This week in Tampa: Kings of Leon, Lady Antebellum, Neil Young, Adam Lambert and more
We're calling it: This might be the best week of live music in Tampa Bay all year.
Just look at the headliners. You've got the hottest American rock band (Kings of Leon), the hottest country band (Lady Antebellum), two of the buzziest new bands of the year (Surfer Blood and The Drums), a bona fide rock legend (Neil Young) and one of the most popular new faces in pop rock in the past few years, Adam Lambert.
And don't forget the locals! There's a whole week's worth of special concerts for Skipper's Smokehouse's 30th anniversary, not to mention an equally interesting concert celebrating WMNF-88.5 FM's birthday. And then there's Bullet For My Valentine, The Legendary Shack Shakers, CocoRosie, Corey Smith and many more.
Here's our preview of Lambert's show at Tropicana Field on Saturday. And click here to get the details on next week's Skipper's shows. For everything else, let's go to Carole Liparoto with this week's concert picks ...
Kings of Leon
With The Black Keys, The Whigs
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $49.35-$71. (813) 740-2446.
The backstory: Deep South preacher’s kids grow up on the road in a purple Oldsmobile listening to the Stones and Thin Lizzy. The now story: The family band makes giant, confessional rock songs, like the gloriously cavernous Use Somebody, that fill stadiums and anger pigeons. Come Around Sundown, a disc described by the band as “beachy,” is slated for an Oct. 19 release. A bigger story Saturday night, though, might just be opener The Black Keys, the blues-rock duo from Akron, Ohio, who are having a breakout year. The guys shift from swampy to Zeppelin-y blues-rock. It’s daneceable, slinky and indie kid-approved, which is why the Keys’ Dan Auerbach may have characterized it as “music for hipster strippers.”
With David Nail
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Sold Out. (727) 791-7400.
This show sold out within a week thanks in large part to Need You Now, Lady Antbellum’s shimmering crossover tune about a desperate late night and the inevitable drunk dial. A newcomer to Nashville in 2006, the coed trio built its adult contemporary-country-pop brand on the strength of its singing, and by the 2009 CMAs, the group had dethroned Rascal Flatts as the six-year reigning Vocal Group of the Year.
Surfer Blood and The Drums
With The Young Friends
SUNDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16-$18. (727) 895-3045.
When Surfer Blood’s Swim — imagine a younger, fuzzier Weezer on an Atlantic Beach — made Pitchfork’s 100 Best Songs of 2009 list, the South Florida group was a-buzzin’. Now, the band and its chipper, pop-leaning mix of surf and garage are bound for bigger and brighter lights, having just signed to Warner Brothers. Similarly buzzworthy opener The Drums play reverb-soaked electro and post-punk like they jumped in the DeLorean and studied the stylings of New Order up close and personal.
Bullet for My Valentine
With Black Tide, Escape the Fate
TUEDSAY 6 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25. (813) 247-2555.
These Welshmen get the blood boiling by melding Warped Tour-worthy metalcore with thrash and prog from the books of Metallica and Maiden. Latest Your Betrayal, with its machine-gun drumming and power chord assault, deserves pyrotechnics. Fans of Trivium, Atreyu or Avenged Sevenfold should enjoy it.
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $75-$250. (727) 791-7400.
Prolific rock scamp Neil Young makes his first-ever visit to Ruth Eckerd Hall on the Twisted Road Tour. The show’s being billed a “solo acoustic” evening, but there’s still a good chance Young will strap on an electric or two, including “Old Black,” at some point. The 64-year-old icon is a sprawling experimentalist — sometimes aggressive, sometimes tearful, often irritated — who has given us more than 30 solo albums in that signature high warble. He’s a new-country and folk-rock pioneer, and, post-Rockin’ in the Free World, a granddaddy of grunge revered by Pearl Jam and Dinosaur Jr. Due at the end of the month, Le Noise features Young with no backing band or overdubs and includes a track in which Young lists all of the drugs he has ingested over the years. Fun!
WMNF Birthday Bash
Featuring Paul Thorn, Suenalo, The Hip Abduction, Johnny Cakes and the Four Horseman of the Apocalypso, Cadillac Bombers, Sleepy Vikings, Jim Morey Band
SATURDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $22-$27. (813) 247-2555.
Ah, WMNF, one of the few stations left on the FM dial not hawking laser hair removal. The station will celebrate 31 years in community radio the same way it has filled the airwaves all these years — with a diverse offering of reggae, ska, rockabilly, shoegaze, gypsy jazz, rock and more. Headliner Paul Thorn’s confessional roots-rock and narrative folk is chock full of deadpan humor and slice-of-life stories. Ever have a flat tire in unfamiliar terrain? Check out Thorn’s witty Long Way from Tupelo. (Thorn will also play a solo show on Friday at Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa, alongside Ronny Elliott and Rebekah Pulley. Tickets are $15-$20.)
Jon Oliva’s Pain
With The Eternal Affect, Psyaxis, Thrown Alive
FRIDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18.75. (727) 895-3045.
A rock royal in the Bay area metal scene, Jon Oliva is a co-creator of the Christmas song-shredding Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a former member of platinum-selling metal act Savatage and frontman for Jon Oliva’s Pain. Oliva will kick off a world tour Friday with the take-no-prisoners classic metal sound that’s built him a huge fan base across the country and even overseas.
Al Torchia and the Tattered Saints Fri. With Tailgunner Joe, Alexander and the Grapes. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free.
Suenalo! Fri. With ShakeMode, Indigenous Ways, DJ Leftover. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 565-0551.
Koji Sat. With Greenland Is Melting, PJ Bond, The Darling Cavaliers. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Dex Romweber Duo Sat. With The Mojo Gurus. 9 p.m. Dave’s Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd. St. Petersburg. (727) 576-1091.
The Absence CD Release Sat. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. (813) 241-8600.
Josh Magwood Band Sat. 9 p.m. Ringside Café, 2742 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 894-8465.
Monsters of Rock Tribute Sat. Featuring Dirty Deeds Project (AC/DC), Van Horgan (Van Halen), Live and Let Die (Guns N’ Roses). 9 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free.
Beanstalk Sun. 6 p.m. Play, 1701 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 443-0754.
Speak Easy Sun. 7:30 p.m. Jolli Mon’s, 941 Huntley Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 735-0498.
Justin Martin Mon. With Star Eyes, more. 10 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 247-2664.
Ludo Wed. With There For Tomorrow, The Graduate. 6 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.
The Legendary Shack Shakers Wed. With Have Gun, Will Travel, the Urbane Cowboys. 9 p.m. $12-$15. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. (813) 241-8600.
Corey Smith Thurs. With Tyler Reeve, 10th Concession. 7:30 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $17. (813) 247-2555.
CocoRosie Thurs. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18-$20. (727) 895-3045.
Mandorico Thurs. 8 p.m. The Beach Bar, 454 Mandalay Ave., Clearwater Beach. Free. (727) 447-4100.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*. Photo: AP.