This week in Tampa: Bullstock, Tampa Bay Blues Festival, All Time Low, Umphrey's McGee and more
Time for another jam-packed concert calendar, highlighted by two outdoor festivals. In Tampa, you've got Bullstock at the University of South Florida, with All-American Rejects, Owl City, Hot Chelle Rae and more. And in St. Pete, you've got the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, with Jonny Lang, Dickey Betts, Trombone Shorty (above) and more.
Elsewhere in Tampa Bay this week: All Time Low, Pierce the Veil, Umphrey's McGee, Weird Al Yankovic, Andy Grammer, Floor, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Exodus, Zeds Dead, Steven Wilson, Randy Houser, Ben Miller Band, the Cave Singers, Harry and the Potters, David Benoit, Brian Culbertson and more. Here to walk you through it all is Suburban Apologist's Ray Roa...
With All-American Rejects, Owl City, Hot Chelle Rae, Variance, South Of Holly
FRIDAY 4 p.m., The Meadows at the University Of South Florida, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 974-1001.
Most of today’s undergrads were barely hitting puberty when All-American Rejects broke through with their hit 2003 single Swing, Swing, so it’s pretty impressive to find the Stillwater, Okla. outfit headlining USF’s free spring concert, Bullstock. The Rejects can credit a pair of über-catchy singles (Dirty Little Secret, Gives You Hell) with helping them retain and grow a rabid fan base over the last decade. The pedigree of Top 40 talent being showcased at the mini-music festival is not to be overlooked, either. Adam Young’s 2009 quadruple-platinum hit Fireflies brought his basement poptronica project, Owl City, into arenas across the country, and Hot Chelle Rae’s Tonight Tonight will have you singing “la, la, la” for weeks on end. USF’s Campus Activities Board says the event is open to “students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the USF community,” so that basically means everyone.
Tampa Bay Blues Festival
All days at Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. N.E., St. Petersburg. $35 and up per day; weekend passes $90 and up. (727) 895-6153, tampabaybluesfest.com.
FRIDAY 12:30 p.m. With Dickey Betts and Great Southern, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, Janiva Magness, Lucky Peterson, Dave Fields
SATURDAY 12:30 p.m. With Jonny Lang, Curtis Salgado, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, Marquise Knox.
SUNDAY 1 p.m. With Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Tab Benoit, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys.
The blues are America’s musical gift to the world, and for the last 17 years the Tampa Bays Blues Festival has spent three beautiful spring days and nights celebrating the ancient art form in spectacular fashion. In its 18th year, the festival — once named “Best U.S. Blues Festival” by the Blues Foundation — welcomes back a handful of its most storied performers. On Friday, Florida-born Allman Brothers alumni Dickey Betts brings his longtime backing band to deliver southern-fried country blues marked by Betts’ trademark twin guitar harmonies. Saturday finds Johnny Lang — who inked a major label deal and moved millions of records all before turning 18 — closing out the evening with an infamous, deep growl of a vocal that shouldn’t be coming from his waifish, lanky frame. The festival spends Sunday celebrating New Orleans with a bang-up lineup that features Royal Southern Brotherhood, Tab Benoit, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue all bringing the sacred spirit of The Crescent City to mingle with the shimmering, salty waters and sea breezes of Tampa Bay. On Friday and Saturday, a short walk and relatively small fee (five blocks and $20) gets you into additional intimate, late-night performances at the nearby Palladium Theater.
With Thrones, Hello. Invade
SATURDAY 8 p.m., Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8-10. (813) 241-8600.
Florida often gets pigeonholed (and ridiculed) as a vestibule to a cavernous death metal wormhole. Thankfully there are legendary bands like Floor that remind us to wear that badge with pride. The band’s 23 years are marked by several periods of inactivity and lineup changes, but the Miami purveyors of damning doom and sludge still managed to release a pair of revered LPs to accompany a handful of singles and compilation appearances. In 2010, Richmond, Va. imprint Robotic Empire put together a comprehensive retrospective collecting every ounce of Floor’s recorded material, and the band obliged their disciples’ devotion with a reunion. They’ve even signed on to record an album of new material.
With Break Science
SATURDAY 6:30 p.m., Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $23.50-$26. (727) 565-0550.
The phrase “jam band” has the power to immediately alienate listeners who’ve grown tired of extended solos and trance-worthy rhythms. Those same two words can also instantly endear live music enthusiasts looking to get lost in a groove and take flight on the next soaring organ passage that crosses their ear. Bonnaroo veterans Umphrey’s McGee would be found in the same record-store section as Phish, The Grateful Dead, and Widespread Panic. But that isn’t too bad company, is it? As the band’s 15-year anniversary tour arrives in St. Pete, ditch the prejudice and consider the Chicago outfit’s tendency to get proggy (think King Crimson and even Zappa), their universally appreciated live show, and the fact that they’ll be kicking off summer concert season at one of the Southeast’s most storied outdoor music venues.
Weird Al Yankovic
SATURDAY 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35-55. (727) 791-7400.
At the ripe old age of 53, Alfred “Weird Al” Yankovic has spent the last three decades asking pop stars like Michael Jackson, Miley Cyrus, and Coolio for permission to borrow melodies from their hits so that he could implant his own witty lyrics to craft songs about religion (Amish Paradise), waterboarding (Party In The CIA), and even eating disorders (Eat It). The results aren’t exactly the kind of satire that Chaplin or Mel Brooks might appreciate, but the comedic value is impossible to dismiss. Yankovic’s body of work (a combo of 20-plus LPs, EPs and compilations) has garnered him three Grammys, loyal fans, and even the ire of Prince, who still won’t give him the blessing to play mad scientist on classics like Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette and When Doves Cry.
Dry Branch Fire Squad
SUNDAY 5 p.m., Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-13. (813) 971-0666.
When it comes to old-school bluegrass, being a part of a band like Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys for even a short time is akin to saying you spent a few semesters at Harvard. As the leader of Dry Branch Fire Squad, Ron Thomason has taken his experience from his time with the legendary Mountain Boys and built a lifelong career out of this old-time mountain music, and while all of the elements — speedy picking, ripe harmonies, heart-wrenching folk tales — are perfectly set in place, there is something about the way the Thomason seasons songs like Devil, Take the Farmer, Black Lung, and We Believe In Happy Endings that suggests he knows even more than his impressive resume might suggest.
All Time Low and Pierce the Veil
With Mayday Parade, You Me At Six
TUESDAY 5:30 p.m., Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $23-25. (727) 565-0550.
The Queers, Dillinger Four, and Thrice once all called Hopeless Records home. Those bands all experienced some degree of commercial success, but none have bolstered the storied label’s bottom line like All Time Low, who to date have moved more than 500,000 copies of single Dear Maria, Count Me In. The Maryland quartet plays a particularly catchy brand of pop-punk, and they’re joined by a trio of equally likable contemporaries on this bill. Mayday Parade’s cover of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know is nearly as inescapable as the original; U.K. imports You Me At Six make a certain kind of celibacy seem like the cool thing to do on their 2009 hit Save It For The Bedroom; and Pierce The Veil anchor the lineup with a heavier sound that incorporates elements of hardcore.
The Groves Fri. With Empire Cinema, Bellows. 8 p.m.. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.
The People’s Temple Fri. With Luxury Mane, Cassolette. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Drums Rule The World Fri. With Rude Spon, Mike Mass, Midas and more. 9 p.m. 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. facebook.com/thelocal662
Corey Smith Fri. 7 p.m. The Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 987-2855.
Exodus Fri. With Riptorn, Volcanic Slut, Maverick Hunter, Arbitration. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 248-9500.
Escape The Fate 7 p.m., State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18.50. (727) 895-3045.
Chasco Fiesta Country Concert Sat. With Randy Houser, The Hinningsens, Desert Rain. 5:45 p.m. Sims Park, Bank Street and Grand Boulevard, New Port Richey. $10-25. (727) 841-4560.
Ben Miller Band Sun. 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $11.50. facebook.com/thelocal662.
The Cave Singers Sun. With Bleeding Rainbow. 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $12. (813) 241-8600.
Viva La Musica at Busch Gardens Sun. With Ednita Nazario. 3 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Free with park admission. 1-888-800-5447.
Dangerous Ponies Tue. With Bambery, Macrame Owls. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Steven Wilson Tue. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $26.50. (727) 895-3045.
Harry And The Potters Tue. With IJI, Cats In The Basement, Hiatus. 8 p.m. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S., St. Petersburg. $7. facebook.com/theventurecompound.
Andy Grammer Wed. With Parachute. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$22. (727) 895-3045.
Jimmie’s Chicken Shack Thu. With Muhphin’ Chuckrs, Didges Christ SuperDrum. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13-15. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Zeds Dead Thu. With Mr. Saturn, Winta. 9 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15 and up. (813) 873-8368.
David Benoit & Brian Culbertson Thu. 7:30 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $42.50-$59.50. (727) 822-3590.
-- Ray Roa, tbt*