This week in Tampa: Kiss, Brad Paisley, Tiesto, Leonard Cohen and more
Seriously: If you like country, would you choose to go see Brad Paisley, above, Willie Nelson or the Allman Brothers Band?
If you like modern rock, would you go for The Bravery, Senses Fail, Thursday or Finch?
If you like classic rock, would you choose KISS, Bonnie Raitt, Robin Trower or Bonham (sorry, that last one got canceled)?
And don't forget about the free Clearwater Jazz Holiday with Al Jarreau and the Neville Brothers -- surely you'll want to catch some of that, too, right?
Thankfully, Carole Giambalvo and team are here to help you wade through all these concerts, plus Leonard Cohen, Vivian Girls, Tiesto and more...
The Allman Brothers Band
WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Sold Out. (727) 791-7400.
If you perform songs the same way every night, it’s almost like a (gasp!) job. That’s the Allman family philosophy, anyway. Nearly 40 years after their momentous, jam-oriented Fillmore East performance — where the band tinkered with blues, country, rock, gospel and R&B like mad scientists in a lab (Mountain Jam alone clocked in at 33 minutes) — soulful growler Gregg Allman and drummer Butch Trucks return with a stellar, new-ish cast. Derek Trucks fills big shoes for the late Duane Allman on slide guitar and Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule replaces Dickey Betts (so, you won’t hear Ramblin’ Man, but you should get Whipping Post, Midnight Rider and Statesboro Blues).
SUNDAY 10 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $45. (813) 247-2555.
Before artists like Tiesto or Paul Oakenfold hit the decks, DJs were never international superstars. Now, you can wear a “God is a DJ” T-shirt without fear of ridicule. The Dutchman’s flight to the top came in the early ’00s with a chilling, melodic-trance remix of Sarah McLachlan’s Silence. Since then, Tiesto has performed at the Olympics, sold out arenas across the world and has quashed lowly “knob twiddler” critiques. New Kaleidoscope is more experimental (Feel It In My Bones features rockers Tegan and Sara), but it’s not without the sweeping arrangements, cathartic crescendos and sultry voices that made Tiesto an electronic dance star in the first place.
SATURDAY 9 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.
The Bravery singer and guitarist Sam Endicott is recovering from swine flu. He's likely better now, but what will this show sound like? Probably like the Bravery on cold medicine. Often compared to the Killers, the band specializes in dark yet dance-worthy jams like the cavernous Believe and New Wave throwback An Honest Mistake. New album Stir the Blood is due out in November.
With Dierks Bentley, Jimmy Wayne, Suite Caroline
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. Ford Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25.50-$49. (813) 740-2446.
Cotemporary country’s most skilled guitarist and main mud-trudger Brad Paisley hits the Ford Amp with fresh fretboard maneuvers and witty new country-rock songs. Last year, an always-smiling Paisley outsold AC/DC, Coldplay and Kanye West on tour, but because he insisted ticket prices stay below $40, he ranked lower in revenue tallies. What a guy! He might also be the only man in Nashville to have a mostly-instrumental album (Play) go No. 1 on the charts. Often, Paisley recalls his hero George Jones with his man’s man quips — i.e., “You can’t grip a tackle box with a spray-on tan.”
FRIDAY 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16-$19. (727) 895-3045.
Jason Bonham’s extraordinary pummeling of the skins would have made his late father and quintessential hard rock drummer John Bonham proud, no doubt. Jason and his band will perform originals, Led Zeppelin covers (Jason filled in on drums for 2007’s brief Led Zep reunion), and material from recent projects UFO and Foreigner. (Sorry: Bonham canceled on Thursday evening. Click here for details.)
With Sleepy Vikings
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 247-2664.
The Vivian Girls can’t decide who they want to be when they grow up — the Ronettes, the Ramones or the Jesus and Mary Chain. And that’s just fine. The Brooklyn trio’s blend of girl-group harmonies, primal punk rock chords and fuzzy shoegaze has earned ’em all kinds of hipster cred and Web hype. Not that they seem to care about that part. Droning track No offers a single lyric (you guessed it, “no”) throughout. This is quirky, vintage rock done with indie swagger. Sleater-Kinney fans might go for it.
Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso CD Release
With 20WT, Mogul Street Reserve, In Fireworks
FRIDAY 8:30 p.m. Market on 7th, 1816 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-2356.
A top local band with an admittedly terrible band name, Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso take ska, punk, calypso, rock, reggae and standup comedy, throw it on spin cycle, and let the good times roll. Their first full-length album contains 15 tracks, “12 of which are actually songs,” the band jokes. On stage, the gutter-style ska blend and steel drumming gets the backing of the Johnny Cakes Jellyfish Dancers, a wildly entertaining interpretive dance bunch.
With Fall of Troy, the Dear Hunter, Midnight Masses
WEDNESDAY 6:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $19-$20. (727) 895-3045.
Like a post-hardcore band for academics, Thursday draws lyrical inspiration from novelists like Cormac McCarthy, then pounds them out on hard, winding rock songs. During their 11-year career, they’ve toured with everyone from the Cure to Cursive and AFI and have worked hard to avoid pesky genre labeling with a constantly-changing sound. As He Climbed the Mountain might be the first distortion-drenched hardcore song to feature a slide-guitar break, they claim.
MONDAY 8 p.m. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (moved from St. Pete Times Forum), 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $19.50-$252.75.(813) 229-7827.
If you want a hallelujah out of Leonard Cohen, stop singing his song. The classic Hallelujah has been recorded almost 200 times, covered by everybody from Jeff Buckley to Bob Dylan to Swedish metal band Pain of Salvation. You heard it in Watchmen, and Rufus Wainwright’s version showed up in 2001’s Shrek. It kept Jason Castro alive on American Idol. And it recently was sung by Alexandra Burke on Briatin’s X Factor, hitting No. 1 in Britain and Ireland. Enough already, the singer-songwriter told the Guardian earlier this year. “I was reading a review of a movie called Watchmen that uses it, and the reviewer said, 'Can we please have a moratorium on Hallelujah in movies and television shows?’ and I kind of feel the same way,” Cohen said. “I think it’s a good song, but too many people sing it.” Cohen worked for years on the song, which first appeared on his 1984 album Various Positions with nary a shrug. There are lots of different versions of the lyrics, with themes of sex, temptation and adultery. Biblical references to Samson and Delilah, too. Incidentally, if you noticed Hallelujah during a sex scene in Watchmen, you actually heard Cohen’s version, a rarity. — Kelly Smith, tbt*
WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa. $16.75-$126. (813) 301-2500.
The year was 1979, and a wide-eyed 12-year-old boy had but one dream: Seeing Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss live in concert at the Lakeland Civic Center. Kiss. The self-proclaimed “hottest band in the world” and uncontested rulers over concert halls and my bedroom wall. Imagine the pure torment to hear my desperate plea denied. “I’m sorry, but someone your age has no business at a concert,” my mom lectured. The same woman who dutifully bought me that coveted Destroyer album. Who patiently stood quiet while I sang along loudly to Love Gun (in my prepubescent incomprehension of the meaning of the song). Who lovingly hand-painted me a Kiss pillow cover featuring all four of my make-up strutting rock god heroes. How could she fail to allow me to complete my journey to manhood?!? It’s not too often in life one gets a chance to right a historic wrong. But 30 years later, the cosmic clickers should finally align and the 12-year-old deep inside me can stop his wailing: I have a pair of floor seats to Kiss in concert at last. So join me, if you can, to sing along again to those simple rock ditties that fascinated us all so long ago. Detroit Rock City, Hotter Than Hell, Rock and Roll All Nite, Shout It Out Loud. Don’t even pretend you don’t remember the words. Because a Kiss concert isn’t merely a night on the town. It’s the night of every 12-year-old’s life. — Steve Spears, tbt*
Unmotivated CD release: Fri. With Variety Workshop, Burning Tree, Muphin Chuckers, Bootleg. 8 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N, Largo. $6. (727) 532-0265.
Elliott Cohn: Fri. and Sat. with Jeff Watkins. 10 p.m. Beach Bar, 454 Mandalay Ave., Clearwater Beach. (727) 447-4100.
Go Daddies: Fri. and Sat. 10 p.m. Green Iguana South Westshore, 4029 S West Shore Blvd., Tampa. Free. (813) 837-1234.
Robin Trower: Fri. 8 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $27.50. (813) 247-2555.
The Human Condition: Fri. With Jayne Kelly. 9:30 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Jason Parker Band: Fri. 9:30 p.m. The Rare Olive, 300 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 822-7273.
Sobriety X: Fri. 8 p.m. Grass Flats (bike night), 12924 49th St., Clearwater. (727) 561-9151.
Backwater Blues Band: Fri. 9 p.m. The Zone Lounge, 121 E Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs. (727) 934-5599.
Red Room Cinema: Sat. With Morningbell, Proud Iron Lion. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
The Rowan Cunningham Band: Sat. 6 p.m. Craftsman House Gallery, 2955 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 323-2787.
The Murder Junkies: Sat. With the Spears, Suburban Bombshell. 9 p.m. The Emerald, 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $8. (727) 898-6054.
The Spam Allstars: Sat. With Magadog, Acho Brother. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $12. (813) 241-8600.
Killer Without A Cause: Sat. With Hat Trick Heroes. 8 p.m. Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-2356.
Senses Fail: Sun. With A Skylit Drive, Closure in Moscow. 6 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.
Willie Nelson: Tues. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39.50-$85. (727) 791-7400.
The Forecast: Wed. 7:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 248-9500.
Finch: Thurs. With Bless the Fall, Drop Dead, Gorgeous. 6 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $14. (727) 895-3045.
Bonnie Raitt: Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets will be honored from previous show date. (727) 791-7400.
-- Carole Giambalvo, tbt*. Photo: Getty Images.
Where are you going this weekend? Leave your own concert picks in the comments!