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This week in Tampa: Kelly Clarkson, Buddy Guy, Bret Michaels, Tyga and more




Greetings, Tampans. Carole Liparoto is on assignment this week, so I'll be delivering your Valetine's Week concert calendar today. Kelly Clarkson, above, may be the biggest name around, but I happened to catch both Brandi Carlile and Buddy Guy at last fall's Orlando Calling Festival, and let me tell you, they are not to be missed.

Other concerts this week: Tyga, VNV Nation, Bret Michaels, Gladys Knight, Paul Anka, Pat Boone, Tommy Emmanuel, Southside Johnny, Yonder Mountain String Band, the Whiskey Gentry and more. Check out our picks after the jump...

Kelly Clarkson
With Matt Nathanson
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $65.50-$95. (727) 791-7400.
Who is the defining pop princess of our time? Lady Gaga? Taylor Swift? Rihanna? Or is it Kelly Clarkson? Think about it: Ten years ago this fall, the Texan brunette won the inaugural season of American Idol and became an immediate pop sensation, reviving a moribund American institution — the TV talent competition — in the process. And in the years since, she’s become one of the handful of Jiffy Pop sensations who deserved more than her alloted 15 minutes of fame, winning two Grammys  and scoring anthemic hits like Since U Been Gone, Stronger, Breakaway and Mr. Know-It-All. And she’s shown a willingness to cross boundaries, as on her smash duet with Jason Aldean, Don’t You Wanna Stay. Stumbling into instant fame, then somehow making it last? That could be the ultimate pop fairy tale for the new millennium.

VNV Nation
With Straftanz
SATURDAY 6:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $19-$23.
Since 1990, Irish electronic pop duo Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson have run with the torch lit by Depeche Mode and New Order in the ’80s. VNV’s exuberant live shows have made them cult figures in the dance music world, although there’s no reason their synthesizer-driven electro-Goth sound can’t do wonders for your mood year-round. Add Resolution, from 2011’s Automatic, to your workout playlist and thank us later.

THURSDAY 8 p.m. Ritz Ybor, Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20 and up.
Compton rapper Tyga rose to fame by association with Gym Class Heroes, thanks to his frothy club hit Coconut Juice with Travie McCoy. But he’s since moved away from pop music, signing with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment and promising that his new album Careless World: Rise of the Last King, which came out this week , would focus more on straight hip-hop than his previous singles and mixtapes. Seems to be working out for him — in January, Spin recently called Rack City “the best song on the radio right now.”

Brandi Carlile
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland Street, Clearwater. Sold out. (727) 791-7400.
Brandi Carlile’s fans turn out in force wherever she goes — this gig, featuring Carlile as part of an acoustic trio, sold out weeks ago. They’re in for a treat. When the 30-year-old Seattle singer-songwriter played an acoustic set at last fall’s Orlando Calling festival, her voice was textured and mesmerizing, yet as versatile as Muse’s Matt Bellamy. The way she stomped, strutted and sang lovely songs like the plaintive Follow, you just know she’d have been a superstar in 1995. For now, a cult following will have to do.

Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival
With Buddy Guy, Curtis Salgado, Rich DelGrosso/Del Toro Richardson Band and more (Saturday); Janiva Magness, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Beverly McClellan and more (Sunday)
SATURDAY-SUNDAY. Gates open at noon Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. Coachman Park, downtown Clearwater. Free general admission; reserved seating is $25-$30 for one day, $40-$45 both days.
A free concert by the world’s foremost Chicago bluesman, Buddy Guy? That’ll get us up to Clearwater in a hurry. The 75-year-old guitar legend remains one of the funniest, bawdiest showmen on the international blues circuit, delighting in forcing his axe to yelp, howl, squelch and squeal like a stuck hog. Guy goes on at 8:10 p.m. Sunday, but don’t sleep on the rest of the lineup — Beverly McClellan, who reached the final four on Season 1 of The Voice, performs at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Rockabilly Ruckus 2012
With Lee Rocker, Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys, Amy LaVere, Rocket 88, Twisty Chris and the Puddin’ Packs, Ted Stevens Band, Hot Rod Hornets, Rockabilly Chicks, Morgan Bernard
SATURDAY 4 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 971-0666.
Ladies, stick a rose in your hair, and fellas, douse that ducktail in pomade, because it’s time for WMNF’s ninth annual salute to the music of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. This year’s headliners: Lee Rocker, the upright bassist from the Stray Cats, who promises to slap out Setzerless versions of Stray Cat Strut and Rock This Town; and western swing revivalists Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys. There’s also a vintage car show at 3 p.m., but you need a ticket to enter, daddio.

Bret Michaels
SUNDAY 5 p.m. Busch Gardens, Tampa. Part of park’s Bands, Brew & BBQ series; included with general admission.
It’s hard to believe Poison frontman and VH1 cougar-tamer Bret Michaels nearly died following a stage mishap at the 2009 Tony Awards. Had he met his maker that fateful day, at least he’d have done so knowing the world would never produce a bigger, cheesier, more beloved power ballad than Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Thankfully, Michaels is back and more bandana’d than ever. If you have a reality show you’d like to pitch him on Sunday, we’re sure he’d be willing to listen.

Gladys Knight
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $50-$75. (727) 892-5767.
With friends like Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick, of COURSE Gladys Knight won the Grammy in 1987 for That’s What Friends are For. Whether performing with the Pips or entirely Pip-free, the Empress of Soul still commands a stage on smashes like Midnight Train to Georgia and her hit rendition of I Heard It Through the Grapevine. Knight has put her name, fame and fortune to good use opening a chain of chicken-and-waffle joints in the greater Atlanta area — which, let’s face it, is exactly what the rest of us would do if we became rock stars.

Yonder Mountain String Band
With The Infamous Stringdusters
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 565-0551.
Before the Zac Brown Band, Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons made crossover “newgrass” cool, Yonder Mountain String Band was busy hoeing down with Frisbee-golfing frat boys in their home state of Colorado. Founded in 1998, YMSB has ingratiated themselves with the jam-band community by encouraging bootlegging at their concerts. Last fall, they even curated a festival in Arkansas with artists like Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

Also playing

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Dukes Fri. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $20-$25. (727) 565-0551.

Paul Anka Fri. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $52.50-$98. (727) 791-7400.

Extreme Guitar Duo Fri. Featuring Keith Knight and Don Adler. 8 p.m. Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. $20-$23. (813) 269-1310.

Omega and the Mechanical Animals Fri. With Dirty Black Halo, The Defiant, more. 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $8.

Grant Peeples Fri. 8 p.m. Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $10. (727) 644-7895.

Shaun Murphy Band Fri. With Lazy Boy and the Rockers. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.

Jimkata Fri. With Folly Dean, Green Sunshine. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600. 

Michael Amante Sat. With Patrizio Buanne. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $30-$48. (727) 791-7400.

Noel Paul Stookey Sat. 8 p.m. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $35-$47.50. (727) 822-3590.

The Proper Crooks Sat. With the Mother Machine, Yogurt Smoothness, Red Rock/its. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $4.

Man Overboard Sun. With Handguns, Seahaven, Candy Hearts, more. Transitions Art Gallery at Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. (813) 382-3477.

Pat Boone Tue. 2 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $19.50. (727) 892-5767.

Dunedin Mardi Gras Celebration Tue. With Cyril Neville, the Vodkanauts. 5:30 p.m. Main Street, downtown Dunedin. Free.

Lucky Tubb and the Modern Day Troubadours Tue. 7 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.

Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland Street, Clearwater. $12-$17. (727) 791-7400.

Tommy Emmanuel Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $22.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.

The Whiskey Gentry Thurs. With Josh Roberts and the Hinges, Andy Brey. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.

Floor Thurs. With Set and Setting, Headless Dogs. 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $7-$10.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

[Last modified: Thursday, February 16, 2012 3:49pm]


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