This week in Tampa: Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls, Dropkick Murphys and more
The biggest musical event in Tampa Bay this week -- for the next 10 days, really -- is the Florida Strawberry Festival, which starts tonight and will bring artists like Blake Shelton, Dwight Yoakam, Alan Jackson and Hunter Hayes to Plant City. Click here for Sean Daly's preview of the 2013 Strawberry Festival.
As for the rest of the calendar? It's pretty sweet, too. Guest Soundchecker Kate Cillian is here to walk you through the lineup, including Bon Jovi, Dropkick Murphys, Goo Goo Dolls, Hall and Oates, Excision, Coheed and Cambria, Michael Ray, Mushroomhead, Trapt, Waka Flocka Flame, Keb' Mo, Los Lobos, Zoogma, Dumpstaphunk, Tone Loc, Herb Alpert, Bruce Cockburn, Mod Sun and more.
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $31.40 and up. (813) 301-2500.
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know at least the chorus to You Give Love a Bad Name or Wanted Dead or Alive, and anytime fans hear that iconic bass line and crashing organ that kicks off Livin’ on a Prayer, they get a tingly feeling inside. Bon Jovi has been delivering chart-topping rock hits since 1983, but the band is still making great music. Their new album What About Now will be released on March 12; that week, they’ll perform on American Idol. And rumors are floating around that the group will play at next year’s Super Bowl at the Meadowlands in — where else? — New Jersey. The rock legends will bring together young and old for one epic night of classic rock on Friday at the Forum.
SUNDAY 6:30 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $28.50. (727) 565-0550.
Dropkick Murphys formed in Quincy, Mass., in 1996, although at first listen, you might think they hail from Ireland. They’d probably take that as a compliment. The band is known for its Celtic-inspired punk, and its shows are not for the lighthearted. Be prepared to be pushed around, as their fans are diehard. It’s a giant party from start to finish, with lots of beer. The band’s new album Signed and Sealed in Blood debuted at No. 9, the second highest debut the band has seen. Get ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a little early this year.
Goo Goo Dolls
SUNDAY 5 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Free with park admission (beer and food tasting requires $30 wristband). 1-888-800-5447.
Goo Goo Dolls singer John Rzeznik has the perfect combination of raspy yet pitch-perfect vocals that make any girl turn instantly to goo, and the simplicity of their music makes it easy for the audience to sing along. The Buffalo, N.Y. group has had 14 Top 10 singles on various charts, and have sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. In October, Iris ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 100 Pop Songs from 1992-2012. Makes sense — it spent nearly 12 straight months on the charts and held the No. 1 position for 18 weeks. The band is currently working on their next album, titled Magnetic, scheduled to be released in May. So spend the day at Busch Gardens riding roller coasters and looking at animals, and end the night with plenty of beer and a great band.
Daryl Hall and John Oates
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater.$49.50-$100. (727) 791-7400.
Hall and Oates achieved fame in the late 1970s with an expert combination of rock and roll and rhythm and blues, which they dubbed “rock and soul.” Today, Oates is embracing the digital age, an age that he says is almost a reprise of the ’50s and ’60s. “It’s a world of singles at this point,” Oates told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It’s about getting people to capture the moment, capture their attention and getting them to respond to it.” With that in mind, Oates has been all over the musical map, diving into genres like rock, country and hip hop, to create different singles for a widespread audience. In 2003, they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and to this day, hits like Private Eyes, Rich Girl and Maneater are sure to bring a smile to the face of any music lover, young and old alike.
SUNDAY 9 p.m. The Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25. (813) 247-2555.
If you’re looking for some extreme bass in your face, look no further than the Ritz this Sunday. Jeff Abel, better know by his stage name Excision, is a DJ from British Columbia who throws down plenty of dubstep tunes, but incorporates drum and bass as well as some trance elements. He’s been busy touring for the past few years (he’s in the midst of a 55-city tour), but still finds time to melt minds via his insane music, such as 8 Bit Superhero and X Rated. Imagine an acid trip to Super Mario world, then a slap back to reality with a drop that will knock you out of your seat. Throw in an insane light show and you’ve got yourself a full EDM experience.
Coheed and Cambria
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $26. (727) 565-0550.
Coheed and Cambria’s music incorporates aspects of prog rock, punk rock, pop, metal and post-hardcore. Their song Welcome Home (featured in the video game Rock Band) sounds like a rock orchestra: insane guitar rifts and crunchy electric chords, creepy violins, scale skimming bass lines and in-your-face drumbeats. Lead singer Claudio Sanchez’s vocals are extremely unique — high-pitched and just plain weird — and his hair brings the vibe of ’80s hair metal. But it all works together perfectly to create an unforgettable rock experience.
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$25. (813) 248-9500.
Even if you’re not a huge country fan, you may appreciate Michael Ray’s voice and songwriting. The Eustis native’s music and live shows have been attracting audiences from all genres, infusing country twang with rock 'n’ roll into a beautifully crafted musical experience. The combination of his distinct tone, skillful writing and determination make him a refreshing addition to the world of country music.
With Gemini Syndrome, Final Trigger, Society’s Plague, Kadaver Dolls, War of Thrones
SATURDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.
Mushroomhead came together in 1993 in Cleveland’s Warehouse District, performing a synthesis of alternative/experimental music, electro-industrial, and nu/heavy metal. Whatever you like to call it, it showcases screeching vocals and insanely fast guitar riffs, as well as electronic elements and a bit of hip-hop. Along with their insane music, the group sports a terrifying array of terrifying masks. See them for yourself this Saturday at the State.
With Sugar Fix, Kheiron
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.
Over the years, Trapt has evolved their sound from ’90s grunge to more streamlined alternative rock, but the crunchy guitar riffs and crisp-yet-a-little-dirty vocals of singer Chris Taylor Brown still echo loudly and set them apart from bands with less experience. The California group’s best-known song, Headstrong, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s rock charts, as well as No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been heard in movies and video games. Recently, after tenures with labels both major (Warner Bros.) and independent (Eleven Seven Music), Trapt opted to go out on its own with its fifth studio album Reborn. And Brown says there are no regrets.
Zoogma Fri. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. (727) 895-3045.
Dumpstaphunk Fri. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.
Bruce Cockburn Fri. 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $39-$49. (727) 791-7400.
Waka Flocka Flame Fri. 10 p.m. Club Underground, 802 E Whiting St., Tampa. $40. underground-live.com.
Schoolboy Fri., 9:30 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 873-8368.
Tone Loc Fri. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 565-0550.
Keb’ Mo’ and Los Lobos Fri. 7:30 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $55-$65. (727) 822-3590.
Mod Sun Sun. With Cisco Adler. 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Herb Alpert and Michael Franks Sat. 7:30 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $59-$75. (727) 822-3590
The Golden Boys Sun. noon Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $20. (727) 791-7400.
WMNF’s First Annual Rockin’ the Ranch Fri-Sun. With Suenalo, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, Paper Bird, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Shakey Graves, more. Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Rd., Brooksville. $60 all three days. (863) 984-8445.
Bronze Radio Return Sun. With The Dunwells, The Groves. 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.
The Nighthawks Sat., 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Turisas Tue. With Firewind. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.
Unity Jam 2013 Wed. 10 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N. 17th St., Ybor City. $5. (813) 241-8600.
-- Kate Cillian, tbt*