This week in Tampa: Tony Bennett, Kenny Loggins, Skinny Puppy and more
The Florida State Fair kicks off today, and with it comes a full lineup of musical performances. America performs at 7 p.m., while Sister Hazel and Uncle Kracker follow suit Feb. 13 and 17, respectively. And Feb. 12 marks the return of the annual “Country Gold” tour, with classic country artists like Leroy Van Dyke, Suzy Bogguss and T.G. Sheppard performing at noon and 4 p.m. The headline shows are free, but tickets to the Country Gold shows are $10-$15. For details on all of these shows, click here.
This is also the weekend that Busch Gardens kicks off its annual Bands, Brew & BBQ concert series. After numerous cancellations by artists at Busch Gardens and sister park SeaWorld over the Blackfish documentary controversy, the series kicks off this weekend in Tampa, with Jason Derulo performing on Saturday and Dickey Betts with the Marshall Tucker Band on Sunday. Those concerts are free with park admission; click here for details.
As for the rest of the week: Ray Roa is here to walk you through concerts by Kenny Loggins (above), Tony Bennett, Skinny Puppy, Pat Metheny Unity Group, Deadly Fists of Kung Fu, Parmalee, Take 6, Breakbeat Lou, Dynohunter and more...
With Antonia Bennett
WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $65-$120. (727) 892-5767.
Tony Bennett fought in World War II, has sold paintings to multi-millionaires, and even dueted with the late, great Amy Winehouse. But for some reason people still can’t stop talking about the blue hair Lady Gaga sported in their joint video for The Lady Is A Tramp. That’s the beauty of the man born Anthony Domenick Beneddetto (he changed his name at the request of Bob Hope, who put Bennett’s career on the fast track in the 1940s). At 87, the crooner from Queens is still a part of our daily lives, staying current by belting out standards, Christmas carols and the occasional obscurity with an ease and jazzy grace that translates to listeners whether they’re receiving the message via vinyl record or internet stream.
With Pablo Cruise
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $55-$125. (727) 791-7400.
If his May 2013 appearance at The Trop just wasn’t swanky enough for you, then you might want to be in Clearwater when Kenny Loggins (the woolier half of 70s soft-rock powerhouse Loggins and Messina) drops his landing gear at Ruth Eckerd to rehash the past with L&M hits like Danny’s Song and You’re Momma Don’t Dance. He’ll also show off a new band, Blue Sky Raiders, who will help him flesh out material from his Grammy-winnning solo career including tracks he contributed to movies like Caddyshack, Top Gun and Footloose. Joining the bill are Pablo Cruise, a band whose guitar work always seems to get overshadowed by the sleek, smooth coos and pure hit power of songs like Love Will Find A Way and Don’t Want To Live Without.
With Bells and Robes, Future Vintage
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8-$10. (813) 241-8600.
EDM is about as futuristic as making music gets, with producers single-handedly using controllers, keyboards and computers to recreate tones and rhythms usually handled by live instruments. The genre’s detractors always point out the lack of “real musicians,” but Boulder, Colo.-based “livetronic” trio Dynohunter could convert your curmudgeonly pals (“That guy can’t even play the guitar!”) into believers. Tracks like Call To Arms, Archea and SOS blur the lines of house, electro, dubstep, hip hop and funk. It’ll be interesting to see what else comes out of Dynohunter’s quivers in a live setting, with just saxophone, drums and bass at their hands.
The Apes’ Winter Reggae Party
With DJ Carlos Soul Shaker
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Yeoman’s Road Pub, 236 E Davis Blvd., Davis Islands. $5. (813) 251-2748.
The Sunshine State ska renaissance is getting its wits about it, and while the music industry has changed since the days when a Tampa outfit like the legendary, now-defunct Magadog could get airplay on MTV, fans of the genre still skank and sweat on the dancefloor with passion. A third volume of the Closer Than You Florida ska compilation is in the early stages of a crowdfunding campaign, and local bands like the Apes — led by Magadog mastermind Ed Lowery — keep stalking storied watering holes like little ol’ Yeoman’s on the tiny Davis Islands strip. With the spirit of groups like The Gaylads and Alton Ellis, and nearly a dozen players on their roster, the Apes will have plenty of oomph to power themselves through this double set.
Deadly Fists of Kung Fu
With Florida Night Heat, Scott Harrell
SATURDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
New World Brewery hosts a night of throwback ’90s-era power pop when Deadly Fists of Kung Fu make the trek from Pensacola, with the influence of the Replacements, Afghan Whigs and J. Mascis in tow. Chugging riffs and big hooks lead the nostalgic charge, but expect a bit more since the Fists’ covers of bands like the Cars, Tom Petty, and the Cure are pretty righteous, too. Florida Night Heat, an instrumental power trio of fresh faces with old musical souls, provide a more aggressive sonic approach; and Scott Harrell, the fabled former leader of Tampa staples like Nessie and Cocktail Honeys, plays a rare solo set to kick it all off.
With Army Of The Universe
SATURDAY 10 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $27.50 and up. (813) 247-2555.
The title of Skinny Puppy’s 2013 LP Weapon is an allusion to the U.S. government’s rumored use of their music in the torture methods at Guantanomo Bay. While the administration might be able use the United States’ own tolerance of a particularly troublesome Canadian export (read: Bieber) as leverage, there are litters upon litters of stateside Skinny Puppy fans that would actually enjoy being tormented by the sounds of the Vancouver-born outfit. The pups are elder statesmen of the industrial scene and have influenced everyone from Trent Reznor to Ministry, so expect a healthy crowd itching to be wrecked by the dark growls, spastic samples and electro-noir of Skinny Puppy’s 15-piece discography.
With DJ Casper, DJ Lesage
SUNDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $5 (free for 21 and up). (813) 241-8600.
For the last three years, Ol’ Dirty Sundays and Crowbar have been busy etching away at the indelible mark they’ve left on the history of Tampa hip hop. Epic events like a 2011 performance from Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) make ODS’ other bookings seem pedestrian, but a closer look at their weekly guest DJs reveals a living, breathing record-scratching hip hop hall of fame. The tradition continues when Breakbeat Lou — co-founder of the storied, infinitely sampled Ultimate Breaks & Beats compilations — comes to the party for the first time and showcases an influential musical taste and drive that is a pillar of the rap music fans hear today.
MONDAY 7:30 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland. $16-$20 (863) 686-7187.
If the Grammys, Dove Awards or White House credentials (they performed for George W. and Laura Bush in 2001) aren’t enough to convince you of Take 6’s vocal prowess, then sit in a quiet room and listen to the a capella sextet’s 1990 LP So Much 2 Say and try not to hurt your jaw as it falls to the floor. Every sonic inch of the arrangements and harmonies possesses a mechanical impeccability accompanied by a tangible warmth and soulfullness that shouldn’t be present in something so technically sound. The rest of their 25-year run is the perfect synthesis of gospel, jazz, funk, pop and even latin music, so expect a marathon session you won’t want to walk away from if you make the drive to Lakeland.
Franky Vignola and Vinny Raniolo Fri. 8 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $24.50-$34.50. (727) 587-6793.
Natalie MacMaster and Donell Leahy Fri. 8 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $24-$45. (813) 229-7827.
Parmalee Fri. 9 p.m. The Round Up, 13918 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 855-1464.
Mortimer Nova Fri. With Subject To Change , Little War Twins, ADJY, more. 8:30 p.m. Pegasus Lounge, 10008 N 30th St., Tampa. $5-$7. (813) 971-1679.
Variance Fri. With Goonight Neverland, Lions After Dark, The Pals, Bet Me I’m Lying, The Northwest. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-3045.
Adam Randall (album release) Fri. With Stephen Steinbrink, Mountain Holler. 8 p.m. Green Bench Brewing Co., 1133 Baum Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 800-9836.
Inland Traveler Fri. With Rec Center, Oxford Noland. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Grandpa’s Cough Medicine Sat. With Vinegar Creek Constituency Duo. 5 p.m. Ale and The Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.
Gary Puckett and The Union Gap Sat. 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $35-$65. (727) 791-7400.
DJ Icey Sat. With Doco, Basomatik. 9 p.m. Amphitheatre Event Facility, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 873-8368.
WMNF 11th Annual Rockabilly Ruckus Sat. With Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, Jason D. Williams, Rocket 88, Sara Rose Band, Hairdresser On Fire, The Wildtones, Hot Rod Hornets. 5 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 971-0666.
Turnstile Sat. With Diamond Youth, Turnover, Angel Du$t, Blind Justice, Fourth Son. 7 p.m. Epic Problem, 4215 E Columbus Dr., Tampa. $14. (813) 382-3477.
Pat Matheny Unity Group Sun. 7 p.m. The Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. $45-$65. (727) 892-5767.
J Boog Sun. With Los Rakas. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 565-0550.
The Slackers Tues. With the Duppies. 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $12-$14. (813) 241-8600.
Hunktronic Wed. With Holiday, Young Egypt, Luuls. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3. (727) 424-1809.
Abandon All Ships Thurs. With The Browning, My Ticket Home, I Am King. 6:30 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $11.50. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Russian Circles Thurs. With Inter Arma, KEN Mode. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15 and up. (813) 248-9500.
-- Ray Roa, tbt*