This week in Tampa: John Mayer, Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg, B.B. King and Buddy Guy and more
This might be the busiest concert week in Tampa Bay since last August, when the Ford Amphitheatre blew up with six mega-concerts in eight days.
It's a shame we can't space more of these concerts out. Like on Friday night -- who do you go see, John Mayer, B.B. King and Buddy Guy, Jucifer, Todd Snider or the Expendables?
Or next Wednesday -- do you check out Bowerbirds, Cold Cave (above) and Nite Jewel, or the Black Eyed Peas with Ludacris and LMFAO?
After the jump, Carole Liparoto (formerly Giambalvo, thankyouverymuch) wades through these and other Tampa concerts this week, including Snoop Dogg, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Mike Doughty and more...
With Julie Doiron, Geri X.
WEDNESDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Upon hearing Bowerbirds’ lovely, off-the-grid folk songs, you may find yourself preparing to make some new commitments — like growing a beard or composting your own waste. “It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth,” the group sings on In Our Talons, a fragile, harmony-rich hymn written and recorded in a solar-powered airstream. These brainy folk-pop tracks contain free-range acoustic strumming and a rustic charm like that of Bon Iver or Iron and Wine.
MONDAY 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $37-$42. (727) 895-3045.
On iconic ’93 album The Chronic, Snoop Dogg told the world in a higher-than-a kite drawl that he was “ready to make an entrance, so back on up.” In the years since, the West Coast Doggfather has become one of the most commercially successful rappers in history. His enterprise is so big, in fact, that even your mom knows how to drop some “izzle” slang when the time’s right. Latest Malice in Wonderland, featuring I Wanna Rock and The-Dream collaboration Gangsta Luv, is the same Snoop Dogg, just with a first-class view.
B.B. King and Buddy Guy
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $52.50-$82.50. (727) 791-7400.
Spend a few hours with B.B. and Lucille (his affectionately named Gibson), and it’s easy to grasp why King is considered the greatest living electric bluesman. Yes, he’s 84. And yes, he’s usually seated in an armchair. But King’s note-bending know-how and spunky staccato-picking still dazzles. Chicago blues showman Buddy Guy, who was hugely influential on Hendrix and Clapton, is thought to be the bridge between blues and rock and roll (although his biggest hits came in the ’80s and ’90s). And yes, we know John Mayer is playing across town Friday, but really? True blues fans should be in Clearwater for this one.
Cold Cave and Nite Jewel
With Soft Rock Renegades
WEDNESDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $7. (813) 241-8600.
Blogger-favored “no-fi” music often divides the house. Is this feedback-riddled, tape-hissing genre rebellious and cutting edge? Or is about as incomprehensible as folding a fitting sheet? We’ll leave that up to you. If one thing’s certain, though, it’s that Cold Cave and Nite Jewel are two of the top acts in the category. Cold Cave’s menacing baritone and ambiguous synths conjure up black lipstick and New Order, while Nite Jewel, the experimental art project of philosophy student Ramona Gonzales, evokes ’80s popster Lisa Lisa.
With Rebecca Zapen
FRIDAY 6 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.
Todd Snider, a sharp social commentator and a rascally comedian, falls somewhere between a John Prine and a Randy Newman. The windswept troubadour writes twangy tunes about beer runs, our troops, and baseball players who pitch no-hitters on acid. His 2009 album The Excitement Plan is “JJ Cale meets Jerry Jeff Walker with words that would hopefully impress Shel Silverstein or Kris Kristofferson,” Snider has said.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
THURSDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Sold out. (727) 791-7400.
While their Tony-winning bio Jersey Boys remains a hot ticket, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons deliver the hits and high notes firsthand Thursday. Straight out of the Newark projects, the doo-wop kings with the famous falsetto struck music gold — Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) — at a time when organized crime may have been the easier career choice.
With Guiltmaker, Light Yourself On Fire
SATURDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
The local music scene needs a guy who’ll go balls-out each and every time he performs. And Ernie Locke has proven (through surgeries, colds, whatever) he’s that guy. The Nervous Turkey frontman, vocalist and harmonica player, who’s known for a foul mouth, funny faces and shirtless belly rolls, was described by one tbt* staffer as “a possessed preacher-man who gets crowds more heated than an Alabama church revival in July.” The group just scored a slot at South by Southwest, so let’s hope Austin’s ready for a sound Locke characterizes as “Booker T and the MG’s and Howlin’ Wolf being chased into a chicken coop by Jon Spencer.”
With Iration, Passafire
FRIDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $16-$18. (813) 247-2555.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Beach-going white guys play a mix of reggae, rock and punk that critics largely detest and the rest of us find pretty agreeable. If you like Sublime, Pepper or Slightly Stoopid, you’ll probably dig this Santa Cruz, Calif. crew.
Jucifer: Fri. With Essex, Thrash Money Millionaires. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.
John Mayer: Fri. With Michael Franti and Spearhead. 8 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $37-$68.25. (813) 301-2500.
GreyMarket CD Re-release: Fri. With Pilly Wete, DJ Rig. Orpheum, 1902 N Aveninda Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. $5-$8. (813) 248-9500.
The Stick Martin Show: Fri. With DJ Mathu Bishop. 8 p.m. Cafe Alma, 260 First Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 502-5002.
Don Campagna tribute: Fri. and Sat. featuring Sin City, Livewire, Pit Bull Toddler, Hammerslug, more. Bourbon Street Nightclub, 4331 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. Donations accepted. (727) 843-0686.
The Caribbean Festival/Bob Marley 65th Birthday Tribute: Sat. Featuring Impulse, Reality Band, Johukames Posse, more. 4 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Sarge and the Aeromen CD release: Sat. With Midnight Bowlers League. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. (727) 736-0606.
DJ Sharaz: Sat. With Rick West, Mondo more. 9 p.m. Level III, 1611 E.Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$20. (813) 248-9100.
Anchor Arms: Sat. With Spanish Gamble, Steady State, Only Monsters. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3. (727) 821-7080.
Dennis DeYoung of Styx: Sun. 3 p.m. Busch Gardens, 3000 East Busch Blvd., Tampa. Free with park admission. bandsbrewandbbq.com.
American Me: Sun. 8 p.m. Transitions, 4215 E. Columbus Drive, Tampa. (813) 382-3477.
The Mosh Lives Battle of the Bands: Sun. featuring Big Red Robot, Shotgun Signature, more. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $6-$8. (813) 248-9500.
Open Blues Jam: Mon. 10 p.m. Green Iguana, 4029 S West Shore Blvd., Tampa. Free. (813) 837-1234.
Pine Hill Haints: Tues. 9:30 p.m. Dave’s Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg. $7. (727) 576-1091.
Black Eyed Peas: Wed. With Ludacris, LMFAO. 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $47-$79.50. (813) 301-2500.
Black Eyed Peas afterparty: Wed. Featuring will.i.am DJ set, LMFAO. 10 p.m. The Venue, 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. (727) 571-2222.
Mike Doughty: Thur. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 N Aveninda Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. $15. (813) 248-9500.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*