This week in Tampa: The Eagles, TobyMac, Joe Bonamassa, 'John Denver' and more
Yeah, you heard us: John Denver, the late John Denver, is "performing" this week in St. Petersburg. Okay, technically it's just a recording of his voice with some videos and former bandmates, but still -- kind of neat, right?
Denver's show may be the most unique in a busy week, which also includes shows by the Eagles, O.A.R., Bret Michaels, Joe Bonamassa, Twenty One Pilots, TobyMac, The Chariot, Dessa, Sleepwave, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kip Moore, Le Castle Vania, Travis Garland, Mike Doughty, Os Mutantes and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...
FRIDAY and SATURDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $85-$131. (727) 791-7400.
Can Joe Bonamassa actually see anything behind those dark sunglasses he usually wears onstage? Does it really matter, considering the crowds that seem to show up every time he performs? Those questions will be answered when the 36-year-old guitarist (who opened for B.B. King when he was just 8 years old) descends upon Ruth Eckerd Hall for two nights of six-string mastery, featuring everything from complex acoustic arrangements (find video from his recent performance at the Vienna Opera House) to electrified, slow-blues ballads like Stop!. Tickets are moving quickly for both shows, and advance purchases are encouraged.
With Glass Cloud, Birds In Row, To The Wind, Rebuker
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12-$14. (813) 248-9500 or theorpheum.com.
To call The Chariot a mathcore band is completely unfair. Founded by singer Josh Scogin shortly after he left beloved hardcore outfit Norma Jean in 2003, The Chariot has released five LPs of crushing, breakneck metal accented with Christian lyrical undertones that transcend any kind of religious affiliation thanks to the way the message is delivered. Scogin, 32, is a fearless (and hilariously sarcastic) frontman who routinely immerses himself within the swirling mosh pits and flying bodies that manifest themselves at chaotic live shows. This is the penultimate stop on the band’s farewell tour, so expect the air to be thick with the energy of fans ready to give every ounce of themselves back to the band before they call it quits.
With Brandon Heath, Mandisa, Jamie Grace, Colton Dixon, Chris August, Capital Kings
FRIDAY 7 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $25-$75. (813) 974-3002.
TobyMac is in the last year of his 40s. But as the man born as Kevin Michael McKeehan approaches the mid-century mark, his career is as alive as it was when his original band (dc Talk) disbanded and he released his debut solo LP, Momentum, back in 2001. With a handful of AMA, Billboard, and Grammy awards in his trophy case (not to mention a dozen or so Dove Awards), T-Mac’s religious rap has made him a global superstar who routinely fills venues with devotees addicted to both his uplifting, wholesome message (which teeters on the edge of preachy without leaping into the evangelization zone) and unabashed pop sensibilities. He’s bringing along a support bill heavy with other Christian music up-and-comers, so expect this one to deliver from start to finish.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. Facebook.com/thelocal662.
Most hip hop that gets delivered to your earholes is riddled with a message of material worship backed by seemingly canned production that comes about a dime a dozen. While that’s not a knock on hard working beatsmiths and MCs, Minnesota-based collective Doomtree seem to be doing the whole rap thing more authentically than anyone else. The hip-hop think tank’s leading lady is 32-year-old Margret Wander, a.k.a. Dessa, whose debut album, Parts Of Speech, conjoins her past as a spoken-word artist with Doomtree’s subtly genius beat work (think weird time signatures and sonic textures painted with orchestral flourishes) and radio-ready hooks. Minnesota is a long way from The ’Burg, so this tour stop might be a rarity.
With American Fangs, Jensen Serf Company, Goodnight Neverland
SATURDAY 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13. (727) 895-3045.
Spencer Chamberlin didn’t pull any punches in a recent Alternative Press interview where he called bands like Shinedown and Nickelback “butt rock” while respectfully dismissing the notion that bands like Mumford and Sons and Fun. make “rock.” Chamberlin, 30, would know. As the frontman of Tampa’s now-defunct metal outfit Underoath, Chamberlin was the mouthpiece for a brand of screamo that took him on world tours while earning the band a pair of Grammy nominations and legions of loyal fans. He isn’t rehashing the sonics of Underoath with his new group, Sleepwave, but the project’s output is said to have been influenced by everything from Sigur Ros to Coldplay and even Radiohead. This is the kickoff to a short national tour, and it’ll be interesting to hear what Chamberlin has in store.
Instruments Of Change: Play It Forward Benefit Concert
With Caroline Kole, Daniel B. Marshall, Shane Anderson, Emily Grace, Eternity, Ken Apperson
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $25-$95. (813) 229-7827.
She’s now a seasoned professional at the ripe old age of 16, but the Tampa Bay area has literally watched Caroline Kole grow up before its eyes. Kole’s early days as “Suite Caroline” found her enchanting us with her alarmingly professional demeanor and an out-of-the-ordinary vocal ability, but things haven’t been the same since Nashville took notice. She’s signed to Starstruck Records, has a publishing deal with Sony/ATV, and shared stages with Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and Charlie Daniels. Her latest single, Money To Me, debuted at No. 1 on CMT’s fan-voted Pure Countdown, and she’s set to use her star power at this benefit show, which doubles as a music mentoring camp for at-risk youth.
John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert
WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m., The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. (727) 822-3590.
Although he died in an aviation accident at 53, John Denver left the world with about two dozen albums of material. That body of work will be showcased at this show, which features a string section and members of Denver’s past touring bands performing while archival footage of the late folk singer plays in the background. The performance is slated to cover the breadth of Denver’s recorded work; include tributes to musicians who played with Denver throughout his career; and be filled with stories about the late Poet Laureate of Colorado. So while it might be eerie to hear his familiar croon fill the air at the Palladium, this remembrance is fitting for superfans and John Denver newbies alike.
With JD and the Straight Shot
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m., Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $49-$177. (813) 301-2500.
We’re willing to bet there isn’t a single jukebox in America without an album from the Eagles inside of it. And why would there be? Despite their rocky history, the boys — Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy Schmit — are SoCal soft-rock royalty who ruled the radio (and sales charts) during an incredible six-album run in the 1970s. The band will dig into the whole of their catalog on this stop while peppering in cuts that have never been performed live. Tampa fans should be ready for a set that goes for three hours and includes intimate acoustic performances as well as full-on Walsh-fueled barnburners. This probably isn’t the end of the Eagles’ flight, but this might be the best trip going for now.
The Applebutter Express Fri. With Andrew Duhon. 5 p.m. The Ale and The Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.
Gasparilla Music Fridays Fri. With Florida Night Heat, Ketchy Shuby, JT Brown. 5:30 p.m. Grand Central at Kennedy, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Free. (813) 226-8735.
Sizzla Fri. With Adonai Sound, Baby Sam. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $30-$50. (727) 565-0550.
Alanna Oresté Fri. With Zakk Morgan, Chase Garrett, Drew Dispatre, and more. 7 p.m. Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $5. (813) 248-2356.
Bret Michaels Fri. With Pitbull Toddler. 8 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $59-$85. (727) 822-3590.
Chet Faker Fri. With King Of Spain. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $7-$10. (813) 241-8600.
Ink Life Tatoo and Music Festival Fri. With Drowning Pool. 9 p.m. Florida State Fairgrounds Special Event Center, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $20 and up. (813) 740-2446.
Kayo Dot Fri. With Set and Setting, Red Room Cinema, Ophelia. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5-$8. (727) 424-1809.
Le Castle Vania Fri. With Nerd Rage, Winta, Mr Saturn. 9:30 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 873-8368.
Swiss Sauce 3 Sat. With Exodus, Dank, Brazen, Rob Givens, Pope John, Traphouse Tracy, Mumbles, DJ JJ. 12 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $35-$99. (727) 565-0550.
Kip Moore Sat. 7 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 987-2855.
Mike Doughty Sat. With Moon Hooch. 7:30 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $17-$20. (813) 241-8600.
Os Mutantes Sat. With Capsula. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 971-0666.
Autism Benefit Concert Sat. With Radarmen, Luxury Mane, Moonmen From Mars, Article 47. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $10 suggested donation. (813) 248-4969.
G. Bar Seventh Anniversary Sat. With Razor & Guido. 9 p.m. G. Bar, 1401 E Seventh Ave, Ybor City. (813) 247-1016.
O.A.R. Sun. With Chris Cab. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $32.50 and up. (727) 565-0550.
Kung Fu Sun. 8 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang Tues. 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$125. (727) 791-7400.
Travis Garland Tue. With Colby O’Donis. 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. Facebook.com/thelocal662.
Twenty One Pilots Thurs. With Robert DeLong, Sirah. 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $22.50 and up. (813) 247-2555.
Tracy Shedd Thurs. With Fistful, Mountain Holler. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Free. (813) 248-4969.
-- Ray Roa, tbt*