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This week in Tampa: Kid Rock, Matt Hires, Toby Keith and more




With concert announcements coming out the wazoo the last couple of days, it's easy to forget this is actually shaping up to be a pretty killer music week.

The Ford Amphitheatre will be hopping with shows by Toby Keith, Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Matt Hires (above), about to drop his major-label debut, is gearing up for a full-band hometown show before hitting the road. And a pair of local scene fixtures -- Pulp the Party and Lorna Bracewell -- celebrate a birthday and a farewell, respectively.

After the jump, get Carole Giambalvo's concert picks for the week ahead...

Matt Hires
With Alexander and the Grapes, Scott Harrell
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 248-9500.
Tampa rising star Matt Hires was signed to Atlantic Records’ F-Stop imprint after an A&R exec. caught wind of his acoustic folk-pop songs on MySpace. The 23-year-old’s expressive, exquisitely wobbly vocals and soothing acoustic strums make his stuff compelling and snuggle-ready (they’ve already made a cameo on Grey’s Anatomy). New You In the End was co-written with Sara Bareilles (Love Song). Hires will perform with a full band Friday.

Pulp Anniversary Party
Featuring DJ Steve Aoki, Pauly Crush
FRIDAY 10 p.m. Czar (Imperial Ballroom), 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 247-2664.
On select Pulp party nights at Ybor City’s Czar, the Seventh Avenue club resembles the hippest of East Village joints. Here, brightly-outfitted, beat-crazed scene kids can escape pesky labels and dance sweatily into the night. Pulp resident DJ Pauly Crush told tbt*, “We try and bring innovative acts to Tampa that wouldn’t be coming otherwise, and we try to do it cheap.” Those acts include progressive all-stars Kid Sister, Diplo and now, DJ Steve Aoki who will help ring in Pulp’s second anniversary. Aoki (son of late Olympic wrestler and Benihana chain founder Rocky Aoki) blends twitchy house, hip-hop, electro and the imaginatively miscellaneous.

Punk Against Multiple Sclerosis
Featuring Anchor Arms, Virgins, Beardsley, Johnny Unite Us, Suicide Clubs, White Hot Snap Shot
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $5. (813) 241-8600.
Florida punk acts including Palm Harbor’s Johnny Unite Us and Orlando’s Virgins put breakneck tempos, raw riffs and anti-establishment attitude to work for a noble cause: raising awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis. Incidentally, this show comes on the heels of Exene Cervenka’s (singer for celebrated punk act X) MS diagnosis.

Cyril Neville
With Bird Street Players
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Vocalist and percussionist Cyril Neville of 'Nawlins royal family the Neville Brothers (and formerly a member of the Meters) hits Skipper‚Äôs with feisty French Quarter funk and some reggae, too. 

Il Divo
SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First Street South, St. Petersburg. $58.70-$128.70. (727) 892-5767.
They’ve been dubbed superstars of “popera” and/or “JoBros for Moms” thanks to ridiculous good looks and operatic takes on familiar songs, including the Moody Blues’ Nights in White Satin and Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart. Formed in 2004 by Simon Cowell, the multilingual super group Il Divo delivers booming renditions of contemporary and classical songs. This one’s worthy of your “fancy shoes.”

Pat Benatar
SATURDAY Following Rays vs. Marlins, 7:08 p.m. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. Free with game ticket. (888) 326-7297.

The Rays concert series continues with the singer of Love is in Centerfield, Hit Me with Your Best Split-finger Fastball and Fire and Icy Hot. (Too much?) Pat Benatar, the little lady with the four-and-a-half octave vocal range, will rock the Trop with these '80s mega-thrillers and more. No pressure, but the streak is still on (the Rays haven’t lost a game on a concert night).

Drop Dead, Gorgeous
With He is Legend
SATURDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13-$15. (727) 895-3045.
Other than its cleverly punctuated name, Drop Dead, Gorgeous doesn‚Äôt stray far from today‚Äôs emotive metal formula, packing a wallop of screams, sarcasm and songs about heartbreak. But that‚Äôs cool with its 198,000-plus MySpace friends. The songs should work for fans of Every Time I Die or Senses Fail too. 

Citrus Circuit Tour
Featuring Lauris Vidal; Have Gun, Will Travel; Truckstop Coffee; the Takers
SATURDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Like a novel that departs amusingly from its plot, Lauris Vidal’s marshy folk is full of idiosyncratic surprises (including plucks on a ukulele and stop-and-go rhythms). This mini tour (meant to celebrate Florida music and culture) also includes Bradenton Americana revivalists Have Gun, Will Travel, one of the Bay’s premier live acts, and scruffy, interstate-ridin’ rockers Truckstop Coffee.

Lorna Bracewell farewell show
With Beatnik Castle, Francillia
FRIDAY 7 p.m. ProStar Sound Stage, 3220 28th St. N, St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 526-0446.
A bummer for the Bay, folkie poet Lorna Bracewell is hanging it up to become a full-time doctorate student at the University of Florida. Like Ani DiFranco, Bracewell has always had a lot to say. Her Flowers on the Chains won a “Best Contemporary Protest Song” award from Creative Loafing. And the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde once called Bracewell “a beautiful person and a spirited player.”

Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd
With Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights
SATURDAY 6:30 p.m. Ford Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $26-$76. (813) 740-2446.
Never has an artist put his trailer park past and his taste for the tacky so proudly on display than Kid Rock. And for better or worse, it looks like the slippery-haired masher-upper of rap, rock and country is here to stay. Kid accomplished an impressive feat with latest Rock 'N Roll Jesus, selling more than 4 million copies without iTunes sales. As for Skynyrd, how many songs are you giving it until “that guy” shouts for Freebird? Johnny Van Zandt (original Skynyrd frontman Ronnie’s younger brother) carries out the Southern rock classics well, though the band lost longtime members Ean Evans and Billy Powell earlier this year.

Toby Keith
With Trace Adkins
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Ford Amphitheatre, Interstate 4 and U.S. 301, Tampa. $16.50-$61. (813) 740-2446
Toby Keith sure knows how to make the most of a good country song title. He turned the fun little ditty Beer for My Horses into a film that he cowrote and acted in. (You can see it at 10 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday on CMTV; it’s also on DVD.) Wouldn’t be surprised if he did the same thing with the patriotic Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American). In fact, when you look at some of his other song titles, they practically write a story all on their own: I Love This Bar. It’s the only place I take my little Whiskey Girl in my Big Ol’ Truck. Sure, she’s a High Maintenance Woman, but She’s a Hottie. Ah honey, You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This. It makes me want to Get Drunk and Be Somebody better than I am now. Maybe I Should’ve Been a Cowboy. Then I wouldn’t be trying to find Double Wide Paradise. Oh yeah, straight to DVD, baby. -- tbt* staff

Also playing

Yellowman: Fri. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.

Car Bomb Driver: Fri. With the Wankers, Spankin’ Fresh. 9 p.m. Dave’s Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd. St. Petersburg. $7. (727) 576-1091.

Absu: Fri. 7 p.m. Garage Bar, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $17. (727) 896-2276.

Ascending to Avalon CD release: Fri. with Hand to Hand, Ruthless Design, Crisis in Hollywood. 8 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N, Largo. $6. (727) 532-0265.

St. Pete Pride After Party: Sat. featuring DJ Greg Anderson, VJ Blake. 10 p.m. G Bar, 1401 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $5.

St. Valentine’s Massacre CD release: Sat. 8 p.m. Bourbon Street Nightclub, 4331 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. $10-$13. (727) 843-0686.

My Little Trotsky: Sat. With Captain Obvious and the Duh Patrol, Stephanie Anderson. 9 p.m. Karma Bar and Cafe, 206 N Morgan St., Tampa. (813) 228-0870.

Alex DeGrassi: Sat. 8 p.m. Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 East Pine St. Tarpon Springs. $13-$15. (727) 942-5605.

Squeeze tribute: Sat. Featuring Lance Rowland, Ed Woltil, Ted Lukas, Pam and Danny Rubenstein. 8 p.m. Beach Theatre, 315 Corey Ave., St. Pete Beach. $7. (727) 360-6697.

Michelle’s Guv’na Charity Concert: Sat. 12 p.m. Barnie’s Coffee and Wine Bar, 1900 Oak Grove Blvd., Lutz. Free. (813) 949-5552.

Jazz Attack: Sat. featuring Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $37.50-$65. (727) 791-7400.

Christie Lenee CD release: Sun. With the Hip Abduction, Laura Reed. 5 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.

Awesome New Republic: Tues. With GreyMarket. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $5. (813) 241-8600.

Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald: July 2. 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $62.50-$103. (727) 791-7400.

Ballyhoo: July 2. With Mike Pinto. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.

-- Carole Giambalvo, tbt*. Photo by Reid Rolls.

Where are you going this weekend? Tell us in the comments...

[Last modified: Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:00pm]


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