This week in Tampa: Rascal Flatts, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Identity Festival and more
It's a big week for fans of country and dubstep in Tampa Bay. And when's the last time you could honestly say THAT?
Two of this week's biggest concerts are by country superstars -- Rascal Flatts, above, at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre on Friday, and Alison Krauss and Union Station on Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. And then there's the electronic-heavy Identity Festival on Wednesday at the Gary. And let's not forget about Patrick Stump, Guster, Jack's Mannequin, the Appleseed Cast, an Amy Winehouse tribute show and more.
After the jump, Carole Liparoto and company walk you through the week ahead...
Featuring Kaskade, Pretty Lights, Rusko, The Disco Biscuits, Booka Shade, Datsik, Afrobeta, Jessie and the Toy Boys, Steve Aoki, DJ Shadow, Chuckie, The Crystal Method, Holy Ghost!, Hercules and Love Affair, Le Castle Vania, The Eye, White Shadow, LA Riots, Manufactured Superstars, Doorly, Nervo, RioTGear, Burns, Marshall Barnes, Figo
WEDNESDAY 1 p.m. 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $20-$97. (813) 740-2446.
Leaders of the nocturnal music scene arrive Wednesday for the inaugural Identity Fest. Altogether, these electronic acts and light-show specialists churn out an assault on mind and body so penetrating that they make the once-wowing ways of big-name DJ’s like Paul Oakenfold and Tiesto seem like community theater. Accordingly, these are the artists now playing the late-night sets at major music festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. Dubstep fans, and they are legion, will turn out for headliners Kaskade, Rusko and Datsik. Fans of electronic hip-hop will dig Pretty Lights. The Disco Biscuits will offer a taste of live “jamtronica,” and Australian sisters Nervo will provide a little Ke$ha-style pop excess. Pitchfork-minded hipsters will dig Holy Ghost! and Hercules and Love Affair, while newbies will recognize boldface-name DJs Steve Aoki and DJ Shadow.
Blessing and a Curse Folk Music Festival
Featuring Have Gun, Will Travel, Ronny Elliott and Rebekah Pulley
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. $10-$14. (813) 269-1310.
An antonym for the aforementioned Identity Fest might just be the Blessing and a Curse Folk Music Festival. This Carrollwood event takes its name from Have Gun, Will Travel’s Blessing and a Curse, the strummy anthem that’s appeared on PBS’s Roadtrip Nation and GTE Federal Credit Union commercials. It was also licensed recently to Chevrolet for use in a national ad campaign. Ronny Elliott, whose style was once described as “craggy but literary country-blues, like Jerry Lee Lewis if he were a beat poet,” by Mojo Magazine, also performs. Finally, Rebekah Pulley offers reliably-honeyed vocals and perceptive, penetrating songwriting.
With Wynter Gordon, John West
SUNDAY 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20.50. theorpheum.com.
Hard on the heels of Pete Wentz’s DJ gig in Tampa, Patrick Stump plays the Orpheum Sunday. It wasn’t long ago that the Fall Out Boy pair was playing arenas. But Stump, for one, says he’s thrilled to get back to the small clubs. “I am nobody again, and I love it,” he told Billboard magazine. On Soul Punk, due in October, the pasty emo-punk singer channels the candied funk-pop and suggestive R&B stylings of his idols Prince and Michael Jackson. As for the lyrics, Stump calls them “simple” and “economical,” very much the opposite of Fall Out Boy’s often long-winded musings and song titles. There are some cool covers in Stump’s bag, too, including one of Buddy Holly’s Everyday.
The Appleseed Cast
With Hospital Ships, Set and Setting
THURSDAY 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Interplanetary guitars. Meandering keys. Gentle yelling. Paper doves. It’s all here. Kansas’ The Appleseed Cast is an experimental group that combines the best of atmospheric rock with the best of emo to form its own dynamic sound. Imagine Jimmy Eat World tackling tunes by Explosions in the Sky or Minus the Bear.
Guster and Jack’s Mannequin
TUESDAY 6:30 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $30.50-$34. (813) 247-2555.
For alt-pop that nudges the funny bone, Guster has been a go-to group for nearly two decades. (Check out the group’s “meow mixes,” for instance — real tunes treated with cat-sounding vocals. You know, like “purr” and “reeerrr.”) When Fa Fa comes on, Guster’s faithful are likely to be transported to the days of Frisbee-tossing on the campus lawn. Latest disc is titled Easy Wonderful, and it’s a nice way to sum up this group. Co-headliner Jack’s Mannequin has a deeper, darker approach to power pop, and rightfully so. If you’ll recall, singer Andrew McMahon (also of Something Corporate) struggled with late-stage leukemia before writing The Glass Passenger. His survival story continues to soothe with its lush piano and impassioned vocals.
Amy Winehouse Tribute
Featuring The D’Visitors, Dynasty, Monica Delgado, Gwanmassive Crew
THURSDAY 9 p.m. The Hub, 719 N Franklin St., Tampa. Free. (813) 229-1553.
Local artists are planning a show chock full of brass and beehives to honor late retro-soul singer Amy Winehouse. Winehouse — who often resembled a Supreme gone wild with her destructive habits and tattooed exterior — put her own spin on soul music. And it’s likely these acts will offer their own takes, too. Among the performers are multicultural standouts D’Visitors, known to play everything from reggae and Afrobeat to jazz and Latin, and lightning-quick lyricist Dynasty.
With Sara Evans, Easton Corbin, Justin Moore
FRIDAY 7 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $30-$75. (813) 740-2446. The Dallas Bull is hosting an after-party with a concert by Randy Montana after the concert. The Bull is at 3322 U.S. 301, Tampa; (813) 987-2855.
If you’re good with John Lasseter and the beautiful brains behind Toy Story, you’re good with us For 2006’s Cars, Rascal Flatts provided Lightning McQueen with some driving music: a likable cover of Tom Cochrane’s Life Is a Highway. And then last year, the boys spoofed their clean-cut image by appearing as a nasty, in-fighting potentially murderous band on the hit crime show CSI. The appearance tweaked their rep and, even better, tweaked all the haters, a self-aware twofer you have to respect. And if that’s not enough, you have to give them props for having the hottest-looking crowds in popular music. Around here, country acts are crazy with fine-looking men and women, but Rascal Flatts takes audience aesthetics (and shirtlessness) to all new bug-eyed levels. Hubba-hubba. — Sean Daly
Alison Krauss and Union Station
SUNDAY 7 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Sold out. (727) 791-7400.
In 1997, Alison Krauss & Union Station, a young, attractive bluegrass crew with traditional chops but modern spirit, released an album called So Long So Wrong. The art for that record was a subtle spoof of AC/DC’s iconic Highway to Hell record; in the liner notes, the hard-rock crew was paid tribute to yet again, with Krauss even flashing some devil horns. It might have looked like a lark, but for Krauss, a prodigious fiddler and singer since the age of 10 — and now the most awarded female artist in Grammy history at age 40 — it was much-needed rebellion. Although the Decatur, Ill., native’s Opry skills are practically peerless, and her crystalline soprano is as close to perfect as it gets, she is also a bit of a rule-breaker, a response no doubt to being so goody-goody for so long. So when Krauss and her phenomenal band play a sold-out Ruth Eckerd Hall Sunday, look out for her to cut loose with some decidedly non-Opry faves. — Sean Daly
Lauris Vidal Fri. With Andy Zipf, Damion Suomi and the Minor Prophets. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Glendale Lights Fri. With Geri X, Surly, Oceana, Ettison. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$13. theorpheum.com.
Chris McCarty Fri. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
Fella Fri. 10 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N, Largo. (727) 532-0265.
Horizon Shore Fri. 7 p.m. Rudolph’s Art Gallery, 39340 U.S. 19 N, Tarpon Springs. Free. (727) 934-6666.
The Supervillains Sat. With Mighty Mongo. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 565-0551.
Justin Layman Sat. 9 p.m. Carmel Café, 2548 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Free. (727) 724-4228.
Auto!Automatic!! CD Release Sat. With Poetry 'n Lotion, Set and Setting. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $7. (813) 241-8600.
Noah Broe and Groove Co. Sat. 7:30 p.m. JolliMon’s, 941 Huntley Ave., Dunedin. Free. jollimonsgrill.com.
Whitney James Sat. With James W. Crumbly Jr., Natalie Symons. 8 p.m. New American Theater, 183 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 575-9241.
Bobaflex Sat. With Jimmie’s Chicken Shack. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. (727) 895-3045.
The Joy of Singing Festival Concert Sat. 7:30 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Individual event tickets start at $12, $8 for students. (813) 229-7827.
Woody Pines and the Lonesome Two Sun. 4 p.m. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, 5119 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. (813) 234-1000.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*