This week in Tampa: Journey, Band of Horses, Matt and Kim, Ani DiFranco, Bonnie Raitt and more
Remember a couple of years ago when it seemed like every cool band on the planet was coming to Central Florida in October? This month may not be quite that busy, but it's close. A jam-packed month continues this week with concerts by Journey (above), Matt and Kim, Band of Horses, Ani DiFranco, Sean Paul, John Oates, Keiko Matsui, Saliva, 3OH!3, Pat Benatar, Loverboy, Mickey Hart Band, Blackberry Smoke, Jerry Rivera, David Allan Coe, Jana Kramer, Oberhofer, the Australian Pink Floyd Show, Outasight, Sammy Adams and the opening night of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, featuring Bonnie Raitt.
Here to walk you through it all is Carole Liparoto...
With Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Loverboy
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $24-$166. (813) 740-2446.
Be Good to Yourself, Don’t Stop Believin’, Keep on Runnin’, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Invincible and Turn Me Loose. If we didn’t know better, we’d think we were headed to a motivational seminar rather than to a gathering of iconic ’80s rockers and power balladeers. The second-coming of Journey, a tour-horse of punch and positivity, is led by guitarist Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda, the Filipino singer plucked from YouTube in a fairy-tale manner in 2008. Pat Benatar, the little lady with the four-and-a-half octave vocal range, her hubs Neil Giraldo, the guitarist who creeps along the fret board like a spider (hence his arachnid nickname), and Working for the Weekend guys Loverboy will conjure up the days of lighters-in-the-air (real ones) and excessive hair product.
Matt and Kim
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $22 and up. (813) 247-2555.
Having a bummer of a week? We’ve got just the thing. Perpetually perky duo Matt and Kim returns to the lightning capital, this time with actual Lightning, the fun and effervescent (how else would it be?) piano-pop album released earlier this month. Up there with wrinkly babies and kittens that play piano, the dancing, cheering drum-and-keyboard couple from Brooklyn is impossibly adorable. Best of all, they’ve convinced an indie set that it’s okay to try! Expect sugar, sweat, smiles and quite possibly balloons — lots of balloons — at this mood-elevation event Wednesday. Go ahead, it will be fun.
Band of Horses
SUNDAY 8 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $27.50 and up. (813) 247-2555.
Since the release of 2006’s Everything All the Time (which showcased Sub Pop perfection on Funeral), Band of Horses has provided a steady stream of woodsy, dreamy, beardy tunes. Ordinarily, the band’s cosmic blend of rock, pop, folk and country is treated with Ben Bridwell’s spirited and gorgeous high-pitched trill. But on new disc Mirage Rock, the Charleston, S.C.-based band takes a softer, slightly sulkier approach, going mellower and hazier than ever before. There are a few awkward moments, too. “Don’t pick up that trash/put more of it on the ground,” sings Bridwell on Dumpster World. Okay, Ben — just as long as you play No One’s Gonna Love You.
With Ruthie Foster
TUESDAY 8 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25 and up. (813) 247-2555.
Can motherhood quiet Ani DiFranco, the famous feminist folkie who convinced us to squint our eyes and look more closely at our world (32 Flavors)? Don’t count on it. The pregnant DiFranco plays The Ritz Tuesday armed with punky-and-political latest Which Side Are you On — an update of the Pete Seeger track — with rousing horns, marching beats and a petition to join the fight for justice. (We’d venture to guess Ani ain’t with Mitt.) The leading indie rock lady has earned the title innovator for her fiery punk-poet sounds, ones often infused with jazz, classical and Latin nodes. With lots to say, she’s released more than 20 albums on her own label, Righteous Babe Records.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $25-$30. (727) 565-0551.
Shake that thing with Sean Paul, the Jamaican dancehall hitmaker who first sparked the world in 2002 with Gimme The Light. Descended from a long line of controversial ragga and dancehall stars like Buju Banton (currently incarcerated in Florida), Paul has brought pop and peace to the genre. And that seems to have gone over well. Paul is one of the most successful Jamaican artist of all time on the U.S. charts with five Top 10 hits, and he currently averages around $100,000 in gross ticket sales per night, according to Pollstar.
FRIDAY 8 p.m. The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway. $45 and up. (727) 367-4511.
One-half of the duo largely considered the most successful in pop history, John Oates of Hall and Oates will play an unplugged set in Treasure Island Friday. The pair struck gold with an endearing and blazer-ed combo of soul, pop, funk and new wave in the ’70s and ’80s. It’s still the kind of stuff that brightens time in the dentist chair, rides on a road trip, and gets delightfully butchered in karaoke bars. The mustache-less Oates will pluck from the best of these hits as well as offer a few unique treats.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $45.50 and up. (727) 587-6793.
Don’t say that the good people at Largo Cultural Center haven’t offered you variety. Following the Bret Michael’s show last week, and preceding Legally Blonde the Musical, the intimate venue serves up Keiko Matsui, the international piano-jazz star of the smooth sort. Matsui, who took her first piano lesson at the age of five in Tokyo, counts her influences as Stevie Wonder, Rachmaninov, Maurice Jarre and Chick Corea. Matsui sold out here last year, so you’d be wise to get your tickets in advance.
Clearwater Jazz Holiday Opening Night
Featuring Bonnie Raitt, Carol Stein and Friends, Maia Sharp
THURSDAY 5 p.m. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $10 and up. clearwaterjazz.com.
What started as series of jazz events held on the back of a flatbed truck has evolved into the 33rd edition of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, the internationally known festival that draws thousands of visitors. Stratocaster matriarch and rockin’ redhead Bonnie Raitt kicks off opening night with tender love and care and a knack for using blues and R&B to make country music swing (see hit cover of John Prine’s Angel from Montgomery). So, it’s not exactly jazz, and it’s not exactly free any longer, but the lovely Raitt might just help us forget all of that.
Death Angel Fri. With Threat Signal, Bonded By Blood, Wretched. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15 and up. theorpheum.com.
Grant Peeples’ All Bob Dylan, All Night Long Fri. featuring Grant Peeples and the Peeples Republik, Sarah Mac Band, Free Hugs with Aaron O’Rourk, Radio Free Carmela and the Transmitters, Waking Giants. 8 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $12-$15. (727) 822-3590.
Due West Fri. 9 p.m. The Round Up, 13918 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. $10. (813) 855-1464.
David Allan Coe Fri. 7 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $0-$15. (813) 987-2855.
Australian Pink Floyd Show Fri. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $49-$69. (727) 791-7400.
Commander Cody Fri. With The Sara Rose Band. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Cotee River Bike Fest Fri. featuring Shawn Paige Blues Band, Highway to Hell (AC/DC Tribute). 5 p.m. And Sat. featuring The Eric Anderson Band, Sunset Rebels, Wild Blue County, Drive, LoCash Cowboys. 9 a.m. And Sun. featuring Frank Robert and the Boxcar Tourists, Julie Black Angel for Blues. 9 a.m. Sims Park Amphitheater, Bank St., downtown New Port Richey. (727) 842-7651.
Fujiki-Hastings Benefit Show No. 1 Fri. featuring Auto?Automatic??, Rec Center, Will Quinlan, The Florida Kilos. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600.
Eric Brittingham (of Cinderella) Sat. With Brandon Gibbs, Danny Elliott, Caroline Kole. 9 p.m. Daiquiri Shak, 14995 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach. (727) 393-2706.
Jana Kramer Sat. 7 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 987-2855.
Brahm Bones CD release Sat. With Poetry N’ Lotion, The Woolly Bushmen, Redfeather. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
10 Years Sat. With The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Dead Letter Circus. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $17.50. (727) 895-3045.
Laws Sat. With Happiness Machine, We’re Not Dead. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $2 (813) 241-8600.
Trapped Under Ice Sun. With Backtrack, Naysayer, Fire and Ice, more. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12-$14. theorpheum.com.
MAXIMA Hispanic Heritage Concert Sun. featuring Jerry Rivera, Chino y Nacho, more. 12 p.m. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $15 and up. (727) 562-4800 or 925maxima.cbslocal.com.
Mickey Hart Band Mon. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 895-3045.
Michael Lynche and the Helios Jazz Orchestra Tues. 7 p.m. NOVA 535, 535 Dr. M. L. King Jr. Street N., St. Petersburg. $15. nova535.com
3OH!3 Wed. With Sammy Adams, Outasight. 6 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $23. (727) 895-3045.
Blackberry Smoke Wed. With the Mojo Gurus. 7:30 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $25.50-$35.50. (727) 587-6793.
Saliva Thurs. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*