This week in Tampa: Kenny Chesney, Leonard Cohen, Bad Religion, Deftones and more
A week after the Gasparilla Music Festival, Wild Splash and Blake Shelton at the Florida Strawberry Festival, are things calming down in Tampa Bay? Not likely. In fact, there's one concert on Saturday that's likely to draw more people than all three of those shows combined: Kenny Chesney with Eric Church, above, at Raymond James Stadium.
We've got the details on that show, plus Suburban Apologist's Ray Roa walks you through the other big shows this week -- including Bad Religion, Leonard Cohen, Jake Shimabukuro, Bruce Hornsby, Deftones, Hymn For Her, Queensryche, Bang Tango, Chris Tomlin, DJ Skribble, Afroman, the Moody Blues, Adrenaline Mob and more -- after the jump.
With Eric Church, Eli Young Band, Kacey Musgraves
SATURDAY 4 p.m. Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $25-$250. (800) 745-3000.
No offense to Tim McGraw and the Zac Brown Band, previous opening acts on Kenny Chesney’s annual stadium swing, but when Mr. No Shirt No Shoes No Problems picked Eric Church as his 2013 touring pal, the year’s biggest concert extravaganza finally became interesting. The likable, if artistically straight-forward, Chesney has had roughneck touring partners before; in 2005, he hit the road with Gretchen Wilson and Uncle Kracker, not exactly Bonnie and Clyde but not saints either. But there’s never been anyone quite like Church to get Kenny to indulge his inner bad boy. Maybe Kenny, 44, needed a little boost, something to inspire him. The guy has a superheroic work ethic, and genuine charisma, but even he admits the shows are a slog sometime. But this year, he certainly has a sparkplug in Church. The 35-year-old comes off like Kid Rock’s country cousin, a North Carolina eccentric who blends genuine outlaw edge (Smoke a Little Smoke, Drink in My Hand) with slick Music Row hooks (Springsteen) — and processes life, and stardom, on his own terms. Church has built a loyal, rabid grassroots fanbase that trumpets his refusal to play by the rules. Toss in the throngs supporting the touring bill’s other two acts — singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves and the Rascal Flatts-y Eli Young Band — and that’s a tough show to predict right there, which is rarely the case when Kenny comes to town. — Sean Daly
MONDAY 8 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $56 and up. (813) 229-7827.
While younger icons like The Smiths’ Morrissey whine about having to be on a late night talk show alongside the Duck Dynasty boys or playing venues that serve meat, 78-year-old Leonard Cohen has chosen to keep classing up the continent by extending his already exhaustive world tour. The Montreal-born singer, songwriter, novelist and poet-extraordinaire is known for playing marathon sets, so expect nothing less for this Monday night show, where Cohen will surely drop majestically melancholic folk gems like Suzanne and So Long Marianne, open-tuned epics like Darkness, and of course Hallelujah.
With Polar Bear Club
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $26. (813) 247-2555.
Coming up in the hardcore punk community is a catch-22. On one hand, bands are supported by some of the most rabid fans in music. The flip side is that those same fans often abandon acts when they move in new creative directions or gain popularity. Bad Religion, however, seem to have bucked that trend. The SoCal-based outfit has been at it for three decades now, releasing more than a dozen albums along the way. Their 2013 LP True North still retains the grit of their 1982 debut and frontman Greg Graffin — who has added college professor and author to his resume over the years — is as angry as he’s ever been. Beloved Gainesville outfit Against Me! dropped off the bill due to personnel issues, but having New York post-hardcore darlings Polar Bear Club on the ticket still makes it a must-see.
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $39 and up. (727) 791-7400.
He’s beloved by drunken Jimmy Buffett fans and admired by the flip-flopped, laid-back tribe of Jack Johnson supporters. His most famous songs are covers of George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and The Star Spangled Banner. He also does it without singing a single word. Jake Shimabukuros’s weapon of choice is a ukulele, and the 36-year-old Honolulu native makes the tiny, 19th century stringed instrument sing like no one else. His warm onstage presence and musical virtuosity impressed fans his at early Skipper’s Smokehouse shows years ago, but he’s since graduated to Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre, where his 2012 performance left the crowd in awed silence. There’s no reason he won’t do it again.
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $55 and up. (727) 791-7400.
Some people (like my super-expensive childhood piano teacher) play the piano with unworldly skill but no passion. Others (like my drunken uncle Shanz) assault the keys with hellfire, but possess the dexterity of an embalmed starfish. Bruce Hornsby is the marriage of those extremes. The 58-year-old’s influences and output range from classical to bluegrass and his resume reads like a schizophrenic who’s who of great musicians (he’s worked with everyone from Bonnie Raitt to the Grateful Dead). His live shows are even more all over the place. Hornsby is energetic and often picks up the accordion in between telling intimate stories about the time he’s put in on the circuit. He hasn’t released much new material over the last half-decade, so expect a lot of nostalgia, but a whole lot of fun too.
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $29.50 and up. (727) 565-0550.
Deftones never really got the Grammy sales bump that record labels love when their 2000 track Elite took home the hardware for Best Metal Performance, but the NoCal quintet never really needed it. Over the course of the band’s almost 30-year career, frontman Chino Moreno and company have established themselves as true sonic pioneers by blending willowy atmospherics with absolutely crushing riffage and elements of sampling. In retrospect, they pretty much helped bring the term “post-rock” into the mainstream and it’s garnered them a devoted following along the way.
Hymn For Her
FRIDAY 9 p.m., The Ale and The Witch, 111 2nd. Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.
As a “band of two and family of three,” Lucy Tight, Wayne Waxwing and their young daughter called a 16-foot 1961 Bambi Airstream trailer their home as they toured North America in support of their debut LP. After Tight and Waxwing — collectively known as Hymn For Her — recorded their brand-new album in Detroit, they pseudo-settled in the Sunshine State, where they’ve teamed up with Orlando hot sauce makers Armando y Jorge to create a salsa picante that bears the same name as the new record: Lucy & Wayne’s Smokin’ Flames. If it all seems too crazy to comprehend on paper, then head to The Ale and The Witch, where the duo will utilize a cigar box guitar (with broomstick handle), banjo, and general hillbilly silliness to scream, stomp and sweat through a free album/hot sauce release party.
Hideaway Café Four Year Anniversary
With Ronny Elliot, Gale Trippsmith, Pete Merrigan, Kate Reuter, Jim Gilmour, more.
SATURDAY 3 p.m. Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. Free. (727) 644-7895.
It’s a recording studio combined with a café that serves craft beer, wine, and drool-worthy food. And they’re celebrating their fourth birthday with an all-day shindig that finds The Hideaway Cafe continuing what they’ve been doing so well for nearly half a decade: Hosting some of Florida’s finest singer-songwriters in one of the most intimate settings this side of the Withlacoochee. Tampa’s Ronny Elliot, who has garnered national acclaim over the course of his nearly 50-year career, leads the bill, but he’ll be joined by equally insightful lyricists like St. Pete songstress Gale Trippsmith and the über-positive, saltwater-loving Pete Merrigan.
Rock The Crit
With Have Gun, Will Travel and Tribal Style
Saturday 4 p.m. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Dr., Tampa. Free. (813)274-8677.
Cigar City Brewing takes over downtown Tampa by hosting their annual Criterium & Street Festival, and while the high-speed (30-40 mph) bike race is the event’s crown jewel, Curtis Hixon Park continues its reign as one of the Bay area’s prettiest outdoor music venues by hosting a free concert featuring Have Gun, Will Travel, whose 2010 LP, Postcards From the Friendly City, single-handedly put Bradenton on the maps of Americana lovers across the country. Tampa-by-way-of-Jamaica-and-California reggae outfit Tribal Style — who cut their teeth in the ’90s playing backyard shows with Sublime in Long Beach, Calif. — are also playing this free show.
Queensryche Fri. 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $39.50 and up. (813) 247-2555.
Fat Night Fri. 10 p.m. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, 5119 N Nebraska, Ave., Tampa, Free. (813) 234-1000.
Satellite High Fri. 9 p.m. With DC9V, Indigenous Ways. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S. St. Petersburg. $7. (901) 619-1519. facebook.com/theventurecompound.
Bang Tango Fri. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. (727) 895-3045.
Chris Tomlin Sat. 7 p.m. With Louie Giglio. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $27.50 and up. (813) 974-3002.
Buffalo Strange Sat. 8 p.m. With Displace. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-10. (813) 971-0666.
Country Mice Sat. 9 p.m. With Funny Bunny, Yogurt Smoothness. New World Brewery 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Country In The Park Festival Sat. 8 p.m. With Restless Heart. England Brothers Park, 510 81st. Ave. N, Pinellas Park. Free. (727) 541-0895.
The Fritz Sat. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Sleeping with Sirens Sat. 6 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.
DJ Skribble Sun. 1 p.m. Shephard’s Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. shephards.com.
D’Visitors Sun. 10 p.m. The Hub, 519 N Franklin St., Tampa. Free. (813) 229-1553.
Afroman Sun. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. facebook.com/thelocal662.
World Of Drum & Bass Tour Sun. 8 p.m. With LTJ Bukem, DJ SS, Subpirate and more. Club Underground, 802 E Whiting St., Tampa. $15. (813) 221-3582.
The Moody Blues Sun. 7:30 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. Sold Out. (727) 892-5767.
Adrenaline Mob Tue. With Nothing More, From This Fire. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $16.50-$18. (813) 248-9500.
Chelsea Grin Wed. With Attila, Betraying the Martyrs, Within the Ruins, Buried in Verona, Exotype. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$17. (813) 248-9500.
Tornado Rider Wed. 8 p.m. With Between Bluffs. Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 248-2356.
The Ghost Inside Wed. 7 p.m. With Rotting Out, Stray From The Path, Stick To Your Guns. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $17. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Emperor X Thu. 8 p.m., With Alexander Charos, The Other Ryan Willis. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S., St. Petersburg. $5. (901) 619-1519. facebook.com/theventurecompound.
-- Ray Roa