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This week in Tampa: John Mayer, O.A.R., Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and more




John Mayer. Tom Petty. Both dudes with guitars, both songwriters with attitude, both beloved by fans nationwide (well, Petty, at least — who knows if fans have forgiven John Mayer for his Stupid Mouth). And both are coming to Tampa this week.

Mayer and Owl City hit the 1-800 Ask Gary Amphitheatre on Friday, and Petty and ZZ Top are coming to the Forum on Thursday. But they're not the only big names coming to town this week. After the jump, Carole Liparoto walks you through this week's concert picks, including O.A.R., Paper Tongues, Christabel and the Jons, Suite Caroline and more ...

John Mayer
With Owl City
FRIDAY 7 p.m. 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. $48.10-$84.50. (813) 740-2446.
John Mayer has always known his mouth to be a dangerous instrument. On 2001’s appropriately titled My Stupid Mouth, he sings, “I’m never speaking up again / It only hurts me.”  Still, Mayer, 32, gabbed to Rolling Stone about his now-infamous lady “Joshua Tree” and told Playboy about his “white supremacist” body part, leaving some people — Oprah, for one — less than pleased. The thing is, when Mayer’s a musician not chasing punchlines, he’s a legitimate talent, wooing the ladies with raspy, Hallmarkian pop tunes (Daughters), and even impressing a few of the dudes they’ve dragged along with dogged, Stevie Ray-quality blues-rock (Crossroads). Friday, Mayer will perform tracks off of 2009’s Battle Studies and a handful of the hits.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
With ZZ Top
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $49.50 and up. (813) 301-2500.
For a droopy guy from the swamp, Tom Petty’s heartland hits pack a blissful punch. Influenced by the Rolling Stones’ rhythms, Dylan’s mouthpiece and the Byrds’ guitar sound, Petty crafts highway-ready tunes about running down dreams, outcasts not backing down, getting lucky and ridin’ on cruise control. You know, all-American, Super Bowl-appropriate stuff. While Thursday’s set will be comprised largely of Petty’s greatest hits, the Gainesville great will play material from latest Mojo, an album that subs loose blues-boogie for his signature FM pop-rock sound. 

Christabel and the Jons 
SUNDAY 4 p.m. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, 5119 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 234-1000.
You’d think Knoxville, Tenn., had a major speakeasy scene the way Christabel and the Jons play. Sure, the group’s Southern swing tunes are more sweat tea than dry vermouth, but they’re topped with flapper revivalist Christa DeCicco’s sultry jazz vocals. Along with Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics, the folk-swing group was one of a handful of retro-restoring acts to wow at WMNF’s Tropical Heatwave this year.

With Steel Train
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $37.50. (727) 791-7400.  
Five Ohio State friends got their start at Buckeye frat parties and campus events, jamming out a hospitable hybrid of alternative pop, winding rock and reggae. Before long, they were selling out Madison Square Garden. But O.A.R.’s rise to big time wasn’t all high fives and hacky sacks. Following Dave Matthews Band’s lead, O.A.R. (which stands for Of A Revolution) built a devoted fanbase (without any major label marketing or radio play) by playing shows tirelessly and encouraging fans to share their recordings. That Was a Crazy Game of Poker, Hey Girl and Love and Memories are among the live highlights. 

The Loafies
Featuring Have Gun, Will Travel, The Semis, Dynasty, Auto?Automatic??
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. CL Space, 1911 N 13th St., Ybor City. $10.
We’re never too proud to show our fellow local music and arts supporters at Creative Loafing a little a love for the work they do. On Wednesday, CL will hold the annual Best of the Bay Awards show, The Loafies, to honor the best local musicians, DJs, artists, restaurants and the list goes on. Musical guests include Spaghetti Western songsmiths Have Gun, Will Travel; cheeky, fuzzy rockers The Semis; pint-size fire-spitter Dynasty; and prog dynamos Auto?Automatic??

Suite Caroline (Music in the Park Series)
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Seminole City Park, 7464 Ridge Rd., Seminole. Free. (727) 398-3108.
You’ve shared stages with Pat Benatar, Martina McBride and The Go-Go’s; sung a duet with Sheryl Crow; and just recently, signed with William Morris, the powerhouse agency that represents country superstars Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and Brad Paisley. So, what comes next? When you’re 12-year-old Caroline Kudelko, finishing middle school is one item on the agenda. Friday, Belleair’s burgeoning country-pop singer will kick off the City of Seminole’s 14th annual Music in the Park weekly series. Our advice to you: See her before it’s too expensive.

Paper Tongues
With Mix Master Mike
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 565-0551.
It seems odd for a band whose most famous song is titled Ride to California to help launch the new season of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But that’s what’ll happen during the Bucs’ annual free Kickoff Party on Friday. Buzzworthy modern rockers Paper Tongues and Beastie Boys DJ Mix Master Mike will take the stage alongside Bucs players and coaches, who will toss beads and goodies into the crowd. This is the first year since the Kickoff Party began in 2005 that it hasn’t been held at Channelside in downtown Tampa.

Also Playing

El Ten Eleven Fri. 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $13.05. (813) 248-9500.

Dirty Black Halo Fri. With Beyond Ariose, more. 9 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N., Largo. $5. (727) 532-0265.

Dunedin Starlight Concert Series Fri. featuring Rubix Cubed. 7 p.m. Highlander Park, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin. Free. (727) 812-4530.

H*WOOD Fri. 9 p.m. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third St. S., St. Petersburg. (727) 871-7874.

DJ X Fri. 10 p.m. The Venue, 2675 Ulmerton Rd., Clearwater. Free. (727) 571-2222.

Jason Young Fri. 9:30 p.m. O’Brien’s Irish Pub, 701 W Lumsden Rd., Brandon. Free. (813) 661-9688. 

Buffalo Strange Fri. With Burnin’ Smyrnans. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.

Freshman 15 Sat. 8 p.m. Transitions Art Gallery, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $8. (813) 382-3477.

Paolo Mojo Sat. 11 p.m. Jackson’s Bistro, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa. (813) 277-0112.

Bleeding Through Sat. 6 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18.75. (727) 895-3045. 

We Rock the House Saturdays Sat. 9:30 p.m. AJA Channelside, 290 S Meridian Ave., Tampa. (813) 223-5758.

WMNF Give Peace a Chance 9/11 Tribute Show Sat. Featuring Ronny Elliot, Rebekah Pulley, Mindy Simmons, Parson Brown Band, more. 9:30 p.m. Gram’s Place, 3109 N Ola Ave., Tampa. $5-$10. (813) 221-0596.

Earth Bombs Mars Sat. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free.

Sean Chambers Sat. Ringside Café, 2742 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 894-8465.

Blitzkid Sun. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $14.55. (813) 248-9500.

So U Think U Can DJ Sun. 8 p.m. The Kennedy, 2408 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (813) 259-9669.

Extraordinair singer-songwriter night Wed. Featuring Tommy G and High Seas. 9:30 p.m. Extraordinair Lounge and Hookah Bar, 2481 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Free. (727) 725-4340.

-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 10:45am]


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