This week in Tampa: Brad Paisley, Steve Aoki, Ani DiFranco, Death Grips and more
It's a busy and eclectic week in Tampa Bay music, kicking off with Brad Paisley on Friday and ending with Death Grips next Thursday. Do those guys belong in the same sentence together? Probably not, but we'll take it.
Other acts with Tampa Bay concerts this week: Ani DiFranco, Steve Aoki, Dr. John and the Nite Trippers, Kylesa, MisterWives, Corey Smith, Adventure Club, Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity, In the Valley Below, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Electric Six and Here Come the Mummies. Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...
With Justin Moore, Mickey Guyton
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $19.75 and up. livenation.com.
They don’t make ’em like Brad Paisley anymore — mischievous sips of moonshine who can write a killer hook about as well as he can pick a Fender. Sure, there are a few young gunslingers out there following the Paisley path to success — Jon Pardi and Frankie Ballard come to mind — but it’s rare to find a country singer as passionate about the guitar as Mr. Online, who returns to Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday. (Just check out the extensively, nerdily catalogued “gear” section of his website.) Paisley’s fancy fretwork is all over his raucous 2014 album Moonshine in the Trunk, as is his signature sense of humor. On High Life, he riffs about being sued by songwriters who claim his 2011 Carrie Underwood duet Remind Me was a ripoff. The folksy back-porch ditty Gone Green is one of the decade’s unlikeliest environmental anthems, lamenting how “we got strung out on that black dinosaur juice.” And on Limes, he gives the world a ready-made bumper sticker: “When life gives you limes, you make margaritas.” Paisley is basically doing whatever he wants these days. More modern country artists should follow suit. But like we said, they don’t make ’em like Paisley anymore.
With Ana Egge
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $35-$47.50. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
Ani DiFranco founded her record label Righteous Babe in 1990 in part because she had so much to say. Twenty-five years later, she still does — but she’s finding it harder than ever to be heard. “It’s really bad news in this country when people are not free to speak — even if that means saying the wrong thing,” she said in a phone interview. “This culture of attacking each other is very un-conducive to evolution.” That doesn’t mean DiFranco, 45, has gone silent. The singer-songwriter, who performs Wednesday at the Capitol Theatre, remains an activist for issues like feminism, LGBT rights and social justice. And her rabid fans are still listening. DiFranco’s razor-sharp confessional folk and intense performances won over legions of followers in the ’90s, and remains influential today. Listen to furious tracks like Shy, Shameless or Cradle and All, and you might wonder if Ed Sheeran grew up a closet Ani fan. DiFranco has slowed her pace in recent years, moving to New Orleans and starting a family, and you can hear a sense of peace and satisfaction on her 2014 album Allergic to Water.
SATURDAY Following Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays, Tropicana Field. Free with game ticket (field wristbands $15). raysbaseball.com.
This is not how the Tampa Bay Rays wanted to end their season: anchored to the bottom of the American League East, the postseason a long-since-lost dream. Too bad, because this weekend’s home stand against the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays would have been a heck of a party. Superstar DJ and EDM honcho Steve Aoki will headline the Tampa Bay Rays’ final postgame concert of the season following the game at 6:10 p.m. Saturday. He’s known for wild stage shows involving surfing on inflatable life rafts and tossing enormous sheets of cake into the audience, but that’s all unlikely on the Tropicana Field turf. If the promise of big, bassy electro beats isn’t enough, the Rays also will give away cool swag all weekend: a bandanna on Friday, an Oktoberfest freezer mug on Saturday and a Raymond mask for kids on Sunday.
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $23.50-$25. (727) 895-3045. statetheatreconcerts.com.
Midweek dance parties can be hit and miss. Who wants to spend all night in the club when you’ve got that 9 a.m. with marketing in the morning? New York alterna-pop group MisterWives, however, are worth the risk of a hangover. Their glittery disco-pop single Reflections is guaranteed to have you shuffling your feet and bobbing your head. Reflections was released in 2014 but slow-burned its way up the charts in 2015 and remains one of the year’s slickest and snappiest dance-rock tunes. The rest of MisterWives’ album Our Own House is equally enjoyable — just try to resist the horn-driven, New Wavy Best I Can Do — but the group also is known for pulling out fun covers left and right, from Girls Just Want to Have Fun to Uptown Funk to Can’t Feel My Face.
Dr. John and the Nite Trippers
With Damon Fowler
TUESDAY 8 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $45-$55. (727) 791-7400.
Dr. John has pretty much been in the Right Place Wrong Time for the whole of his career. The 74-year-old has been on tape with greats like Clapton and Jagger, and although he hasn’t quite reached the cultural importance of Eric and Mick, his contributions to the grand scope of funk and rock ’n’ roll should earn him a place amongst classic rock’s royals. There’s still nobody who can dutifully imitate the Doctor’s throaty growl, and there is hands-down no one who can lay the boogie onto a track from a Disney flick the way he did it on Down in New Orleans from 2009’s The Princess and the Frog. He retains an edge (as evidenced by the almost Tom Waits-ish Revolution) and will hit all of it at this Tuesday night gig where the Nite Trippers will help Dr. John revisit classic albums like Babylon and 2014’s Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch, where he paid tribute to the late, great Louis Armstrong.
Awkward Age LP Release
With Coma Club, Old Vices
FRIDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Better late than never, right? Awkward Age’s new LP — We Could Be Anywhere — hit the Interwebs more than a year ago, but due to label woes, some miscommunications with a lacquer company, a few crappy test presses, and general bad luck, the Tampa-based power pop outfit is just getting their vinyl copies now. The wax will be blue or black, and if you ask nicely you might be able to grab one of the bad test presses. Do give the 11 tracks a few healthy spins though. Frontman Victor Alvarez and company have created a timeless collection of high-energy punk with easy-to-love melodies and just the right balance of crunch and polish.
Sarah Mac Band CD Release
SATURDAY 6 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $12-$15. (727) 644-7895.
Songstresses, female singer-songwriters, sirens (or just songwriters if you’re not obsessed with gender) come a dime a dozen. Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat, Tracy Prettyman, even Ms. Swift — they’re everywhere. That’s why it’s important to embrace your local lyric junkie. That task gets very easy when someone like Sarah Mac is behind it all. Songs like Satisfied are stupid good, and the young woman’s pipes can hang with whoever Top 40 (or the local jazz club, for that matter) can throw at her. The band is more than capable, and the best part is that Mac is probably just starting to hit her stride. It’ll be a treat to see her new album, Florida, happen live in one of Tampa Bay’s most important listening rooms.
With Paris Blohm, Shaun Frank
FRIDAY 10 p.m. Amphitheatre Event Facility, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $30-$35. (813) 873-8368.
Fresh off their appearance at Atlanta’s TomorrowWorld (a European EDM fest gone stateside), Adventure Club arrive at Ybor’s stronghold of electronic dance music for a much-anticipated party. The Montreal duo — Christian Srigley and Leighton James — make a weird, very copacetic mishmash of modern hardstyle dubstep and hypnotic, melody-driven trance that is all pretty much anchored in the principles of deliberately accessible house. For the most part, the whole of today’s modern dance music is meant to be consumed by a large swath of the population. Adventure Club respect the listener enough to sprinkle more than a little sophistication into the whole thing.
With Helsótt, Winterhymn
SUNDAY 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $17-$20. (813) 248-9500.
Arkona’s Skvoz Tuman Vekov opens with flutes worthy of a medieval dance party on the grassiest of knolls. Bagpipes kick in around the 45-second mark before screaming and a relentless double bass pedal assault enter, setting a listener’s heart rate into something of a very fast jog. This is the Russian folk-metal outfit’s only Florida stop, and although the Orpheum is no stranger to hosting epic, Euro-leaning Shred Worthington type bands, this booking feels really special. The crowd for this Sunday night show will be either a complete bust or a full-on headbanger’s ball. Attendance, however, will guarantee something you’ve never seen before.
With Stung Like a Horse
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $22-$27. (727) 565-0550.
Here’s to openers trying to steal a show with a band name that only a prepubescent teen would appreciate. Corey Smith probably doesn’t care, though. He’s a Panama City-loving disciple of twang committed to keeping the party alive with hits like If I Could Do It Again and Drinkin’ on My Mind — both of which are the perfect soundtrack for a day hanging out on the tailgate of the truck you’ve almost paid off. Last year, Smith, who was born just north of our border in Jefferson, Ga., was entertaining the meat eaters at downtown Tampa’s Pig Jig, but this year he’s taking his brand of very catchy radio-ready country to Jannus for a headlining show of his own.
With Inter Arma, Indian Handcrafts, Irata
TUESDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $17-$20. (727) 895-3045.
There aren’t many more meaningful things than watching a relatively unknown metal band continue to chase all things heavy and simultaneously get national recognition for it. Kylesa’s bio lists sludge as a sub-genre of the metal they’re making, but woe be damned if a new track (specifically this year’s Moving Day) isn’t an impeccably arranged ode to master pop song craft. They hail from Savannah for now, and we’re sure that Kylesa will always call the South home, but don’t be surprised if a nice cross-section of the country knows their name before next year is over. Virginia’s Inter Arma will grunt their way through a set of the Eastern seaboard’s heaviest metal to open the show.
THURSDAY 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$22. (727) 895-3045.
This one is 100 percent “will they, won’t they,” and although Death Grips — a band that canceled a Lollapalooza appearance, broke up, released an album for free against label orders, and then regrouped all within a year’s time — hasn’t yet canceled a tour date on this current leg, there is no telling if or when frontman Stefan Burnett is going to just up and call it quits to crawl back into the hole of isolation he has appeared to be very fond of over the course of his band’s much-watched run out of the underground. Death Grips’ hyper-abrasive marriage of metal, rap, and garage-electro is probably only appealing to about 25 percent of the general population, but if the band happens to show up, this show will be 100 percent something worth telling your grandchildren about.
Abigail Williams, Friday With Today Is the Day, Ad Nauseum, Tomb Of Ligeia. 7 p.m. Epic Problem, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 382-3477.
Voodoo Glow Skulls, Friday With the Phenomenauts, Piñata Protest, Wolf-Face. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $14-$17. (813) 241-8600.
The Heavy Pets, Saturday With Rise of Saturn, Larry Mitchell, Displace. 2 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Onward Etc., Saturday With the Ghost Pines, American Opera. 7:30 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $8.50-$10. Facebook.com/thelocal662.
Sertonic, Saturday 8 p.m. The Independent, 5020 N Florida Ave., Tampa, Free. (813) 341-4883.
Monstrosity, Saturday With Impurity, Insanity, Shattered, Foreshadow. 8 p.m. The Brass Mug, 1450 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12 and up. (813) 972-8152.
The Welzeins, Saturday With Part Time Models, Ask For Tiger, Soapbox Soliloquy. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3. (727) 424-1809.
Acme Jazz Garage, Sunday 4 p.m. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, 5119 N Nebraska, Ave., Tampa, Free. (813) 234-1000.
Clutch, Sunday With Corrosion of Conformity, the Shrine. 6:30 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $19-$21. (727) 565-0550.
Rodrigo Rodriguez: Concert and Masterclass, Monday 4 p.m. Saint Petersburg College Music Center, 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $10 (Free for staff and students). (727) 341-4772.
Electric Six, Monday With Yip Deceiver. 7:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $13-$15. (813) 248-9500.
In The Valley Below, Wednesday With the Moth and the Flame, the Infinite Eights. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $12. (813) 241-8600.
Betty Fox Band, Wednesday 9 p.m. Ringside Café, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 894-8465.
Here Come the Mummies, Thursday 8 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30-$35. (727) 791-7400.
Otherwise, Thursday With Seasons After, First Decree. 6:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12. (813) 248-9500.
Noah Wotherspoon Band, Thursday 8:30 p.m. Ale and the Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.
-- Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa