This week in Tampa: Next Big Thing, Eddie Vedder, Wiz Khalifa, Alan Jackson, Michael Bolton and more
It sounds almost comical when you say it out loud: This week's concert calendar brings in everyone from Richard Marx and Michael Bolton to Killswitch Engage and Napalm Death. But it's true -- the slate of amazing shows this week in Tampa Bay includes all those shows, plus Wiz Khalfia (above), Eddie Vedder, Alan Jackson, Michael Bolton, Gavin DeGraw, Jars of Clay, Arrested Development, Rodney Atkins, Glen Hansard, Charlie Daniels Band, Tristan Prettyman, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Toubab Krewe, Chris Cagle and more.
And -- oh yes -- there's also 97X Next Big Thing, featuring Rise Against, Fun., Bush, Silversun Pickups, Of Monsters and Men, Flogging Molly, Grouplove, Paper Tongues, The Joy Formidable, Twenty One Pilots and Wolf-Face. Click here for the set times for 97X Next Big Thing.
Get the details on all of this and more after the jump, courtesy of Carole Liparoto.
With Glen Hansard
MONDAY and TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Sold out; some tickets may be available at the box office. (727) 791-7400.
“It’s such a happy-sounding instrument,” says Eddie Vedder of the ukulele. “When I first picked it up, I was probably at the lowest point of my adult life.” Lucky for Vedder, and for us, the Pearl Jam frontman found songwriting solace in the guitar’s four-stringed Hawaiian cousin. Take Into the Wild’s incendiary, campfire-style cuts No Ceiling and Hard Sun, two tracks you should absolutely own if you have two ears and a heart. At this double-date appearance in Clearwater, expect Pearl Jam material (minus most of the angst), tracks from 2011’s Ukulele Songs and tunes from the aforementioned Into the Wild soundtrack.
With Rodney Atkins, David Nail, Jana Kramer
SUNDAY 3 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25-$80. (813) 740-2446.
Eighteen years ago, Alan Jackson wrote the song Gone Country about revved-up rockers and poppers disguising themselves as country singers, something that still rings true today. Jackson, you see, is a honky-tonk traditionalist with a strong, warm and almost fatherly tone. He’s charted hit after hit — a whopping 35 Billboard country number-ones, to be exact — about murky water, small towns, love and loss, boozing and blue jeans. They include Chattahoochee, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere and She’s Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues), a collaboration with recent headline-maker and naked driver Randy Travis. Anticipate these and more, including tracks from newest release Thirty Miles West.
With Juicy J, Chevy Woods, Lola Monroe, Berner, Tuki Carter
SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $30 and up. (813) 974-3002.
With Pittsburgh-proud anthem Black and Yellow, tatted-up rapper Wiz Khalifa shouted out the Steel City, terrible towels and push-button ignition, and catapulted into hip-hop’s spotlight. Khalifa and his Converse-loving Taylor Gang look to keep the momentum going with sophomore album O.N.I.F.C. The disc due out next week contains already-released hit Work Hard, Play Hard and brings the same low-key flow and smoke lingo that’s earned Khalifa “Snoop Dog successor” mentions.
Rock the Lens
Featuring Arrested Development
SUNDAY 6 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Free with ticket. (727) 565-0551.
On Sunday, progressive rap-soul act Arrested Development returns to play “Rock the Lens,” a concert and rally to move forward on the Pier’s proposed replacement (a design that’s been called the “one to shake the shuffleboard image” in St. Pete). We’re not sure how Arrested Development, the act that tackled political and social injustices in the ’90s over soul-style poetry, fits in exactly, but a free show shouldn’t be argued. Strongly spiritual hit Tennessee and street-dweller ode Mr. Wendal are likely to be on tap.
With Shadows Fall, Acaro
TUESDAY 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20 and up. (727) 895-3045.
Like any good metal act should, Massachusetts 5-piece Killswitch Engage made an entrance to thunderous blasts of fire the last time we saw them. Then came a blaring of emotive, often operatic metalcore (including the triumphant My Curse and a crushing cover of Ronnie James Dio’s Holy Diver), matching tuxedo shirts, capes, air horns and props. Longtime vocalist Howard Jones has since left the band, but don’t pooh-pooh just yet. Original vocalist Jesse Leach is back, and he’s pumped up. Killswitch celebrates the 10th anniversary of ’02 disc Alive or Just Breathing with a front-to-back bash-through of the record.
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $45-$65. (727) 892-5767.
Celebrate the guy’s entire catalog, or refer to him as a no-talent ass clown. Either way, you can probably recite lyrics to When a Man Loves a Woman. Michael Bolton, the adult contemporary king with more than 53 million records sold, plays the Mahaffey Thursday.
Napalm Death and Municipal Waste
With Exhumed, Speedwolf
SATURDAY 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $16-$19. theorpheum.com.
Napalm Death and Municipal Waste like their thrash metal done with precision, and their world in an utter state of chaos. Richmond, Va.’s Municpal Waste tell tales of sadistic magicians, beer funneling, toxic sludge, drugs and food fights over dirty, speedy, technically savvy hardcore. Just the boys to bring home to Mom, right? That’s if your Mom is Courtney Love or something.
The Barstool Blackout Tour
Featuring DJ Dante the Don, more
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $23-$25. (813) 247-2555.
We’re hesitant to think about what just might surface at the “the world’s largest black light party.” Still, DJs will spin, purple fluorescents will shine and bros will be bros at this Friday throwdown.
Vodkanauts’ Tenth Anniversary Deluxe Super-Spectacular Extravaganza
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Local legends and musical meanderers The Vodkanauts celebrate 10 years as the preeminent (and possibly only) “power lounge” act. “Imagine a twilight world of sonic make believe where Dean Martin and Neil Diamond share equal billing with Danny Gatton and Hank Marvin; where reverb-drenched surf freakouts segue into a small jazzy combo playing a Vegas nightspot frequented by The In Crowd; where roadhouse-rockin’ twangfests coexist with tranquil atmospheric meditations,” describes Vodkanauts band leader and guitarist Mark Warren.
SATURDAY and TUESDAY 8 p.m. 405 Cleveland Street, Clearwater. $42.50-$59.50 (Saturday’s show is sold out). (727) 791-7400.
Back in 2010, Richard Marx made a little music history when he appeared on stage — alone — at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. It was, as he told a slightly skeptical crowd, his first-ever solo acoustic show. “I was never more nervous before a show in my life. Literally sick to my stomach with fear,” Marx said in a recent e-mail chat. “Then about halfway through the first song I realized this might end up being pretty fun.” The sold-out crowd loved it too, giggling each time Marx would interrupt his lyrics to work in a “bless you” after hearing any audible sneeze in the very intimate venue. Marx has since turned the acoustic format into a staple in his touring schedule. “These solo acoustic shows have been the most fun I’ve ever had onstage,” he said. — Steve Spears
Jars of Clay
FRIDAY, SATURDAY and SUNDAY 6 to 11 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10001 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Admission is $39.99 adults, $14.99 children, with discounts available. See christmastown.com.
Bush Gardens has brought in national headliners in the past, but never like this. Jars of Clay have long been one of America’s best-known Christian rock acts — if you know only one Christian rock song from the past 20 years, it’s probably their 1996 alt-rock hit Flood — and starting this weekend, they’ll play a headlining show each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 23 as part of Busch Gardens’ new Christmas Town extravaganza. Expect them to rely on material from 2007’s Christmas songs, including a synthy, Postal Servicey take on Drummer Boy, and a sing-along cover of Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime. — Jay Cridlin
97X Next Big Thing
With Rise Against, Bush, Silversun Pickups, Fun., Of Monsters and Men, Flogging Molly, Grouplove, Paper Tongues, The Joy Formidable, Twenty One Pilots, Wolf-Face
SATURDAY 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg. Tickets are $45 at all floridacentral Credit Union locations and Ticketmaster through Friday; on Saturday, it’s $60 at the gate. 97Xonline.com.
After a six-year excursion to Tampa’s 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, the annual 97X Next Big Thing returns to its more festival-like roots on Saturday at its new home, Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Three-time NBT veterans and politically minded punks Rise Against return for their second stint as headliner, but watch out for Gavin Rossdale and the reinvigorated Bush, who stole the show at Next Big Thing 2011. Other bands to watch: We Are Young hitmakers Fun.; jubilant Icelandic indie-folk troupe Of Monsters and Men; Celtic punk stalwarts Flogging Molly; and Welsh trio The Joy Formidable, who make more breathtaking noise than most bands can even dream of. — Jay Cridlin
Blast Friday Fri. featuring Little River Band. 5:30 p.m. Cleveland Street Stage, 405 Cleveland Street, Clearwater. Free. (727) 791-7400.
Charlie Daniels Angelus Benefit Concert Fri. With Charlie Daniels, Confederate Railroad, LoCash Cowboys. 5 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 987-2855.
The Winter Sounds CD release Fri. With Sunbears, more. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Resinated CD release Fri. With Mighty Mongo, Khora, SowFlo. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 565-0551.
Mister Nik Sharp Fri. 10 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N., Largo. $7. (727) 532-0265.
Motown in Midtown Fri. featuring Arts Conservatory for Teens (ACT). 7 p.m. Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum Gardens, 2240 Ninth Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $30 and up. (727) 323-1104.
Rise of Saturn Sat. With The Best Day Ever, The Lion Faced Boy, Paint the Town Red, Hovering Humanoids. 8:30 p.m. Pegasus Lounge, 10008 N 30th St., Tampa. $5-$7. (813) 971-1679.
Scotty Lee and the Treble Hooks Sat. 7:30 p.m. JolliMon’s, 941 Huntley Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 735-0498.
Mix 100.7 Acoustic Christmas Sun. With Gavin DeGraw, Tristan Prettyman. Noon. Hard Rock Café, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. $15 and up. (866) 502-7529.
Lee Fields and the Expressions Sun. With The Sh-Booms, more. 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12 and up. (813) 241-8600.
Raw Oyster Cult Sun. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$20. theorpheum.com.
The Slackers Sun. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. facebook.com/thelocal662.
The Corey Christiansen Quartet Sun. 3 p.m. HCC Mainstage Theater, corner of Palm Avenue and 14th St., Ybor City. $10-$25. tampajazzclub.com.
Chris Cagle Wed. 7 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Free (no cover). (813) 987-2855.
Tyler Ward Wed. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13-$15. (727) 895-3045.
Toubab Krewe Thurs. With John’s Brown Body. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16.50 and up. $5. (727) 895-3045.
Papadosio Thurs. With DJ Craig Heneveld. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12-$14. (813) 241-8600.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*