Gasparilla Music Festival: Lineup, set times, bands to watch and more
Last year's inaugural Gasparilla Music Festival was an unqualified -- and unexpected -- success, with more than 6,000 fans turning out at Curtis Hixon Park to see groups like Ra Ra Riot, Rebirth Brass Band and more.
So how do they step up their game in Year 2?
By thinking bigger. Organizers thought about expanding the festival to two days or enlarging its footprint in downtown Tampa. In the end, though, they'll settle for an even more ambitious lineup of bands, food and drink vendors and more.
The Gasparilla Music Festival starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at Curtix Hixon Park; tickets are $25 advance, $30 day of. Click here for our preview of the festival, including set times, parking info, what you can and can't bring and much more.
As for the music? The lineup is solid top to bottom, but here are six bands not to miss:
The Meter Men with Page McConnell (above): Three-fourths of seminal New Orleans funk giants The Meters (guitarist Leo Nocentelli, drummer Zigaboo Modeliste and bassist George Porter Jr.) are joined by Phish’s world-class organist McConnell. This convergence will please fans of jazz and jam-bandery alike.
Dawes: Lauded for singer Taylor Goldsmith’s lyrics and the band’s “Laurel Canyon” sound, these Californians have been handpicked to tour with Mumford & Sons, Alison Krauss and Union Station and, last week, Bob Dylan. Pretty good company. Their third album, Stories Don’t End, comes out April 9.
Dr. Dog: Imagine if the Flaming Lips or Wilco were in the mood for a 2 a.m. barroom dance party, and you’d have this Pennsylvania group. Their seventh album, Be the Void, combines rowdy pianos and organs with rollicking classic-rock guitar licks.
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears: This Austin, Texas outfit isn’t shy about their respect for James Brown and other soul-funk legends. Singer-guitarist Lewis might be the most dynamic live performer on this year’s bill.
Ozomatli: Fusing Latin rhythms, rock, funk and hip-hop, this Grammy-winning group will actually perform two sets on Saturday. They’ll deliver a set for adults at 7:45 p.m., but first, at 11:45 a.m., they’ll play as “Ozokids,” a family-friendly set culled from their 2012 children’s album Ozomatli Presents Ozokids. But just because it’s for kids doesn’t make it any less catchy.
Best Coast: Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno play fuzzy, sun-kissed California pop with influences ranging from Fleetwood Mac to the Ronettes to Sonic Youth.