This week in Tampa: Ray LaMontagne, the Go-Go's, Bridgit Mendler, Carnage, moe. and more
This Fourth of July weekend, it's party time in Tampa Bay. Hogan's Beach has a three-day bash featuring DJ Carnage, Love and Theft and Pitbull Toddler, among others. Pinellas Park has a hair metal festival with Winger, Slaughter, Stephen Pearcy and Great White. Ruth Eckerd Hall has an '80s lady-rock extravaganza with the Go-Go's, Scandal's Patty Smyth and Naked Eyes. Busch Gardens has Disney-pop singer Bridgit Mendler and Jannus Live has jam-band favorites moe. But if you can make it through to next week, things get a little calmer, with a soothing set by singer-songwriters Ray LaMontagne and Jenny Lewis (above) at Ruth Eckerd Hall, along with shows by Gold Panda, Dizzy Wright and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...
Fourth Of July at Hogan’s Beach
With Carnage, Love and Theft, Minn Dixie, Soul Circus Cowboys, Pitbull Toddler, Trailer Choir, DJ Gemini, Kid-Unot, Chris Craze, Tony Puccio
FRIDAY-SUNDAY Hogan’s Beach, 7700 W Courtney Campbell Highway, Tampa. $15-$30. (813) 281-8900.
Until now, the live music selection at Hogan’s Beach has alternated between ’90s rock nostalgia acts and big-name DJs. That’s all about to change this Fourth Of July weekend when the Courtney Campbell hotspot makes an attempt at putting “Boots On The Beach” by welcoming South Carolina cuties Eric Grunderson and Stephen Barker Liles (a Clearwater native) to deliver hits like Angel Eyes and Runnin’ Out Of Air for the Saturday crowd. The boys — better known as Love and Theft — aren’t anywhere close to hardcore, backroads country (new single Night That You’ll Never Forget is a catchy pop nugget), but that shouldn’t deter beachgoers, since the day’s festivities also include a trio of other twangy acts and the promise of an appearance by Hulk Hogan himself. The Hulkster is also slated to host the actual July 4 celebration on Friday alongside fellow pro wrestling legend Jimmy Hart as the venue welcomes Pitbull Toddler and a handful of DJs to provide sounds for the partying and a whole lot of eating (the $30 cover includes a BBQ buffet) before the fireworks go off. Anyone not destroyed and sunburned from two days on the shores of Tampa Bay can close their holiday weekend out in style with Guatemala’s gift to EDM, DJ Carnage, who is fresh off an appearance at Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas, where he married a love of all things house to the rachet and trap of his hip-hop production, driving tens of thousands of dance fans wild.
With Winger Great White, Slaughter, Stephen Pearcy, Sobriety X, Stone Gray Band
SATURDAY 12 p.m. England Brothers Bandshell Park, 510 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. Free with ticket. (727) 541-0895.
Let’s hope that Hairapalooza organizers learned a thing or two from the mostly disappointing Summerland Tour at Vinoy a few weeks ago. While we can’t exactly predict the weather this time around, we can advise you to bring sunscreen for this day-long, free show that’ll turn back the clock to a time when songs like Seventeen, Once Bitten Twice Shy and Fly To The Angels were the soundtrack to backyard BBQs across the nation. Yeah, that’s right: Winger, Great White and Slaughter are all descending upon Pinellas Park, and if the price tag (free) wasn’t enough to make you break out the AquaNet, then the addition of Ratt’s Stephen Percy is probably an arrow straight to your ’80s-loving heart that’ll get you to commit to a day in the park. Coolers are not welcome, but blankets and lawn chairs are, and there is a $30 VIP ticket option that’ll get you seats at the front of the stage.
With The Go Go’s, Patty Smyth, Martha Davis and the Motels, Naked Eyes
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $52.75-$128.75. (727) 791-7400.
If you prefer your nostalgia trips air-conditioned, then Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Replay America Tour have a fantastic (albeit more expensive) alternative to Hairapalooza going on in Pinellas Park. The ’80s music mini-fest is curated by Sirius XM and is headlined by the Go-Go’s, who still have the beat and their lips sealed despite almost 40 years of performing tunes like Vacation and Head Over Heels. Belinda Carlisle and company’s influence is all over modern-day femme-rockers. The shmaltz gets turned up on this bill by a trio of legacy acts including Martha Davis and the Motels, Naked Eyes and former Scandal frontwoman Patty Smyth who will probably work through solo hits like Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough while surely belting out Scandal hits like Beat Of A Heart and The Warrior. There won’t be an open field for concert goers to run, run, away on at this show, but you can bet everyone will be singing along and shooting at the walls of heartache at this one.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $22-25. (727) 565-0550.
moe. plays a free show in North Carolina on the Fourth Of July. Their St. Petersburg appearance at Jannus Live the next day doesn’t have the same price tag, but we’re willing to bet that fans at Jannus will still get treated to the same, sweaty, celebratory vibe and camaraderie that the Buffalo, N.Y. jam icons brought to the Tar Heel State the day before. The band has shed a few members over their 25-history, but the lineup changes have only served to add nuance and character to an 11-piece discography permeated by moe.’s playful spirit and heavy on a love of Americana, classic-rock, prog grooves, and — of course — wandering, extended solos. They’re touring behind a new LP, this year’s No Guts, No Glory, where moe. noodle acoustic (Do Or Die), shred relentlessly (Silver Sun) and get a little goofy with vocals in the round (Billy Goat).
SATURDAY 8:30 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Free with park admission. 1-888-800-5447.
Disney Channel aficionados need no introduction to Bridgit Mendler. The rest of you might not immediately recognize the 21-year-old famous for her roles in Good Luck Charlie and Wizards Of Waverly Place, since she hasn’t quite infiltrated the mainstream like Disney alums Demi, Miley and Selena. That probably won’t stop fans from flocking to Busch Gardens, though. Last week the theme park tapped Hot Chelle Rae and ZZ Ward to kick off their summer concert series in grand fashion, and while they’ve also booked Grammy-winning 16-piece salsa outfit El Gran Combo to play next week, they’re dedicating Saturday’s festivities to pure, unabashed radio-ready pop that mocks ex-lovers (Forgot To Laugh), reinforces stereotypes (Blonde), and even pays homage to the Sunshine State. We could have a place next to Oprah, she sings on hit song Ready Or Not. Thirty-seven cars and a yacht down in Boca.
MONDAY 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20-$50. (813) 248-9500.
La’Reonte Wright topped XXL’s lauded “Freshman Class” list last year. But the hip-hop mag’s designation is a little bit inaccurate, since the Las Vegas emcee better known as Dizzy Wright actually began rapping when his concert promoter mom wrote rhymes for him to recite at just 8 years old before he eventually started performing original material around age 11. The last few months have definitely seen his following swell in gargantuan proportions, and while Wright’s soft-spoken off-mic presence reeks of humility and a quiet hunger for more success, his delivery on songs like Killem With Kindness, Reunite For The Night and State Of Mind affirms that there’s an old soul in that 23-year-old body. His raps can be as hard as anyone else’s, but all of it is emblazoned with a positivity, honesty and authenticity that is sadly missing from a lot of everything else coming out these days.
With Kodak To Graph, Spies On Bikes
WEDNESDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 241-8600.
Some major record labels pay hefty sums collecting already established stars. More only sign talent willing to let the suits make life-changing career decisions for them. Then there are imprints like Ann-Arbor, Mich. indie label Ghostly International, which come off more like art houses. They sign talent, act like an incubator, and stay out of the way so that creative people can keep doing things that caught label-head eyes and ears in the first place. Gold Panda is one of Ghostly’s prized puzzle pieces for good reason. Born Derwin Schleckler, Panda spent his downtime dabbling in the art of splicing samples before eventually blossoming into something of a full-fledged beat Beethoven. His 2010 debut arrived with great fanfare (The Guardian gave it the coveted “First Album Award”), and everything he’s done since is pregnant with an ability to take the sounds of the world we live in, run them through computers and controllers, and come out with something so warm and moving that there’s no way it could possibly be synthesized.
With Jenny Lewis, The Belle Brigade
THURSDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $53.25-$63.25. (813) 241-8600.
Ray LaMontagne has spent the last 10 years (and four albums) finding himself on record. He’s been the guy with “cocaine flame in my bloodstream” (Jolene), and he’s been the guy whose song (You Are The Best Thing) played at every damn wedding you went to in the last five years. He’s a gifted crooner with a sad man’s thorn-pierced, broken heart, and he’s always let it bleed on tape. But something happened when he asked the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach to helm a brand new LP, this year’s Supernova. All of a sudden, sad Ray really cheered up and found his super-sultry (She’s The One), sometimes psychedelic (Julia) and sometimes Van Morrison-channeling (Airwaves) side. You’ll still probably get all facets of the 41-year-old former shoemaker at this show (which finds former Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis opening), but at least you’ll know you’re getting the whole of the man this time around.
Concerts For A Cause Fri. With Stormbringer. 6 p.m. Landing at Waterset, 7012 Sail View Lane, Apollo Beach. Free (Donations of nonperishable food items accepted). (813) 235-0154.
Gross Fri. With Ex-Breathers, Unified Right. 8 p.m. Epic Problem, 4215 E Columbus Dr., Tampa. $5. (813) 382-3477.
Cory Walker Band Fri. 6 p.m. Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $5. (727) 644-7895.
The Fritz Sat. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Tides Of Man Fri. With Goodnight Neverland, Europa, New Cathedral. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$12. (813) 248-9500.
Dead End River Sat. With Stone Bone, Chilled Monkey Brains, Blue Eyed Better. 8:30 p.m. Pegasus Lounge, 10008 N 30th St., Tampa. $5-$7. (813) 971-1679.
Serotonic Sat. 8 p.m. The Independent, 5020 N Florida Ave., Tampa, Free. (813) 341-4883.
Ronny Elliot and the Nationals Sat. With Chinese Maryjane, Steve Connelly. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
Unstoppable Death Machines Sat. With Stoic (Album Release), Owldrum. 10 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
Vinai Sun. Shepard’s Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. Free with ticket. (727) 441-6875.
The Life And Death Tour Mon. With Backtrack, Harm’s Way, Expire, Tunrstile, Suburban Scum, Downpresser, Iron Mind, Freedom. 4 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $20. (813) 241-8600.
Jammin’ For Justin Benefit Tues. With Blue Dice, Dukes Of Juke, Sara Rose, Feight Train Annie. 7 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. Suggested $10 donation. (813) 971-0666.
Acoustic BBQ series Wed. With Dan Padilla, Nickole Hanna. 7 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969.
Masters and Minors Thurs. With John Lamb, Buster Cooper, Ron Gregg, Danny Stagnitta, Aaron Lehrian, Tony Stagnitta, Jordan Richardson. 7:30 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 822-3590.
Loco Dice Thurs. With Hector, Brian Busto. 10 p.m. The Kennedy, 2408 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $20. (813) 259-9669.
-- Ray Roa, tbt*