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This week in Tampa: Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Barry Manilow, Carolina Chocolate Drops and more



There's just a ton of music from every genre imaginable taking place this weekend in Tampa Bay, starting with two of the most anticipated rock shows of 2014: Arctic Monkeys, above, at Jannus Live on Saturday, and Queens of the Stone Age at the Mahaffey Theater on Tuesday.

Other concerts this week around town include Barry Manilow, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Steep Canyon Rangers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Jake Shimabukuro, UZ, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, the Airborne Toxic Event, Johnny Mathis, Pure Prairie League, Sevendust, Bring Me the Horizon, Nipsey Hussle, St. Paul and the Broken Bones and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa (who, we'd like to point out, is organizing a little concert of his own this weekend)...

Barry Manilow
p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $9.99-$159.99. (813) 301-2500.
The man who writes the songs that the whole world sings gave you a perfect excuse to indulge your inner schmaltziness at this one — tickets to this show start at just $9.99, and no, that’s not a misprint. Manilow had five albums on the charts simultaneously in 1978, testament to his talent and those wide-collar times. His up-and-down status as an icon mirrors the past 50 years of American culture; he’s been considered both a melodic genius (selling more than 80 million albums based on hooks that make you want to sob) and an out-of-touch punchline (berated in teen touchstone flick The Breakfast Club as the epitome of clueless, risk-averse adulthood). But if you’ve spent a lifetime honing your karaoke chops on Mandy, Copacabana and Looks Like We Made it, it’s gotta be worth shelling out $10 to see him in 2014, right? — tbt* staff

Queens of the Stone Age
With Chelsea Wolfe
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $44.50-$66.50. (727) 892-5767.
Don’t let Queens of the Stone Age’s six albums of pummelling sludge-rock fool you. Hulking singer Josh Homme may have one of modern metal’s most formidable frontmen, but he’s also one of its best personalities, with comedic cameos on everything from podcasts (The Nerdist, WTF with Mark Maron) to TV shows (Tosh.0, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations). He’s a born collaborator, which explains the group’s performance closing out last weekend’s Grammys alongside Dave Grohl, Nine Inch Nails and Lindsay Buckingham — and it helps explain the Elton John cameo on QOTSA’s latest, ...Like Clockwork, an operatic album that blended QOTSA’s trademark menace with delicate piano interludes; sweeping, Bowie-like theatricality; and proggish, Gothic undertones. This is the band’s first local show since 2005, when they opened for Nine Inch Nails at the then-St. Pete Times Forum, and Homme’s legion of acolytes will surely turn out in force at this most un-metal of venues. — Jay Cridlin

Arctic Monkeys
With The Orwells
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Sold Out. (727) 565-0550.

Having outgrown The Ritz Ybor, pompadour-sporting frontman Alex Turner and Artic Monkeys arrive at Jannus Live with plenty more to celebrate. It’s the venue’s first sold-out show of 2014, and the band’s latest single, Do I Wanna Know?, recently claimed the no. 1 spot on Billboard’s radio-based Alternative Songs survey, which means that America has finally caught up with the rest of the world when it comes to the adoration of dingy, sexy, leather-clad Brit-pop. The Orwells — whose recent Late Show performance had David Letterman in awe — open this show that you’d do anything to have a ticket to.

Jake Shimabukuro
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $40-$50. (727) 791-7400.

The trip from Hawaii to Tampa Bay is a bear, but don’t tell that to Jake Shimabukuro. The 37-year-old ukulele messiah (who doesn’t look two days over 21) played his first Bay area shows at Tampa’s Skipper’s Smokehouse less than 10 years ago, and Shimabukuro’s Friday appearance at The Cap marks his third visit to Pinellas County in the last 12 months. It might be the tropical weather that reels him in, but what probably keeps him coming back is the way local audiences receive (in pin-drop silence) and react to (thunderous applause and the tossing of leis) his jaw-dropping, Hendrix-esque domination of a minuscule, two-octave, four-stringed instrument.

Yonder Mountain String Band
With Travelin’ McCourys
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $20-$25. (727) 565-0550.
Jannus Live’s big week kicks off with this show from Colorado-based, don’t-you-dare-call-it-bluegrass outfit Yonder Mountain String Band. While they do employ a whole heck of a lot of banjo, mandolin and dobro, the Yonderers would rather you focus on their ability to fuse the sensibilities of old Americana with the jam-band tendency to improvise for minutes on end. The band will have a different look this time around, since regular mandolin player Jeff Austin is skipping the January leg of the tour to be with his newborn daughter, but roots music fans will be pleased to know that Ronnie McCoury and fiddler Jason Carter — from tourmates the Travelin’ McCourys — will round out the lineup. 

With Nerd Rage, Mr. Saturn, Winta
FRIDAY 9:30 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$20. (813) 873-8368.
Things have moved fast for UZ since Jeffree’s, a sub-label of taste-making EDM imprint Mad Decent, released Trap S--- in June 2012. The mysteriously masked producer played to a packed G.Bar six months later, and on Friday he returns to Ybor for a show at a much bigger venue in front of an equally rabid crowd hungry for “trap,” a style of dance music that typically eschews the womps and warbles of aggro-dubstep in favor of a more refined strain that pays tribute to Dirty South drug rap with its almost sub-sonic bass, high snares and simple, catchy synths.

Carolina Chocolate Drops
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $24.50. (813) 229-7827.

In a 2011 interview, Carolina Chocolate Drops singer Rhiannon Giddens told NPR that the audience for the kind of über-throwback (think 19th century) black folk music her band creates was existent, but “just very small.” A bit has changed since then. The group has a new look thanks to the addition of two new members, and producer Buddy Miller helped the Drops modernize their sound on a new LP, Leaving Eden. But the live show — complete with fiddles, kazoos and jugs — is like watching a museum exhibit come to life. There are a lot more people there to see it these days, too.

Steep Canyon Rangers
With Mitch Lind and the Lagerheads
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$18. (813) 971-0666.
Their fabled friendship with comedian (and Grammy-winning bluegrass picker) Steve Martin began on a 2009 broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, but Steep Canyon Rangers’ history goes much further than that. They self-released their debut, Old Dreams and New Dreams, 13 years ago, and have since used their fusion of old and new bluegrass to stitch together seven LPs of their own. All are rife with award-winning plucking (Nobody Knows won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album last year) buoyed by the Rangers’ real gift: Stellar, sturdy, surefire songwriting. Martin won’t be at this gig, but real bluegrass fans will have to find a better reason not to show at this one.

Big Head Todd and the Monsters
With Martin Sexton
THURSDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$25. (727) 895-3045.
Big Head Todd and the Monsters’ last local gig was probably unbeknownst to you, unless you were a GOP VIP with access to private parties at the Ritz Ybor during the 2012 Republican National Convention. But at this State Theatre show, the band will celebrate the Feb. 4 release of new LP Black Beehive, which attempts to recreate the magic of the mid ’90s, when the Monsters’ popularity hit all-time highs thanks to laid back, alt-rock gems like Bittersweet, Boom Boom and It’s Alright. Quirky singer-songwriter Martin Sexton (who shouts out to the Sarasota seas on his most famous track, Diner) opens.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones
With Nervous Turkey, The Sh-Booms, Joey Da Glasses
THURSDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8-$10. (813) 241-8600.
Paul Janeway studied to be a preacher until he said goodbye to the cloth after his 18th birthday. He went on to become a banker, but his true calling was to lead of what may be the next great southern soul band, St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Dressed impeccably and filled with the spirit of James Brown, Sam Cooke and Al Green, Janeway belts out explosive, gut-wrenching R&B that marries all the tradition of Muscle Shoals, Ala., and Memphis’ Stax Records with the kind of fire and fervor normally reserved for tent revivals. Their debut LP, Half The City, was produced by Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner, and oozes with warm horns held in with tight rhythms from the Bones, a backing band that could give the Dap-Kings a run for their money.

Suburban Apologist 3-Year Anniversary Party
With Wolf-Face, X Priest X, Alexander & The Grapes, Sunshine State, Deaf Poets
SATURDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969 or
When he’s not writing concert listings for tbt*, Ray Roa runs the blog Suburban Apologist, which for the past three years has covered the ins and outs of the Tampa music scene. This weekend, Suburban Apologist will celebrate its third anniversary by welcoming in some of the Bay area’s finest — including hirsute songsmith Alexander Charos and his Grapes and lupine-costumed punks Wolf-Face — as well as up-and-coming Florida acts like Sunshine State (a grunge-punk outfit featuring former members of Against Me! and Whiskey and Co.) and indie-electro-popsters X Priest X. — Jay Cridlin

Also playing

The Glenn Miller Orchestra Fri. With The Four Freshmen. 11:30 a.m., 1 and 3:30 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Dr., Tampa. Free with park admission. 1-888-800-5447.

Blast Fridays Fri. With Pure Prairie League. 5:30 p.m. Cleveland Street, Downtown Clearwater. Free ($30 for VIP). (727) 791-7400.

Adaliah Fri. With Barrier, Silence, Voyager, Apnea, In Translation, The Stoic, Who Killed The Nanny. 6 p.m. Epic Problem, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. (813) 382-3477.

The Orchestra (feat. members of Electric Light Orchestra, with 40-piece symphony orchestra) Fri. With Robin Zander Band. 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$125. (727) 791-7400.

Damon Fowler Group (CD release) Fri. With The Gold Hope Duo. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.

Sevendust Fri. With Butcher Babies, Wilson, Drvn. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $22-$25. (727) 895-3045.

Rovshan Mamedkuliev Fri. 8 p.m. HCC Dale Mabry Campus, 4001 W Tampa Bay Blvd., Tampa. $10. (813) 253-7201.

Nipsey Hussle Sat. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20 and up. (813) 248-9500.

The Spazmatics Sat. 9 p.m. Twisted Martini, 13563 Icot Blvd., Clearwater. $8. (727) 754-9800.

St. Pete Pre-International Noise Conference Sun. With P0rnojumpstart, Human Fluid Rot, Sisto Rosse, Dim Past, Bobby Flan, more. 6 p.m. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S., St. Petersburg. Free (donations accepted). (901) 619-1519.

Stand Your Ground Mon. With Restless Streets, Narrow Hearts. 6 p.m. Brass Mug, 1450 Skipper Road, Tampa. $8-$10. (813) 972-8152.

Winter Gospel Music Convention Mon.-Sat.. With Sandi Patty, Jason Crabb, Booth Brothers, Triumphant Quartet, more. Bradenton Area Convention Center, One Haben Blvd., Bradenton. $5-$90. (941) 756-6942. Gates open at various hours; more info at

The Airborne Toxic Event Wed. With Kongos. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18-$20. (727) 895-3045.

Bring Me The Horizon Wed. With Of Mice and Men. 5:30 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $22.50-$25. (727) 565-0550.

Rock The Park Thurs. With Early Forms, Fowler’s Bluff, Indigenous Ways. 6:30 p.m. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Dr., Tampa. Free. (813)274-8677.

Johnny Mathis Thurs. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $49-$150. (727) 791-7400.

Ale and The Witch 3-Year Anniversary Thurs. With UNRB. 8 p.m. Ale and The Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.

-- Ray Roa, tbt*

[Last modified: Friday, January 31, 2014 11:45am]


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