This week in Tampa: Jackson Browne, Scott Stapp, Young Thug, Sunshine Music Festival and more
After a quiet week in the Tampa Bay music scene, things roar back to life this week with a host of huge shows: Jackson Browne, Jane Lynch, Scott Stapp, Young Thug, Winter Jam, Grant-Lee Phillips, the Reverend Horton Heat, Nashville Pussy, Unknown Hinson, Igor and Red Elvises, Arlo Guthrie, Kottonmouth Kings, Angie Stone, Jonathan Butler, the Soft Moon, Paul Anka, TroiBoi and the Sunshine Music Festival, featuring Tedeschi Trucks Band, Indigo Girls, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue and more. Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $45 and up. (727) 791-7400.
Don’t head into Jane Lynch’s concert at the Capitol Theatre expecting a pep-squad mash-up of her biggest Glee hits, such as Madonna’s Vogue or Olivia Newton-John’s Physical. The erstwhile Sue Sylvester is more of a cabaret gal, peppering her live concerts with jazz standards and show tunes, all infused with the crackling personality and wit that’s made her one of the most in-demand comic actors around. “I like music of all forms,” Lynch said in a recent phone interview. “I love pop songs. I love musical theater. I do a song from the 1930s that we do in a really tight three-part harmony. I have a 'Songs That Made Us Cry When We Were Kids’ medley, and we sing them, so people can have the experience of bursting into tears like we did.” How the three-time Emmy winner even has time for a tour is a mystery — she’s starring in two network series, NBC’s Hollywood Game Night and CBS’s Angel From Hell, and she just hosted the People’s Choice Awards. But we’re lucky she’s squeezing this Clearwater show — originally scheduled for March 2015 — into her jam-packed schedule.
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $25.50 and up. (727) 822-3590.
Scott Stapp is one of the biggest rock stars Florida has ever produced. And that makes the Creed singer’s long, difficult downfall all the harder to digest. After selling millions of records and winning a Grammy for the hit With Arms Wide Open, Stapp spiraled into an abyss of addiction and mental illness. It ended in a public, viral breakdown in 2014 that led Stapp and his wife to appear on VH1’s reality show Couples Therapy. “The recovery process was a little longer than I expected, and feeling grounded and clear didn’t come overnight,” Stapp said in a recent phone interview. “There were definitely moments of doubt as to my future.” Stapp’s slow and steady comeback begins in St. Petersburg, where he’ll kick off a solo tour Friday at the Palladium, . He’ll perform solo material as well as Creed hits like My Own Prison and Higher. “The guys in Creed definitely had a special talent, and so it’s not easy to put together a band that can duplicate that,” Stapp said. “But I’m really fortunate that I have.”
Sunshine Music Festival
With Tedeschi Trucks Band, Indigo Girls, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Jorma Kaukonen, Hard Working Americans, the Revivalists, Jerry Douglas Band, Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio, Joanne Shaw Taylor
SATURDAY 11:30 a.m. Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg. $49.99 and up. sunshinemusicfestival.com.
Launching an all-new music festival is no gimme these days, not in a live music landscape that seems to get more saturated by the month. But Live Nation and Tedeschi Trucks Band, pictured, teamed up for a winner with the Sunshine Music Festival, returning for a fourth year to St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park. Co-organizers (and all-universe guitarists) Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi will likely preview songs from their new album, Let Me Get By, due Jan. 29. Joining them is a strong bill of blues, jam and Americana acts, including the Indigo Girls, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Jorma Kaukonen, the Revivalists and Hard Working Americans, a Southern rock supergroup led by singer-songwriter Todd Snider.
With For King and Country, Matthew West, NewSong, RED, Sidewalk Prophets, Crowder, more.
SATURDAY 5:45 p.m. Amalie Arena, 405 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Suggested $10 donation at the door. amaliearena.com.
Right on schedule, one of contemporary Christian rock’s biggest tours returns to Tampa for its annual January date at Amalie Arena, 405 Channelside Drive. Smash Aussie duo For King and Country and rock and country songwriter Matthew West top the bill, with support from RED, NewSong, Sidewalk Prophets and Crowder, among others. Tickets aren’t sold for Winter Jam; admission is a suggested $10 donation at the door.
With Steve Poltz
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15-18. (727) 644-7895.
Didn’t feel like shelling out big bucks for a solo show by Jackson Browne at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Tuesday? Here’s a solid backup plan: Grant-Lee Phillips at the much more intimate Hideaway Cafe. The 52-year-old singer-songwriter has a big, brainy catalog of alt-Americana hits, from his early days with Grant Lee Buffalo to 2004’s starkly beautiful Virginia Creeper to his forthcoming The Narrows, due in March. Phillips will be joined by fellow bard Steve Poltz, who co-authored Jewel’s hit You Were Meant For Me, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Hideaway Cafe. The place is tiny, so arrive when doors open at 6 p.m. if you want a good seat.
The Reverend Horton Heat
With Nashville Pussy, Unknown Hinson, Igor and Red Elvises
SATURDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25-$29. (727) 644-7895.
What do a rockabilly reverend, some foul-mouthed punks, a hillbilly vampire and a horde of surf-rockin’ Russians have in common? They’ll all be in St. Petersburg on Saturday for what might be the most outrageous punk show of the year. The Reverend Horton Heat, pictured, Nashville Pussy, Unknown Hinson and Igor and Red Elvises are all entertaining headliners in their own right, but put them all together, and who knows how crazy things will get? Tickets are $25-$29 and worth every penny.
The Soft Moon
With Empire Cinema, Sleeping Pills
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$13. (813) 248-9500.
What do you do when the band that was supposed to take you on a North American tour bails at the last minute? If you’re the Soft Moon, then you just slide into that headlining slot and carry on like nothing happened. That’s what’s happening for the Oakland post-punk outfit on their current 23-date run (which was supposed to happen with old-school UK punks Killing Joke), and it bodes well for their own fans who’ll get to hear even more of the Soft Moon’s 2015 joyride of an LP, Deeper, which rounds up all the energy of new-wave and shrouds it in dark industrial noises and tones before running it through frontman Luis Vasquez’s haunting, careening croon. Locals Empire Cinema and Sleeping Pills open the show.
FRIDAY 9 p.m. The Round Up, 10051 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 855-1464.
Dylan Scott might be the king of pop country’s boyish good looks department, but the cuteness stops there. The 25-year-old Louisiana boy has one of the deepest deliveries in the genre, and it works well on a new single, Crazy Over Me, in which he bellows sweet nothings over mid-tempo picking and saccharine slide guitar. He taps into the pickup truck party boy demographic on Lay It On Me, but he’s better off on boot-stomping cuts like Mmm, Mmm, Mmm or slow burners like his cover of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud. Critics say he can’t move a crowd like the Luke Bryans and Dierks Bentleys of the world, but we’ll let the room that shows up to this Oldsmar hotspot be the jury on that one.
With DieAlps!, Soapbox Soliloquy
FRIDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8-$10. (813) 248-4969.
Don’t listen to Mothers’ Too Small For Eyes when you’re lonesome on a rainy day. The 2015 single from frontwoman Kristine Leschper & co. is a heartbreaker, all wrought with weepy strings, delicate plucking, and the kind of yearning that’ll have you in a crying fit with your face buried in a pillow. The Athens, Ga., quartet is set to release a debut LP this year, but everything else they’ve put out (lead single, No Crying In Baseball or punchy indie-pop cut It Hurts Until It Doesn’t), suggests that Leschper’s honest, revealing delivery will be very familiar to a whole lot of music fans before the year is out. Head to this celebrated Ybor City watering hole to see the band before they outgrow it.
Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival
With Jonathan Butler (below) Angie Scott, Daniel D, David Leathers Jr., more.
SATURDAY (11 a.m.) and SUNDAY (1 p.m.) Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Free general admission ($20 & up, preferred and VIP seating). (813)274-8677.
The Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival technically lasts for ten days, but the highlight is a weekend at Curtis Hixon Park that includes the bulk of the musical festivities. This year, the lineup centers around two stars. On Saturday it’s 54-year-old South African guitarist and songwriter Jonathan Butler who will use his fusion of folk, gospel and jazz to tackle tough subjects like apartheid and poverty, and Sunday finds former Sequence and Mantronix member Angie Stone belting out neo-soul hits from her a LP, Dream, as well as cuts from her 2001 classic Mahogany Soul.
With Fresh, more.
MONDAY 10 p.m. Club Skye, 1509 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $30 and up. (813) 247-6606.
Young Thug gets a lot of slack. One day it’s from fans of hyper-masculine hip hop who hate on his skinny jeans and tutus. Another, it’s purists face-palming over Mr. Thug’s bastardization of the genre. Sometimes it’s even city officials from East Point, Ga., who are upset that the Atlanta-based rapper born Jeffrey Williams filmed a music video — complete with a violent robbery sequence — in their neck of the woods (in his defense, the 24-year-old’s camp did have all the correct permits). The polarizing artist’s fans surely will line up outside of Club Skye for this MLK weekend shutdown party, though, but there’s no telling exactly when Young Thug will hit the stage (Nas, who played in April didn’t actually start rapping until 1:30 a.m.), so take your chances at this one.
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $49-$160. (727) 791-7400.
He’s back. The master of mellow returns to Clearwater after a sold-out show for 2,200 fans at Ruth Eckerd Hall last February. A word of caution accompanies this stop, however, as the 67-year-old surfer boy has been feeling under the weather lately. He postponed a handful of concerts along the eastern seaboard over the last week due to what his camp is calling “a very sore throat.” He’s got a few more days to rest up before heading down to our neck of the woods, so we’d keep an eye out on his Facebook page for the most updated info. And even if he does have to put the show off for a bit, devoted fans aren’t likely to complain about having to wait just a little bit longer for their hero to heal.
WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $45-$75. (727) 791-7400.
Like clockwork, Arlo Guthrie (above) has found himself back in downtown Clearwater for another show at the intimate Capitol Theatre. His last appearance happened exactly one year ago, but this time it’s extra special thanks to the golden anniversary of the 68-year-old folk icon’s landmark album, Alice’s Restaurant. Guthrie only performs the whole of the counterculture classic on these anniversary tours, so head out to see it if you don’t want to wait for the 60th anniversary to roll around. But is Guthrie sick of playing the whole thing night after night? He’s modified parts of it to fit into today’s modern age, but recently told the Daily Beast that the essence of the story is the same. “I didn’t know if that was going to be a pain in the butt or what. It’s turned out great so far,” he said of the shows. “I don’t want to spoil too much. I’ve changed the focus, but not the light.”
Tab Benoit, Fri. With Dre and the Collective. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 971-0666.
Letdown, Fri. With Victims of Circumstance, Take Over Tomorrow, Stand Up Ralph, Tiefighterdown. 8 p.m. The Neptune Lounge, 13 S Safford Ave., Tarpon Springs. $5. (727)-943-5805.
The Groove Orient, Fri. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
TroyBoi, Fri. With Christian Alexander, Winta, Smggle. 10 p.m. Amphitheatre Event Facility, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15. (813) 873-8368.
Paul Anka, Sat. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $55-$150. (727) 791-7400.
Peter Yarrow, Sat. 8 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $24.50-$44.50. (727) 587-6793.
Woody Pines, Sun. 4 p.m. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, 5119 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa, Free. (813) 234-1000.
Dawns, Sun. With Culture Vulture, Ninehorn. 6 p.m. Microgroove, 4906 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Donations for touring bands. (813) 667-7089.
Sara Rose Band, Sun. 6:30 p.m. The Independent, 5020 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 341-4883.
Kottonmouth Kings, Sun. With Marlon Asher, Chucky Chuck. 7 p.m. The Tamiami Club, 6800 Sunset Way, St. Petersburg. $15 and up. (727) 363-3832.
King Friday, Sun. With the Tim Version, Science. 9 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
The Steepwater Band, Tues. 8 p.m. The Ale and the Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $8. (727) 821-2533.
Busch Gardens Real Music Series, Mon-Sat. With Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Free with park admission. Toll-free 1-888-800-5447.
JW Teller & Will Quinlan, Wed. 7 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969.
-- Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa