This week in Tampa: Beyoncé, 98 Rockfest, Alabama Shakes, Tropical Heatwave and more
To many, there’s only one concert taking place this weekend in Tampa Bay: Beyoncé on Friday at Raymond James Stadium. We’ve certainly been all over that one.
But take Bey out of the equation, and this is still one of the most amazing weeks of live music we’ve seen in some time, from 98 Rockfest (with Disturbed, Shinedown, Chevelle and Ghost) at Amalie Arena to Alabama Shakes at the Cuban Club to Tropical Heatwave all over Ybor City.
Click here for all our Beyoncé coverage. For everything else — including Chris Isaak, Evanescence, Tokyo Police Club, Denzel Curry, Ruby Rose, the Gipsy Kings, Tampa Riverfest, Celtic Woman, Boston, Steel Panther, Coleman Hell, Cypress Hill, Amy Grant, Blue October, Prong and Clearwater’s Fun 'N Sun, featuring Craig Morgan, Brothers Osborne, Cassadee Pope and others — here are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...
With Disturbed, Shinedown, Chevelle, Ghost, Pop Evil, Sick Puppies, Red Sun Rising, Stitched Up Heart
FRIDAY 2 p.m. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $25 and up. amaliearena.com or 98rock.com.
It’s a killer lineup for modern metal station 98 Rock’s annual shredfest at Amalie Arena, including Down with the Sickness growlers Disturbed, Jacksonville engine-revvers Shinedown and costumed Swedish metallurgists Ghost (who last fall put on one of the best shows we saw all year at the Ritz Ybor). As a result, many ticket price points have been sold out for a while. But there’s good news! At 2 p.m., there’ll be a free pre-show outside featuring performances by Pop Evil, Red Sun Rising, Stitched Up Heart. Doors to the arena open at 5 p.m., and the rock will keep going until late at night. Bring earplugs.
With Dylan LeBlanc
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Cuban Club, 2010 N Avenida Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. Sold out. axs.com.
Talk about cruel. How could Alabama Shakes plot a return to Tampa in support of their magnificent, Grammy-winning LP Sound & Color, and schedule it for the same night as Beyoncé? It makes us want to belt out the blues like Brittany Howard ... okay, fine, obviously no one can sing the blues like Brittany Howard. This promises to be one of the coolest shows of the year, and it’s sold out. If you didn’t grab tickets, here’s a suggestion: Show up at the Cuban Club in the mid-to-late afternoon and try to peek through the gates during soundcheck. It’s better than nothing.
Tokyo Police Club
With From Indian Lakes
FRIDAY 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18 and up. statetheatreconcerts.com.
Feeling nostalgic for the mid 2000s heyday of blog rock? Toronto’s Tokyo Police Club is back with more poppy post-punk on its latest EP, the excellently titled Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Part 1), but when the club revisits songs like Tessellate and Your English Is Good, you’ll feel like it’s 2008 all over again.
With Ra Ra Riot, Chuck Prophet and Mission Express, James McMurtry, the Bright Light Social Hour, many more
SATURDAY 5 p.m. Venues around Ybor City; will call is at Cigar City Cider and Mead, 1812 N 15th St. $35 and up. tropicalheatwave.org.
Will it still feel like Tropical Heatwave without the Cuban Club? We’ll find out Saturday, as WMNF-88.5 moves its long-running festival from the historic complex to venues around Ybor City. While we’ll all miss the Cuban Club’s courtyard and historic feel, this might actually work out in the short term, as it’ll mean a slightly shorter walk between venues, from New World Brewery (1313 E Eighth Ave.) to the Italian Club (1731 E Seventh Ave.). On the outdoor main stage, at Seventh Avenue and 14th Street, you’ll find New York indie pop quintet Ra Ra Riot, right, Americana singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet and Texas psych-freaks the Bright Light Social Hour, but in all, more than 40 artists will perform on 10 stages up, down and all around Seventh. The only strategy you need for Heatwave is to try and take in as much music as possible, especially local acts, because those are the ones you’ll want to catch around town the rest of the year.
MONDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $48-$135. (727) 791-7400.
Evanescence were supposed to play the Moonstone Music Festival in Orlando this weekend until organizers pulled the plug on the party in March after experiencing what they called “a major cyber fraud crime.” A makeup day for Moonstone has not been announced, but Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee & co. will play Clearwater on Monday, giving hardcore fans who were set to see them in O-Town a chance to still catch a show. The Arkansas five-piece was nominated for a handful of Grammys back in 2004 (they won two), and while founding guitarist Ben Moody left the band just as they were poised to bring their unique brand of goth-pop to the masses, the band has carried on just fine, releasing a trio of albums since.
HIM//HER Zine Show
With Laghima, Time, Bubble Boys, DJ Hollow Life
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $5. (901) 619-1519.
If you’re reading this on newsprint, then you know how meaningful receiving information in the physical form can be, and while there’s also something magical about expedited messaging in the digital age, it’s important to celebrate the tactile every now and then. That’s what’s happening at alternative arts space The Venture Compound on Friday when the Zombies & Lizards art collective brings the latest edition of their Him//Her zine to St. Pete’s Warehouse District. Orlando’s Laghima bring their weird, celestial, worldly loop experimentation to the party and Gainesville synth-pop duo Time join in on the fun, too. Guitar noise arrives care of self-proclaimed salsa punks Bubble Boys, and Hurricane Katrina refugee DJ Hollow Life will provide selections, as well.
With Allan Kingdom, SDotBraddy
FRIDAY 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $17. facebook.com/thelocal662.
While Tampa celebrates the local scene Friday, a rising name on the national rap radar is blowing through St. Petersburg the same night. Denzel Curry is just 21 years old, but the emcee has spent the last half-decade putting the Sunshine State on the map in a big way. Curry, who gained notoriety as part of SoFla collective Raider Klan, grew up in Carol City, just a four-hour trip down the turnpike, and he has the whole of the country tuned in to a new LP, Imperial, in which he’s joined by Miami corrections officer-turned-rapper Rick Ross and Brooklyn’s Joey Bada$$. The new stuff updates Curry’s highly regarded releases — 2014 double LP 32 Zel/Planet Shrooms and his 2013 solo debut Nostalgic 64 — while also throwing it back to his lo-fi roots. Curry grows as a lyricist on Imperial, and it’ll be interesting to see how his stage show has evolved, too.
Gat & Cris Album Release
With Mike Mass, Florida Night Heat, Ari Chi, B. Popes, Vern Sr.
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $7-$10. (813) 241-8600.
The last few weeks have seen the bay area hip-hop scene enjoying a cameo in the national spotlight thanks to Tampa emcee Mike Mass taking to Sirius XM/Shade 45 where he impressed morning show host Sway enough to get an invite back for a cypher. On Friday, Mass will join psych-rock outfit Florida Night Heat and ukulele songstress Ari Chi as the community celebrates the release of a new LP, Divine Interjection, from Tampa’s own Gat and Cris. The duo have been dropping trunk-rattling, witty cuts on their Soundcloud page over the last year, and songs like Unbreakable and No Yams are peppered with just enough braggadocio to make you believe that the boys are definitely another bullet in the chamber for the next generation repping the 813 and 727.
With Spam Allstars, Jacuzzi Boys, Selwyn Birchwood, Paula Stevens, Alexander & the Grapes, Savants of Soul, Veiny Hands, Dropin Pickup
SATURDAY-SUNDAY Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Free. (813) 274-8677.
How much Miami can Tampa handle? Downtown will find out Saturday when semi-legendary Magic City afrobeat and hip-hop specialists Spam Allstars headline the first day of Riverfest, a free, weekendlong, 2.4-mile party celebrating Tampa’s Riverwalk. Miami punks Jacuzzi Boys add their crusty wares to the party Saturday and locals get to sing, too, when Tampa’s own Veiny Hands and Dropin Pickup take the stage. Sunday’s festivities open with gospel singer Paula Stevens before Orlando throwback outfit Savants of Soul takes the mic. St. Pete’s Alexander & the Grapes will play songs from a forthcoming album, Hyper Self, and one of the bay area’s best bluesmen, Selwyn Birchwood, closes it all out. There will be entertainment and food. More information is available at tampariverfest.com.
SUNDAY Noon. Beach Bar, 7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. $24.20 & up. (813) 281-8900.
Fans of Orange Is the New Black might be surprised to know that one of their favorite Litchfield inmates, Stella Carlin (played by Ruby Rose), also spends her time traveling the globe as an EDM DJ. The 30-year-old Aussie is a champion of the gender-fluid frame of thinking, and she has emerged as a strong role model for those who refuse to live beholden to mainstream society’s idea of gender roles and identity. On Sunday, she’ll try to help reboot the old Hogan’s Beach property for an experiment from new owners who’ve renamed the joint and also decided to once again host concerts. (Hogan’s caved into neighbors’ noise complaints in January 2015 and eventually closed a few months later.) No telling if Rose’s touch is the magic one, but there will be a healthy crowd on hand to help her find out.
Fun 'N Sun Clearwater
With Craig Morgan, Brothers Osborne, Granger Smith feat. Earl Dibbles Jr., Cassadee Pope, Dylan Scott, Matthew Huff
SUNDAY 1 p.m. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. Free (VIP $80-$90). (727) 562-4800.
Free country music. That’s what Sunday’s Fun 'N Sun festival is promising Tampa Bay. The concert is the crowning event of a weeklong party celebrating the city of Clearwater, and while there are no local country artists on the bill, it does get pretty close thanks to Cassadee Pope. The West Palm Beach native first burst on the scene with pop-punk band Hey Monday, but the 26-year-old singer won The Voice in Season 3 before eventually finding her groove in country. Pope’s voices soars on songs like Wasting All These Tears, Wish I Could Break Your Heart and Good Times. She’s flanked by some Nashville-groomed genre stars on this bill, and getting out there early to see her is advised. A full schedule plus links to VIP and Super-VIP tickets are available at funnsunclearwater.com.
SUNDAY 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $89-$99. (727) 791-7400.
It’s been a quarter of a century, and Chris Isaak still can’t outrun that sexy croon he unleashed on his 1990 career-defining hit Wicked Game. Fans of the 59-year-old songwriter are obviously expecting their hero to belt out the hits he’s cultivated over the course of his career, but they’ll also be glad to know that Isaak’s Sunday night appearance is happening in celebration of a new-ish LP, last year’s First Comes the Night. The collection features a dozen new tracks and is his first effort featuring all new songs since 2011. Isaak looks a little more weathered than he does in the music video for Wicked Game, but don’t think he isn’t going to turn in a sultry set for anyone crammed into Clearwater’s most intimate concert hall.
Blast Friday, Fri. With Greg Billings Band, The Black Honkeys, Betty Fox. 5:30 p.m. Cleveland Street, Downtown Clearwater. Free ($25-$45 for VIP). (727) 791-7400.
Geri X, Fri. With Funny Bunny, Mouth Council, Dead Is the Cat. 9 p.m. The Loft, 2036 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. facebook.com/theloftstpete
Celtic Woman Fri. With Glenn Murphy and Ronan Scolard. 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $52.50 and up. themahaffey.com.
Prince Listening Party, Sat. With DJ Sai, more. 6 p.m. Studios at 5663, 5663 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park. Free. (727) 313-2250.
DAWNS EP Release, Sat. With Notions, Idle Spirit. 8 p.m. Cage Brewing, 2001 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 201-4278.
Boston, Sat. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $50.50-$175. (727) 791-7400.
Steel Panther, Sat. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $24 and up. (727) 565-0550.
Ari Chi, Sat. With Mike Mass, QueenOfEx Carter, Shevonne Marie Philidor, Local Ameen Spade, Mari SoDope. 9 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
Turbo Saturday, Sat. With Trippy Squad. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 424-1809.
Kansas Bible Company, Sun. 8 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Prong, Mon. With Shattered, Hate Tank, Must Not Kill. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$18. (813) 248-9500.
The Gipsy Kings, Mon. With Nicolas Reyes, Tonino Baliardo. 7:30 p.m. The Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $55.50-$92.50. (727) 892-5767.
WAHH World Fusion Band, Tues. 6 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $10-$12. (727) 644-7895.
Coleman Hell, Wed. With Ria Mae. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13-$15. (727) 895-3045.
Cypress Hill, Wed. With Jelly Roll 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $25-$28. (727) 565-0550.
Rock the Park, Thurs. With Will Quinlan, DAWNS, more. 6:30 p.m. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Free. (813) 274-8677.
Blue October, Thurs. With Danny Malone. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $35. (727) 565-0550.
Amy Grant Thurs. With Nichole Nordeman, Ellie Holcomb. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $29 and up. (727) 791-7400, rutheckerdhall.com.