This week in Tampa: Dierks Bentley, G-Eazy, 98 Degrees, Bret Michaels and more
It's a busy weekend at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre has a busy weekend coming up.
On Friday it's the MY2K Tour with 98 Degrees, O-Town, Dream and Ryan Cabrera. On Saturday it's Dierks Bentley with Randy Houser, Cam and Tucker Beathard. And on Sunday it's G-Eazy (above) and Logic with YG and Yo Gotti.
Here to walk you through all those shows and more -- Bret Michaels, A-Trak, Never Shout Never, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Polyenso, Bear Grillz, Nots, Alien Ant Farm, Beres Hammond, the Underhill Family Orchestra and more -- are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...
The MY2K Tour
With 98 Degrees, O-Town, Dream, Ryan Cabrera
FRIDAY 8 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $20 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
For Nick Lachey, a boy band revival always seemed inevitable. 98 Degrees went on hiatus in 2003 but reformed in 2013 for a tour with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men. “We’ve been very lucky and fortunate to have some really diehard, passionate fans who’ve stuck with us from the very, very early days,” he said. “That was a big part of the reason that we felt good about getting back together.” It helps explain the appeal of the MY2K Tour, which also features O-Town, Dream and Ryan Cabrera coming together in a blast of TRL nostalgia from the past. 98 Degrees were always a tier below boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, but they more than held their own with hits like Because Of You. And that helps explain why thousands of fans will come out to the Amp to see them on Friday.
With Randy Houser, Cam, Tucker Beathard
SATURDAY 7 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $27 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
To appreciate all that Dierks Bentley brings to country music, you have to dig a little deeper than Drunk on a Plane or Somewhere on a Beach. You have to embrace the runaway-train madness of What Was I Thinkin’. You have to dive into Up on the Ridge, his 2010 bluegrass album featuring the Punch Brothers and Del McCoury. And you definitely have to check out his latest album Black, titled for his wife’s maiden name. Bentley, 40, is sometimes an afterthought among the Lukes and Blakes of the country world, partly because he’s a forward thinker, bringing a little rock edge and propulsive momentum to a genre whose biggest stars don’t always push themselves outside their comfort zone. Bentley’s new tour, which hits Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Saturday, has that feel top to bottom. He’s bringing Randy Houser (“one of my best friends and one of the best singers in country music”), Burning House singer-songwriter Cam and newcomer Tucker Beathard, and expects Tampa to come hard as always. “It’s usually 112 degrees and everyone’s just hot and drunk and ready to rock,” Bentley said. “I can’t wait to get down there.”
G-Eazy and Logic
With YG, Yo Gotti
SUNDAY 6:30 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4202 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $18 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
Can a song still be a Song of Summer if it debuted the previous October? Tough to say, but I do know this: At Tampa’s Sunset Music Festival over Memorial Day weekend, the one song I heard more than almost any other was G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha’s Me, Myself & I. It was the first Top 10 hit for the dapper Oakland, Calif., rapper, and while it has trickled back down the charts since, the slick, sleek single still has an air of inescapability. That makes this summer’s co-headlining tour with underground, lyrically deft Maryland rapper Logic look like a smart pairing — especially since Logic just dropped a new mixtape, Bobby Tarantino. Joining them are a couple of street-legit studs, Compton, Calif.’s YG and booming Down in the DM rapper Yo Gotti. It’s a motley mix of hip-hop subgenres, but this much is certain: When G-Eazy drops Me, Myself & I, the house will come down with it.
With Brother Cephus
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First St. N, St. Petersburg. Free ($5 for those under 21). (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.
So how was Polyenso’s Bonnaroo experience? Oh, you know, your typical weekend away from home, hanging with Kamasi Washington and watching LCD Soundsystem. No biggie. “Set was smooth, tons of people singing along, started with about 150 and ended with about 400 people watching,” singer Alex Schultz said. “Handed music to a ton of powerful people, so hopefully they take a listen.” Any way you slice it, Bonnaroo was a huge deal for the St. Pete alt-rock band, which released excellent sophomore album Pure in the Plastic this spring. More people around the country are starting to pick up on these guys — they just got off a tour with PVRIS, and their song Cherry Life was just featured in Pretty Little Liars. A proper homecoming is in order, don’t you think? They’ll give back to their hometown fans with a free show.
With EC Twins, DJ Ku, Digital Dave, more
SUNDAY 1 p.m. Shephard’s Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. $7 and up. (727) 442-5107. shephards.com.
Start listing the areas of A-Trak’s influence, and you could keep going for a while. Electronic music? He’s an ace turntablist, one of the best in the world, and has remixed or recorded with countless big names. Hip-hop? He has worked closely with Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco and Danny Brown, among others. He founded the powerful label Fool’s Gold Records (Run the Jewels, Chromeo, Flosstradamus). And how about this: He has participated in ad campaigns for Nike, Adidas and Converse. Talk about a diverse portfolio. Add it all up, and he’s way outside the box for your typical Sunday rager at Shephard’s.
SATURDAY Following Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles; first pitch at 6:10 p.m. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. Free with game ticket; field wristbands $20. raysbaseball.com/concerts.
The Tampa Bay Rays have pulled way back when it comes to their annual summer concert series, booking only four acts (so far) this season. The Fray played a few weeks ago, and this Saturday brings Poison frontman and reality show stalwart Bret Michaels ready to talk dirty to fans at the Trop. Will he bring up his former Apprentice honcho Donald Trump? Or stick to Poison classics like Every Rose Has Its Thorn? Find out after the Rays take on the Baltimore Orioles.
With Permanent Makeup, Gino and the Goons, DJ Rebelle
FRIDAY 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $6-$9. (813) 248-4969.
At what point do casual listeners stop trying to decide between what’s weird and what’s just plain good? Nots want to meet them there. On the surface, the Memphis, Tenn., four-piece make music that is left of left field, but after just a few minutes all of the odd and abrasive swirling noise, clanking guitars and shouted vocals start to coalesce in harmonious bath of synth, pulsating bass and ear-ripping solos. The girls — guitarist Natalie Hoffman, drummer Charlotte Watson, bassist Madison Farmer and Alexandra Eastburn on synth — arrive in Ybor supporting a new 7-inch that follows their grand 2014 debut, We Are Nots, and teases a forthcoming sophomore full-length, Cosmetic. The latter effort’s lead single, Entertain Me, ups the ante on Nots’ already outspoken lyrical matter by stacking even more noise and anger on top of their usual refusal to cave in to the things the world at large wants them to be.
With Christian Alexander, Winta, $mgglr
FRIDAY 10 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$15. (813) 247-2555.
Mo Honey Mo Problems. That’s the title of Bear Grillz’s latest EP, and the puns don’t stop there. The 15-minute effort’s opening song is titled F*** B***** Get Honey, and if it all sounds a bit juvenile, then you won’t be surprised by the music or its delivery either. It’s hard to tell if the misogynistic, unfit to print lyrics on Going Down (Under) are satirical or not, but let’s not forget that all of these tracks are being performed by a guy in a bear suit who just recently decided to reveal his “identity” (it’s not Bear Grylls guys, just a dude named RJ) on Jerry Springer’s esteemed daytime television show. All of the silliness is part of the troll though, and fans of the dubstep producer won’t let anything stop them from filling the Ritz in Ybor City for what has now become Amphitheatre’s takeover of the Seventh Avenue hot spot.
With Deadborns, Johnny Mile and the Kilometers
FRIDAY 10 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
The Bends ought to just win some kind of award. The First Avenue dive is regularly packed, staffed with some of the best people in St. Pete and has a dangerous habit of booking solid, way-ahead-of-the-curve shows. The best bit? Never a cover. This week, the visitors are Las Robertas, a Costa Rican psych-rock trio that arrive just about a week after they turned heads at New York City’s long-running Latin Alternative Music Conference. Led by singer/guitarist Mercedes Oller, Las Robertas wash their vocals in reverb, but anyone who can’t speak Spanish probably couldn’t decipher what Oller was singing anyway. No worries though, since so much of what the band has put out (including 2014’s Days Unmade) is carefree, loud and evidence that the recent influx of feel good garage rock isn’t — and shouldn’t ever — go away.
With Empire Cinema, Expert Timing
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Microgroove, 4906 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Donations accepted. (813) 667-7089.
Saturday night is littered with St. Pete shows featuring all kinds of local bands that regularly hit the road for national tours (Polyenso at Jannus, Pleasures at The Local 662), but Tampa fans looking to kick it off earlier get a really good chance with a troubadour from Lakeland hitting Seminole Heights record store Microgroove for an early show. Eric Collins’ latest release is a 7-inch single, Love/Hate, that is all kinds of beach goth meets art rock. But keep your fingers crossed a copy of a 2015 release Collins — who performs under MrENC -— put out, which is a flexible card featuring grooves that make Circling playable on your record player. Orlando’s Expert Timing makes the trip to be on the bill, and Tampa’s own dark-wave dudes Empire Cinema provide the meat in the heart of it all.
With Sonic Graffiti, Soapbox Soliloquy, Fayroy
SATURDAY 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 258-4829.
In about a week, Pleasures is going to head to Orlando and kick off a two-month journey that will take them up Interstate 75 and all the way into Louisiana and Texas before whipping them into Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. The St. Pete and Sarasota doom bringers have even tossed in Ohio and Cleveland for good measure before they come home at the end of August. The itinerary is ambitious and it makes complete sense when you listen to the band’s latest — F***ed Up Dreams Come True, released in February — where frontwoman Katherine Kelly leads her boys — Greg Ferris, Morgan Soltes and Michael Murphy — through 40 minutes of twisted, sprawling, sample-ridden psychedelia that makes you dance carelessly (Everything Forever) and then sit among the swirling noise pondering your very existence (The Apostle Seeing the Universe for the Very First Time).
The Underhill Family Orchestra
With The Sh-Booms, Little Sheeba and the Shamans
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600.
There’s a television spot where the Kia Motors hamsters take on the film classic Deliverance and give it a CGI facelift complete with rodents dancing in a city park amongst humans like Nathaniel Rateliff (without his band, the Night Sweats). The ad is all kinds of Americana-laden hunky-dory, but if you feel like the spot lacks an air of authenticity, then this is the show to deliver that shot in the arm. The Sh-Booms are headed over from Orlando to deliver their brand of dingy garage soul, and Tampa’s own Little Sheeba and the Shamans will handle the doo-wop and rock ’n’ roll. Don’t leave without letting the Underhill Family Orchestra bring the revival, though. The Mobile, Alabama Hangout Fest vets just recorded a Daytrotter session so expect their foot-stomping, beer-swilling style of rowdy roadhouse rock to be in full effect when they get to Ybor City.
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood
TUESDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 895-3045.
Lord knows people love the Black Crowes. Therefore, it makes sense that shows from the Chris Robinson Brotherhood would draw quite the crowd as well. The group — formed in 2011 by Crowes frontman Chris Robinson — went on quite a roll after they first introduced their jam-band brand of roots rock on 2012’s Big Moon Ritual, and the high times kept on coming as evidenced by another album (The Magic Door, released just three months after) and 2014’s Phosphorescent Harvest. A new song, California Hymn, from the forthcoming (and fourth) LP (Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel, set for release at the end of the month) adds a bit of Golden State dust to the Crowes’ sound while also slathering on the lap steel and deep harmonies that country music wet dreams are made of. There’s no support on this show, so expect to go in for the long haul if you decide to come through.
Never Shout Never
With Hundred Handed, Me Like Bees
THURSDAY 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20. (813) 248-9500.
It’s true: emo can grow up. Anyone at the Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday and Early November show at the old Gary amp last month can attest to that, and you’ll see it in action again on Thursday when Christofer Drew lands at the Orpheum. The 25-year-old is the face and voice of Missouri outfit Never Shout Never, and he’s been at it since 2010 when a debut LP, What Is Love?, made him the poster boy for ukulele-wielding lovelorn teens in search of superhero to help them articulate their potty-mouthed thoughts about crushing on the one they never want to let go. The stuff on a 2015 album, Black Cat, is a little bit of an evolution for the balladeer, but it mostly sticks to the Jason Mraz meets Chris Carrabba formula that has seemed to work so well for Drew over the years.
Shawn Kyle, Fri. With Mountain Holler, J.T. Brown. 6 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10-$14. (727) 644-7895.
Becca McCoy & La Lucha: An Evening of Rosemary Clooney, Fri. 8 p.m. Side Door Cabaret at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $32. (727) 822-3590
Up The Ante Music Series, Fri. With Knoxz, Empire X, Kay-S, Decibel Nation Live. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3. (727) 424-1809.
DJ Blenda, Fri. 10 p.m. Mermaid Tavern, 6719 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 238-5618.
Friends of Fil, Fri. 10 p.m. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, 5119 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 234-1000.
Broke Mr. Jones, Sat. 8 p.m. Green Bench Brewing Co., 1133 Baum Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 800-9836.
Amphibian Lark, Sat. With Lydia Winn LeVert, Simeon Coxe, DC9V, Novosak, Bushi. 8 p.m. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S, St. Petersburg $10. (901) 619-1519.
Row Jomah, Sat., 8:30 p.m. The Ale and the Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.
Zanesville, Sat. With S***house Slim & the Upperdeckers, The Skarz, Pretty Voices. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 424-1809.
Chaka, Sun. 5 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $6. (813) 971-0666.
Andy Brey & Matt Burke, Wed. 7 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969.
Alien Ant Farm, Wed. With Perish Lane, Coldclock Knockout, One Way!, Donna Lu. 7:30 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $16. (813) 241-8600.
Beres Hammond, Thurs. 7:30 p.m. The Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $. (727) 892-5767.
-- Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa