This week in Tampa: Young Jeezy, Tony Bennett, Galactic and more
We've got you covered for New Year's Eve concerts around Tampa Bay, whether you plan to bling it up with Lil Jon at AJA, get funky with the Commodores in Treasure Island, or turn the clocks back to 1979 with a killer lineup of local performers at Skipper's Smokehouse. Click here for all the details.
But if you've still got energy left after tonight, there's a lot to keep you busy this weekend and beyond, from Young Jeezy (above) to Tony Bennett, from Galactic to Donavon Frankenreiter, from Anonymous to the Grecian Urns. Tim McGraw will be here, too, but he won't be performing -- he's flipping the coin at Friday's Outback Bowl in Tampa.
And then of course there's Lady Gaga, one of the breakout stars of 2009, coming to the UCF Arena in Orlando (the show was moved from Hard Rock Live due to demand). Oh, how far she's come from April, when she was only playing the Ritz Ybor.
Get Carole Giambalvo's concert picks after the jump...
With Jason Derulo
SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. UCF Arena, Building 50 North Gemini Blvd., Orlando. $43. (407) 823-6006.
A lot can change in a year. In 2008, Lady Gaga was barely a blip on the pop music radar, parading around small, gay and lesbian nightclubs (including Ybor City’s G.Bar in May 2008) with a handful of songs. Today the “Gothic Tinkerbell” with a Ziggy Stardust jones peddles provocative glam-pop at sold-out arenas. And lest we forget, the haute-art attire — dresses made of bubbles, nude bodysuits, a red latex gown (which she wore when meeting Queen Elizabeth II) — is just as essential to the Gaga way as the irresistibly hooky dance tunes themselves.
With the Hip Abduction
FRIDAY 9 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $19.50. (727) 895-3045.
Much like fellow wave chaser and friend Jack Johnson, Donavon Frankenreiter is a soft-rock daydreamer making music for endless summers. On cool-down anthems like It Don’t Matter and Free, Frankenreiter’s sandy, soulful vocals and unobtrusive guitar- playing evoke laid-back salt living. Songs off latest Pass It Around are touched up with horns for a beachy, ’70s-soul sound.
With Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Infinite Groove Orchestra
SATURDAY 9 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25.50. (813) 247-2555.
If you’re an Ybor City passerby on Saturday, know that they didn’t move Mardi Gras to Seventh Avenue. It’s just a Galactic show. Shuffling nimbly through funk, jazz, hip-hop, rock and world music, Galactic sounds like New Orleans’s answer to Medeski, Martin and Wood. During spacey original jams and grooved-out covers of Duke Ellington (Blue Pepper) and Black Sabbath songs (Sweet Leaf), these French Quarter funkmeisters (led by drummer Stanton Moore) show supreme musicianship without ever losing sight of the primary goal — giving fans reason to dance.
SATURDAY 11 a.m. All-America High School Football Game Halftime, Tropicana Field, One Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. $10. (888) 326-7297.
Hotlanta rapper Young Jeezy is a self-proclaimed “Donald Trump in a white tee” with a staggering groan. At a dial-up-Internet pace, Jeezy details his days as a drug trafficker, his love of blue Lamborghinis and his passion for Franck Muller wristwatches. So what makes him any different from the rest of the Southern rap pack? Jeezy’s a bit of a smartass. “A hundred grand on my wrist; yeah, life sucks,” he sings on Soul Survivor.
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $68-$128. (727) 791-7400.
If Frank Sinatra is Chairman of the Board, surely Tony Bennett is the director-in-waiting when it comes to interpreting the Great American Songbook. The 83-year-old icon performs croon tunes with a swinging civility, immaculate dress and a warm, golden tone. And most fans will tell you Bennett’s signature song I Left My Heart in San Francisco (the ultimate for living room slow dances and dips) is done just as earnestly and delicately as it was 50 years ago.
The Grecian Urns
With Kelli Debbs, Chris Tolan and Friends, Set and Setting
FRIDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $6-$7. (813) 248-4969.
This young, Keats-loving family band from St. Pete crafts sing-songy folk about Spanish moss, soothing shores and the joys of Florida living. “Me and the siblings, we’ve got blood that’s thick with sand,” they sing. Whimsical, orchestral tunes and feathery harmonies recall the Decemberists, though the band’s multi-instrumental abilities might also suggest Arcade Fire. Tampa songstress Kelli Debbs is a longing romantic with a versatile voice and an introspective folk-rock catalog.
With Mike Mass, B.C. of Red Tide, Dynasty, Samurai Shotgun
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-9500.
Thanks to a playwriting background and a love for underground hip-hop, Tampa’s Christopher Nunez, a.k.a. Anonymous, rattles off image-heavy, wholly out-there wordplay: “I be the dirty messenger / rat with wings / send for her / scroll up in the beak / speak your piece non-sequitur / Cambell Soup-rust-ridden-telecom-ethics-sir / I vibrate the piece of twine till your life message blurs.” When he’s not “slingin’ malapropisms,” Nunez is a dramatic writing major at New York University. This homecoming event will also feature a live graffiti demonstration and breakdancing.
Blind Man’s Colour: Thur. (12/31). World of Beer, 5226 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 525-4589.
Crossbreed: Fri. With Paradigm, Attica, Ninety Minute Reflex, Dead Heroes, more. 8 p.m. Bourbon Street Nightclub, 4331 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. $10. (727) 843-0686.
Sean Delong: Fri. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. (727) 736-0606.
Avast: Fri. With Over Stars and Gutters, John Moreland and the Black Gold Band. 10 p.m. Emerald Bar, 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3-$4. (727) 898-6054.
The Pelican Pop Fest: Sat. Featuring the Future Now, Matt Ayo, Only Monsters, the Grecian Urns, Friends Of Giants, Gentleman Please, Signals From Satellites, A Play On Words, Ago Decorus, Holiday, Springfield Cubs, Surly, Easybreezy, Nothing In the Dark. 3 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-7080.
John Lisi and Delta Funk: Sat. 9:30 p.m. Dave’s Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 576-1091.
EOTO: Sat. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12-$15. (727) 895-3045.
Falling Awake: Sat. With Screaming at the Silence, Verse, Nothing Promised, more. 7:30 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N., Largo. $6-$8. (727) 532-0265.
Sean Chambers: Sat. With Standback. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.
Aperture: Sat. With Von Wolfe, Defy the Tides. 8 p.m. Neptunes, 13 S Safford Ave., Tarpon Springs. $8. (727) 943-5713.
Brass Mug Battle of the Bands: Sat. Featuring Destined To Ruin, To The Gallows, more. 8 p.m. Brass Mug, 1441 E Fletcher Avenue, Tampa. (813) 972-8152.
Donna the Buffalo: Sun. 6 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 971-0666.
David Andrew Smith: Wed. (Rock the Boat Kickoff Party) 8 p.m. The Blue Martini, 2223 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa. (813) 874-1951.
Tay Dizm: Thurs. (1/7) With Ryan Kendrick. 10 p.m. Club Skye, 1509 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 247-6606.
-- Carole Giambalvo, tbt*. Photo by Luis Santana, tbt*.