This week in Tampa: Ribfest, Zac Brown Band, Brian Wilson, Chaka Khan and more
A jam-packed week of music starts Friday with Ribfest, one of the biggest annual happenings in Tampa Bay, featuring Bret Michaels, Three Dog Night, Kip Moore (above) and many more. Click here for our full Ribfest 2015 preview.
But Ribfest is also the beginning. There's also the Zac Brown Band, Brian Wilson, Chaka Khan, Chase Bryant, Slow Magic, Blue Oyster Cult, Deana Carter, Passafire, Jake Shimabukuro, Motion City Soundtrack, The Wonder Years, You Blew It!, Adrien Legg and David Lindley, Allison Weiss, Robb Banks, Emery, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and the WQYK Guitar Pull with Lady Antebelleum's Charles Kelley, Hunter Hayes, Lee Brice, Eric Paslay, Jerrod Niemann and Maddie and Tae.
Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...
Zac Brown Band
With Drake White
FRIDAY 7 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25.50 and up. livenation.com.
Thrown off by Zac Brown’s plugged-in, chrome-domed performance of Beautiful Drug at last week’s CMA Awards? Yeah, you weren’t alone. That song is Exhibit A in the case against Zac Brown Band 2.0, which swapped sweet-tea roots for alternative rock and even EDM on new album Jekyll + Hyde. Is change a bad thing? Absolutely not. But it’s a little like when Mumford and Sons ditched their banjo and sepia vests for leather jackets on their spring album Wilder Mind: Fine and everything, but all in all, kind of … blah. Somehow Jekyll + Hyde’s overt rock ambitions failed to capture the same spectacular zing as when Zac Brown Band covers Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine or even the Eagles in concert. It’s about half of a good album, give or take — the rest feels bloated and self-indulgent (which, to be fair, are squarely within the rock tradition, so you can’t fault Zac there). But like the Mumfords, Zac Brown Band is one of the best live bands in the world, good enough to override any misgivings you might have about this new direction. How much will their concert Friday in Tampa resemble their old road show? It’ll be fascinating to find out.
TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $49.50 and up. (727) 892-5767 or themahaffey.com.
For Al Jardine, it was a no-brainer deciding to join his old Beach Boys bandmate Brian Wilson on tour. “All I had to do was revisit the music that we’d recorded,” said Jardine, who handled lead vocals on Beach Boys hits like Help Me, Rhonda. “I enjoy singing high parts, and know them pretty well, so it was a natural thing.” A few years have passed since Wilson and Jardine joined forces with Mike Love, David Marks and Bruce Johnston to celebrate the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary, and Wilson and longtime pal Jardine seem to have splintered from the group for good. And while Love and his boys put on a good show, Wilson is the one you really want to see. Though he was never a great live performer, his backing band — now including Jardine, who also contributed plenty of vocals to new album No Pier Pressure — has always been cracking. Besides, as the group’s visionary songwriter and composer, he’s the one who deserves credit for making the Beach Boys America’s answer to the Beatles, and we’re coming up on the 50th anniversary of their landmark album Pet Sounds, so there’s no better time to pay homage. “Brian’s the most amazing artist in that he’s a writer, composer, arranger, producer and singer without compare,” Jardine said. “What more is there?” Well said.
With Mal Blum, Winter, Kid in the Attic
SATURDAY 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave. in Ybor City. $12-$14. ticketfly.com.
A touch of Tegan and Sara, a pint of Paul Westerberg, a bit of Best Coast and a little Liz Phair. Mix it all up with a ton of DIY drive and you might get Allison Weiss, the Georgia-by-way-of-L.A. singer-songwriter behind one of the year’s best indie pop albums, New Love. If you’ve heard her name, it’s likely because six years ago, she was one of the first artists to successfully crowdfund her own albums, receiving press from the likes of Wired and the New York Times. And if that were the end of it, it’d be a nice, sweet story. But the 28-year-old Weiss has remained one of the most relentless self-starters in music. And if there’s any justice, New Love will be the album that breaks her to a much wider audience. Just stream a song like Over You and you’ll find yourself racing to fund her next project — or rushing to catch her at 8 p.m. Saturday at (The show was moved from Epic Problem at the Skatepark of Tampa.)
WQYK Guitar Pull
With Charles Kelley, Hunter Hayes, Lee Brice, Jerrod Niemann, Maddie and Tae, Eric Paslay
WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. Sold out, but tickets still available through 995qyk.com.
You can’t fling a pick these days without hitting a new radio-backed concert in Tampa Bay. But the inaugural WQYK-99.5 Guitar Pull sounds like a winner. The concept: Six big-name Nashville singer-songwriters unplug and swap stories and songs in an intimate theater. The bill includes Hunter Hayes (21), Lee Brice (I Don’t Dance), Jerrod Niemann (Drink To That All Night), Maddie and Tae (Girl in a Country Song), Eric Paslay (Friday Night) and, most intriguingly, Lady Antebellum singer Charles Kelley, likely previewing songs from his upcoming solo LP. Great lineup, right? Yeah, it’s so great it’s already sold out. Because it’s a radio show, though, you can still win tickets by listening to WQYK.
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $42.50-$75.50. (727) 892-5767.
Depending on who you ask, Chaka Khan is the queen for either her 1984 cover of Prince’s I Feel For You or her late ’70s smash I’m Every Woman. The 62-year-old born Yvette Marie Steves, however, was well on her path to stardom way before any of that. She was the power behind Chicago funk unit Rufus, which may as well have been the catapult for Khan’s career. The 10-time Grammy Award winner comes to the Mahaffey to work through selections from her almost dozen gold and platinum albums on Friday, and expect her to show the crowd why she’s still one of the foremost voices in pop music.
South Shore Music Festival
With Chase Bryant, John King, Clemons Road, Michael Miller Band, Aubrey Wollett, John Rhey, Skyler Clark
SATURDAY 12 p.m. International Showman’s Club, 6915 Riverview Drive, Riverview. $12-$100. (813) 419.7763.
Bay area country fans may recognize Chase Bryant from his opening slot on Tim McGraw’s Shotgun Rider tour, but they’ll get an up-close-and-personal look on Saturday when the 22-year-old Nashville boy headlines Riverview’s South Shore Music Festival and Chili Cook Off. Bryant’s big offerings (debut single Take It On Back and follow-up Little Bit Of You) are way less bro-ish than most of what’s on the radio these days, and the big pop hooks and non-truckcentric lyrics are a breath of fresh air. His grandpa Jimmy Bryant played with Waylon Jennings, and having roots in real country music certainly lends an air of authenticity to Bryant’s act.
Bryan Elijah Smith & the Wild Hearts
With Kristopher James, Michael McArthur
SATURDAY 6 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 644-7895.
Week in and week out, the Hideaway Cafe quietly celebrates the songwriter in its cozy, acoustically pristine listening room on Central Avenue. The names could be huge, or relative unknowns, but the focus has always been on the song. On Saturday the tradition continues when the club welcomes in Bryan Elijah Smith & the Wild Hearts from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The songsmith — who utilizes his band to steer his sound in between jam rock, Southern-fried country and rock ’n’ roll — will work though material from his latest, last year’s These American Hearts. The 11-track release is Smith’s eighth (and his fourth with the band) and was whittled down from 100 songs written for the album, so expect a pointed and poignant attack.
With Daktyl, Rude100, Rogerthomas, Diaz, DJ Eminent
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $13-$16. (813) 241-8600.
There’s a more famous masked producer roaming the mellowest of super-chill Pandora channels these days (SBTRKT), but it’s hard to argue that another mysterious figure, Slow Magic, isn’t just as — if not more — talented. A new LP (How To Run Away, released last year via Sony’s Downtown imprint) is a step toward the best kind of electro infamy thanks to a cohesive, 10-track sequence that leans hard on disco-esque grooves, washed-out treble and catchy melodies. A UK-based pal of Diplo, Daktyl opens with his own tribal, trippy brand of electropop, and the bill also includes sets from über-talented local producer Rudy Hernandez, who is the sampling, knob-turning force behind so many of the bay area’s up-and-coming hip-hop and soul acts.
The Wonder Years
With Motion City Soundtrack, You Blew It!, State Champs
WEDNESDAY 6 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20-$60. (813) 247-2555.
Let’s go ahead and call this one a superbill. Motion City Soundtrack is old-school emo and punk-pop royalty that still enjoys high levels of popularity, and Philadelphia sextet The Wonder Years have earned a spot in the top tier of the genre’s revivalist movement thanks to LP’s like 2013’s The Greatest Generation and 2011’s Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing. The boys’ latest — this year’s No Closer to Heaven — puts a lot of the angst on the shelf in favor of bigger (read: grown-up) themes and the results will probably see this room sell out. Get there early to see You Blew It!, an Orlando band that’s grown into European tours and Pitchfork-lauded albums in a relatively short existence.
With Burke Bros.
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969.
If you can’t pay the ticket price to see an all-star emo bill at The Ritz on hump day, you owe it to yourself to walk a block and a half to New World Brewery, which hosts its no-cover acoustic BBQ ($5 for a heavy plate of smoked ’que) starting at 7 p.m. The Burke Bros. (featuring members of Have Gun, Will Travel) are on the bill, but so is Garrett Klahn, most famous for his role as the frontman for NYC post-hardcore heroes Texas Is the Reason. Klahn spent his summer touring the country with Have Gun, Will Travel, so expect them to rip through a load of originals and hopefully rattle off some great covers at this show.
Reel Deal Thursdays: 'The Last Waltz’
With Have Gun, Will Travel
THURSDAY 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600.
All summer long, Crowbar’s “Reel Deal Thursdays” series has been celebrating left-of-center cinema by screening movies like The Life Aquatic and Over the Edge before staging concerts revolving around the films. For its first autumn offering, Crowbar upped the ante and decided to pay homage to The Band by screening the Scorsese-directed concert doc that captured the group’s final show at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom. The flick will be followed by a set from Have Gun, Will Travel, which has promised to rotate a who’s who of local talent to help it recreate the nearly two-hour-long epic. Levon is long gone, but his spirit lives on strong and long for this show.
Solillaquists of Sound
With Blueprint, Grayskull, Jon Ditty
THURSDAY 8 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Ten years ago, an emcee named Sage Francis introduced the world to a little-known Orlando hip-hop collective called Solillaquists of Sound. Solilla’s Listener’s Trilogy series followed and leaned on glitched-out production, smoky jazz and soul samples, plus lyrics that read like philosophy to enlighten and elevate fans to a higher state of consciousness. A 2009 LP (No More Heroes) took a wrecking ball to the popular opinion of the ones we idolize and cemented the group’s status as one of the Sunshine State’s leading voices in progressive rap. New releases like The Afterlife feature a more experimental bend, and Solilla will be joined by Ohio’s Blueprint, Washington’s Grayskul, and Dunedin’s own Jon Ditty at this free gig.
Blue Oyster Cult, Fri. 8 p.m. Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $19.99-$49.99. (717) 822-4562.
Deana Carter, Fri. With Brian Sutherland. 8 p.m. Murray Studio Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $30. (727) 791-7400.
Adrian Legg and David Lindley, Fri. 8 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $29-$49. (727) 822-3590.
Go Deep, Fri. With Gouge Away, Station Cases, Lipschitz, Bad Human. 9 p.m. Lucky You Tattoo, 9633 Bay Pines Blvd., Seminole. $7. (727) 623-9928.
Palm Harbor Bluegrass Festival, Sat. With Lost and Found Bluegrass Band. 11 a.m. A.L. Anderson Park, 39699 U.S. 19 N, Tarpon Springs. $10-$15. (727) 724-3054.
Robb Banks, Sat. With Indigocholdrick, Wisfuneral, more. 5:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$50. (813) 248-9500.
Roosevelt Collier & Friends, Sat. With Bath Salt Zombies, Glostik Willy. 7 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. $15. (727) 736-0606.
Emery, Sun. With the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Forevermore, Hearts Like Lions. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $14-$35. (813) 248-9500.
Julian Lage Trio, Sun. 7 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $22.50-$39.50. (727) 822-3590.
Penny and Sparrow, Mon. 7:30 p.m. Club Jaeb at David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29.50. (813) 229-7827.
CHEW, Tues. With Snacking, SAHE, Big Brother. 7 p.m. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S, St. Petersburg $8. (901) 619-1519.
Jake Shimabukuro, Tues. 8 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $35-$47.50. (727) 791-7400.
Phantom Head, Wed. With Mushmind, Drug. 9 p.m. Unit 19, 5805 N 50th St., Tampa. Donations For Touring Band Accepted.
Flow Tribe, Wed. 8 p.m. The Ale and The Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $7-$10. (727) 821-2533.
Passafire, Thurs. With Lionize. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 565-0550.
Tony Touch, Thurs. With DJ Casper, DJ Lesage. 10 p.m. Ol’ Dirty St. Pete at The Bends, 919 First Ave. St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
-- Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa