This week in Tampa: Train, Brad Paisley, Goo Goo Dolls and more
It's a top 40 kind of weekend here in Tampa Bay, with a slew of mainstream performers coming to town: Goo Goo Dolls, the Village People, Brad Paisley, Train (above). Even locals are getting in on the act, with a Battle of the Bands at the Ritz Ybor featuring Tampa bands covering songs by Madonna, Aerosmith, Elton John and more.
After the jump, Carole Liparoto walks you through this week's concert picks, including all the above bands, plus The Maine, DJ Baby Anne, Stereo Skyline and more ...
With Darius Rucker, Justin Moore
FRIDAY 5 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $23.25-$58. (813) 740-2446.
Brad Paisley is the finest guitar slinger in contemporary country, not to mention a West Virginia everyman with a sense of humor, grand songwriting skills and four-wheel drive. It’s no wonder Amphitheatre-sized crowds have come to adore him. On Friday, he’ll explore backwoods romance (Ticks), take jabs at reality television stars (Celebrity), and best of all, get wet, during the H20 World Tour. “Wait till you see the set and effects,” Paisley tweeted recently. “It’s all meant to feel like summer and water. I want you to be able to hop off your boat or outta your pool and go right to our show.” And don’t sleep on opener Hootie, a.k.a. Darius Rucker, the greatest bar-band baritone ever. Rucker’s a certified country star now, with a platinum disc and a choice cover of Family Tradition.
With This Century
FRIDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.
For relationship rock without all the whining, check out Arizona’s The Maine. (We know the name is geographically confusing, but hang with us. The band actually got its name from a song by defunct band Ivory.) One of Rolling Stone’s Five Breakout Bands at Bamboozle 2010, The Maine recently released Black & White, a lady-killing pop-rock record that’s about as catchy as respiratory illness. You’ll hear hints of My Chem, All-American Rejects and We the Kings from guys who should be considered poster children for social networking promotion. Through Web buzz alone, they drew over 600 fans to their first-ever gig in ’07. Grab your black skinnies and join in.
SATURDAY Following Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles. First pitch at 4:10 p.m. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. Free with game ticket. (888) 326-7297.
Before they went all fun and funky this year, Pat Monahan and Train were known for overly-sentimental shopping mall ballads like Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) and Calling All Angels. This time around, “I wanted to create something cool,” Monahan told Billboard. On Save Me San Francisco, he and the crew playfully recall lipstick stains (Hey, Soul Sister) and late-night debauchery (If It’s Love) over bubbly grooves. The album is poised to become the most successful of Train’s career.
DJ Baby Anne
SATURDAY 10 p.m. The Venue, 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. Free for ladies. (727) 571-2222.
If anyone can make the case that Florida breaks are still alive and well, it’s “Bass Queen” DJ Baby Anne. The funky breaks innovator offers sexy showmanship and enough back-pocket bass and treble to upset neighbors as far as Missoula.
Goo Goo Dolls
SUNDAY 8 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $26-$51. (813) 740-2446.
If the Goo Goo Dolls weren’t making money by the time he turned 30, frontman John Rzeznik promised himself he’d go back to college and pursue a normal life. Rzeznik was 29 1⁄2 when Name blew up in ’95. In other words, it was a close call for all the future Iris adorers out there. (Do you now bleed just to know they’re alive?) Tracks like Long Way Down call to mind power-popsters The Replacements (though Rzeznik has nicer cheekbones). Best of all, The Goo’s warm, acoustic balladry remains some of the most memorable of the ’90s.
The Ritz Ultimate Battle of the Bands
Featuring Orange Hour, 10th Concession, Mighty Mongo, ANEW, Shakemode
THURSDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 247-2555.
We’ve seen too many of these “battle of the bands” shows bust. But The Ritz’s rendition has drawn solid crowds each week leading up to this final round. Local bands will perform two original songs and two covers — first an Aerosmith cover, and then the cover that got them to the finals in the first place. 10th Concession does a bluesy version of George Michael’s One More Try, Mighty Mongo has Elton John’s Rocket Man, ANEW does Prince’s Purple Rain, Shakemode plays Prince’s 1999, and Orange Hour has Madonna’s Who’s That Girl? The winner will be selected based on crowd applause, and receive $500 plus the chance to open for a national headliner at the Ritz.
The Village People
FRIDAY Following Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles. First pitch at 7:10 p.m. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. Free with game ticket. (888) 326-7297.
There's something I need to get off my chest about my uneasy relationship with these macho men. My family — actually, just my mom’s side of the family — has harbored a freakish attachment to the world’s first genetic combination of disco music and ill-fitting Halloween costumes. In the late ’70s, when my friends were all learning the lyrics to every Bee Gees song in Saturday Night Fever, I was subjected to repeated sessions of Macho Man and Go West. My mom once paid $70 for a brand new copy of the Village People's 1980 movie Can’t Stop the Music on VHS. Oh, she denies it vehemently to this day. But it happened. Mom, if you want to have a blast with Ray, Felipe, Alex and the boys at the Trop on Friday, get Aunt Barbara to take you. I’ve been tortured enough. -- Steve Spears
Marksmen Fri. with The Grecian Urns, Sons of Hippies, Her Name Is Victory. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $5-$7. (813) 241-8600.
Swamp Logic Fri. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. (727) 736-0606.
Voodoo Ball Fri. featuring Rude Squad, Unmotivated, Paint the Town Red. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Pete. Free. (727) 565-0551.
Carnival Couture Sat. featuring Scarlett Vendetta, Chymers, more. 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 247-2555.
Lights Out! Sat. 6:30 p.m. With I And I, J. Thelonious. Mojo Books and Music, 2558 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 971-9717.
Psychedelic Summer Jam Sat. with Green Sunshine, 3rd Stone, Worldwide Zoo, Aquaphonics. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Pete. $10.
Alexander and the Grapes CD Release Sat. with Matt Hires. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor. (813) 248-4969.
St. Petersburg Museum of History Benefit Sat. with Mike Pinto, The Hip Abduction, Unmotivated. 6 p.m. 335 Second Ave. NE, St. Pete. $10-$12. (727) 894-1052.
The Sun Society Sat. with Old North East, John Gold, A Play on Words, Friends of Giants. 7 p.m. Transitions, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $7. (813) 382-3477.
Stereo Skyline Sun. with The Audition, Set It Off. 5 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $12.50. (813) 248-9500.
Turn Up the Volume (slain officers benefit) Sun. featuring No Clout, Livewire, 10th Concession, Bet Me I’m Lying, Amber Lynn Nichol. 3 p.m. Channelside, 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Free.
Jennifer Nolletti Memorial Art Foundation Fundraiser Sun. featuring The Joel Sanders Band, The Semis, Four Star Riot, The Loving Thorns, Barely Pink. 4 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10 suggested donation. (813) 971-0666.
Drop Dead, Gorgeous Thur. 5 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Pete. $13. (727) 895-3045.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*. Photo: AP.