This week in Tampa: Rihanna, Adam Lambert, O.A.R., Underoath, Gasparilla Music Festival and more
A mammoth March of music continues this weekend with the fifth annual Gasparilla Music Festival, featuring Erykah Badu, Stephen Marley, Lucero and more; and the end of the 2016 Florida Strawberry Festival, with the Band Perry, Charlie Wilson, Cole Swindell, Echosmith and more. Click here for more on the Gasparilla Music Festival, and here for more on the Strawberry Festival.
For the rest of a gigantic week of music in Tampa Bay -- including concerts by Rihanna, Travis Scott, Vance Joy, the Goo Goo Dolls, Underoath, O.A.R., Adam Lambert, the Struts, Jewel, Mobb Deep, Coheed and Cambria, Rebelution, Blessthefall, Glassjaw, the Front Bottoms, Alex Newell and more -- here are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...
With Travis Scott
SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $31.75 and up. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.
Is this a make-or-break moment for Rihanna? On the surface, it would seem the singer has it all going on — a chart-topping new album, Drake on speed dial and, as of February, the third-most No. 1 singles in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, surpassing Michael Jackson and trailing only Mariah Carey and the Beatles. But this year hasn’t gone totally as planned for Ms. Fenty. Start with the messy rollout of her new album Anti, which leaked briefly on Tidal before a wider release. Then came her last-minute dropout at the Grammys due to bronchitis. Then she had to postpone the start of her Anti World Tour until this weekend, when it’ll kick off in Jacksonville before hitting Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Sunday. At 28, is Rihanna already being taken for granted? For all those No. 1 hits — including her latest, Work — she’s not dominating the cultural discussion like her peers Adele or Beyoncé. Which is a shame, because Anti is her strongest and most experimental album yet, exploring territories like jazz, indie pop and psychedelia. Rihanna’s got a lot to prove on this tour, and Tampa’s among the first cities to see how she does it. What happens next is up to her.
Coheed and Cambria
With Glassjaw, Silver Snakes
SATURDAY 6:30 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $27.50 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.
Coheed and Cambria’s career has always rewarded the patient, those obsessive fans who followed their vast and complex space opera through a series of comics and prog-rock concept albums. But if you want to jump in late, their new album The Color Before the Sun is a good place to start. The album deals openly and emotionally with singer-songwriter Claudio Sanchez’s family life, particularly the 2014 arrival of son Atlas. More than a decade after breaking through with the 2003 hit A Favor House Atlantic, it’s the most nakedly personal thing he has ever done. “It was hard to put my personal self out there,” Sanchez said. But after seven albums’ worth of conceptual songwriting, it was time for a quick break. “I definitely think we will return to the conceptual format,” he said. “It’s just nice to know that The Color Before the Sun can exist in our DNA, and we can do it when we feel like it.”
With Alex Newell
MONDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $40 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
As American Idol winds into oblivion, it’s time to salute the show’s most successful alum. No, not Kelly or Carrie, but Adam Lambert, who according to Forbes was Idol’s highest-earning alumnus of 2015. That’ll happen when Queen decides you’re the singer best suited to replace Freddie Mercury. He may not have his own Since U Been Gone or Smoke Break, but Lambert still might be the purest showman Idol has ever produced, a shape-shifting human glitterbomb who lives and breathes glam rock. Since David Bowie’s death, Lambert has written and spoken passionately about his idol, and has funneled that inspiration into his recent performances. He’s overdue for a concert here, so his gig at Ruth Eckerd Hall should be packed with diehard Glamberts.
SUNDAY 6 p.m. Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 644-7895.
If you love experimental mash-ups of symphonic chamber pop and ’90s alternative rock — and who doesn’t? — head to St. Pete’s Hideaway Cafe on Sunday for a one-night-only performance by the Florida Bjorkestra, a nine-piece ensemble performing orchestral arrangements of Bjork. It’s an all-star local lineup, including keyboardist Jeremy Douglass, guitarist LaRue Nickelson, guitarist Ed Woltil, singer Jamie Perlow, cellist Tom Kersey, bassist Daniel Navarro, saxophonist Austin Vickery, drummer Dave Hamar, violinist Rebecca Zapen and trombonist David Hope. “They’re such great people, professional musicians, all of them,” said Douglass, who arranged most of the songs. “Really, it’s a labor of love.” Douglass and Woltil will open the show as Radio-Ed, a two-man band performing the music of Radiohead.
With Caspian, '68
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.
It feels strange calling Underoath’s concert Wednesday at Jannus Live a reunion, since the band broke up only three years ago. “That word, 'reunion’ — it sounds like if Motley Crue or some huge arena band goes away for 10 years and comes back,” said Spencer Chamberlain, singer for the Christian metalcore group. “Underoath’s always been more of a DIY thing that grew. We’re just the same dudes that they were, trying to figure it out. We got to a point where we’re able to play together again.” That news has spurred celebrations across Underoath’s vast global fan base. Since forming in 1997, it’s become one of the most popular bands in Tampa history. They’ve toured the world, sold more than a million records, scored two Top 10 albums and reaped a pair of Grammy nominations. Their much-anticipated comeback show at Jannus Live — the same site of their last gig in 2013 — sold out almost instantly. Last year, Underoath released a documentary about the final days, and talk of a reunion followed. This week, they’ll reconvene in Tampa for a few days of rehearsal before the March 16 tour kickoff in St. Petersburg. And from there, who knows? “I think it would be ridiculous to pretend that we’re not going to start writing music,” Chamberlain said. “Right now, it’s pretty important to not put pressure on that. The focus is on the tour, having all the original people there, vibing, learning to communicate again, and being happy.”
With Declan McKenna, The Front Bottoms
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free (Ticket required). (727) 565-0550.
Do fans even have to pay to get into shows at Jannus Live anymore? If 97X has anything to do with it, likely not. The alternative rock station is throwing yet another free one — sorry kids, you have to be 21 to get in on Friday — and it features The Struts. The UK four piece has opened for the Rolling Stones and Mötley Crüe, and they’ve got their sights set on the United States where they’ve just released a debut LP. Everybody Wants is glammed-up rock that harkens to the days of Queen and Aqua Net hair. Fans should get there extra early to see an opening set from The Front Bottoms, who come bearing an infectious brand of Jersey punk that will have them headlining one of these shows soon enough. More information on tickets is available at 97Xonline.com.
Smart Punk Records Showcase
With Dikembe, Teen Agers, You Vandal, Suck Brick Kid
FRIDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Punks, like many musical communities, are known for their willingness to band together when someone needs a hand up. Gainesville trio Dikembe upped the ante on kindness a few weeks ago when they released a live album recorded at one of their hometown’s most revered bars, Loosey’s. Proceeds from the LP will benefit Punk Talks, an organization that provides free mental health help to musicians and others in the scene. “You don’t have to be sad to make great music,” says their mission. Even without the philanthropic bend, the release shines, perfectly capturing the smart, punchy, fun-loving pop punk, which Dikembe have hilariously dubbed “rock music you can drive the speed limit to.” Teen Agers, You Vandal and Suck Brick Kid round out one of Friday night’s best lineups.
With Brian Busto
FRIDAY 10 p.m. The Castle, 2004 N 16th St., Ybor City. $10-$15. (813) 247-7547.
There was a time when you could count on The Castle to almost always have some good house music to dance to. They’re throwing it back this Friday with an appearance from Richard West, one of the genre’s most legendary names. West — better known as Mr. C — came of age in the London club scene and quickly made a name for himself before completely busting loose fronting psych-dance outfit The Shamen. The 50-year-old brings the spirit of his Superfreq record label to the Ybor City staple for a three-hour set that should span the breadth of his almost 30-year career, which has drawn influence from a wide swath of places including ska, punk and techno. Local house music scene champ Brian Busto opens (and organized) the show.
Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival
SUNDAY 6 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Free with park admission. Toll-free 1-888-800-5447.
If you need some innocuous rock in your life, head to the gardens — Busch Gardens, that is. The park's Food & Wine Festival this weekend brings in O.A.R. on Sunday The Rockville, Md., outfit have managed to parlay their college, jam-rock roots into a legitimate, radio-friendly sound that’s kept them on charts and on TV for the last decade and a half now. The shows are included with park admission, but you can pay anywhere from $35-$70 for special seating plus food and wine samplers. Saturday's headliners, the Goo Goo Dolls, had to cancel due to illness, but the park promised to name a replacement by the weekend. Keep an eye out at BuschGardens.com for updates.
SUNDAY 6 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $22. Facebook.com/thelocal662.
Reunions are either circuses (we’re looking at you Guns N’ Roses) or a reason to give band members who didn’t get along a reason to hug it out. It seems like Mobb Deep have been in the latter camp since getting back together a few years ago. The east coast hip hop legends are back in the ’Burg on Sunday (They played Jannus in 2013 before doing a show in Ybor City the next year.) and arrive celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hell On Earth, a 14-song album that arrived hot on the heels of a critically-acclaimed effort (The Infamous) that they released a year before. Prodigy and Havoc haven’t always been the best of pals since a Twitter feud a few years back, but seem to have made amends (and some new music!) since reconciling.
With JD & The Straight Shot
SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $65-$90. (727) 791-7400.
In 1995 Jewel asked, Who Will Save Your Soul? Turns out it was going to be her all along. The 41-year-old broke into our hearts 20 years ago with songs like You Were Meant For Me and Foolish Games and hasn’t really slowed down at all, releasing a dozen albums and picking up multiple awards along the way. Satisfied, from her 2010 LP Sweet and Wild was even nominated for a Best Female Country Vocal Performance Grammy, and Jewel (yes, it’s her real name) has even written a memoir, Never Broken — Songs Are Only Half The Story. She’s going to be sharing the songs and that other half of the story at this Clearwater show as part of her first tour since 2013. NYC Americana outfit JD & The Straight Shot open the show.
With Blind Pilot, Jamie Lawson
MONDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $29.50-$35. (727) 565-0550.
Last we saw James Gabriel Keogh, he was dressed up like a pirate for a Halloween set in front of 60,000 Taylor Swift fans. The 28-year-old Aussie better known as Vance Joy did more than fine opening up for the reigning Queen of Pop at Raymond James Stadium, but diehard fans will get a chance to see their boy headline a set on Monday night at Jannus. His 2013 ukulele-driven hit Riptide still hasn’t grown stale in the time it’s been on the charts, and a new big single Fire and the Flood is enjoying maximum airplay these days, too. Mr. Joy specializes in a sticky sweet, heartfelt brand and worldly folk-pop, so expect some hip-swaying and singing along for this one.
TUESDAY 7 p.m. Hard Rock Café (at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino), 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. Tickets required. (813) 627-7757.
Rebelution are set to headline a big ol’ party in Vinoy Park this summer, but the Southern California reggae-rockers want to throw a more intimate soiree in Tampa beforehand. It happens on Tuesday at the Hard Rock when the band teams up with local beermakers Rock Bros., who are releasing a Rebelution-branded West Coast-style IPA at the show, which is set to include a toast with the band as well as a 90-minute performance. The Bros. already have several band-affiliated beers under their belts (Hootie’s Homegrown Ale with Darius Rucker, an Amber Ale with 311, and Nothing To Fancy Pale Ale with Umphrey’s McGee), and Rebelution have a new-ish acoustic album to support, too. Tickets are not for sale, but can be won on rockbrothersbrewing.com.
Blessthefall, Fri. With Miss May I, The Plot In You, Sirens and Sailors, A War Within. 5:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$25. (727) 895-3045.
Funhater, Fri. With Other Body, Flexxehawk. 9 p.m. The Amsterdam, 1049 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Donations accepted. (727) 623-4950.
The Magician, Fri. 10 p.m. District 3, 912 E Whiting St., Tampa. $15-$23.80. (813) 221-3582.
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, Fri. 10 p.m. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, 5119 N Nebraska, Ave., Tampa, Free. (813) 234-1000.
Crazy Toy, Fri. With Jackson Davis and the Jackettes, Johnny Mile and the Kilometers. 10 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
Bluegrass Festival, Sat. With Trail Dogs Bluegrass, Sawgrass, Beaumont Family Bluegrass, Michigan Misfits. 2:30 p.m. Kolb Park, 16th Avenue and Bay Palm Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach. $5 suggested donation. (727) 595-2517.
Somos, Sat. With Petal, The Superweaks, Losing Teeth. 8 p.m. Epic Problem, 4215 E Columbus Dr., Tampa. $10. (813) 382-3477.
Trinity 7, Sat. With Badda Skat, Facility. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
Have Gun, Will Travel, Sun. With Will Quinlan. 3 p.m. Crooked Thumb Brewery, 555 10th Ave. S, Safety Harbor. Free. (727) 724-5953.
Searson, Sun. 3 p.m. UU Dome at Unitarian Universalists Church of Tampa. 11400 Morris Bridge Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 988-8188.
Sinai Vessel, Sun. With The Mineral Girls, Derive, Snacking, Bad Parker. 8 p.m. Lucky You Tattoo, 9633 Bay Pines Blvd., Seminole. $7 donation. (727) 623-9928.
Mau5hax Bu5 Tour, Sun. With Attlas, Matt Lange, Steve Duda. 10 p.m. Amphitheatre Event Facility, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15. (813) 873-8368.
Black Pussy, Mon. With Beer Wolf, Pleasures. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $10-$12. (813) 248-4969.
The Word Alive, Tue. With Fir For a King, Out Came the Wolves. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $18-$30. (813) 248-9500.
Deadphish Orchestra, Thurs. 8 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
-- Jay Cridlin