This week in Tampa: Tropical Heatwave, Lady Antebellum, Wilco, Chris Cornell and more
What a week for music in Tampa Bay! Of course, you could say that just about any year around Tropical Heatwave, which is always the biggest date on the Tampa Bay concert calendar. (Too bad some of us have a tough choice to make this year, as Soundgarden's Chris Cornell ended up rescheduling his acoustic show at the Tampa Theatre for the same night. Talk about falling on a black day.)
Click here for our preview of Tropical Heatwave 2012. And the rest of the music calendar is chock-full of amazing shows: Lady Antebellum, Wilco, Vince Gill, Steve Aoki, Heartless Bastards, Washed Out, Rusko, Catie Curtis, Maze with Frankie Beverly, Local H, Allen Stone and more.
Get the details on these shows and more after the jump...
With Darius Rucker, Thompson Square
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $29.25-$54. (813) 740-2446
Not since the days of Faith and Shania has a country act crossed so seamlessly into the pop-o-sphere as Lady Antebellum did with their gargantuan Need You Now, a big, bawly booty-call for a drunken hookup at a quarter after one. Lady A has only grown in stature since then, with latest disc Own the Night winning their second consecutive Grammy for Best Country Album. Playing their first local show since the 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival — and their first headlining concert since a sold-out Ruth Eckerd Hall gig in 2010 — singers Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott, will no doubt bring the house down on weepy ballad Just a Kiss. Bonus: After the show, trade in your ticket stub for a free drink at the Dallas Bull (3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa), where openers Thompson Square (Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not) will hold a meet-and-greet with fans.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. Sold out. (813) 274-8982.
When Eddie Vedder postponed his Ruth Eckerd Hall shows from this week until December due to a broken hand, grunge fans were crushed — it meant there was absolutely no chance of a Temple of the Dog reunion show between the Pearl Jam frontman and Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell. But no matter — everything else about this rescheduled concert promises a brilliant night of music. Cornell, whose jet-engine wail gave life to hits like Black Hole Sun, Spoonman and Burden In My Hand, has been reaching deep into the Soundgarden catalog for his solo acoustic shows. In the majestic Tampa Theater, we expect full-body chills (and then some) during Fell On Black Days.
SUNDAY 7 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $35-$65. (727) 892-5798.
You can keep Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, flashy frontmen both who can strum a six-string and rock a pair of Wranglers with the best of them. For our money, the best guitarist in Nashville may be soft-spoken balladeer Vince Gill. Though his solos aren’t always showy, they are spectacularly spot-on, which has earned him fans like Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler. “All of those guys are guitar gods, mostly in the rock field,” the humble Gill once told us, adding that he enjoys being the “token country guy” at guitar-based events like Clapton’s Crossroads Festival. “Did I think, when I was a little kid learning to play Sunshine Of Your Love in my room, that someday I’d stand up on stage and play it with Eric? No.” If you haven’t embraced Gill’s skills yet, start with his latest album, the aptly titled Guitar Slinger.
With Purling Hiss
MONDAY 7:30 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $45.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.
Okay, okay, the “American Radiohead” comparisons have died down a bit since 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Jeff Tweedy and company are still among the best alternative songsmiths America has to offer, stitching a unique sonic quilt from varied cuts of the classic-rock canon. On new album The Whole Love, the band indulges a taste for organs on moddish tracks like I Might, Whole Love and Standing O. We’re not expecting a three-hour marathon like their last local show (Ruth Eckerd Hall, 2010), but we do expect them to spin a few tracks from their long, varied and influential career.
With These United States
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$17. theorpheum.com.
On the Heartless Bastards’ new album, Arrow, singer-guitarist-pianist Erika Wennerstrom’s voice can lull you into a crush one moment (Only For You), then incite a riot the next (Simple Feeling). The Ohio garage rock/alt-country outfit aimed to capture the intense passion of their live performances on Arrow — all the soul, all the sweat, all the sultriness — and the result is a disc that will please fans of acts ranging from My Morning Jacket to Lucinda Williams to the Black Keys.
SATURDAY 6 and 8:30 p.m. Craftsman House, Craftsman House, 2955 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20 donation; (727) 323-2787. And MONDAY Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $28.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.
Consider this a chance to double your enjoyment of an artist while helping her pay the bills, too. On Monday, folk-pop singer-songwriter Catie Curtis, a Lilith Fair veteran in the vein of Dar Williams and Patty Griffin, will perform at the Straz Center’s intimate Jaeb Theater. But first, on Sunday, she’ll play two shows at an even more intimate venue: Craftsman House Gallery in St. Petersburg. Admission there is a $20 donation, which only seems fair — even a “folk rock goddess,” as the New Yorker once called her, has to fuel up the tour van somehow.
With Airbird, Dog Bite
SUNDAY 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10-$13. (813) 241-8600.
There is Skrillex. There is Calvin Harris. There is David Guetta. And then way, way, waaaaaaay at the other end of the spectrum, there is Ernest Greene. The man behind bedroom-pop project Washed Out trades rave anthems and Top 40 party jams for dreamy, lo-fi indie grooves that have made him a favorite of music bloggers and too-cool-for-school types everywhere. So synonymous is Washed Out’s music with the retro patina of hipsterdom that his song Feel It All Around was hand-picked by Fred Armisen to be the theme song to IFC’s Portlandia.
THURSDAY 7 p.m. Hawaiian Village at Stadium Green Iguana, 2520 N Dale Mabry, Tampa. $26 and up. (813) 868-7600.
At last summer’s Identitity Festival stop in Tampa, British dubstep DJ Rusko brought a danceable, reggae-tinged flavor to the main stage. His squiggly wobble is poppy and lighthearted — you might even call it tongue-in-cheek — and will no doubt get the college night crowd dancing next Thursday.
WEDNESDAY 9 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25-$35. (813) 247-2555.
What a life Steve Aoki has led: The son of Benihana magnate Rocky Aoki, the impresario of his own hugely successful label Dim Mak, and now a festival frenzy-whipper in his own right. Aoki’s electro jams have made him a regular at festivals worldwide (including the Identity Festival, which came to the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre last summer), but he’s making a push for the Top 40 with his new album Wonderland. He’s off to a great start with single Earthquakey People, a collaboration with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo. Pretty soon, Aoki might join the David Guettas and Calvin Harrises of the world at the top of the pops.
Tropical Heatwave Preview Fri. With Boom Chick, Lipbone Redding and the Lipbone Orchestra, Barren River Trio. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. Free. (813) 971-0666.
He Is We Fri. With Windsor Drive, Deas Vail, Plug In Stereo, South Jordan. 6 p.m. Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12-$14. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Nadia Ali and Starkillers Fri. 10 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$15. amptampa.com.
Fiction 20 Down Fri. With Resinated, UNRB. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.
The Spears Fri. With Alias Punch, Pretty Voices. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $6. (813) 248-4969.
Falling Axe Fest Sat. With Holly Maddux, Rival Within, Miles From Alaska, more. 5 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-3045.
Maze with Frankie Beverly Sat. 8 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $36.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.
DoryDrive Sat. With Eye of the Bird, Dark Summer, 39 Stripes. 7 p.m. Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $8. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Take Back the Night benefit Sun. With Wendy Rich, Shawn Brown, Sugar and Spice, more. 5 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10 Suggested donation. (813) 971-0666.
Local H Tue. 7 p.m. Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12-$14. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Allen Stone Wed. With Sugar and the Hi Lows, ZZ Ward. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $13-$15. theorpheum.com.
Tribal Seeds Thurs. With Through the Roots, Sheffield Crew. 7:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13-$15. (727) 895-3045.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*