This week in Tampa: Jamey Johnson, Robyn, Wiz Khalifa, The Cult and more
The theme of this week's concert list is the little guy.
Jamey Johnson, above, is an underappreciated outlaw-country bard. Robyn was unjustly lumped in with Britney and Christina before finding her own electro-pop groove. The Cult is always overlooked when it comes to great hard rock acts of the '80s and '90s. And little-known Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa -- who? -- may not be an A-lister yet, but he sold out the Ritz weeks ago. What gives?
To explain the appeal of all of these overlooked talents and more -- including Amberlin, Bring Me The Horizon, Gin Blossoms, Maps and Altases, Sevendust and Ian Anderson -- here's Carole Liparoto ...
With Maluca, Natalia Kills
SUNDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $18-$20. (813) 247-2555.
A platinum blonde with bubblegum pop hooks for days, Robin Carlsson teamed up with Backstreet Boys hitmaker Max Martin in the late ’90s to chart hits Show Me Love and Do You Know (What it Takes). But just when she seemed poised to follow the Britney and Christina lead, the rising Swedish star chose a path less traveled. Today, “Robyn” is the DIY dancing queen playing by her own rules and soaking up praise from hipster types like Pitchfork and NME. In out-there garb that recalls a Scandinavian Gaga, Robyn delivers feminist-touched, hypnotically repetitious synthpop that stimulates both feet and frontal lobes.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35-$49. (727) 791-7400.
Was country music really ever meant to be pretty? After a few minutes with Jamey Johnson’s The Guitar Song, we’d answer no way. “It’s so hard to stay honest in a world that’s headed to hell,” he groans. Johnson’s stuff is deep, hard, and at times, downright miserable. Hailed “outlaw country’s next big hope” (Rolling Stone), his kiss-my-ass attitude and clever wordplay conjures up Waylon Jennings in the Facebook age. With all that said, it’s hard to believe this unkempt Southerner (his look lands him somewhere between a Zach Galifianakis and a ZZ Top) is the same frat guy and ex-Marine corporal who wrote Trace Adkins’ Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.
FRIDAY 9 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Sold Out. (813) 247-2555.
The fact that little-known rapper Wiz Khalifa has been selling out 1,000-plus-capacity clubs across the country leads us to believe that this guy, and his Converse-loving fanbase The Taylor Gang, are the real deal. If you heard Khalifa’s Alice Deejay sampling Say Yeah a few times on the radio and pooh-poohed it, Pittsburgh-proud anthem Black and Yellow deserves yours ears again. With terrible towel in hand, Khalifa loves up on the Steel City and his push-button ignition. His low-key flow and (ahem) trailing smoke cloud has earned him lots of Snoop Dogg comparisons.
MONDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $28. (727) 565-0551.
Pour hard, driving rock through a sieve of distortion and psychedelic haziness, add a touch of goth, and you’ve got The Cult’s mysterious acid rock sound — one that many fans will tell you is infinitely underrated. Singer Ian Astbury’s voice has been compared to Jim Morrison’s so often that Doors co-founders Ray Manzarke and Robbie Krieger enlisted Astbury to play a few gigs with the “new Doors.”
With Vodkanauts, Glenn Cummings, Roberto Debourg and the Flats, Shaun Hopper, Terry T. Trio
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Zoofari, Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. $75 and up. (813) 935-8552 ext. 239, lowryparkzoo.com.
If like you like beer and miss the sweet, simple sounds of the ’90s, check out Zoofari, where the imports will flow like water and the Gin Blossoms will rock like they just bagged a Tickle Me Elmo. These Arizonians proved to be comfy pop-rock professionals in their day, turning out hit after inarguably similar hit. But hey, we’ll be the first to admit we still love and cherish Hey Jealousy, Found Out About You and the rest.
Riverhawk Music Festival
Featuring Sweetback Sisters, Hoots and Hellmouth, Jimmy LaFave, The Gourds, The Lee Boys, Shinyribs, more
FRIDAY-SUNDAY. Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Rd., Brooksville. $20-$125. (863) 984-8445.
After Wanee Music Festival, but before Bear Creek, Brooksville hosts its own patchouli-scented music and arts event, the Riverhawk Music Festival. Just a 30-minute drive from Tampa, the fest is a cozy, kid-and-pet-friendly retreat with camping, crafts and a diverse offering of music. Don’t miss Brooklyn’s finest — and potentially only — harmonious honky-tonk act, Sweetback Sisters.
The AP Tour
Featuring Bring Me the Horizon, Emarosa, August Burns Red, Polar Bear Club, more
THURSDAY 6 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $22. (813) 247-2555.
Considering the majority of musicians on the AP Tour required babysitters prior to 1998, these guys put forth one skillfully loud, technically savvy mini-music event. Most of the acts are of the metalcore brand, which usually entails screaming. Emarosa is the melodic post-hardcore exception thanks to Jonny Craig’s (formerly of Dance Gavin Dance) gospel-singer-like touch.
With Crash Kings, Civil Twilight
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $19-$21. (727) 565-0551.
Released in September, Dark Is The Way, Light Is a Place finds Winter Haven’s Stephen Christian and Anberlin chasing a darker, drum-heavy sound, partly the influence of producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, The Black Crowes).
Jayne Kelli CD release Fri. 8 p.m. Dunedin House of Beer, 927 Broadway, Dunedin. Free. (727) 902-1671.
Solas Fri. 8 p.m. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Avenue N, in St. Petersburg. $22.50 and up. (727) 822-3590.
Mr. Bella Fri. With After the Crash. 9 p.m. Whiskey Dicks, 9814 U.S. 301 S, Riverview. Free. (813) 672-3425.
Tornado Rider Fri. 9 p.m. Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-2356.
Stiff Pole Records Concert Sat. featuring No Fraud, Pink Lincolns, The Gotohells, Psycho Tribe, Last Great Hope, Doll Parts. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-3045.
Tres Bien CD release Sat. 8 p.m. With Mumpsy, Easy Breezy. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave. N., St. Petersburg. facebook.com/thelocal662.
The Legendary Pink Dots Sat. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $22.50. (813) 248-9500.
Sarasota Blues Festival Sat. featuring Elvin Bishop, The Tommy Castro Band, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Moreland and Arbuckle, Jake Haldenwang. 12 p.m. Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota. $22 and up. (941) 954-4101.
The Acacia Strain Sun. 6 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $19. (727) 895-3045.
Suffocation Mon. With the Faceless, Through the Eyes of the Dead. 7 p.m. The Brass Mug, 1441 E Fletcher Avenue, Tampa. $23. (813) 972-8152.
Maps and Atlases Sun. With The Globes, Tera Melos. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $10-$12. (813) 241-8600.
Sevendust Tues. With 10 Years, more. 6 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $30. (813) 247-2555.
Suicidal Tendencies Tues. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $33. (727) 895-3045.
Peelander-Z Wed. With TsuShiMaMiRe. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $11.50. (813) 248-9500.
Ian Anderson Thurs. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $52 and up. (727) 791-7400.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*