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This week in Tampa: Miranda Lambert, Blink-182, J.Cole and more




This might be the busiest music week in Tampa EVER!

Okay, yes, we know, we say that so often it's lost all meaning (see here and here and here). We can't help it. Sometimes we just get these weeks where a slew of great acts come through town all at once. (Next week is another one, so stay tuned for that.)

But seriously, this weekend is ridiculous -- particularly Saturday, when Tampa Bay fans must choose between Miranda Lambert, Blink-182/My Chemical Romance, J.Cole (above) and Peter Bjorn and John. Beyond that, you've got Thompson Square, The Joy Formidable, Pepper, Classic Albums Live: The Who, Slaughter, Modern English, Eisley, Langhorne Slim and the Law, the Tangerine Blues Fest, Enter the Haggis, Tab Benoit, Mike Pinto, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Avicii, Passafire and a WMNF tribute to blues great Rock Bottom. There's truly something for everyone.

The week's concert picks are so stackede, they're being brought to you by two writers: Carole Liparoto and Sean Daly. Get them after the jump.

Miranda Lambert
SATURDAY Following Rays. vs. Toronto Blue Jays. First pitch at 7:10 p.m. Free. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. (888) 326-7297.
Ms. Gunpowder & Lead will play the postgame show after the Rays-Blue Jays game. Her new song Baggage Claim is a great kiss-off thumper. Blake Shelton’s wild-child wife has been known to hurl her guitars every which way, some near-death rock ’n’ roll antics from the country kid. Might want to find shelter after the incendiary Kerosene — or at least borrow a batting helmet from Evan Longoria.

J. Cole
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 565-0551.
This is a killer contemporary get for downtown St. Pete’s sparkly open-air venue: a white-hot hip-hopper about to go big with his bumpy Paula Abdul-sampling jam Work Out. It’s going to be hot; it’s going to be crowded. We say leave when the sweat starts dripping down into your Ralph Lauren boxer-briefs. Sorry, but someone had to say it.

With My Chemical Romance, Matt and Kim
SATURDAY 7 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $32-$83.50. (813) 740-2446.
What becomes of grown-up punks? Find out at comeback sets from Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance, acts that lost luster — but gained wisdom? — since their heyday. Will the same energy still be there? Will someone drop their pants? Not sure. But rest assured blink’s hyper All the Small Things is a life-affirming anthem no matter what decade you’re in. Blink drummer Travis Barker will most certainly bust out an epic tub solo. You can leave during that — and then come back 16 hours later and catch the tail end of it.

Peter Bjorn and John
With Dinosaur Feathers, Guiltmaker
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. $20. (813) 247-2664.
These three dudes from Sweden excel at syncopated cool — and whistling! — especially on the spare, frenetic Young Folks. Touring behind their new disc Gimme Some, PB&J will provide the hippiest indie-rock scene on a wildly happening Saturday night in Tampa Bay.

Thompson Square
FRIDAY 10 p.m. The Round Up, 13918 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. $15. (813) 855-1464,
Less than three weeks ago, the husband/wife singing duo Thompson Square was at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, accepting their first nomination for two Country Music Association awards. On Friday, they’ll perform at a honky-tonk in a Tampa strip mall. It’s been quite a year for the country couple, and it’s not over yet. On Nov. 9, Keifer and Shawna Thompson are up for CMA’s New Artist of the Year and Vocal Duo of the Year. They have a catchy, sassy single to thank. Keifer puts it bluntly: Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not “changed our life.’’ — Susan Thurston

The Joy Formidable
With Fang Island
SUNDAY 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $13.50-$16.50.
A power trio in every sense, The Joy Formidable employs fuzzy, wall-of-sound guitars, militaristic drumming and lofty female vocals to create XL music the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Muse could both honor. Led by pint-sized and awesomely-named blonde Ritzy Bryan, this Wales-born band put out The Big Roar — it’s kind of like a collection of collegiate fight songs for indie kids who aren’t into sports — earlier this year.

Modern English 
SUNDAY 7 p.m. The Venue, 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. Free. (727) 571-2222. 
Before I Melt With You became the theme music of choice for cheesy, melty burrito commercials, and other varying ads for M&Ms, Ritz Crackers or double cheeseburgers, it was the breakout tune that transported Modern English from its gothic origins to a lighter, poppier place. The song also appeared in the movie Valley Girl with Nicolas Cage. In 2010, the band released aptly-titled disc Soundtrack.

WEDNESDAY 10 p.m. Hard Rock Cafe, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. $25 and up. (866) 502-7529.
Hair metal acts and the corresponding leather, lace and long hair have been lacking in the Bay lately. Wednesday, glam guys Slaugther will bring it back to the days of ’80s excesses with monster ballad Fly to the Angels and screechy signature anthem Up All Night. Bonus: lead singer Mark Slaughter still has a voice that could attract peafowl. Fans of Winger, Ratt, Warrant or Skid Row will appreciate this one.
Langhorne Slim and the Law
With Matrimony  
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $11-$14. (813) 241-8600. 
You’ll find some sweet, skeletal strumming within Langhorne Slim’s music, but mistake him for a coffeehouse neo-folkie, and he’s likely to alarm the baristas. His punky, twangy tendencies put him more in line with Lucero or Murder by Death, both acts he’s toured with over the years. Also in Slim’s bag: Avett Brothers-like pickin’ and Wilco-worthy reflection.

With The Expendables, Ballyhoo!  
MONDAY 6 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $27.50 and up. (727) 565-0551.  
Hailing from Kona, Hawaii, well-oiled trio Pepper inspires endless summers with breezy, not-so-serious tracks about house parties, green bottles, boardshorts and its many lady friends. Until Sublime acquired Brad Nowell sound-alike Rome for its reformed group, this was — or may still be — your go-to act for live, Pacific Ocean-inspired reggae and rock. New EP Stitches, with its drunk girl odes, is everything you’ve come to expect from your favorite beach bros.

Classic Albums Live: The Who
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $24.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. 
You won’t get smashed guitars or trampled drums in this live take on The Who’s ’71 album Who’s Next. But you WILL get a note-for-note, cut-for-cut performance by Craig Martin and a gang he calls “the world’s best musicians” as the well-regarded Classic Albums Live tackles Baba O’Riley, Won’t Get Fooled Again and more from Moon, Daltrey, Townsend and Entwistle. Martin and company call the concept one that will be appreciated by “music lovers wanting to hear the greatest albums performed live without all the gimmickry and cheesy impersonations.”

Tangerine Blues Fest 
Featuring Albert Castiglia, The Legendary JCs, Shar Baby, The Steve Arvey Band
SATURDAY 4 p.m. Tangerine Greenway, 49th St. and 18th Ave. S, Gulfport. Free.
 The Tangerine Blues Fest, an event that exemplifies Gulfport’s free-livin’ spirit, celebrates is fourth year Saturday. Miami-based singer/guitarist Castiglia, a former sideman of the late Junior Wells, adds modern sensibilities to traditional Chicago blues. Winter Park’s eight-piece Legendary JC’s plays an amped-up mix of classic funk, R&B, soul and gospel like Booker T. and the M.G.’s on Five-Hour Energy drink.

Enter the Haggis 
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland Street, Clearwater. $20-$25. (727) 791-7400.
With its underdog rise to the top (mostly by van), Toronto’s Enter the Haggis resembles the Rocky of Celtic fusion bands. Since '96, these road warriors have melded traditional Celtic music with ska, punk, jazz, rock and beyond to create an endless St. Patty’s Day parade. Latest disc Whitelake was recorded at a rustic Ontario cottage and funded entirely by fans (a.k.a. Haggis Heads). The grassroots group has gone on to appear on A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts, Live with Regis and Kelly, and their very own PBS special.

With Marksmen, Christie DuPree
FRIDAY 8:30 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12-$14. (813) 241-8600. 
Eisley’s melodic, piano-pop proficiency and charming feminine vocals conjure up the Cardigans or an edgier version of Sixpence None the Richer. Sure, there are bubblegum moments, but when they come, they’re the Dentyne Fire brand. In other words, this family band from Tyler, Texas contributes a spice to what would otherwise be overly-polished rock. A career highlight came when the group scored an opening slot on Coldplay’s Rush of Blood to the Head tour. Eisley now has marital ties to Mutemath and Say Anything.

 Also playing 

Michael Tolcher and Mikel Paris (of O.A.R.) Fri. 6 p.m. Postcard Inn 6300 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Free. (800) 875-2347.

Funky Seeds and Ramblegrass Fri. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.

Wolves in the Throne Room Fri. With Megaton Leviathan, Set and Setting. 7 p.m. The Chop Shop, 910 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $10. (813) 361-9021.

Sobriety X Fri. 7 p.m. Harlie’s Pinellas Park, 7020 49th St. N, Pinellas Park. Free. (727) 498-6500.

Tab Benoit Sat. With Beth McKee. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.

Jimmy Needs Meds Sat. 8 p.m. In the Zone, 4525 Gunn Highway, Tampa. Free. (813) 374-0144. 

Rock Solid Pressure Industry Showcase Sat. featuring Bet Me I’m Lying, Sunday’s Finest, Red Rock/its, Escape Tonight, Sunshine and Bullets, Hammerslug, Bad Magistrate, Team Cybergeist, Seven Years Past, Drastic Fall, more. 12 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 895-3045.

The Witch’s Oktoberfest Sat. featuring The John Kelly Band, Damon Fowler. 4 p.m. The Ale and the Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.

Bobby Lee Rodgers Sat. With Applebutter Express, more. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $6.

Mike Pinto Sun. With Groove Stain, Common Ground, Muphin Chuckrs, Stick Martin Show, more. 3 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $7. (727) 565-0551.

A Tribute to Rock Bottom Sun. featuring The St. Pete Blues Allstars (Liz Pennock and Dr. Blues, Kim Harpo, Jungle Denny McCarthy, Mike Delaney and Don Cox), Sandy Atkinson, Ronny Elliott, Lounge Cat, TC Carr, Greg Poulos, J.P. “Bullmoose” Coley, Pete Gallagher, Rev. Boneshaker, Big Dick Magee, TBone  Hamilton, Andrew Foertsch, Steve Burdi, Johnny and the Wranglers, Wild Bill Otten, Glenn Evans, Jim Bukiet, Max Dolder, Howlin’ Buzz, more. 5 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.

Passafire Sun. 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10-$12.

Hyde Park Village Music Series Wed. featuring Dan McMillion’s High Octane Jazz Orchestra. 6:30 p.m. Hyde Park Village Fountain, 1621 W Snow Circle, Tampa. Free. (813) 251-3500.

Ingram Hill Wed. With Rachel Platten. 8 p.m. World of Beer Westchase, 9524 W Linebaugh Ave., Tampa. (813) 852-2337.

Avicii Thurs. With Cassette. 10 p.m. The Venue, 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. $25 and up. (727) 571-2222.

-- Carole Liparoto and Sean Daly, tbt*

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