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This week in Tampa: Paul Simon, Janet Jackson, Andrea Bocelli, Next Big Thing and more




Hope you're well-rested from last week's kinda slow concert calendar, because this week, things get cranked way, way up once again.

Of course there's 97X Next Big Thing, which we've been excited about all week. If you've missed our coverage, check out interviews with Young the Giant, Sublime With Rome, The Joy Formidable and AWOLNATION, and get our guide to the full lineup, complete with schedule and performance times.

Beyond that, it's massive. We're talking Paul Simon, Janet Jackson (above), Andrea Bocelli, Big Sean, Wale, Hall and Oates, The Fray, Dokken, Parachute, Kool Keith, Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson, The Devil Wears Prada, David Allan Coe, Mushroomhead, Bonobo, Morgan Page and not one but two versions of L.A. Guns!

Here with the goods on all of it is Carole Liparoto...

Big Sean
With Cyhi Da Prynce, more
THURSDAY 8 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20. (813) 247-2555.
One-word finishes to rap lyrics are popular right now with artists like Drake, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. Here’s an example you probably know: “If I am in the club you know I balled, Chemo. Swimmin’ in the money, come and find me, Nemo.” Drake credits rapper Big Sean for inspiring this style of flow, one Sean calls “the Supa Dupa Flow.” Experience it firsthand, and hear a Family Guy reference or two (I Do It) while you’re at it, with Big Sean at the Ritz Thursday.

Andrea Bocelli
With Heather Headley, Ana Maria Martinez, Eugene Kohn and the Tampa Opera Symphony
SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $75-$350. 1-800-745-3000;
Andrea Bocelli periodically puts a full-court press on the U.S. market. Now is one of those times. The blind Italian tenor has a revised version of his autobiography, The Music of Silence, in bookstores. The broadcast of his September concert on a rainy night in Central Park premieres this week on PBS and was released last month on CD and DVD as Andrea Bocelli Concerto: One Night in Central Park. And he is on a six-concert tour this month, including Sunday’s performance at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. — John Fleming

Paul Simon
MONDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Sold out. (727) 791-7400.
Paul Simon is 70 and yet he sounds like he’s still 17. He’s unassuming in stature, comically tentative, and yet artistically he’s always been bold, a tortured perfectionist poet whose wordplay and rhythms are wild and grooving. A Simon tour is a rare thing indeed. Although his Monday stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall won’t be one of his ballyhooed Graceland 25th anniversary shows, it’ll be packed with several cuts from that album (including the life-affirming Boy in the Bubble) and others. Appropriately enough, Simon’s Clearwater gig sold out in a hurry, even though tickets hovered around and above the $100 mark. If you got in, congratulations: Earlier stops on this tour had him doing covers of Mystery Train and the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun. — Sean Daly

Janet Jackson
SUNDAY 8 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $59.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.
Before that famous “wardrobe malfunction,” Ms. Jackson If You’re Nasty was a multiplatinum superstar, at times as popular, if not fleetingly more so, than brother Michael. After the incident, however, three albums — 2004’s Damita Jo, 2006’s 20 Y.O., 2008’s Discipline — were flops and any residual tours failed to inspire. Couple her own malaise with the death of Michael, and a Janet comeback seemed difficult to fathom. But we’re not the only ones who bailed on the career of the woman who gave us What Have You Done for Me Lately and Escapade. The truth is that Jackson bailed on herself a bit. The music and energy that followed her internationally televised breast baring wasn’t particularly good. Jackson is 45 now, and this local stop appears to be a small step back to her place in the stars. Reclaiming her place will be tough, but maybe she can do it. First things first? She should probably keep her clothes on. — Sean Daly

Dokken and L.A. Guns
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $15 and up. (727) 565-0551. 
For so many of the ’80s glam-metal acts, it’s hair today, gone tomorrow. Dokken (Breaking the Chains) and L.A. Guns (The Ballad of Jayne) trek on, the former without guitarist George Lynch and the latter within two rival incarnations. Assuming you care, The L.A. Guns group performing here is the Phil Lewis-led act. The band playing the State Theatre Saturday is the Tracii Guns group.

Kool Keith Performing as Dr. Octagon
With Dam-Funk, DJ Sandman
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12-$15.
Skatepark of Tampa, once dubbed “skateboarding’s Disney World” by ESPN, hosts its annual Tampa Am contest this weekend. And for its traditional post-skate concert, the crew is delivering yet another underground, off-brand hip-hop face. With more aliases than an inmate roster, Kool Keith (a.k.a. Dr. Octagon, Dr. Dooom, Rhythm X, Black Elvis, Mr. Gerbik) has evaded the mainstream rap world with a schizophrenic style and metaphorically-loaded, often controversial, lyrics.

Men of Soul: Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson and Howard Hewett
FRIDAY 8 p.m. The Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts, 400 First Street South, St. Petersburg. $60 and up. (727) 892-5767.
Three Quiet Storm kings offer up buttery crooning over soul and R&B soundscapes Friday. Just a note: Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy would likely be in heaven this week in Tampa with both Peabo Bryson (“the greatest singer of all time”) and Hall and Oates (Phil was a “Hallraiser” in his day) in town.

He’s My Brother She’s My Sister
With Geri X
SUNDAY 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City.  $8-$10. (813) 248-4969.
While opening for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes last year at the Ritz, this Southern Cali band unveiled a secret weapon — the fancy footwork of Lauren Brown. Brown is the band’s tap-dancing percussionist, providing a quirky pulse for the group’s nostalgic gypsy-folk sound. Sound gimmicky? Trust us, not this one.

The Devil Wears Prada
With Whitechapel, Enter Shikari, For Today
FRIDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20. (813) 247-2555.
To the unsuspecting listener (who probably Googled in search of the Meryl Streep film), the guttural screaming of The Devil Wears Prada might conjure up some kind of zombie apocalypse. But to the diehard fans (and there are many), these adept Christian metalcore players and frequent Alternative Press cover boys create the sound of sweet, sweet catharsis.

With Black Cobain
SUNDAY 8 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20 and up. (813) 247-2555.
Our favorite Seinfeld-loving, shoe-collecting rapper Wale trumpets the release of his new disc Ambition. While previous efforts showed the D.C. representative as a defiant, conga-banging, go-go influenced artist inspired by George Costanza rants (Mixtape About Nothing), Ambition aims for radio play with a more glitzy approach. 

The Fray
With Scars on 45, Rachel Platten
SUNDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $32. (727) 565-0551. 
This pasty bunch does songs about relationship disintegration just as well, if not better, than anyone in the business. But an uninspired Jingle Ball performance here two Decembers ago left us disappointed. Here’s hoping Look After You gets the gusto it deserves during Play 98.7’s “Play in the Snow Show.”

David Allan Coe
THURSDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $16 and up. (727) 565-0551. 
Before country singers were ticked off by reality TV stars and trust fund babies, outlaw David Allan Coe was ticked off by just about everything. Coe led the outlaw country movement of the ’70s alongside Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. After doing hard time, living in a hearse, and releasing a handful of bawdy underground albums (songs from which are favorites at his shows), the 70-something Take This Job and Shove It singer stays true to his insane and profane roots onstage.

SATURDAY 8:30 p.m. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third St. S., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 871-7874.

We have it on good authority that Parachute, best known for singles She Is Love and Under Control, was a surprise standout at Orlando Calling. The fact that this is free show should only give you further incentive to give Parachute a whirl.

Daryl Hall and John Oates
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $49.50-$100. (727) 791-7400.
It isn’t Simon and Garfunkel or Sonny and Cher that hold the title of best-selling duo in music history. It’s those perky ’80s popsters Hall and Oates. For some, the duo calls to mind Miami Vice-style blazers, synchronized handclaps, dentist-office tones and one very prominent mustache. For a new generation, the guys are hipster-admired artists thanks largely to Hall’s collaborations with Chromeo and others.

Microgroove Grand Opening Weekend
FRIDAY featuring Jennifer O’Connor, Tracy Shedd; SATURDAY featuring Sleepy Vikings, I Was Totally Destroying It; SUNDAY featuring Rebekah Pulley and Will Quinlan. Microgroove, 4906 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Free. Call (813) 667-7089 for set times.
Tampa’s newest independent record store will hold a grand opening this weekend with an array of in-store acoustic performances.  Matador recording artist Jennifer O’Connor kicks off the festivities Friday with batch full of lovely, literate folk-pop tunes.

Also playing

The Black Honkeys Fri. With Theo Valentine, more. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5.

Rebecca Zapen Fri. Ohana Café, 306 Orange St. N., Palm Harbor. (727) 787-1234.

Charlie Daniels Band Fri. With Little Texas, Aaron Kelly, Confederate Railroad, T. Graham Brown, more. Doors open at 3 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $10-$15.


Mushroomhead Fri. With One Eyed Doll, Drastic Fall, more. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045. 

Tucci Fri. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. (727) 736-0606.

Rene Marie Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m. David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $33.50. (813) 229-7827.

Morgan Page Sat. 10 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10 and up. (813) 873-8368.

Bonobo (DJ Set) Sat. With DJ Craig Heneveld, Mr. Marley, DJ Blenda, Soft Rock Renegades. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $15-$17. (813) 241-8600.

Suncoast Blues Society Holiday Party Sat. featuring Joe Louis Walker, Selwyn Birchwood. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.    

LA Guns featuring Tracii Guns and Dilana Sat. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13. (727) 895-3045. 

Obscura Sat. With Abysmal Dawn, Enfold Darkness, more. 8 p.m. Brass Mug, 1441 E. Fletcher Avenue, Tampa. (813) 972-8152.

REKLESS Sat. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City.

The Greg Billings Band Sat. 9 p.m. Beach Bar, 454 Mandalay Ave., Clearwater Beach. $5. (727) 447-4100.

New Christy Minstrels with Vecca the Show Dog Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Rd., Tampa. $21-$25. (813) 269-1310.

Bullapalooza! Sun. featuring USF School of Music performers. 3 p.m. USF Concert Hall, 4202 East Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 974-3002.

Dickey Betts and Great Southern Wed. With Devon Allman’s Honeytribe. 7:30 p.m. David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. 

-- Carole Liparoto, tbt* 

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 6:20pm]


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