This week in Tampa: Alicia Keys, Big Boi, Queen Latifah, Twenty One Pilots and more
Good heavens, do we have a ton of amazing music coming to Tampa Bay this week. In particular, it's a banner week for hip hop and R&B, with shows by Alicia Keys, Miguel, Queen Latifah (above), Big Boi, Machine Gun Kelly and Naughty By Nature. Beyond that, we've got shows by LMFAO's Sky Blu, Twenty One Pilots, Chick Corea, Bela Fleck, Circa Survive, Minus the Bear, Family of the Year, Supertramp's Roger Hodgson, Metz, the Mowgli's, Caravan of Thieves, Saigon Kick, Honey Island Swamp Band, Schwayze, Otep, the Casualties, One Night of Queen and much more. Get all the details after the jump...
SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $45.25-$100.25. (813) 301-2500.
Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire is a gigantic, bombastic single, a girl-power anthem that strives to rattle the rafters with uplift and inspiration. Funny thing, though: The album that spawned it, also titled Girl On Fire, has 10 times more depth, nuance and verve than the single. Keys and her husband, producer and rapper Swizz Beatz, surrounded that big, needy single with tracks that explore Keys’ penchant for jazz, classical pop and alternative R&B. That’s what powered indelible singles Fallin’, Diary and If I Ain’t Got You, and it’s what makes Keys’ latest album worth sticking with, even if you find its lead single — how shall we put this? — a bit overbearing. Also worth the effort: Getting to the Forum early to catch Miguel, a budding R&B superstar whose 2012 album Kaleidescope Dream received four Grammy nominations, including a Song of the Year nod for simmering slow jam Adorn. There are those who find the sultry, steamy Kaleidescope Dream superior to Frank Ocean’s much-lauded Channel Orange. Both are genre-bending classics of modern mood music, but if we have to pick one to seal the deal in the boudoir, we’re going with Miguel every time.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15. (813) 247-2555.
The Skatepark of Tampa booked a serious hip-hop heavyweight to headline its annual Tampa Pro Party. Unlike Outkast’s freaker half, Andre 3000, Big Boi has maintained an active musical presence, and when he performs live, he’s usually more than happy to fill his setlists with Outkast classics like Rosa Parks, Ms. Jackson and B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad). But just because Andre 3000 isn’t involved, don’t think Big Boi has lost his creative edge. His latest album, the ambitious Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, features an eclectic array of collaborators, from rappers Killer Mike, Theophilus London and Kid Cudi to indie-rock favorites Little Dragon, Phantogram and Wavves. He’ll have another interesting stagemate on Saturday, as he performs alongside Sub Pop garage-punk group Metz.
Machine Gun Kelly
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20. (813) 873-8368.
One thing about Machine Gun Kelly: The dude gets around. Since the beginning of 2012, he’s performed at five different venues in Tampa Bay; along the way, he’s gotten arrested in downtown St. Pete, nearly incited a riot at the now-defunct Hawaiian Village, and caused hundreds of dollars in damage to a new car at Last Damn Show. His electric, no-holds-barred stage presence is why he was picked to co-host last week’s mtvU Woodie Awards. This will be the Cleveland rapper’s first stop in Ybor City. You better Lace Up, because you never know what MGK will have up his sleeve for this one.
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $55-$95. (727) 791-7400.
At some point in the past 25 years, Queen Latifah decided it was time to change careers — and we think that point occurred right around 2003, when the singer-rapper-actress earned an Academy Award nomination for her role as Mama Morton in Chicago. The very next year, she released The Dana Owens Album, a collection of jazz standards and pop hits that contained exactly zero blazing rhymes. The shift wasn’t completely out of place; Latifah had always embraced jazzy, soulful samples in her Grammy-winning hip-hop career. And while she did return to rap for 2009’s Persona, it’s clear her focus these days is on acting (Hairspray, Joyful Noise) and traditional jazz. So don’t come to this show expecting old-school hits like U.N.I.T.Y. and Latifah’s Had It Up 2 Here — but you might just hear her bust out When You’re Good to Mama.
Naughty By Nature
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 565-0550.
You down with O.P.P.? Even if you don’t know what “O.P.P.” stands for? (Seriously, don’t Google it at work.) Then get to St. Pete on Saturday for a free Grand Prix weekend show by early-’90s chart-toppers Naughty By Nature. They may be two-hit wonders, but those two hits were enough to turn this East Orange, N.J. crew into an early-’90s hip-hop powerhouse. O.P.P. and Hip Hop Hooray haven’t lost much of their clever, catchy charm, and both can still send a crowd into an arm-waving frenzy. And if those are the only Naughty By Nature hits you know, consider this an opportunity to catch up on second-tier singles like Feel Me Flow, Everything’s Gonna Be Alright and Perfect Party.
SUNDAY 1 p.m. Shephard’s Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. shephards.com.
Two weeks after landing a Black Eyed Pea, a member of LMFAO shuffles into Shephard’s. Sky Blu — the one with the marginally less wacky hair and eyeglasses — is a sexy Spring Break DJ choice, and he knows it. In honor of Spring Breakers, grab your brightest neon bikini and head to this Clearwater Beach hotspot for drink specials, Top 40 hits and a whole lotta party rockin’.
Chick Corea and Bela Fleck
SUNDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$62. (727) 791-7400.
This year’s top Grammy nominees included Fun., Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons and Kanye West. But right behind them was iconic (and prolific) jazz fusionist Chick Corea, who scored five nominations thanks to two well-received albums, Hot House with Gary Burton and Further Explorations with Eddie Gomez and Paul Motian. The longtime Scientologist and Clearwater resident teams up with banjo legend Bela Fleck, with whom he collaborated on 2007’s The Enchantment. It’ll be a night of electric collaboration — and that tends to be when Corea is at his best.
Twenty One Pilots
With New Politics, Five Knives
SATURDAY State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Sold out. (727) 895-3045.
At 97X Next Big Thing in 2011, future Grammy winners Fun. played one of the day’s earliest time slots, then returned three months later for a sold-out show at the State Theatre. At 97X Next Big Thing in 2012, Twenty One Pilots played one of the day’s earliest time slots, and three months later, they’re returning for a sold-out show at the State Theatre. What’s the lesson? Don’t sleep on Twenty One Pilots. The Ohio duo plays a catchy, radio-friendly mix of synthy piano-pop and frat-rap (see single Holding On to You), but they have a penchant for wild theatrics. At Next Big Thing, they performed in skeleton costumes, and singer Tyler Joseph climbed 10 feet of scaffolding before leaping back to the stage. Obviously, the crowd liked what they saw — hence this weekend’s sellout.
Family of the Year
With The Mowgli’s
FRIDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 247-2555.
On the spectrum of modern retro-rock, Family of the Year hew closer to Of Monsters and Men and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes than Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers — which is to say, they look and sound more like a hippie cult than an old-timey jug band. Their hand-clappy, tambouriney single Chugjug, featured in a jaunty commercial for Advil, is included on new album Loma Vista, alongside catchy ’70s throwbacks Hero and St. Croix. Don’t miss openers The Mowgli’s, whose single San Francisco, a blast of mod psychedelia and feel-good indie folk, has become a surprise radio hit.
Circa Survive and Minus the Bear
With Now, Now
WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $23-$25. (813) 247-2555.
Circa Survive (Philadelphia) and Minus the Bear (Seattle) hail from opposite coasts, but they share an interest in ambitious, almost proggish alternative rock, so it’s fitting that they’ve decided to tour together. Circa Survive singer Anthony Green’s voice has evolved beyond the emo whine of his days in Saosin, and on new album Violent Waves, he seems to be channeling Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell. Minus the Bear have shape-shifted their way through five studio albums, serving up both upbeat garage rock (My Time, Into the Mirror, Steel and Blood) and delicate indie-rock ballads (Heaven is a Ghost Town, Pachua Sunrise). Together they’ll make music that, in all likelihood, won’t sound quite like what you hear on the radio driving over.
Caravan of Thieves Fri. 6 p.m. Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. (727) 644-7895. Also Saturday, 8 p.m., Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Pitbull Toddler Fri. With the Black Honkeys, Paper Stanleys. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 565-0550.
Tim Reynolds and TR3 Fri. With Sol Driven Train. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$10. (813) 971-0666.
Gringo Star Fri. With The Sh-Booms, Wolf-Face. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra Fri. 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $35-$55. (727) 791-7400.
Inspecter 7 Fri. With The Apes, Control This!, Die Trying!, Dos Proper Rudos. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600.
Songbirds: Women of Jazz Fri. With Denise Moore, Andrea Manson. 8 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $15-$20. (727) 822-3590.
Amandla Tunesmith Fri. 8 p.m. Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. $12-$18. (813) 269-1310
The World/Inferno Friendship Society Fri. With Stolen Babies, the Dead Popes, Recreant. 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$12. (813) 248-9500.
Otep Fri. With Picture Me Broken, One-Eyed Doll, Catalyst, Soulidium. 7 p.m. The Brass Mug, 14811 N Florida Ave., Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 972-8152.
Resinated Fri. With Sinizen, KayaVibe, SowFlo. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Saigon Kick Fri. With Save the Radio, The Lived. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$25. (727) 895-3045.
One Night of Queen Sat. 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $59-$100. (727) 791-7400.
Psychostick Sat. With Polkadot Cadaver, Through The Side, Yoshi Gish, Hang Em High. 10 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Ricky Wilcox and the Moonsnakes Sat. 8 p.m. Salty’s Gulfport, 5413 Shore Blvd., Gulfport. Free. facebook.com/saltysgulfport.
The Casualties Sat. With In Defence, Bleeding Money, Generichrist. 8 p.m. The Brass Mug, 14811 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Tickets TBA. (813) 972-8152.
Hymn For Her Sat. With the Burke Brothers. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Kerli Sat. Midnight. Liquid, 1502 E Seventh Ave, Tampa. $5-$15. facebook.com/liquidtampa.
Guava in Da Gumbo Sun. With Wet Willie Band, Jimmy Hall, the Sauce Boss Bill Wharton, more. 5 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20-$50. (813) 248-9500.
Nate Najar and John Lamb Sun. 3 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $10-$20. (727) 822-3590.
Natural Vibrations Sun. With Burning Tree, Lance-O of Kulcha Shok. 6 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $5-$10. (727) 565-0550.
HRVRD Sun. With Junior Astronomers. 9 p.m. The Hub, 719 N Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 229-1553.
Young Scooter Tue. 9 p.m. Scene Premium Nightclub, 211 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. $25-$100. (727) 647-3613.
Honey Island Swamp Band Thur. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 241-8600.
Shwayze Thur. 10 p.m. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 871-7874.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*