This week in Tampa: Jason Aldean, Tyrese, Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor and more
Yes, Taylor Swift is coming next week. We know. We're all very excited about that. But between now and then, Tampa Bay will be treated to one of the busiest musical weeks of the year.
Among the acts coming to town: Jason Aldean (above), Jennifer Nettles, Cheap Trick, UB40, Brandy Clark, Gang of Four, Joey Bada$$, Drowning Pool, Alien Ant Farm, Warren Haynes, Justin Townes Earle, Cimorelli, Fortunate Youth, JR JR, Anais Mitchell, Shock G, Eli Young Band, Soulfly, Nikki Lane, Headhunterz, Streetlight Manifesto and more. Plus ther's 95.7 Beats By the Bay, with Tyrese, Anthony Hamilton, Blackstreet with Teddy Riley, 112 and Whodini; and Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor, featuring Desaparecidos, the Menzingers, Into It. Over It., mewithoutYou, Beach Slang, Riverboat Gamblers, Teenage Bottlerocket and many more. WHEW. Here to get into it are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...
With Cole Swindell, Tyler Farr, Dee Jay Silver
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25.50 and up. livenation.com.
The way he glares out from beneath his low-brimmed Resistol, you get the sense that Jason Aldean would chew you up and spit you into a Sprite can if given half a chance. He’s a big ol’ ball of tough country scruff, that one, and maybe he’s got reason — for the second straight year, he’s not in the running for Entertainer of the Year at the upcoming CMAs. But Aldean is one of the few A-listers who can still turn Nashville upside down with a new single, whether he’s shouting out Joe Diffie on 1994, howling in harmony with Kelly Clarkson on Don’t You Wanna Stay, half-rapping with Ludacris on Dirt Road Anthem or sizzling through the record-breaking, sheet-steaming single Burnin’ It Down. And when he hits Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday, expect WrestleMania levels of pyro.
95.7 Beats By the Bay
With Tyrese, Anthony Hamilton, Blackstreet with Teddy Riley, Rob Base, Whodini, 112
SATURDAY 4 p.m. Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg. $45.50 and up. 957thebeat.com.
Tampa Bay has had a banner year for festivals celebrating the old school, and with a lineup that includes 112 (Peaches and Cream), Whodini (Freaks Come Out at Night), Rob Base (It Takes Two) and Blackstreet with Teddy Riley (No Diggity), the inaugural 95.7 Beats by the Bay certainly qualifies. New-millennium soul man Anthony Hamilton (Charlene) is no slouch, either. But let’s be real: This gig is all about Tyrese, right, the mononymous multihyphenate who’s having a banner 2015. In April, he returned as Dom and Brian’s pal Roman in Furious 7, and in July he dropped Black Rose, his first career No. 1 album. Still looking fresh at 36, dude could get by crooning the phone book, but Black Rose is a smooth collection of grownup R&B, particularly jazz-tinged hit single Shame and the Seal-like Without My Heart. Pray the bay doesn’t boil over from all this heat.
Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor
With Desaparecidos, the Menzingers, mewithoutYou, Into It. Over It., Pianos Become the Teeth, Lagwagon, Beach Slang, Riverboat Gamblers, Teenage Bottlerocket, Masked Intruder, Mustard Plug, more
WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY Two-day tickets are $70 through Saturday, $80 afterward; individual venue tickets are $10-$25, with some shows free. For a full schedule and details, see thefestfl.com/prefest.
Can’t make it to Gainesville for this year’s installment of the venerable punk festival known simply as Fest? No problem. For the third time, Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor returns to clubs around Ybor City, featuring dozens of bands playing Fest as well as a few who aren’t. Expect the Orpheum (1915 E Seventh Ave.) to be packed late into the night Wednesday, with emo-tinged acts like Desaparecidos (featuring Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst), the Menzingers, mewithoutYou and Into It. Over It. dominating the largest stage, at the Orpheum. Thursday’s headliners include Lagwagon, Teenage Bottlerocket, Masked Intruder, Beach Slang and the Riverboat Gamblers. But you can find quality acts at Crowbar, New World Brewery, Market on 7th and Tequilas. For a full schedule and details, see thefestfl.com/prefest.
With Brandy Clark, Ryan Kinder
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $43.75 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
On Dec. 3, Grammy-winning Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles will return for her sixth stint hosting CMA Country Christmas, a star-studded holiday special on ABC. One week later, she’ll play Dolly Parton’s mother in NBC’s Coat of Many Colors, based on Parton’s autobiographical song of the same name. You’ll have to wait until spring for Nettles’ second solo album, Playing With Fire . And you’ll have to wait longer still for new music from Sugarland, as both Nettles and bandmate Kristian Bush seem content going their separate ways for a while. “We’re still doing our solo projects,” Nettles said. “He just put a record out and has been touring wildly for that, and seems to be enjoying it very much. We’re both enjoying figuring ourselves out from a solo perspective.” In the meantime, Nettles returns to Clearwater Saturday for her second concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in 20 months. “The good thing is, sonically, the music itself sort of dictates each show,” she said. “This record is much fuller, I would say, so it’s going to allow for a lot more fun from a production standpoint.”
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Sold out. (727) 791-7400.
Decades after scoring massive radio-rock hits like Dream Police, Surrender, The Flame and I Want You To Want Me — not to mention one of the best-selling live albums of all time, Cheap Trick at Budokan — Rockford, Ill., quartet Cheap Trick is finally nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “I thought I’d probably be dead before we were nominated,” singer Robin Zander laughed recently. “But it is an honor and a privilege, and I really am flabbergasted. I’m very humbled by it. It’s rare that anybody gets in the Hall of Fame, and to be nominated is good enough for me.” For Zander, this sold-out show at the Capitol Theatre is something like a hometown gig — he lives just up the road in Safety Harbor.
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $42.50 and up. themahaffey.com.
UB40, the globe-conquering reggae-pop band UB40 is best known in the United States for chart-topping covers of Neil Diamond’s Red Red Wine and Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love. What have they been up to since then? Fighting, mostly — current and former members are engaged in legal warfare over the band’s name. There are currently two UB40s out there; the version that plays the Mahaffey Theater Friday features singer Ali Campbell, keyboardist Mickey Virtue and toaster Astro. For Florida fans starved for a taste of any UB40, it’ll do.
Gang of Four
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $20-$25. See statetheatreconcerts.com.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, English postpunk legends Gang of Four come to the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. While revered for jabbing, political ’70s-’80s albums like the classic Entertainment!, younger audiences may know Gang of Four best as an influence on acts like R.E.M., INXS, Franz Ferdinand and LCD Soundsystem. Guitarist Andy Gill is the sole remaining original member, but their two most recent albums, 2011’s Content and this year’s What Happens Next, have more sting and bite than your usual veteran comeback efforts.
With Alien Ant Farm, DJ Heavygrinder
FRIDAY 6 p.m. Ferg’s Live, 490 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $330, $70. (813) 443-8403.
Drowning Pool’s 2001 hit Bodies is going to come off a little awkward as they play a Ferg’s Live stage that is elevated way above the crowd below (“let the bodies hit the floor” is the lyric for anyone with a short memory). Everything else should be all good for the Dallas, Texas, heavy rock outfit, though, as they arrive at the downtown Tampa sports bar just a week after announcing that a new album, Hallelujah, will be released in January. Most of the band’s 2015 tour dates have found Drowning Pool playing their LP Sinners in full, front-to-back, but there are no guarantees at this less-than-traditional gig where Alien Ant Farm, who famously covered Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal a decade and a half ago, will open the show.
With Justin Townes Earle
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $30.50-$33. (727) 565-0550.
There will be no Allman Brothers shows at New York’s Beacon Theatre this March, and while that’s definitely a major bummer for any local fans who regularly make the trek, they’ll still be able to get at least a taste on Friday when Warren Haynes arrives for a show supporting a brand new, rather folksy and fiddle-wearing solo LP. Ashes and Dust is a 13-song collection that finds the 55-year-old Gov’t Mule frontman backed by Railroad Earth. The New Jersey Americana outfit won’t be there to back Haynes up on Friday, but do arrive early to catch a set from one of the country’s best and hardest pickers, Steve Earle offspring, Justin Townes Earle.
Alma Contra (Album Release)
With Young Egypt, Mark Castle, Bay Sir
FRIDAY 8 p.m. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S, St. Petersburg $5 (901) 619-1519.
After a few years of producing more left-field, yet still body-moving electronica, St. Petersburg producer Alma Contra took a dip in the mainstream last week and remixed High By the Beach by Lana Del Rey. The result — a chopped up, hazy, doubly-haunted, and more danceable look at the Lana classic — is just you’d expect from the young songsmith who has utilized Arabic vocal samples, washed-out high hat claps, and sub-sonic bass to quietly become one of the area’s best. He celebrates a new EP, Colour of Martyrs (being released via Atlanta’s Formal Logic Records), on Friday alongside Young Egypt, a longtime player in Tampa Bay’s experimental scene, as well as more pop-leaning Mark Castle and St. Pete emcee BaySir.
SATURDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $22-$100. (727) 895-3045.
YouTube gets billions of views daily, so it makes complete sense that the video streaming service would start to pump out some superstars. Cimorelli, a sibling sextet from Nashville, Tenn., are another example of the YouTube star phenomenon. The girls — Christina, Katherine, Lisa, Amy, Lauren, and Dani — range in age from 15 to 25 and started posting covers on their channel before getting signed to Island Records (a subsidiary of Universal Music). Two Teen Choice awards and several EPs later, Cimorelli tour the country spreading their super-positive and squeaky-clean pop to a following that includes 2.5 million Facebook fans and 635,000 Instagram followers.
With The Raging Nathans, Personal Best, Red Car Burns, Überyou, Davey Titltwheel, Awful People, more.
SUNDAY 5:30 p.m Xtra Medium Video Productions, 214 W Bay Drive, Largo. $10. (727) 584-4500.
Pre-Fest in Ybor City — which throws just about 100 bands into the historic district over just two days — is kind of like an international convention of punk, with bands and fans from all over the globe convening all in the name of music. This Sunday’s show at a Largo production studio (no booze or drugs, people) culls outfits from the UK (headliner Wonk Unit and Personal Best), Switzerland (Überyou), and Italy (Red Car Burns) together with Ohio’s The Raging Nathans, Davey Tiltwheel from southern California, plus Tampa’s own Awful People, and asks them to play rapid fire sets to warm everyone up before all the bands head to Ybor and then Gainesville for the big party — Fest 14.
Kenny K Celebration and Concert
With Shock G, Funkghost, Tiger The Hope Boy, Sharcore, Temp, Idiomz, more.
SUNDAY 6 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10 Donation. (813) 241-8600.
Hip hop fans or not, the bassy, distinguished low growl of Shock G — made famous on the Digital Underground’s 1989 hit Humpty Dance — is unmistakable. A couple years before its release, however, Mr. G — real name Gregory Jacobs — was running side by side with Kenneth Waters, a founding member of the group. Waters, a.k.a. Kenny K, died from liver disease in 1994, but will forever be remembered for his role in one of hip hop’s most influential outfits as well as his position as a WMNF DJ dedicated to playing hip hop from all over the country at a time when Miami booty and bass was all people cared about. His legacy will be celebrated on Sunday, with Shock G scheduled to take the stage alongside some of the area’s brightest young hip hop names.
MONDAY 7:30 p.m. Club Jaeb at David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29.50. (813) 229-7827.
Anaïs Mitchell is Ani DiFranco-approved, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The 34-year-old singer-songwriter recorded for DiFranco’s infamous Righteous Babe records from 2006 to 2010 before forming her own imprint, Wilderland Records, where she’s released three LPs of A-plus folk to much critical acclaim. She’s widely regarded as one of the best storytellers in the country, and a 2010 LP, Hadestown, is an epic folk opera that revolves around the myths of Orpheus, a legendary artist from Greek mythology. The project was intriguing enough to lure in Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (who contributed to several tracks on the opus), and it should play out splendidly at the Straz Center’s intimate Jaeb Theater.
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.
JR JR: They dropped the “Dale Earnhardt” from the front of their name after too many NASCAR fans arrived at their shows hoping to see the driver and not a group of Detroit dudes with five o’clock shadows and synthesizers. “People drive long distances to shows,” they said in a statement, “only to be disappointed when they realize it’s a neurotic Jew and wild-haired gentile they’ve paid to see.” The change of monikers hasn’t affected the boys’ sound, though. In fact, it’s made it more refined, and turned it into an even greater example of what can happen when kids who grow up loving the Beach Boys and Motown learn to play instruments. They support an excellent, lush, and dreamy new self-titled LP of electro pop at this stop where Brooklyn producer Brothertiger opens the show.
Mark Bryan, Fri. 6 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 644-7895.
Carb On Carb, Fri. With Blacksmith, Morris Bridge, Big Brother, Living Decent, Teen Love. 7 p.m. Xtra Medium Video Productions, 214 W Bay Drive, Largo. $8. (727) 584-4500.
The Peterson Brothers, Fri. 8 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $12-$25. (727) 822-3590.
Matt Butcher & the Schoolyard Band, Fri. With Mike Dunn & the Company. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969.
UV-TV, Sun. With Sleeping Pills, Shot. 8 p.m. American Legion Hall Seminole Post 111, 6928 Florida Ave., Tampa. $5-$7 Donation. (813) 236-2281.
Headhunterz, Fri. With Christian Alexander. 10 p.m. Amphitheatre Event Facility, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20. (813) 873-8368.
Tampa Pig Jig, Sat. With Eli Young Band, The Revivalists, Nikki Lane, Mark Bryan, JT Hodges, Allen Hunt. 12 p.m. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Dr., Tampa. $25$125 (813)274-8677.
Barb Wire Dolls, Sat. With Car Bomb Driver, Saganaki Bomb Squad. 8 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 424-1809.
Joey Bada$$, Sat. With Denzel Curry, Bishop Nehru, Nyck Caution. 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $30-$115. (813) 248-9500.
Uke It Out! Ukulele Festival, Sat. With Alex Bonyata and Bella Beyer, AmandaLynn, Poly Essence, Tom Hood and the Tropical Suns, JCT 27, Renee and the Rollers. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $9-$12. (813) 248-4969.
Soulfly, Sun. With Soilwork, Decapitated, Shattered Sun. 5 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $26. (727) 895-3045.
Fortunate Youth, Sun. With Stranger, Sensamotion. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 565-0550.
Charles Neville and Gent Treadly, Sun. 8 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
New Hollow, Sun. 8 p.m. St. Petersburg College Music Center, 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 341-4772.
HMTWN (Album Release), Sun. With Gat$, Scottie 808, Craig Tillman, Patrick Hughes. 10 p.m. The Bricks of Ybor, 1327 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 247-1785.
Streetlight Manifesto, Mon. With Dan Pottshast, Sycamore Smith. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $20-$23. (727) 565-0550.
Eliza Neal and the Narcotics, Tues. 7 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7. (813) 971-0666.
Bronze Radio Return, Tues. With The Roosevelts, Al Torchia and the Tattered Saints. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th Street, Ybor City. $12. (813) 241-8600.