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This week in Tampa: Flogging Molly, Santigold, Jordin Sparks, Esperanza Spalding and more



It's the last weekend for Busch Gardens' 2016 Food & Wine Festival, featuring headliners Gente de Zona and Jordin Sparks, above.

But in the week before Beyonce comes to Tampa, we've got a lot of other music in town, including Esperanza Spalding, Corey Taylor, Flogging Molly, the Joy Formidable, Santigold, Lita Ford, Magrudergrind, Paul Oakenfold, the Welzeins and the Legends of Southern Hip Hop festival, featuring Juvenile, Too Short, Trick Daddy and more. Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...

Esperanza Spalding
SATURDAY 8 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $45-$78. (727) 791-7400.

Her skill set has left her with the reputation of being a veritable virtuoso on violin, cello, and bass (not to mention her singing chops), so Esperanza Spalding doesn’t need any more help being eccentric. That doesn’t mean she won’t take it, though. The 31-year-old composer developed an alter ego, Emily, for her latest album Emily’s D+Evolution, and while the personality came as a result of feeling overwhelmed by the things she felt she was “supposed” to do after multiple Grammy wins, it looks set to launch her into the next phase of what has already been an illustrious career. She’ll show off that D+Evolution at this Capitol Theatre show where the album’s noisy, clamoring, experimental-pop flirts with prog rock while also giving a healthy “up yours” to the folks who say the avant-garde has no place in jazz. “I’m the instrument,” is the way Spalding has been describing the performances, “Emily’s playing.”

Corey Taylor
SUNDAY 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Sold out. (727) 791-7400.

Grammy-winning Slipknot and Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor will appear at the Capitol Theatre at 8 p.m. Sunday for a performance, discussion and reading from his new book You’re Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look at the Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense Left. It’s his third book (not counting comics) and he’s also an actor and pretty darned delightful personality, making him one of rock’s most interesting Renaissance men — in addition to being, y’know, one of the best metal vocalists in the land. Taylor usually plays massive festivals and venues with Slipknot (including Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on July 2), so the chance to experience him up close and personal is a delight. The show is mostly sold out, though seats may be made available at the box office.

MONDAY 8:30 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25 and up. (813) 390-0397.

You’ll have to forgive Santigold for declining to fit neatly inside any sort of music box. Since 2008, she has released a stream of singles that bounce and skate between the worlds of indie pop, dancehall and hip hop, often unpredictably. Her singles Disparate Youth, Lights Out and Creator have all received significant airplay — albeit mostly in TV commercials, where they’ve wormed their way into your brain without you even knowing. This year, Santi dropped her third album 99¢, a typically genre-defying effort buoyed by the single Can’t Get Enough of Myself, a song that somehow works as both a pump-you-up pop song and a satire of the self-involved. See? Told you it was hard to pin Santigold down.

Legends of Southern Hip Hop
With Juvenile, Too Short, 8Ball and MJG, Trick Daddy, Project Pat, Pastor Troy
SATURDAY 8 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $50.75 and up. (813) 974-3004.
That big boom you’ll hear coming from the USF Sun Dome Saturday night? That’s just the sound of the Dirty South coming to life at the Legends of Southern Hip Hop, a supertour of sorts bringing together several big names in bounce, bass and crunkitude. Lils Jon, Wayne and Boosie won’t be in the house, but Juvenile (Back That Azz Up), 8Ball and MJG (Space Age Pimpin’), Trick Daddy (Let’s Go), Project Pat (Chickenhead) and Pastor Troy (Vice Versa) will be. So will Too Short (The Ghetto), who’s better known as a West Coast pioneer, but hey, if you buy a home in Atlanta, you’re fam, too, right?

The Joy Formidable
THURSDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16-$18 at

There are a ton of lively, loveable rock shows around St. Pete this week — Flogging Molly, Cypress Hill, Steel Panther, Coleman Hell, the Gipsy Kings — but for my money, none will be as much pure fun as the Joy Formidable at 7 p.m. Thursday at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave. Few recent bands play with as much unbridled glee as this Welsh alternative trio, with singer-guitarist Ritzy Bryan kicking and mugging around the stage like she just discovered the power of rock 'n’ roll only yesterday. Their new LP Hitch slightly scales back the tyrannical ambition of earlier Zeppelinesque singles This Ladder Is Ours and Whirring, but it might be even more enjoyable. The video to juicy, butt-rockin’ lead single The Last Thing On My Mind opens with a quote from Salvador Dali, then launches into a montage of male dancers from throughout history, many of them scantily clad. Further proof that the Joy Formidable may rock like a mother, but deep down, all they wanna do is have fun.

The Main Squeeze
With Synergy in a Cup, NoNeed
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 241-8600.
It’s only been a year since The Main Squeeze released their latest LP, Mind Your Head. You get the feeling that fans of the Chicago quintet would wait forever for music, though. Patience is easy to come by when Corey Frye is on the microphone, thanks to his evergreen, impossibly soulful vocal that reaches for octaves usually off limits for most dudes. Frye’s delivery fits in perfectly with his band’s self-proclaimed “post-funk” sound where they can effortlessly reinvent classics from The Grateful Dead and The Temptations while also putting their own, sweaty, sultry stamp on homemade, asteroid-belt originating songs like Dr. Funk, Angelus and I’ll Take Another.

Caliente Resorts Fourth Annual Blues Music Festival
With Selwyn Birchwood, Shawn Paige Band, 75 South
SATURDAY & SUNDAY 1 p.m. Caliente Resorts, 21240 Gran Via Blvd., Land O’Lakes. $40 & up. (813) 996-3700.
We’d say that you may never see (or unsee) a show like this again, but this is actually Selwyn Birchwood’s second consecutive year headlining Caliente Resorts’ Blues Festival. The gravel-throated, homegrown blues sensation is signed to acclaimed national label Alligator Records, and he’ll be looking at a different kind of thick skin when he goes Walking in the Lion’s Den to play a pair of shows at the north Tampa clothing-optional compound. Saturday’s gig is an evening-time indoor set at Caliente’s nightclub, and Bloody Marys are optional when Birchwood plays an early show poolside on Sunday. Membership is required for entry (daily entry rates are available), and you can pay extra for a VIP ticket on Saturday. The event benefits Angelus House and HPH Hospice.

Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival
With Gente de Zona, Jordin Sparks
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 6 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Free with park admission. Toll-free 1-888-800-5447.
There’s been a lot of talk about Cuba lately, and Busch Gardens is making sure their Food & Wine Festival doesn’t get left out of the Havana hullabaloo. On Saturday, they welcome Alexander Delgado’s reggaeton project, Gente de Zona (translated People from the Neighborhood), to the amusement park for a set that hopefully explores the group’s hip-hop past while also leaning heavily on their current sound, which combines mambo and  son with the high-energy club sound that still dominates Latin radio today. The festival switches gears on Sunday when American Idol Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks brings her contagious smile, amazing pipes (Did you see her sing on the show’s “finale” episode earlier this month?) and Grammy-nominated single No Air to the party. Admission is included with park tickets, but you do have to pay for special viewing areas and fancy cheese plates.

Under the Influence Art Show
With Freedback, J.T. Brown, Mountain Holler, Josh Higgins, Mike Mass, Tony Handz, Vern Senior and more.
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Lot 1901, 1901 E Second Ave., Ybor City. Donations accepted. (813) 857-7790.
It’s funny how these lazy millennial types in the creative world keep putting together ambitious art shows and events that go off without a hitch. This Under the Influence event already had about two-dozen visual artists set to take over up-and-coming south Ybor production studio Lot 1901 while producer Matt Reisinger debuted his Freedback project, but the bill got even juicier after the initial announcement, thanks to the addition of singer-songwriter J.T. Brown, cosmic-folk outfit solo act Mountain Holler, and guitarist/pianist Josh Higgins. Tampa emcee Mike Mass also returns to Ybor after a New York City run that saw him impress the bosses on Sirius XM/Shade 45 Sway In the Morning program. Lot 1901 is another off-the-beaten path gem that is continuing to revitalize the entertainment district’s other avenues as part of an unofficial “South of Seventh” movement that also includes alternative arts space Mixed Field Arts.

The Welzeins
With Sonic Graffiti, UFO Sex Scene
SATURDAY 9 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave. St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
They’re only 100 miles away, but Tampa Bay can never get enough of The Welzeins. The Orlando-based duo wield a mighty DIY surf-rock sound that they’ve been molding over the course a self-titled EP and full-length. They added to the tool kit with the new release of an extended player, Megafauna, which is anchored by lead single Aberration — a four-minute, kinetic onslaught chk-chk-chk-ing guitar scratching, reverbed vocals and grungy, psychedelic noise. Get there early to see trippy rock ’n’ roll outfit UFO Sex Scene and guitar-abusing trio Sonic Graffiti.

With Yautja, God Harvest, Escapist, Funhater
MONDAY 7 p.m. Epic Problem, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $12. (813) 382-3477.
There is no easy gateway to grindcore, but if you wanted to give it a try, then Magrudergrind’s latest, II, might be a good bet. The 15-song effort clocks in at just 23 minutes, and your ears will either explode or thank you depending on their affection for highly melodic, thrashing, high-speed riffing and breakneck drumming. The Brooklyn trio started playing in the early 2000s but only released 7-inch records until a proper debut, Rehashed, in 2007. They’ve been relatively quiet since their Crusher EP in 2010, and return triumphantly with this latest record. This show also serves as the official tape release for Funhater, another one of St. Petersburg scene champ Christopher Nadeau’s many projects.

Flogging Molly
THURSDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $30-$32. (727) 565-0550.

Late-night television fans might’ve seen Flogging Molly work through a new song, The Hand of John L. Sullivan, on Jimmy Kimmel Live! earlier this year, and while details on the Los Angeles punks’ new album are still nowhere to be found, fans won’t have a lot to complain about at this show. Frontman Dave King will surely lead his Rebels of the Sacred Heart through the gamut of a 16-year-old discography that can sometimes overdo it on the bagpipe flurries, but never go hard enough on the beer-swilling, Catholic guilt-tripping, insane folk-rock they’ve come to be known for. The band has come a long way since their days at storied L.A. Irish pub Molly Malone’s and maybe they’ll play a bit from the new album to prove it.

Also Playing

John McEuen, Fri. 6 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 644-7895.

AJ Swearingen & Jayne Kelli, Fri. With Mark Huhta. 7 p.m. Sacred Lands, 1620 Park St. N, St. Petersburg. $12. (727) 347-0354.

The Contortionist, Sat. With Monuments, Entheos, Sleepmakeswaves, Aionios. 5:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $14-$25. (813) 248-9500.

Leonardo Villanueva, Sat. 7 p.m. With SWAG. First United Methodist Church, 960 W Lutz Lake Fern Road, Lutz. Donations accepted. (813) 563-7008.

Big D and the Kids Table, Sat. With The Snails, Counterpunch. 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13-$16.

Lita Ford, Sat. With 5 Star Hooker, Crush Tone. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $30 and up. (727) 895-3045.

Pangaea Project Six-Year Anniversary, Sat. 8 p.m. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $5. (901) 619-1519.

Franks & Tanks, Sat. With Mushmind, Teacher Teacher, The Porch Sessions, Poultry, DJ Tortilla Punx, Clam Master Jay. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. Free. (813) 241-8600.

Paul Oakenfold, Sun. 1 p.m. With. Ayesik, Pedro M., Kid U Not, Kidd Leow, DJ Ray. Shephard’s Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. $13.65 and up. (727) 441-6875.

Oak Hay, Sun. 4 p.m. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, 5119 N Nebraska, Ave., Tampa, Free. (813) 234-1000.

Liz Mandeville & the Blue Points, Sun. 5 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.

Skindred, Sun. With Soil, The Defiant, Progressive Chemistry, Cypher Machine. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18-$20. (727) 895-3045.

Ethan Keller, Wed. With Cormac Kavanaugh. 7 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969.

Laurence Hobgood Trio, Wed. 7:30 p.m. Side Door Cabaret at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $15-$20. (727) 822-3590.

-- Jay Cridlin

[Last modified: Friday, April 22, 2016 2:50pm]


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