This week in Tampa: John Mayer, Jason Aldean, Zedd, Diana Ross, Rancid and more
The first weekend of September officially launches what will be a killer fall concert season in Tampa Bay. This weekend alone, you've got shows by John Mayer, Jason Aldean, Rancid, Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace and Zedd, and next week we'll have Diana Ross, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and Joe Satriani. And then there are shows by Pepper, Blue October, Engelbert Humperdinck, Robin Zander Band, Phillip Phillips, Jake Owen, Thomas Rhett, Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull, Dada Life and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...
With Oliver, Alex Metric
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Sold out. (813) 247-2555.
As a DJ, Zedd is in demand from Ibiza to Miami. As a producer and pop hitmaker, he’s big enough to command an opening slot on Lady Gaga’s tour — and perhaps you saw him as the only EDM act at last December’s 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball in Tampa. That’ll happen when you’ve produced some of the biggest pop-EDM crossover hits of the past year, including Spectrum with Matthew Koma and Clarity with Foxes. So it’s no surprise this show sold out weeks ago. The Russian-born, Germany-based DJ’s live shows are normally blitzkriegs of lights and progressive house beats, but it’s unclear how this tour will evolve after a tragic opening night in Boston, when one fan died and two more were hospitalized following apparent drug overdoses. He’s since hit the road for more sold-out gigs, but as he tweeted the other day, “PLEASE, everyone... BE RESPONSIBLE!” — Jay Cridlin
With Phillip Phillips
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $36-$89.70. (813) 740-2446.
John Mayer is the obnoxious crooner whose mouth is more famous then his music, but closer examination of the 35-year-old’s trajectory reveals that there might be a bit more going on. Yes, he’s still dating celebrities (current flame Katy Perry is rumored to be tagging along on this current tour), but the guy quit Twitter, was literally silenced by the surgical removal of throat granulomas, and even moved out of L.A. to rehab in Bozeman, Mont. (pop. 37,000) where his vocal inability to hit high notes spawned a pair of subdued albums showcasing stronger songwriting and newfound humility. A respected blues guitarist who probably has Clapton and Buddy Guy on speed dial, Mayer still has a hungry following (he hasn’t toured in two years) that will wilt at the sight and sound of their hero.
With Jake Owen, Thomas Rhett, DeeJayy Silver
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25.50-$73.90. (813) 740-2446.
He’s only 36, but Jason Aldine Williams has been grooming himself for showbiz for more than two decades now. The My Kind Of Party and Dirt Road Anthem singer spent his Homestead, Fla. summer days practicing guitar while dad was at work (evenings were spent jamming with pops after he returned home), and his mother allowed him to spend his teens performing in Macon, Ga. VFW halls, which led to a gig in Nashville South’s house band at just 15. Aldean (who changed his name for the sake of entertainment) eventually turned a love for George Williams, Alabama, and Hank Williams Jr. into a career that’s been highlighted by dozens of Grammy, Country Music Television and American Country Music award nominations, with more than a few wins to boot.
Rec Center EP release
With DieAlps!, The Pals
SATURDAY 9 p.m., New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
It took Tampa quintet Rec Center a whole decade to record and release a debut full-length, 2012’s Tin Year. They didn’t waste any time on a follow-up. A new, self-titled 7-inch is actually a collection of tracks that didn’t make the LP, but if the painfully sweet lead single Without A Scratch — with its gentle keys, lazy guitar and warm vocal harmonizing between singers Susie Ulrey and Michael Waksman — is any indication, then this show is going to be the celebration of a solid set of songs that all stand tall and proud on their own. Fellow Tampanians DieAlps! are also on the bill alongside The Pals — whose recorded output is like a series of hypnotizingly addictive dream pop haymakers — which makes this bill something like an indie-pop prom.
With Tim Timebomb and Friends, The Interrupters
SATURDAY 6:30 p.m., Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $29.50. (727) 565-0550.
Green Day flies the biggest and most visible punk rock banner in the world of mainstream rock 'n’ roll, but another NorCal outfit, Rancid, are right behind them with a big-ass flag of their own. Formed in the early ’90s from the ashes of beloved ska-punkers Operation Ivy, Rancid, helmed by Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman, have put together an impressive nine-piece discography bursting with energetic songs that find them joyfully dictating the magic of the Motor City (Detroit), being duped by drug addicts (Dope Sick Girl), and waxing poetic on the ups and downs of living in the U.S.A. (Lady Liberty). Opening act Time Timebomb and Friends is essentially a Rancid side project, so expect to see a band alive with fresh inspiration at this one.
97X Green Room: One Night Only
With Laura Jane Grace, Andy Hull, Jason DeVore
SATURDAY 7 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Free with ticket (see 97Xonline.com for ticket info). (727) 791-7400.
97X pretty much owns the free concert game lately, and the next installment of their intimate Green Room Live series is no exception to the rule. The show will take over the warm and welcoming confines of Ruth Eckerd Hall as Authority Zero frontman Jason DeVore and Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull work through stripped down versions of their respective bands’ best cuts. The real draw, however, will be Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, who arrives to represent a beloved Florida band that is both rising and going through some tough personnel changes (bassist Andrew Sewards just called it quits and Grace, who formerly went by the name Tom Gabel, is in the early stages of gender transition).
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m., The Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. $69.50-$129.50. (727) 892-5767.
Even as she approaches her 70s, soul-pop-disco-R&B queen Diana Ross still reigns Supreme. The singer/actress gets flack for leaving the group that launched her career, but ditching her bandmates only seemed to boost a career that has seen her dominate the charts (the Guinness Book Of World Records once dubbed her most successful female music artist in history), earn two stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, and influence countless future generations (Michael Jackson listed her as an inspiration, and millennials will forever recognize I’m Coming Out thanks to a gratuitous rap sample on the Bad Boy Records hit Mo Money Mo Problems). It’s sad to know that legends are at the end of their run, but this show looks to be less of a last tribute and more of a straight-up professing of her fans’ Endless Love.
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Rd., Clearwater. $41-$300. (727) 791-7400.
Joe Satriani once sued Coldplay because he thought frontman Chris Martin and company stole the melody from his own 2004 cut If I Could Fly, and if it seems like you’d need to have some major cojones to get into it with one of the world’s most popular bands, then you obviously aren’t familiar with Mr. Satriani. The 57-year-old guitarist’s resume includes a stint in Mick Jagger’s touring band, a job with U.K. hard rock kings Deep Purple and the distinction of calling fellow six-string sorcerers Steve Vai and Eric Johnson friends. This tour stop (complete with $300 VIP packages) is happening in support of a new album of ultra-riffage and over-the-top soloing (Unstoppable Momentum), so expect guitar nerds to come out in full force.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
THURSDAY 7 p.m., Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $30 and up. (727) 565-0550.
By all accounts, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros’ last Bay-area appearance was a rain-soaked affair that doubled as a wet menagerie of smiling faces, dancing and irrepressibly positive tunes. Mother Nature may or may not cooperate again, but no matter. The Los Angeles collective tours with about a dozen members, and the troupe’s brand of uplifting folk-pop is both a pass for every up-and-coming folkie as well as a feel-good, innocently pure throwback to the days of free love, peace signs and “can’t we all just get along.” The group makes no distinction between venues (they’ve played everywhere from public parks to amphitheatres), and frontman Alex Ebert has an undeniable gift for connecting with almost every face in the crowd, which should make for another unforgettable, uplifting evening.
Blue October Fri. With Courrier, Tori Vasquez. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $27.50 and up. (727) 565-0550.
Saganaki Bomb Squad Fri. With Fall On Purpose, Signal Ninety-Two, Best Day Ever. 8 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 424-1809.
Poetry 'n Lotion CD release Fri. With Nervous Turkey, the Brand New Opiates. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $6. (813) 248-4969.
Grant Peeples and Sarah Mac CD release Fri. With Rebecca Zapen, Erik Avalar. 8 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. 12-$15. (727) 822-3590.
Come Back Alice Fri. With Freddy’s Finest. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.
4 Ever Endeavour Fri. With Escape Tonight, Devil Made Microphones, Verse, Mega Jam, 3D Burn. 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $8. Facebook.com/thelocal662.
Robin Zander Band Sat. With SJ. 6 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25-$100. (727) 644-7895.
Celestial Latin Jazz Orchestra Sat. 7:30 p.m. Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. $14-$20. (813) 269-1310.
LiferFest Sat. With Giggle River, Echols, Ironing, Pathetic Sex, Empty Walls, Wet Nurse, Memphibians, Johnny Raygun, Blast and the Detergents. 6 p.m. Epic Problem, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $6. (813) 382-3477.
Matthew Fowler Sat. With Mountain Holler, Glass Bottom Boats. 9 p.m. Sacred Grounds, 4819 E Busch Blvd., Tampa. Free. (813) 983-0837.
Que Maravilha Sun. 2 p.m. Museum Of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. $10 and up. (727) 896-2667.
Dada Life Tues. With Pegboard Nerds, Docco, Nerd Rage. 9:30 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25 and up. (813) 873-8368.
Rick “Dusty” Durst benefit show Tue. With The Danks, Loco Siempre, Harry Hayward, David Lane, Lyle Russell. 7 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10 suggested donation. (813) 971-0666.
Pepper Wed. With Grieves, RDGLDGRN. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 565-0550.
Engelbert Humperdinck Wed. 7 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $39-$69. (727) 892-5767.
Bridge The Gap Tour Wed. With Austin Millz, Will Brennan, SL Jones, Scott Aye, Samurai Shotgun, West Egg, Mighty Jai. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $5-$15. (813) 248-9500 or theorpheum.com.
Rise Of The Inferno With Raven, M-Pire Of Evil, Voz, Slikk Wikked. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 248-9500 or theorpheum.com.
Gravity A Thurs. 8 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
-- Ray Roa, tbt*