This week in Tampa: Darius Rucker, 'Weird Al' Yankovic, Gogol Bordello and more
It's June, so it's officially summer concert season.
And there are a ton of big concerts this week to help you get the party started: Darius Rucker, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, Gogol Bordello, Frank Turner, Alejandro Escovedo, the Claypool Lennon Delirium, Andy Black, the Tubes, Styles and Complete, Vicetone, She Wants Revenge, Dan + Shay, Michael Ray and more. Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...
“Weird Al” Yankovic
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $37.50 and up. (727) 893-7832. themahaffey.com.
Friday’s a busy night for “Weird Al” Yankovic, right. At 8 p.m., he’ll hit the stage at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, kicking off the second leg of his gargantuan Mandatory World Tour. Then around 11 p.m., he’ll debut as the new bandleader of IFC’s faux talk show Comedy Bang! Bang!, filling the shoes of Kid Cudi and Reggie Watts. “It’s not like I need to rush home and watch it because I’ve seen it,” Yankovic said. “But I’ll be looking forward to watching other people’s comments when I get back to the bus that night.” They’re bound to be all positive, right? Yankovic has been the world’s most beloved song parodist for going on 40 years, perhaps now more than ever. His 2014 album Mandatory Fun, which tweaked Iggy Azalea, Lorde and Robin Thicke, was his first No. 1 album, and this tour might be the biggest of his career, with gigs at venues like the Hollywood Bowl and Radio City Music Hall.
With the Peach Kings
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $43.75 and up. (727) 791-71400. rutheckerdhall.com.
You should hear Cyndi Lauper gush over the country singers who worked on her new album, Detour. “Freakin’ Willie Nelson came, and oh my god, it was pretty amazing,” Lauper, 62, said in that unmistakable Queens accent. “It was like Yoda walking in. I almost cried.” Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Jewel — Lauper is starry-eyed over everyone who worked on the album, in part because classic country music has long meant so much to her. “I cut my teeth as a singer listening to all the rockabilly rock ’n’ rollers,” she said. “Wanda Jackson and Patsy Cline were right up there. … A lot of these songs had real stories. And they’re very soulful songs. That’s the root of country music, is soul.” Lauper will play cuts from Detour (and probably her blues-influenced 2010 album Memphis Blues) when she hits Ruth Eckerd Hall at 8 p.m. Wednesday. She might toss in a song from her Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots, and perhaps dig into her bag of classics like Time After Time, She Bop and True Colors. But whatever she plays, she might give it a slight country twist. “I would like maybe play it like it was, except make the pedal steel player play the solo,” she said. “It might sound good.”
With Dan + Shay, Michael Ray
FRIDAY MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
Golfers, keep an eye out at your local putting green for a guy who looks an awful lot like Darius Rucker. Because it’s probably him. The former Blowfish singer (don’t call him Hootie) is a fanatic about carving out time to hit the links when on tour, even when he’s got an amphitheater of fans waiting. Over the past few months, Rucker has been riding high on the success of Homegrown Honey, co-written with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Rucker’s biggest country hit since the behemoth that was Wagon Wheel in 2013. While he’ll probably toss in a few Hootie and the Blowfish favorites at his summer tour kickoff Friday in Tampa, it’s those swingin’ country hits that’ll have fans tailgating all afternoon. Rucker would be right there with them, if he didn’t have a tee time calling his name.
The Claypool Lennon Delirium
SUNDAY 8 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $29.50 and up. (813) 390-0397. theritzybor.com.
The light, nasal vocal delivery is pure Sean Lennon. The raw, rubbery bass is unmistakably Les Claypool. Mix ’em together, and you’ve got the Claypool Lennon Delirium, a psychedelic rock mini-supergroup. John Lennon’s son and Primus’ singer-bassist seem like odd partners on paper, but this summer, they’re hitting the road together. Their trippy collaborative album, Monolith of Phobos, drops Friday, followed by a tour that hits Tampa’s Ritz Ybor. In some ways, these will be warmup gigs for a spot at Bonnaroo next week. If you’re an adventurous musical spirit (or just a big Beatles or Primus fan) you could do a lot worse.
With Nic and Ari
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 971-0666.
Just over a month after a minor revamp of their longtime Ybor City music festival, Tropical Heatwave, community radio station WMNF-FM 88.5 is ready to welcome a familiar face to a very familiar space on Friday. Alejandro Escovedo may have never reached the popularity of guys like Springsteen, but he’s earned all their respect — The Boss even sat in on guitar for the 65-year-old Chicano rock legend’s 2012 SXSW set. It’s all thanks to a storied past (Escovedo founded Texas cowpunk outfit Rank and File) and Escovedo’s track record for consistently creating amazing rock records every time he steps out of the gate. He’s famous for shaking up his band with every tour, and his shows are notorious for being raucous roots-rock revivals, so expect nothing less when he brings almost a quarter century’s worth of hard living to the friendly confines of the Skipperdome.
With Kristopher James, Ella Jet
FRIDAY 6 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $7-$10. (727) 644-7895.
Connor Zwetsch has stayed busy since a 2014 American Idol audition that earned her a golden ticket, though fell short of a long run in Hollywood. It hasn’t stopped the Tampa-based singer-songwriter from staying on the road, however, and she’s back from a tour for a hometown show at a cozy St. Pete listening room. She tops this bill, but the night might belong to Kristopher James, a 33-year-old songwriter celebrating the release of a new EP, Find Me, in which he spins weeping string arrangements (Humming Hallelujah), joyus riffs (I’m Not Quite Ready) and his gorgeous, powerhouse vocal (Fire & the Fuse) into just over 20 minutes of unforgettable new age folk. Get there early to see Ella Jet work though dark, new material in which she explores topics like addiction and abandonment in a way far more intuitive than her age would suggest.
FRIDAY 6:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $22-$25. (727) 895-3045.
It’s been a good two weeks for Andy Biersack. The 25-year-old saw his solo debut, The Shadow Side, come in at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart (second only to Radiohead). It’s kind of familiar territory for Biersack as his normal band, Black Veil Brides, has been a mainstay on hard rock charts for the last half decade. He’s finally branched out on his own, though, and is celebrating with a tour that finds him playing smaller rooms with the same passion he brought to the stage when BVB was filling venues twice the size. On the new one, Biersack’s love of Motley Crue and Kiss is married with influences of collaborators like My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump. This State Theatre show might feel kind of hometown, too, since Biersack’s new bride is former Tampa Bay singer Juliet Simms.
Test Pressing: Live at the Bends
With Mike Blenda, DJ Casper, 45 Revolver, Brian Deeds
FRIDAY 8 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
The vinyl record has completed its modern metamorphosis from that dusty old thing in your parents’ and grandparents’ basements to the must-have medium of tune consumption for music nerds and novices alike. With all of the energy surrounding wax these days, Tampa artist Chris Kelly and longtime bay area DJ Mike Blenda have joined forces to take a good, hard look at what those vinyl records really symbolize. From the packaging to the aesthetic to what the sounds inside actually mean to music history and the community that consumes it, Test Pressing is as much an exploration as it is a tribute. Expect deep cuts from the DJs manning the decks and hope to get your hands on a limited-release 45 from Tampa producer Rudy Hernandez at this one-of-a-kind event.
Emo Night: One Year Anniversary
With Tanner Jones, Crate Brothers
SATURDAY 10 p.m. First Chance Last Chance, 1707 N 16th St., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-5555.
We all had teenage feelings. Some of us just didn’t let go of them when we became adults. The Crate Brothers’ Emo Night has spent the last 12 months giving meaning to scribbles on journal pages by tasking Theo Severson and Chris Wood with selecting and spinning classics of the genre while revelers cry tears into beers. To celebrate one trip around the sun, Emo Night is welcoming Tanner Jones to guest DJ. Jones’ band, You Blew It!, largely regarded as one ushering in the new renaissance age of emo, so expect him to pull out all of his influences and stay for the long haul as Severson and Wood rehash the glory days. Polyvinyl Records — a longtime Chicago-based incubator of some of the country’s best emo — has sent over goodies to give away, and First Chance Last Chance’s whiskey selection won’t help you stop yourself from singing along to all the sad hits.
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $43.25-$125. (727) 791-7400.
Has it really been over three years since Jason Bonham teamed up with Heart for a rambunctious summer tour that stopped at the old Gary Amphitheatre? Bonham, the son of late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham asked Nancy and Ann Wilson to help him pay tribute to dad with a touching set at that show, but the 49-year-old is going it alone for this stop in Clearwater, where he and his band promise to rehash all the best of LedZepp, from their self-titled debut to Physical Graffiti, all while sharing stories of the band’s wild ways and the late Bonham’s role as a father. There are plenty of Zeppelin tribute bands touring today, but none can really lay claim to being bound to the music by blood, so this one should be extra special.
Tiny Moving Parts
With Prawn, Free Throw, Snacking
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. Transitions Art Gallery, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $12-$14. (813) 382-3477.
Tiny Moving Parts are a seriously good band, with some pretty serious lyrical subject matter, who also happen not to take themselves too seriously. Just watch their video for Headache, the fifth track off an excellent new LP — Celebrate — released just two weeks ago. In it, the boys — Dylan Mattheisen, William Chevalier and Matthew Chevalier — play out a scenario in which they’re spending their last day on earth eating cereal out of a bathtub, consuming everything on the McDonald’s value menu and getting navel piercings. The good times are all well-deserved as everything the trio has released since 2008’s Waves Rise, Waves Recede, The Ocean Is Full Of Waves EP is marked by precision riffs, emotive melodies and tricky vocal arrangements that hint at their subtle genius without alienating casual fans at the same time.
Reel Deal Thursday: The Harder They Come
With Tribal Style
THURSDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.
The folks organizing Reel Deal Thursday didn’t know it a year ago, but their film screenings and soundtrack concerts proved painfully prophetic. Prince and David Bowie, who were celebrated with screenings of Purple Rain and The Life Aquatic, both passed recently, and we hope someone is checking up on Jimmy Cliff. The 68-year-old reggae and ska legend is the star of The Harder They Come, which will be screened on Thursday before Tampa-by-way-of-Long Beach roots reggae outfit Tribal Style take on the soundtrack. Rolling Stone listed it at No. 122 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and the film, which came almost a decade before Bob Marley’s death, is widely credited with bringing reggae — and Caribbean culture in general — to the masses. The movie starts at 8:30 p.m. with music kicking off at 10:30 p.m.
Gogol Bordello and Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls
THURSDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $29.50 and up. (727) 565-0550, jannuslive.com.
For people who don’t like punk, here’s the best punk show of the year: Gogol Bordello and Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls on Thursday at Jannus Live. Both artists are full of rip-roaring rage, from Gogol Bordello’s furious live freakouts to Turner’s razor-throated anthems. But beyond the sound and the fury both artists bring to the stage, both are folk acts at heart. Gogol Bordello are, at heart, a pack of musical wildlings, delivering Balkan-tinged gypsy rock with unparalleled passion (seriously, their headlining set at last year’s Gasparilla Music Festival was one of Tampa Bay’s best live performances of 2015). And Turner could unplug and play confessional pub-rock gems like Get Better and Recovery on a street corner, and get the same enraptured response from an audience. All of it’s punk, but you don’t have to like punk to love it — which makes their joint tour one of more inspired tour pairings of the spring.
Prince, David Bowie tribute
With Not Prince and the Revolution, Acho Brother
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10-$13. (813) 248-9500.
Still pained by the losses of David Bowie and Prince? Yeah, that’s not going away anytime soon. But here’s a show that might help. To mark what would’ve been Prince’s 58th birthday next week, a group of Central Florida musicians calling themselves Not Prince and the Revolution will perform a night of Prince hits at 9 p.m. Saturday at Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. (You might remember the group when they played the soundtrack to Purple Rain at one of Crowbar’s “Reel Deal Thursdays” a while back.) Opening the show will be Tampa’s Acho Brother, who will play some David Bowie songs in Portuguese, a la Seu Jorge in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.
Threshers Summer Concert Series, Fri. With the Black Honkeys. Following Jupiter Hammerheads vs. Clearwater Threshers (First pitch at 6:15 p.m.) Bright House Field, 601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. $6-$10. (727) 467-4457.
The Tubes, Fri. With John Waite. 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $35-$65. (727) 791-7400.
Expert Timing, Fri. With Badparker, Shurwood, Hexproof. 8 p.m. Lucky You Tattoo, 9633 Bay Pines Blvd., Seminole. $7 Donation. (727) 623-9928.
Radarmen? , Fri. With Dawns, Abortion Twins, Ashley Dieudonne. 9 p.m, New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $6. (813) 248-4969.
Styles & Complete, Fri. With Christian Alexander, Winta, $MGGLR. 10 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Free with registration. (813) 247-2555.
Prince acoustic tribute, Sat. With Jennifer Real, Sandi Grecco, Elysian Sex Drive, Iris Calling. 8 p.m. Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10-$12. (727) 644-7895.
She Wants Revenge, Sat. 8 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $22.50. (813) 247-2555.
The Elements, Sat. With Kenosobi, Burnright, Hype Cuz, Jroc Jones, more. 8 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 424-1809.
Corky Laing, Sat. With Kofi Baker. 8 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $19.50-$39.50. (727) 587-6793.
Homegrown Hip Hop 8, Sat. With Infinite Skillz, Rival, El Presidente, Ladi G & Ya Boy Skolla, Jon Ditty, more. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 258-4829.
Nate Najar Trio, Sat. 8 p.m. The Independent, 5020 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 341-4883.
Vicetone, Sun. With Young Bombs. 11 a.m. Shephard’s Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. $8 and up. (727) 441-6875.
Dave Muse CD Release, Sun. 3 p.m. Sam Ash Music, 923 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Free. (727) 725-8062.
Moffitt Cancer Center Benefit, Sun. With Johnny G. Lyon, JGLB & Friends, Jimmy James Band, Coco Red, The Little Kings, Southern Train, Rob Stoney. 5 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Kenny Holland, Mon. With Luxxe, Infinity on High. 6:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20-$25. (813) 248-9500.
Jeremy Moore, Wed. With Beartoe. 7 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969.
Love Cop, Thur. With Funeral Gold, Reality Asylum. 10 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
-- Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa