to experience the group’s spellbinding power firsthand.
Featuring Wolfgang Gartner, Eric Prydz, Excision, Eva Simons, Showtek, Arty, Noisia, Doctor P, Rye Rye, more
FRIDAY 3 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $40 and up. (813) 740-2446.
It’s yet another example of electronic dance music’s foray into the mainstream. Friday, A-list DJ Wolfgang Gartner heads up the second installment of Identity Festival, an aural and visual assault of arena-sized proportions. The Grammy nominee Gartner is the Mozart of melding spooky tech-house and playful electro (which the real Amadeus would love, no doubt). Not just for the nocturnal any longer, this one gets started at 3 p.m.
MONDAY 8 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Call for ticket availability. (727) 791-7400.
Without Stevie’s witchin’ ways, Lindsey Buckingham gets right down to the expert pickin’ during this intimate Clearwater gig. The Fleetwood Mac guitarist is touring in support of sixth solo album, Seeds We Sow, which he produced, engineered, and undoubtedly made some wicked guitar faces throughout. Will he play anything from Rumours, though? “People would probably run me out on a rail if I didn’t do a few Fleetwood Mac songs,” Buckingham told Rolling Stone regarding the tour.
With VJ Kidd Leow, more
FRIDAY 11 p.m. Hard Rock Café, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. $10 and up. (866) 502-7529.
Maybe you’ve heard Cali vixen Dev purring the phrase, “It’s the Cataracs” on her tracks. Like a watermark on a photograph, it’s meant to give production credit to the Cataracs, the duo behind In the Dark, Bass Down Low and Like a G6. This show celebrates the Cataracs’ new release All You, a saxobeat-style club single featuring Waka Flocka Flame and Kaskade.
With Kevin Devine, Buried Beds
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $14-$16. (727) 895-3045.
The top comment on mewithoutYou’s strummy, old-timey The Fox, The Crow and The Cookie video on YouTube reads, “I love this song and I’m an atheist.” The Judeo-Christian-band categorization is often a hot topic for this indie Philly outfit. But lead vocalist Aaron Weiss says that the lyrics merely reflect a personal relationship with God, and are not evangelistic. Most impressively, the band finds a way to mix post-hardcore and experimental rock with acoustic instrumentation, spoken-word sounds and Neutral Milk Hotel-styled folk.
With Laura Wilde
MONDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39.50 and up. (727) 791-7400.
Second Amendment protector, avid hunter and guitar hero Ted Nugent plays the Bay just three weeks shy of the Republican National Convention. Given his status as one of the most outspoken conservatives in music, could he have timed that better? No matter your politics, it’s hard to argue with the Motor City Madman’s opening lick to Stranglehold, or with the fact that the guy brings more expertly-wrung guitar feedback than anyone in a cowboy hat and a tacky sleeveless can or ever will.
SUNDAY 9 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $30 and up. (813) 873-8368.
Fool us once, R. Kelly, shame on you. Fool us twice and ... well, we know the deal. After cancelling an Ybor appearance back in April, promoters claim all systems are go this time. The controversial king of modern R&B with the window-fogging slow jams, salacious pop songs, the Trapped in the Closet hip-hoperas and inspirational smash I Believe I Can Fly is once again being billed “appearing live” in Ybor. So again, no guarantees of a performance here. But we’d love to experience not-so-subtle croon tune Share My Love up close and on the cheap. Over a disco-soul beat, Kelly proclaims, “Let’s do what we were born to do — populate!”
Yo Majesty Fri. With Aych, PF Gang, more. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.
Nikki Shau Fri. 7 p.m. Shamrock’s Ale House, 7805 Temple Terrace Highway, Temple Terrace. Free. (813) 988-4908.
Plies Fri. 10 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Cost TBD. (727) 895-3045.
The Transfers Fri. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
The Black Honkeys Fri. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Big Picture Sat. 9:30 p.m. Dave’s Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg. (727) 576-1091.
Evans Blue Sat. With Bobaflex, more. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.
The Dangerous Summer Wed. With From Indian Lakes, Makari. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$12. theorpheum.com.
Tracy Shedd Wed. 7 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969.
Wayne Hancock Thurs. 9 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. facebook.com/thelocal662.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*