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This week in Tampa: Maxwell, Rascal Flatts, American Idols Live, the Warped Tour and more




I think we've done our fair share of pimping the Vans Warped Tour this week, dishing out profiles of performers Lights, Meg & Dia, Alana Grace and In This Moment's Maria Brink. Plus we've got two more extra-cool profiles to come this afternoon and tomorrow. And be sure to pick up Friday's tbt* for a look at all six super-fine artists.

And don't forget about American Idols Live, coming to the St. Pete Times Forum July 28, with all the Glambert 'n' Gokey you can handle. Sean Daly's got a full preview here.

Meanwhile, Carole Giambalvo offers up a preview of the rest of a mega-week in concerts: Rascal Flatts, Dream Theater, Gogol Bordello, Blind Man's Colour, Matthew Dear, Kurtis Blow and R&B combacker of the year Maxwell, above.

Get her picks after the jump.

Dream Theater
With Zappa plays Zappa
SUNDAY 7 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45.50-$75.50. (727) 791-7400.
For progressive metal fans, I’d imagine listening to Dream Theater is a Dark Side of the Moon-like experience. Dramatic and technically dazzling (like Expert on Guitar Hero, kids), the songs are spacey symphonies of rock and metal. You’ll hear influences ranging from Yes to Metallica within the elaborate arrangements, and because no live performance is ever the same, the band’s shows are often bootlegged. Opener Dweezil Zappa, son of Frank, covers his pop’s famously weird songs in Zappa plays Zappa.

Rascal Flatts
With Darius Rucker
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Ford Amphitheatre, Interstate 4 at U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $31-$67. (813) 740-2446;
The country trio of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney inspires much love from their fans, including one of our summer interns, Katie Myrick, who’s seen the band in concert 14 times. “The catchy Mayberry takes me back to dancing with my friends in a kitchen when I was a sophomore in high school,” she writes. “Here’s to You, the trio’s salute to their fans, reminds me of standing in line for two hours with my best friend to get the best lawn seats at a concert. With I’m Movin’ On, I’m a senior in high school again, with conflicting emotions about going to college. No Reins is the song that plays each time my cell phone rings, reminding me to live my life without fear.”

Kurtis Blow
With Urban D.
SUNDAY 7 p.m. Crossover Church, 7809 N Orleans Ave. Tampa. Free. (813) 935-8887. 
As the first-ever hip-hop artist to be signed to a major label, Kurtis Blow and his playful, well-enunciated jams opened doors for greats Grandmaster Flash and Run DMC. His 1980 party-starter The Breaks had Blow rapping, “The IRS says they want to chat / and you can’t explain why you claimed your cat,” over a prominent bass line and a funky riff. Synth-driven Basketball brought more good, clean fun. Even Bob Dylan was hip to Blow’s style, contributing vocals to Street Rock. Blow, now a pastor, performs with local rapper and pastor Urban D. at “the world’s first hip-hop church,” Crossover in Tampa.

Gogol Bordello
With Deleon
MONDAY 9 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $19-$21. (813) 247-2555.
The Gypsy punk revolt is on! Led by highly animated Ukrainian singer/actor Eugene Hutz, Gogol Bordello runs rampant with Slavic folk, punk, reggae, polka and flamenco. Really, this kind of enthusiasm makes Tony Little look lazy. The band’s live show, full of hyperactive accordion, violin and witty observations (American Wedding), has attracted unlikely fans like Liev Schrieber and Madonna.

With Chrisette Michele
JULY 30, 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $41-$131. (727) 791-7400.  
The return of smooth and subtle romantic Maxwell couldn’t have come sooner. (Consider the fact that a song titled Birthday Sex currently sits atop the R&B charts). After an eight-year hiatus, the devilishly handsome crooner with the illustrious falsetto will debut songs off BLACKsummers’night. The new disc contains sophisticated neo-soul songs, delicately tickled with horns, piano and guitar. And as evidenced by single Pretty Wings, Maxwell’s as transfixed with love as he is with song structure (thanks, Al Green and Radiohead). A cover of Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work has also proven to be a live show highlight.

JULY 30, 7 p.m. Jannus Landing, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 896-2276.
For Pennsylvania rock act CKY (whose drummer Jess is the brother of Bam Margera), being associated with Jackass and Viva La Bam has its pros and cons. On one hand, the group has received lots of MTV play. On the other, the band’s best known for providing background music for self-inflicted injury and skateboard scenes. Yet CKY’s murky, fist-pumping tunes are unique and refreshingly melodic. New songs like A#1 Roller Rager even show the band’s got a flair for ’80s pop.

Matthew Dear
With Three
SATURDAY 10 p.m. Hyde Park Caf?©, 1806 W Platt St., Tampa.  Free for ladies 21 and up, $10 for men. (813) 254-2233.
Before he hits Ibiza and Munich, veteran DJ Matthew Dear stops into that other techno hotbed ... South Tampa? Deadpan vocals over wiry house, new wave and afropop calls to mind electronica for an indie crowd. The son of a traveling folk singer, Matthew Dear was fascinated by the acoustic guitar early on. It wasn’t until he relocated to Detroit that he discovered techno. Portishead devotees might like the more moody, minimal material, while the chirpy stuff might appeal to Postal Service fans.

Blind Man’s Colour
With Viernes, Proud Iron Lion
FRIDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $6. (813) 248-4969.
A few weeks back, we begged the question, could St. Pete experimental act Blind Man’s Colour be the next Animal Collective? When the fledgling noise-pop band goes live Friday, we might have a better idea. Since receiving praise from Kanye West and Grizzly Bear, the band’s been a-buzzin’. Conquering whoops and whooshes and spellbinding riffs on Jimmy Dove, which calls to mind M83 and MGMT, might just make you a believer too.

Collie Buddz
With Bootleg
FRIDAY 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $19. (727) 895-3045. 
He sounds like Sean Paul. He looks like Pitbull. Still, Collie Buddz has carved an imprint all his own in the world of Caribbean hip-hop and R&B. Buddz’s breakout came with Come Around, a neo-reggae-styled Legalize It. Vocoders and drum samples mean this isn’t roots reggae — in fact it’s 10 times more Damian than Bob — but it’s infectious nonetheless.

The Semis
With the Spears, Pig Pen
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Big Shots, 2461 N McMullen-Booth Rd., Safety Harbor. $5. (727) 723-1091.
Loud, distorted guitars and eerie overtones have made local rockers the Semis regulars at bars like the Emerald. Saturday, they’ll bring bittersweet toe-tappers to new terrain — Clearwater sports bar Big Shots. Recently, the band picked up extra muscle on bass from another favorite local act, Military Junior.

Also playing

Joe Diffie: Fri. 7 p.m. The Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $9.95. (813) 987-2855.

Benefit for Faces of Courage (Cancer Support): Fri. Featuring Rubix Cubed. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10 suggested donation. (813) 971-0666.

RX Bandits: Fri. With Dredg. 7 p.m. Jannus Landing, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 896-2276.

Worst Case Scenario: Fri. With Late Night Glory, Fear of Flying, Stereo Six. 7:30 p.m. Neptune Lounge, 13 S Safford Ave., Tarpon Springs. $8. (727) 943-5713.

Chris McCarty Band: Fri. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third Street S, St. Petersburg. Free with invite confirmation print-out from (727) 871-7874.

Trace of Day: Fri. With Set It Off, New Violation. 8 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th Street N, Largo. $6. (727) 532-0265.

VNV Nation: Fri. With War Tapes. 7:30 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $22. (813) 247-2555.

Trio Vibe: Fri. and Sat. 7 p.m. Della’s After Dark, 608 Oakfield Drive, Brandon. Free. (813) 684-3354.

Big Sam’s Funky Nation: Sat. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600.

The Movement: Sat. With Passafire. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. (727) 895-3045. 

Have Gun, Will Travel: Sat. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. (727) 736-0606.

B?©lO: Sat. 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $10. (813) 229-7827.

Andy Irvine Group: Sat. With Hammerslug 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7. (813) 971-0666.

Bird Street Players: Sat. 10 p.m. Green Iguana Ybor, 1708 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-9555.

Brahm Bones: Sun. with My Little Trotsky. 6 p.m. The Dubliner Irish Pub, 2307 W Azeele St., Tampa. $5 donation. (813) 258-2257.

Pat McGee: Tues. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
Suite Caroline Tues. 6:30 p.m. Country Legends Caf?©, 1568 Main St., Dunedin. (727) 736-4247.

Jeffree Star: Thurs. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $12. (813) 248-9500.

-- Carole Giambalvo, tbt*. Photo by Getty Images.

Where are you going this weekend? Leave your weekend concert picks in the comments below!

[Last modified: Thursday, July 23, 2009 12:00pm]


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