This week in Tampa: Justin Bieber, Diplo, Travie McCoy and more
Greetings, Christmas kiddies! It's almost that time of year ... by which we mean, it's almost that dead time of year, when major concerts are few and far between. It's not like there's any major artist coming to town this weekend or anything.
Unless you count ol' what's-his-hair. Justin something. This guy.
Yeah, True Beliebers out there are probably already lining up around the St. Pete Times Forum today for Sunday's concert. (Click here for details.) The rest of us will just have to try to stay out of their way. Good thing we have a handful of other concerts to keep us occupied in the next week.
Here with a preview of the week's best shows, including Diplo (above), Travie McCoy, Chris Young, Todd Snider, Juan Formell y Los Van Van and a capella shows by Rockapella and Straight No Chaser, is Carole Liparoto ...
WEDNESDAY 9:30 p.m. The Kennedy, 2408 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 259-9669.
To help combat his musical ADD in the early ’00s, Thomas Wesley Pentz (a.k.a. Diplo) championed the “mashup,” a free-for-all of pop, rock, electronica, hip-hop, Miami bass and beyond. In the process, the grab-bag DJ and his dance music remodel helped spur its own brightly-outfitted, Wayfarer-wearing, Nike SB-sporting culture. The former Florida resident and Blackberry junkie wrote and produced Grammy-nominated Paper Planes with ex-girlfriend M.I.A., runs the on-the-rise Mad Decent label, boasts insane side project Major Lazer with Switch and has a new dubstep disc that reinvents tracks by Gregory Isaacs and Eek-A-Mouse.
Straight No Chaser
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $26.50. (813) 229-7827.
A Rockapella Holiday
WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m. Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa. $38. (813) 274-8981.
Owing much to the surging popularity of shows like Glee and The Sing-Off, longtime a capella groups Rockapella and Straight No Chaser are getting lots of second looks on tour this year. The two vocal troupes perform Christmas classics with a twist this week in Tampa. Led by University of Tampa alumni and high tenor Scott Leonard, Rockapella is best known for its role as the “house band” on PBS’s Where in the World is Carmen San Diego. Leonard crafts the arrangements, all of which include vocal percussion or beatboxing. Imagine Silver Bells with “the Mozart of spit” shaping the rhythm and feel, he says. Straight No Chaser is an all-male a cappella act formed at Indiana University. After its peppy, comedic take on the 12 Days of Christmas (which incorporated the melody from Toto’s Africa) went viral, the group moved off of frat row and onto main stages. The Christmas Can-Can, a harmonic ode to holiday chaos and frenzied shopping, conjures up Andy Bernard and “Here Comes Treble.”
With Troy Olsen
FRIDAY 8 p.m. The Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $10. (813) 987-2855.
Nashville Star may be long gone, but 2006 winner Chris Young continues to shine solo. His warm, booming baritone, normal-guy vibe and constant quest for self-improvement (The Man I Want to Be) recalls George Strait … or maybe that nice gentleman who came and fixed your HVAC a few months back.
FRIDAY 9:30 p.m. AJA Channelside, 290 S Meridian Ave., Tampa. $15. (813) 223-5758.
Gym Class Heroes singer, Katy Perry ex and aspiring Billionaire Travie McCoy will play a one-off gig at AJA in Channelside Friday. The abovementioned faux-reggae romp Billionaire, which includes shout outs to Oprah and the Queen of England, was co-written with Bruno Mars and is featured on McCoy’s new disc Lazarus. The disc also includes Cee Lo Green collab. Dr. Feelgood. McCoy’s tattooed and pierced exterior screams Warped Tour, but his flow says frisky pop fun.
The Legendary JCs CD release
With The Lee Boys
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
If Booker T. and the M.G.’s stepped out of the instrumental realm and handed Sam Cooke the microphone and a Red Bull, they might resemble Winter Park’s Legendary JCs. Led by charismatic singer Eugene “Denzel” Snowden, the group is a serious and sweaty combo with a heck of a Stax/Volt record collection — we’re talking the golden age of soul. New disc Our Time Will Come shows the crew at its Southern soul-funk-R&B-jazz-and-Gospel-blending best. Openers the Lee Boys specialize in “sacred steel”, a unique form of Gospel music with electric lap steel and pedal steel guitars and hard-driving, blues-based beats worthy of worship.
Juan Formell y Los Van Van
SATURDAY 8 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $75. (813) 247-2555.
Juan Formell y Los Van Van is one of the most popular groups in Cuba. Unfortunately, visa issues and travel restrictions between Cuba and the U.S. have limited the band’s ability to tour here. (Hence the high price tag for this show). The self-proclaimed “Rolling Stones of Salsa” re-conceptualized traditional Cuban rhythms and developed the Van Van sound, one now known as songo (based on the son rhythm). There will be a ton of band members on stage (really, it took fewer people to construct the Panama Canal) offering tall tales, double-entendre and percussion galore. The tropical heroes sold out three consecutive nights in NYC last week, so we’d expect a solid turnout at the Florida shows, too.
With Ashleigh Flynn, Will Kimbrough
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.
WMNF favorite Todd Snider is a sharp social commentator and rascally comedian who sings about beer runs and baseball players who pitch no-hitters on acid. Snider describes 2009’s The Excitement Plan as “JJ Cale meets Jerry Jeff Walker with words that would hopefully impress Shel Silverstein or Kris Kristofferson.” We’d put the windswept troubadour somewhere between a John Prine and a Randy Newman.
Side Door Jazz holiday show Fri. featuring the Nate Najar Trio. 8 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 822-3590.
Crossbreed Fri. With Stitch, more. 7:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-3045.
Mimosa Fri. With The Produkt, CLRH2O, more. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $10-$12. (813) 241-8600.
Flat Stanley Fri. With Tim Version, The Dukes Of Hillsborough. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $5. (813) 248-4969.
Sean Chambers Fri. 9 p.m. Cocktails, 5354 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. Free. (727) 848-3227.
Sunshine and Bullets Fri. 8 p.m. Whiskey Dicks, 9814 U.S. 301 S., Riverview. $7. (813) 672-3425.
Holiday Hootenanny Sat. featuring Geri X, The Urbane Cowboys, Ted Lucas, Bob Anthony, Jon Clark and the Baker Act, Fox and Gay, Parson Brown. 2 p.m. Gram’s Place, 3109 N Ola Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 221-0596.
Hallucination Before Christmas Sat. featuring Tommie Sunshine, Monk, Three, more. 9 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10 and up. (813) 247-2664.
Blind Guardian Sat. With Holy Grail, Seven Kingdoms, more. 5 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $35. (727) 895-3045.
Erika Jayne Sat. 10:30 p.m. G.Bar, 1401 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Cost TBD. (813) 247-1016.
Gandalf Murphy and The Slambovian Circus of Dreams Sat. Following Lightning vs. Buffalo Sabres; game starts at 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Free with game ticket. (813) 301-2500.
Scrog Sat. With Zillionaire, Guiltmaker. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Not Tonight Josephine Sat. With Gates of Eden, Red Letter Day. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $6-$8. (813) 241-8600.
10th Concession EP release and Ellen Project charity concert Sun. 6 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $8 and up. (813) 247-2555.
Brokenmold Christmas Party Thurs. featuring The Semis, Poetry N’ Lotion, Lauris Vidal, Roppongi’s Ace, Alias Punch, more. 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*. Photo: Getty Images.