This week in Tampa: Pearl Jam, Tampa Bay Blues Festival, USF Bullstock, Dawes and more
One of Tampa Bay's biggest festivals flies back into town this weekend, as the Tampa Bay Blues Fest gets going with Aaron Neville, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Walter Trout, JJ Grey and Mofro and more.
Also on the docket this week in Tampa Bay: Pearl Jam, Dawes, Sunn O))), the Wilson Van, Chris Young, Hiss Golden Messenger, Montgomery Gentry, G. Love and Special Sauce, Napalm Death, Melvins, Melt-Banana, Afroman, W&W, Corey Smith, Keiko Matsui, All-American Rejects and this year's USF Bullstock, featuring New Politics, BORNS, the Maine, Mayday Parade and more. (Also, Morgan Page's concert will no longer take place at the Amphitheatre, following the fire there Wednesday night. We'll keep you posted on a new location.)
Here to walk you through it all are Ray Roa and Jay Cridlin...
The Wilson Van
With the Ries Brothers
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20. thewilsonvan.com
After wiping up the Sioux Falls Massacre on Season 2 of Fargo, Golden Globe-nominated actor Patrick Wilson is back in St. Petersburg, ready to revive the Wilson Van with brothers Mark and Paul. For their latest hometown gig, benefitting their new Wilson Family Foundation, the bros will mix Van Halen and classic rock covers in with a few originals, with Paul and Patrick sharing lead vocals and WTVT-Ch. 13 anchor Mark on lead guitar. Their shows are always fun, and as a bonus, rising Clearwater sibling duo, the Ries Brothers, who were just tabbed to open shows for the Allman Brothers Band’s Butch Trucks, will open this one.
Tampa Bay Blues Festival
With Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Aaron Neville, Walter Trout, JJ Grey and Mofro, Curtis Salgado, Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, more
FRIDAY-SATURDAY 12:30 p.m., SUNDAY 1 p.m. Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg. $30-$40 per day ($150-$200 VIP), or $95 for the weekend ($450 VIP). tampabaybluesfest.com
In 2011, the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tenn., gave the Tampa Bay Blues Festival a prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive” award as the best blues festival in America. “For us, it’s like a Grammy or an Emmy — you can’t get any better,” festival founder and president Charles Ross said. “It’s a recognition that the Tampa Bay Blues Festival has reached the upper echelon of music events that include blues music.” That legacy continues in the 22nd year, which runs today through Sunday in St. Petersburg. This year’s headliners include Kenny Wayne Shepherd on Friday, Aaron Neville and J.J. Grey and Mofro on Saturday, and Walter Trout on Sunday. If the weather’s good, some 30,000 fans might pack the park. “It’s become a destination event for blues aficionados from around the world,” Ross said. “Our ticket presales are probably 70 percent from outside the state of Florida. This year we’ve mailed tickets to Brazil, Netherlands, Italy, Canada, Virgin Islands, Sweden, England … tell me when to stop.” The event opens with a $20 pre-party at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N; Victor Wainwright will perform. Late-night after-parties ($20 apiece) are at the Palladium on Friday and Saturday.
MONDAY 8 p.m. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $67.25. (813) 301-2500 or amaliearena.com.
Twenty-five years after their landmark album Ten, Pearl Jam is gearing up for one of their busiest years in quite some time, launching a high-profile tour that includes headlining slots at Bonnaroo and New Orleans Jazz Fest, and a nearly sold-out concert Monday at Amalie Arena, their first Tampa show in a decade. It’s not exactly a campaign for enshrinement into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but staying so visible in 2016 won’t hurt their case when they become eligible this fall. And it’s hard to imagine they won’t get in. Pearl Jam have long been considered a grunge band, but they’re really traditional rock populists at heart. Singer Eddie Vedder has personally delivered Rock Hall induction speeches for the Doors, Neil Young, R.E.M. and the Ramones; he has shared stages with Tom Petty, Brian Wilson and the Rolling Stones. And the band’s exhilarating live shows are furious, hourslong, career-spanning affairs, splattered with all the huge hits, sing-along covers and surprising album cuts, and never, ever performed the same way twice. Only one other group can make such a claim, and that’s Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Talk about a heck of a shortlist.
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.
So, the name: Sunn O))). It’s pronounced “sun,” like the amplifier brand Sunn; the “O)))” represents the soundwaves in Sunn’s company logo. If you find that deliberately confusing, just wait until you hear Sunn O)))’s music. For nearly 20 years, the experimental drone metal pioneers have been one of the loudest, weirdest, hardest-to-parse bands on the planet, with the guitars of cloaked core members Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson decimating all who stand in their path. It’s arguably more jazz than metal, an opaque wall of tones with plenty of dissonance and very little melody — it’s almost better felt than heard. Come get some, if you dare.
With Hiss Golden Messenger
SUNDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25-$30 (727) 895-3045. statetheatreconcerts.com.
If you dig Levi’s and Laurel Canyon, you’ll love Dawes, who return to St. Petersburg on Sunday for a night of dusty California rock in the vein of the Eagles, Jackson Browne and Buffalo Springfield. Swim into their catalog and get lost in comforting gold like Fire Away, Time Spent in Los Angeles or Most People; or admire Taylor Goldsmith’s biting lyrics on Things Happen, from 2015’s All Your Favorite Bands. Sweetening this show’s pitcher of tea are openers Hiss Golden Messenger, whose sunny backwoods folk-rock — part Parsons, part Petty — charmed fans at the 2015 Gasparilla Music Festival.
FRIDAY 7 p.m. The Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 987-2855.
There’s never been a better reason to book an Airbnb in Brandon. The weekly concert calendar doesn’t normally lead live music fans to that part of the woods, but country line-dancing mecca Dallas Bull exercises quite the pull when they book big names to play their concert hall on 301. Montgomery Gentry are the culprits this time, and while they’ve been making a loud noise for some time now (the won Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2000 CMA Awards), the boys — Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry — still pump out new music. They arrive in support of last year’s Folks Like Us, but will likely pull from every corner of an eight-piece discography that loves drinking with high school friends (Where I Come From), driving late night (Headlights), and taking tongue-in-cheek stabs at dudebros (One In Every Crowd).
With New Politics, BØRNS, The Maine, Mayday Parade, Assuming We Survive, Reckless Serenade, Saved By Friday, Rising Down
FRIDAY 5 p.m. USF Sun Dome parking lot, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 974-3004.
If you’re long out of college yet still find yourself getting creative with ramen noodles, then the University of South Florida’s annual, open-to-the-public Bullstock concert might be the one for you. The ticket price is zero dollars, and the lineup looks like it was plucked right out of 97X’s Next Big Thing poster. The evening’s headliners — New Politics — are a Danish indie-pop trio riding high on a hit song called Harlem, and the rest of the talent ranges from sultry electro-dance (BØRNS’ 10,000 is a summer sleeper hit), crunchy pop punk (The Maine), radio-ready piano pop (Mayday Parade), and the winners from USF’s recent battle of the bands. More information is available at usf.edu/student-affairs.
G. Love & Special Sauce
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $28.75. (727) 565-0550.
At 43 years old, it feels like seasoned guitar man Garrett Dutton is still finding new layers of stank to work into his blue-eyed, cornbread-eatin’ brand of Philadelphia blues. The songwriter — better known as G. Love — and his band Special Sauce have been slinking around on slide guitars and juke-joint harmonica since their 1994 eponymous debut LP, and a new album, 2015’s Love Saves the Day, finds Dutton and some very special company riding high on more of those demons. He taps Lucinda Williams to take on Lead Belly’s New York City and gets in touch with his longtime affiliation with the jam band scene by tapping both Citizen Cope and Ozomatli to lend their talents to songs like Muse and Let’s Have a Good Time.
With Melvins, Melt-Banana
SATURDAY 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $22-$25. (813) 248-9500.
No offense to Napalm Death, but this bill feels upside down. Yes, the meaty middle of the sandwich, King Buzzo and the Melvins, is probably going to be the most enjoyable part thanks to the Washington state outfit’s now-legendary untethered take on doom, sludge and slime, but there’s isn’t a reason not to get to doors when they open since you won’t want to miss a set from Melt-Banana. The Japanese noise-rock duo are one of the most progressive bands playing in the post-punk genre, and while most of their songs clock in at well under two minutes, there’s plenty of shrieking guitar, sampled noise, and ear-shredding screaming from frontwoman Yasuko Onuki to keep you thrashing and then thinking for months to come.
Jeremy Gloff Album Release
With Purr Purr Purr, Funny Bunny
SATURDAY 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
In the Tampa music scene, you won’t find many more people who embody the word “longevity” better than Jeremy Gloff. In a new song, When I Was 19, the 41-year-old songwriter sings that he “never thought about getting older,” but the title of his latest album — To Those Who Survived — suggests that Gloff, who is celebrating the release of his 20th studio LP on Saturday, feels grateful about making it this far. He is a heart-on-the-sleeve, always-there-for-you kind of friend who has refused to fit into the mold, musically and personally. (Dig up some of his “Dear Gloffy” advice columns.) Expect lots of hugs at the show and nothing less than another lyrical and sonic evolution on the new album. Shae Krispinsky’s cat-rap project, Purr Purr Purr, opens alongside Kim Lepley’s Funny Bunny.
2016 DMC Tampa Regional
With Chris Karns, DJ Sureshot, Charlie Chase, Rob Riggs, more.
SUNDAY 6 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10-$15. (813) 241-8600.
Some go to church on Sunday mornings, but in Ybor there’s another contingent that goes to a different sanctuary later in the evening. Praise for the DJ gets amped up for this particular Sabbath at Crowbar thanks to the 2016 DMC Tampa Regional where competitors will pit their two-minute routines against the others’ in the elimination rounds of a tournament. The goal is to be one of the DJs selected for a final where the best six-minute scratch-and-mix session will send the winner to national finals. Chris Karns, winner of the 2011 DMC World Championships (as well as three Red Bull Thre3style titles) will be on hand to showcase, and he’ll also man the decks at a special edition of Ol’ Dirty Sundays that will send the sounds of hip hop, reggae, soul and funk swirling into Ybor City’s atmosphere.
With Boy Without Batteries, Nestrogen, Shadrew, Ugly Spud
SUNDAY 9 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. Facebook.com/thelocal662.
In 2013, Soundcheck lauded Mega Jam, a “Mega Man” cover band specializing in eight-bit tunes, for bringing nerd life to St. Petersburg. Three years later it’s good to see the 600 block is still embracing the culture. The love affair gets renewed thanks to (T-T)b’s Total Vacation mini-tour where the Boston chiptune outfit spins video game sounds into pure pop bliss on songs like Slurred Words (Hot Satan) from a forthcoming LP, Good Talk. The bill even includes Winter Haven’s Nestrogen, who wrote most of his 2015 album, Her Parents Have Cool Vaccuums , on a Nintendo Gameboy. Atlanta dream pop outfit Shadrew and Tampa’s own nanoloop specialist Ugly Spud round out a show that is criminally devoid of a cover charge.
With Veiny Hands, Drug, DJ Fuego
WEDNESDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 248-4969.
Wednesday evenings at New World Brewery are always a laid-back affair thanks to the beloved Ybor City watering hole’s Acoustic BBQ series, but every now and then hump days feature one heck of a double bill. That’s what happens this week when Los Angeles indie-pop trio TV Girl comes to the patio. The boys’ tunes, which were good on their 2013 EP Lonely Weekend then exceptional on a 2014 album French Exit, are mostly carefree, and wear the influences of old television, hip hop, and doo-wop loudly while a silly, almost nihilistic, chillwave-noir vibe simmers in the background. “Our new hit record has manifested fully formed, as if by magic,” they said to hype a new LP, Who Really Cares. “You can download it for free or buy it on the obsolete media format of your choice.” A very busy St. Pete songwriter, Jasmine Deja, brings her Veiny Hands project to open the show.
Afroman, Fri. With NoNeed. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. (727) 895-3045.
Extra Celestial, Fri. With A Long Way From Kansas, INKBLOT, Surviving the Mile, Abandoned Royalty. 7 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $5-$7. (813) 971-0666.
Friday Extra Concert Series, Fri. With Kraig Kenning, Newsome High School Chamber Winds. 7 p.m. Water Works Park, 1710 N Highland Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 274-8615.
Claudia Schmidt, Fri. 7 p.m. Craftsman House Gallery, 2955 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 323-2787.
Keiko Matsui, Fri. 8 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $34.50-$54.50. (727) 587-6793.
Corey Smith, Sat. With Morgan Myles. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $22-$27. (727) 565-0550.
The Bloody Jug Band, Sat. 8:30 p.m. The Ale and The Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.
Chris Young, Sat. 6 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Dr., Tampa. Free with park admission. Toll-free 1-888-800-5447.
Poetry N’ Lotion (Tom Murray Farewell Show), Sat. With End of Daisies, John Nowicki. 10 p.m. The Hub, 519 N Franklin St., Tampa. Free. (813) 229-1553.
W&W, Sun. With Joe Maz, Kidd Leow, Kid U Not. 2 p.m. Shephard’s Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. $15 and up. (727) 441-6875.
All-American Rejects, Sun. 6 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Dr., Tampa. Free with park admission. Toll-free 1-888-800-5447.
Chant The Trees, Sun. 6:30 p.m. The Independent, 5020 N Florida Ave., Tampa, Free. (813) 341-4883.
Classic Albums Live: Fleetwood Mac — Rumors, Sun. 7:30 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $35-$50. (727) 791-7400.
Antifest Hangover, Sun. With Divorce Ring, Virgin Flower, Burnt Hair, Bacon Grease, Toiler, Groovslave, Vantage Planets. 8 p.m. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $5. (901) 619-1519.
Lord Almighty, Mon. With Grave Gnosis, L.O.R.E. 8:30 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 424-1809.
Dawns, Thurs. With Sleeping Pills, Slumberjack. 10 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
-- Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa