This week in Tampa: Judas Priest, The Airborne Toxic Event, George Thorogood and more
Remember the craziness that was last week in Tampa Bay, with umpteen-dozen interesting concerts hitting every corner of the bay?
Yeah, that's not happening this week.
Maybe it's the Thanksgiving holiday, or maybe it's just a bummer of a week, with only a handful of big national acts coming to town. So be it! There's nothing wrong with a little Judas Priest, Airborne Toxic Event (above), Molly Hatchet, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, David Bazan, Chuckie, Dave Koz, Joe Bonamassa or Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. (Also, don't forget about Rick Ross, who's apparently hosting a Thanksgiving night party at Club Underground. Click here for details.)
In the meantime, I'll be the one providing you with this week's concert picks, a day earlier than usual. Let's do this thing!
With Thin Lizzy, Black Label Society
WEDNESDAY 6 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $31-$91; 4-packs available for $75. (813) 740-2446.
“Last tour ever.” How many times have we heard that one? And yet it works every time. Because what if this really IS our last chance to see Judas Priest touring the globe? Better strap on our leather and shell out for tickets, just in case. One of the band’s founding lead guitarists, K.K. Downing, announced his retirement from the band this year, but fellow solo king Glenn Tipton is still there, as are the polished-steel vocals of Rob Halford. As for the openers, Thin Lizzy have retained only a couple of members from their ’70s heyday (singer Phil Lynott died in 1986), but Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society is one of metal’s most prominent ambassadors. You think this show won’t rock? You’ve got another thing comin’.
The Airborne Toxic Event
With Mona, The Drowning Men
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave. Ybor City. $16-$18. (813) 247-2555.
Take the moody atmospherics of the National, the literate songwriting of the Decemberists and the fragile earnestness of Matt Pond PA, add it all up, and you get a band that’s had arguably more mainstream success than them all. The Airborne Toxic Event had a big radio hit in 2007 with Sometime Around Midnight, which crescendos from a whisper to a fist-pumping anthem. Singer Mikel Jollett has developed a taste for unpredictable onstage antics — during a set at the Deluna Festival in Pensacola Beach in October, Jollett ran offstage mid-song and dived into the Gulf of Mexico. Airborne and seaworthy? Now that’s diversity.
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 565-0551.
A “Legends of Hip Hop” concert that was originally scheduled for this date was postponed until 2012, but that’s okay — Flirtin’ With Disaster has always been an appropriate Thanksgiving dinner anthem at our house. Part of Jacksonville’s mighty Southern Rock heritage (Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers Band, .38 Special), Molly Hatchet has but one remaining founding member, guitarist Dave Hlubek, but the legacy of their dirty blues-inspired riffs and spectacular album covers lives on.
With Marksmen, Alexander and the Grapes
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $10-$13. (813) 241-8600.
Like fellow Pacific Northwesterners Modest Mouse and Death Cab For Cutie, Pedro the Lion emerged in the late ’90s with a melancholy yet heartfelt sound that influenced many young rock bands. (A couple of members went on to join Fleet Foxes.) When the band broke up, singer David Bazan took his mournful voice and literate lyrics and went solo. His latest disc, Strange Negotiations, further explores a few of his favorite topics: Existential confusion, dissolving relationships and the forgotten corners of the world.
George Thorogood and the Destroyers
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $29.50-$46.50. (727) 791-7400.
In the rich and varied legacy of Delaware bluesmen (hey, Wilmington’s a rough place), George Thorogood sits right at the top. With his band, the Destroyers, Thorogoood’s hits have become a staple of movie trailers, beer commercials and image-makeover montage sequences for more than 30 years. If you’ve only heard Bad to the Bone and Move It On Over at bike and barbecue festivals, take advantage of this opportunity to catch the band’s top-notch chops in a theater setting.
Dave Koz and Friends
With Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Candy Dulfer
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $48-$85. (727) 791-7400.
When Kenny G showed up on Saturday Night Live recently for a duet with Foster the People, Dave Koz probably thought, “Noooo! It should’ve been me!” Instead, the smooth-jazz saxman, who’s been rocking elevators worldwide since the mid ’80s, is spending this fall and winter on a Christmas tour with a group of top-notch friends — trumpeter Rick Braun, singer-guitarist Jonathan Butler and saxophonist Candy Dulfer. They’ll play holiday classics and a few of their own hits.
WEDNESDAY 9 p.m. The Venue, 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. $15-$20. (727) 571-2222.
This ain’t Child’s Play, and Jon Gruden certainly won’t be in the house. But the Surinamese DJ is a globe-trotting superstar — and veteran of this summer’s Identity Festival — whose catalog of club-ready official remixes includes artists like Michael Jackson, Diddy and Ke$ha. Opening the show are Aussie pop sisters Nervo, described as “fashion models, musicians and songwriters.” The total package!
Tur-Drunken Day 2
With Easybreezy, the Pauses, Fowler’s Bluff, Goodnight Neverland, Grand Manor, Soft Rock Renegades
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. (813) 241-8600.
Bookending Thanksgiving this year are a pair of “Tur-Drunken” concerts featuring local bands at Crowbar in Ybor City. The first one was Wednesday; the second, on Friday, should roust you from your tryptophan-induced slumber. Garage rockers Easybreezy will play songs of their fuzzy, classic rock-influenced new album, Blowing Up, while Orlando’s The Pauses will showcase the bouncing indie rock that has earned them slots at festivals like the CMJ Music Marathon in New York.
St. Pete Shuffle
With Flexxehawk, the Peabodies, Dead Sound
FRIDAY 7 p.m. St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, 559 Mirror Lake Drive N, St. Petersburg. Free, donations appreciated. stpeteshuffle.org.
Got family in town this weekend for Thanksgiving? The weekly St. Pete Shuffle is always a fun night out. You might want to bring earplugs to this week’s edition, though, as local punk groups Flexxehawk and Dead Sound will provide live entertainment. This also marks the first full-band gig in five years for the Peabodies, a local alterna-pop group whose lineup includes two prominent former pop music critics: Gina Vivinetto and Curtis Ross of the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune, respectively.
Common Ground Fri. With BlessEd, Oceanstone, Trimface, Freelow, Bambooda. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-3045.
Aqua Groove Fri. 8 p.m. Coasters Bar and Grille, 1309 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach. Free. (727) 596-3332.
Joe Bonamassa Fri. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$75. (727) 791-7400.
Burning Tree Fri. With Paint The Town Red, ?nowledge , poundSalt, Unmotivated. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $6-$10. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Assyrian Fri. With Between the Tides, Drones, Drowning the Krakken, From Here On. 6 p.m. Neptune Lounge, 13 S Safford Ave., Tarpon Springs. $8. (727) 943-5713.
The Lacs Fri. 10 p.m. The Round Up, 13918 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. (813) 855-1464.
LoudMouth Fri. 9:30 p.m. Cocktails, 6229 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. (727) 848-3227.
Rocksteady@8 Fri. With Jim Morey Band. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $6. (813) 248-4969.
Gary Puckett and the Union Gap Sat. Holiday-themed concert with Tommy Mara and the Crests, Amanda Nikka. 8 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $30-$100. (727) 822-3590.
Flat Stanley Sat. With The Dukes of Hillsborough, Crash Mitchell. The Hub, 719 N Franklin St., Tampa. Free. (813) 229-1553
Jared Speakman memorial Sat. With All Sets Aside, Conquer, Reckoning, I Am Dreamer, Coralise, Between the Tides, Lucy Grey, the Stoic. 5 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. facebook.com/thelocal662.
The Ditchflowers CD release Sat. 8 p.m. Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 644-7895.
DJ Teresa Sat. 10 p.m. Jackson’s Bistro, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa. Free. (813) 277-0112.
Unearth and Chimaira 6:30 p.m. With Skeletonwitch, Molotov Solution. State Theatre, State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 895-3045.
Dang the Luan Sun. With Ha Vy, Kevin Khoa, Anh Minh, Don Nguyen. 10 p.m. Hard Rock Cafe, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. $23. (866) 502-7529.
Second Annual Family Matters Concert Sun. With Kontrolled Kaos, Serotonic. Fundraiser for Metropolitan Ministries. 5 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10. (813) 971-0666.
Rock the Park Thur. With Set and Setting, Al Torchia and the Tattered Saints, Sons and Soul, Folly Dean. 6:30 p.m. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Free. rocktheparktampa.com.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Autumn DeWilde.