This week in Tampa: Wild Splash, Reba, Henry Rollins, Excision and more
What happens when festival season collides with Spring Break season? Way too many choices.
This weekend alone, we've got three big festivals: Wild Splash (with Wale, DMX and Waka Flocka Flame), the final weekend of the Florida Strawberry Festival (with Reba, above) and the inaugural Gasparilla Music Festival (with Ra Ra Riot). That's an insane Saturday. Anyone planning to hit all three shows?
There's so much more to get to, though: The Moody Blues, Lights, Excision, Toots and the Maytals, Hank III, Henry Rollins, Steven Curtis Chapman, Rodney Atkins, Hunter Hayes, Wynton Marsalis, Ballyhoo!, Buckethead, We Came As Romans, Jukebox the Ghost, Caveman, Langhorne Slim and the Law and much more. And then next week, the Experience Hendrix Tour brings a cavalcade of all-star guitarists, such as Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shephard, Robert Randolph and more.
Here to try to make some sense of it all is Carole Liparoto...
Gasparilla Music Festival
With Ra Ra Riot, Deer Tick, Rebirth Brass Band, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Spam Allstars, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Tortured Soul, the Lee Boys, more
SATURDAY 11:45 a.m. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. $20. gasparillamusicfestival.com
About 20 bands, from alt-country to blues to funk, take the stage Saturday for the inaugural Gasparilla Music Festival in downtown Tampa. Organizers cast a wide net for diverse, notable groups with broad appeal, even if they aren’t household names. Just weeks after signing on to perform, Rebirth Brass Band from New Orleans just won a Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album. And New York indie rockers Ra Ra Riot have played festivals like South by Southwest and Coachella. A wide range of local and local-ish artists, including Geri X, Kaleigh Baker, the Groves and Have Gun, Will Travel, will also perform. — Susan Thurston
The Moody Blues
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$95. (727) 791-7400.
Recorded with the London Festival Orchestra in ’67, breakthrough album Days of Future Passed marked the Moody Blues’ foray into lush, progressive concept music. Best of all, the blues boys squeezed delirious romance (particularly on classic Nights in White Satin) out of layers of psychedelic sound. That’s something that can’t be said for the majority of their prog and art act counterparts. The Moody Blues celebrate the 45th anniversary of the hypnotic album Tuesday.
FRIDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045. Pre-show in-store performance at 3 p.m. at Daddy Kool Records, 666 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 822-5665.
In spite of a chilly Ontario upbringing, doe-eyed, keytar-carting Valerie Poxleitner, or Lights, makes music as warm and inviting as it comes. Latest Siberia (again, don’t be fooled by the title or the tundra) offers upbeat and melodious electro-pop. There are touches of distortion and grit this time around, but like on previous effort, the bubblegummy The Listening, saccharine dance goodness shines through.
With Liquid Stranger and Lucky Date
FRIDAY 9 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $21-$25. (813) 247-2555.
For a devoted legion of neon-clad club kids, DJ Excision delivers beats that move the feet, and beepy, blippy breakdowns that warp minds. For the folks who haven’t hopped on the dubstep train, however, the typical Excision electronic frappe might sound more like the office copier/fax machine gone rogue.
Wild Splash 2012
Featuring DMX, Wale, Waka Flocka Flame, Machine Gun Kelly, Childish Gambino, Mindless Behavior, Future, Tae Bae Bae, Famous Kid Brick, Kirko Bangz, Special Ed
SATURDAY 1 p.m. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $25 and up. (727) 562-4800.
With one barking ’90s icon, one rapping Seinfeld buff, one Eminem throne-watcher, one actor and comedian, and one inspiration to exotic dancers everywhere, Wild 94.1’s annual spring break bash lineup is, well … a wild one. DMX, the macho growler behind Ruff Ryders Anthem (and only the second rapper in history to have released two albums No. 1 albums in the same year) comes out of semi-retirement (after a prison term and time behind the pulpit) to headline the show. D.C.’s go-go influenced, Seinfeld-loving Wale is the man behind our one of our favorite mixtapes of all time, Mixtape About Nothing. Waka Flocka Flame, the glassy-eyed rapper from Riverdale, Ga., goes heavy on drug-deal raps and pole dancer pop (No Hands). Childish Gambino, a.k.a. Donald Glover, aka Troy from Community, has jumpy, funny, well-enunciated rhymes and a stage name generated by the Wu-Tang Name Generator. And pasty spitter Machine Gun Kelly, who was arrested in St. Pete following a sold-out show at the State Theatre in January, is being a hailed hip-hop’s new “great white hope.”
Toots and the Maytals
With Groove Stain, Common Ground, Stick Martin Show, Oceanstone, UNRB, DJ Whoaday
SATURDAY 6 p.m. The Hawaiian Village at Stadium Green Iguana, 2520 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $25 and up. (813) 868-7600.
Like James Brown’s Caribbean cousin (Funky Kingston, 54-46 Was My Number), Frederick “Toots” Hibbert brings soulful vocal fire to chilled-out island tunes. In fact, let’s take a moment to declare this sexagenarian the hardest working man in reggae. Latest R&B-leaning Flip & Twist is as much Kingston, Jamaica as it Otis Redding, so don’t count out a slow dance moment or two. This marks Toots’ first visit to Tampa’s Hawaiian Village.
With Hellbilly, Attention Deficit Domination, 3 Bar Ranch
SATURDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 895-3045.
You know country music father Hank Williams for his lovesick yodel and hayseed pride. You know Hank Jr. (who played the Strawberry Fest last week) as the outlaw country compadre to Jennings and Coe, a Republican rally man and the former face of Monday Night Football. Now, meet Hank III, the runaway greaser who plays mangled cow punk, “hellbilly” and twang metal. If your plans ever call for PBR-chugging and 12-gauge shootin’, Hank III has your soundtrack.
Florida Strawberry Festival
Friday: Toby Mac (7:30 p.m., $20-$25), Cornell Gunter’s Coasters, Bobby Hendrick’s Drifters, the Platters (3:30 p.m., $15-$20). Saturday: Rodney Atkins (7:30 p.m., $20-$25, Allstar Weekend (3:30 p.m., $10-$15). Sunday: Reba ($50, 7:30 p.m.), Easton Corbin ($15-$20, 3:30 p.m.)
FRIDAY-SUNDAY Florida Strawberry Festival grounds, 303 N. Lemon St., Plant City. $15-$50. (813) 752-9194.
Reba McEntire is, hands down, the most compelling crossover star to emerge from country music since Dolly Parton. Just last week, you could find Reba exploring her ancestry on a teary NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are and revisiting the tragic ’91 plane crash that killed eight members of her band and crew on OWN’s Oprah’s Master Class. Sunday, Reba gets back to basics — country classic like Fancy and The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia — as the Strawberry Fest comes to a close. Denim cowboy and hay-hauler Rodney Atkins headlines Saturday’s festivities.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $29.50-$36.50. (727) 791-7400.
Once music’s reining “liar,” the outspoken Henry Rollins has been telling truths about human rights and political injustice for more than two decades. He’s transitioned from Black Flag and Rollins Band singer to actor, spoken word poet and aerobic monologist (interestingly enough, a number of his quotes even appear on ThinkExist). No matter the job, intensity is the Rollins constant. He’ll spotlight his recent global travels at the show Saturday.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $33.50. (813) 229-7827.
New Orleans native and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis is a Julliard grad with a Pulitzer Prize and a mantle full of Grammys. He’s a man the New York Times once described as among the “precious few jazz instrumentalists — let alone trumpeters — capable of conveying relatable emotion through the hard lens of virtuosity.” Accolades aside, it’s his big band originals as well as reincarnations of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Thelonious Monk arrangements that should really woo you.
Experience Hendrix Tour
With Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shephard, Robert Randolph, Brad Whitford, Dweezil Zappa, Robby Krieger, David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosa, Eric Johnson, the Slide Brothers, Chris Layton, Billy Cox.
THURSDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$100. (727) 791-7400.
The critically hailed Experience Hendrix Tour, in which a cavalcade of all-star guitarists and musicians pay tribute to Jimi Hendrix, hits Ruth Eckerd Hall next week. And if you like the blues, classic rock or anything that has to do with the electric guitar, hooboy, are you gonna love this lineup. Along with solo stars Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shephard and Robert Randolph, artists from bands like Aerosmith (Brad Whitford), the Doors (Robby Krieger), Los Lobos (David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosa) and even Hendrix himself (bassist Billy Cox) will be there, performing classic Hendrix songs like Little Wing, Fire, Purple Haze and Voodoo Child. Don’t be surprised if a special guest or two pops in — past Experience Hendrix shows have seen cameos by Steve Vai, Carlos Santana, Joe Satriani and others. — Jay Cridlin
Ballyhoo! Fri. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 565-0551.
“1964”...the Tribute Fri. 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $35-$45. (727) 892-5767.
Safety Harbor Seafood Festival Fri. 5 p.m. featuring Jimmy Griswold, Steve Arvey Band, The Nighthawks and Sat. 12 p.m. T.J. Weger, Crossroads, Roy Jay Band, David Gans, Fathers and Sons. Safety Harbor Marina, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor. (727) 724-1572.
Steven Curtis Chapman Fri. With Josh Wilson, Andrew Peterson. 7 p.m. Countryside Christian Center, 1850 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $25. (866) 440-7880
Jukebox the Ghost Sat. With Speak, The Elwins. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $10-$12. (813) 241-8600.
Seth Glier Sat. 7 p.m. Craftsman House, 2955 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15 and up. (727) 323-2787.
Amor de Tango Argentine Dance and Music Sat. 7:30 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $25-$50. (727) 822-3590.
Swamp Roots Jubilee and CD Release Soirée Sat. featuring Beth McKee Band, Standback Band. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.
Ted Lukas and the Misled Sat. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Yellow Dubmarine Sat. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 565-0551.
Hunter Hayes Sun. 3 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $5-$10. (813) 987-2855.
Pet-a-Palooza Sun. featuring James Durbin. 11 a.m. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $5. (727) 562-4800.
Frankenstein Bros. featuring Buckethead and That 1 Guy Sun. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $22-$27. (727) 895-3045.
Caveman Sun. With Milagres, Gentlemen Please. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $9. (813) 248-4969.
Langhorne Slim and the Law Mon. With Al Torchia and the Tattered Saints. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $11-$14. (813) 241-8600.
Japanther Tues. With Filthy Savage, Ken South Rock. 8 p.m. Transitions Art Gallery, 4215 E. Columbus Dr., Tampa. $6.66. (813) 382-3477.
We Came As Romans Tues. With Emmure, Blessthefall, Woe Is Me and The Color Morale. 6:30 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20. (813) 247-2555.
Sleeping with Sirens Tues. With Abandon All Ships, Conditions, Secrets. 6:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $13-$15. theorpheum.com.
Paul Geremia Tues. 7 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10. (813) 971-0666.
The Grass Roots Wed. and Thurs. 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Busch Gardens (Stanleyville Theatre), 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Free with park admission. 1-888-800-5447.
Hymn for Her Fri. With Brian Smalley 5:30 p.m. Ale and the Witch, 111 Second Ave. N.E., St. Petersburg. (727) 821-2533.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*