This week in Tampa: Maroon 5, Kid Rock, Depeche Mode, Kelly Clarkson, J.Cole, Loretta Lynn, Steely Dan and more
If you missed our annual fall concert preview that ran this week, click here to get the scoop on three and a half months of spectacular shows, including Kanye West, Drake, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Imagine Dragons, the Lumineers, Fall Out Boy, Josh Groban, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and many, many more.
But first: What's happening this week?
A ton, actually, This is one of those insane concert weekends, with local shows by Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, J.Cole, Wale, Pet Shop Boys (above), Depeche Mode, Kid Rock, Loretta Lynn, Rick Springfield, Steely Dan, Del McCoury Band, Bat For Lashes, ZZ Top, Gucci Mane, Travie McCoy, Thomas Gold and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...
With Kelly Clarkson, PJ Morton
FRIDAY 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $35.50 and up. (813) 740-2446.
They’ve only released three albums since stellar debut LP Songs About Jane, but Maroon 5 have maintained a healthy pop-culture glow in the course of their decade-long career, thanks to frontman Adam Levine’s role as a judge on NBC’s The Voice and an ever-evolving brand of rock 'n’ roll that darts between modern dance (Love Somebody), kitschy pop (Misery), and pop-rock (This Love). Kelly Clarkson, for her part, is still the most successful American Idol (can’t argue with three Grammy wins) with a sharp tongue (Clarkson recently Tweeted “#pitchystrippers” during the VMAs), infectious enthusiasm and solid five-piece discography to boot.
FRIDAY 8 p.m., David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $47.50-$59.50. (813) 229-7827.
J. Cole and Wale are just two of the rappers mentioned in a recent controversial verse from west coast MC Kendrick Lamar, but one doesn’t get called out to battle without a good reason. Cole is a confident, Carolina-based army brat with a penchant for crafting soul-drenched hip hop (Crooked Smile, Power Trip) and enough self-assuredness to release his latest album on the same day as Kanye West. Wale comes from the nation’s capital, where he’s made his Nigerian parents proud by using his Internet savvy and indelible wit (he’s a self-professed Seinfeld nerd who’s paid homage to the series on a pair of mixtapes) to craft his own version of the American dream: a lucrative career in rap music.
Pet Shop Boys
FRIDAY 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $29.50-$99.50. (727) 892-5767.
“Inventive,” “graceful,” “satiric” and “affecting” are a few descriptors that have been tossed in Pet Shop Boys’ direction, but Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe don’t drown in the hype, choosing to craft intelligent, undeniably danceable electro-pop instead. Their output over the last quarter-century includes a dozen LPs that bury introspective narratives about our humanity (What Keeps Mankind Alive?), sin (The Sodom and Gomarrah Show), and thinking for oneself (Left To My Own Devices) deep into infectious dance music. A new album, Electric, continues the long and legendary legacy of PSB, making this show less of a victory lap and more of a look into the boys’ continued success and relevance.
With Macy Kate
FRIDAY 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35-$150. (727) 791-7400.
Rick Springfield just couldn’t stay away from Jessie’s Girl, and boy, did it pay off. The Australian-born singer released four LPs of solid rock 'n’ roll before Working Class Dog broke through in 1981, but he rode the triumph of Dog’s hit single and turned it into a career that’s seen him move millions of records, earn a Grammy, spend time on beloved soap opera General Hospital and even moonlight as an author (the 64-year-old’s 2010 memoir Late, Late At Night nearly cracked the Top 10 of the New York Times bestsellers list). One of his biggest songs may have been Don’t Talk To Strangers, but über-fans will have a chance to get cozy with him at this show by purchasing surprisingly reasonable meet 'n’ greet tickets for $150.
SATURDAY 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Sold out. (727) 791-7400.
In a recent chat with Rolling Stone, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen and Walter Becker sardonically discussed the band’s upcoming tour, noting that they’ve grown tired of playing songs like Rikki Don’t Lose That Number and currently feel as if a solid track like Change Of The Guard from their 1972 debut album plays more like “filler.” The Dan’s fans, however, don’t share the sentiment. They’ve sold out Ruth Eckerd Hall, and will treat cuts like Peg, Reeling In The Years and Aja with the same kind of reverence that Fagen and Becker themselves probably exuded when they were busy crafting a catalogue of sophisticated, genre-melding songs that made them rock 'n’ roll legends.
WMNF Birthday Party
With Ana Popovic, Del McCoury Band, Shamarr Allen and The Underdawgs, Betty Fox Band, Tommy Malone Band, The Tampa Collective.
SATURDAY and SUNDAY, Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $25-30. (813) 971-0666.
In May, Serbian singer-guitarist Ana Popovic was the consensus standout act of WMNF’s Ybor-based bacchanal of music & community: Tropical Heatwave. On Saturday, she brings her firebrand style of blues licks and solos to Skipper’s Smokehouse to help the radio station celebrate 34 years on air. Her performance is part of a two-day celebration that kicks off the night before when bluegrass holy man Del McCoury brings his immaculately manicured hair and even more pristine and revered delivery of American roots music (listen to 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, then understand) to one of the area’s most storied and respected live music venues.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $29.50-$50.50. (727) 893-7832.
Indefatigable singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn plays the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Saturday, the hippest, most history-rich concert on this music-packed weekend in Tampa Bay. The sassy star of Butcher Hollow, Ky., is a national treasure not just for her music (Fist City, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Rated X), but for giving feisty voice to strong, working-class women the world over. It’s no surprise that current Nashville stars such as Miranda Lambert, her side group the Pistol Annies and Carrie Underwood all list Lynn as a personal hero. Sixty years ago, Lynn’s husband bought her a guitar — and she’s been playing ever since. — Sean Daly
With Bat For Lashes
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $29-$99.50. (813) 740-2446, livenation.com.
Not a day passes on an ’80s radio station when you don’t hear Personal Jesus, Enjoy the Silence, Policy of Truth, People Are People or any other of Depeche Mode’s icy, moody, alterna-pop hits. The ’80s synth-rock icons have influenced artists ranging from the Killers to Arcade Fire to Linkin Park, and their new album, the electro-bluesy Delta Machine, has received solid reviews all around. Opening this show is English goth-pop singer Bat For Lashes, which would be reason enough to dust off your Dr. Martens and hit the town on a Saturday night. -- Jay Cridlin
With ZZ Top, Uncle Kracker
SUNDAY 6:45 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $20. (813) 740-2446.
As a big opponent of the secondary ticket market (we not-so-wealthy music fans call it “scalping”), Bob Ritchie literally puts his money where his mouth is, and gives a big middle finger to the concert industry on the “$20 Best Night Ever Tour.” The 42-year-old Detroit rocker/rapper/all-around-entertaining-dude better known as Kid Rock is charging just $20 for all tickets, lowering prices on concessions, and reserving the really good seats for fans that will be upgraded, for free, at random. There won’t really be a dull moment, either since his 22-year-old discography is littered with hits like Bawitiba, All Summer Long and American Bad Ass. The opening acts, Uncle Kracker and ZZ Top, easily make this show the best value of the summer.
With Alexander Charos
SATURDAY 4 p.m., Microgroove, 4906 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 667-7089.
From the panhandle all the way to Key West, the Sunshine State is a strange concoction of transients looking for warm weather and born-and-raised types who wouldn’t dare leave home. Mrenc’s debut mini LP All Around Surround is a close-to-perfect soundtrack for all of those sunburned, salt-washed souls. Calling the heart of Florida (aka “Orlampa”) home, Mrenc mastermind Eric Collins — a former member of beloved FL acts Denison Marrs and The Dark Romantics — comes to Microgroove (HQ for treasured Tampa record label New Granada) for a free show celebrating Surround’s eight tracks which range from jangly, echo-drenched anthems (The Architects) to brooding, apocalyptic meditations (The Wolves).
Ms. Mada Fri. With Brian Busto. 10 p.m. Hyde Park Café, 1806 W Platt St., Tampa. $10 (free for ladies). (813) 254-2233.
Losin’ It Fri. With Shovelhead, Backfire, Patience, 3 Knee Deep. 7 p.m. Epic Problem, 4215 E Columbus Dr., Tampa. $7. (813) 382-3477.
Bro Safari Fri. With UFO, Nerd Rage, Mr. Saturn, Winta. 9 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$15. (813) 873-8368.
Gucci Mane Fri. 10 p.m. The Hall, 133p 10th St. E, Palmetto. $35. (941)723-4300.
David Nail Fri. 7 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 987-2855.
Set It Off Fri. With Stages And Stereos, Airsickness, Musicbox. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$13. (813) 248-9500 or theorpheum.com.
Colin Ward and Hank Woji CD release Fri. With Rebekah Pulley and Rob Pastore. 6 p.m. Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $5. (727) 644-7895.
Stokeswood Sat. With Funny Bunny, DJ Travis Lindsey. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8-$10. (813) 241-8600.
Katie O’Gorman and No Milk Sat. With Night Migrations, Rahim Samad. 10 p.m. Bricks of Ybor, 1327 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 247-1785.
Swaralaya Concert Sat. With Abhishek Raghuram, Ganesh Prasad, Neyveli Narayanan. 5 p.m. USF Public Health Auditorium, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 397-9667.
Blair Crimmins and The Hookers Sat. 7:30 p.m. The Coliseum Ballroom, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 892-5202.
Lions After Dark CD release Sat. With The Real Clash, Oliver and Company. 7:30 p.m. Club Detroit, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 673-2949.
Jeff Black Sun. With Rebekah Pulley. 7:30 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $20-$25. (727) 822-3590.
Born Gold Sun. With Michael Parallax, Godsnack. 7 p.m. Fun Gully (house show), 1917 La Salle St., Tampa. $5 suggested donation. (571) 242-4450.
Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band Tue. With Charlie Dandelion Band. 7 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.
Thomas Gold Wed. With Tony Puccio, Dasky, Sonny Glover. 10 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. 20-$30. (813) 247-2555.
Travie McCoy Thu. With Batsquads Ax, Tim Williams. 7 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20 and up. (813) 873-8368.
-- Ray Roa, tbt*