This week in Tampa: Weezer, Counting Crows, Boston, LeAnn Rimes, Little Dragon and more
Summer starts with a whiz-bang lineup of rock and country that stretches from the '70s to the '80s to the '90s to the '00s to today, with the premiere event arguably the biggest free postgame concert the Tampa Bay Rays have ever staged: Weezer on Saturday.
After the jump, Ray Roa walks you through a big week in music, including Weezer, Counting Crows, Boston, LeAnn Rimes, Little Dragon, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Black Star Riders, Foxy Shazam, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Juliet Simms and more...
With Toad the Wet Sprocket
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $56.50-$105. strazcenter.org.
In a summer full of ’90s rock double bills (Nine Inch Nails with Soundgarden, Everclear with Soul Asylum, Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth), this might be the best. Certainly, it’s the most melodic. Adam Duritz and the Counting Crows haven’t been through Tampa Bay since 2009, but with a new album on the horizon — and more than two decades in the books since their megaselling debut album August and Everything After — they’re ready to return and guide fans on a journey through their catalog of hits. Opening the show is Toad the Wet Sprocket, whose hits (Fall Down, All I Want, Something’s Always Wrong) would’ve made killer mixtape companions to Mr. Jones, Round Here and A Long December back in the day. — Jay Cridlin
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $49.50-$125. (727) 791-7400.
We have More Than A Feeling that this show will be sold out by the time Friday night rolls along, so commit to going if you happen to stumble upon a ticket. The band has gone through more lineup changes than we care to count, but classics like Smokin’ and Foreplay/Long Time will be a pleasant sonic jog through Boston’s almost 40-year-career. Founding member Tom Scholz leads the band on this tour, which is in support of last year’s Life, Love, & Hope LP. The album — which was meticulously recorded by Scholz over the last decade — actually features vocals from singer Brad Delp (who committed suicide in 2007), so it’ll be interesting to see how Boston (who pride themselves on not using pre-recorded tracks during live shows) will pay tribute to him at this performance.
Andrew Jackson Jihad
With Cheap Girls, Dogbreth
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $12-$14. (813) 241-8600.
They’re led by a former social-worker frontman who doles out impassioned, we-don’t-give-a-damn-about-niceties folk-punk that is 10 times more intense live than on record. And there will be a room full of sweaty fans reciting every word of Andrew Jackson Jihad’s songs at Crowbar, too. It’s all thanks to the figurative blood and guts that frontman Sean Bonnette and upright bass player Ben Gallaty have poured into an 11-piece catalog that touches on bemusingly macabre topics like driving under the influence (The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving), white male privilege (American Tune), and even taking homeless people to shelters (Zombie By The Cranberries). Safe it isn’t, but you deserve to experience it at least once.
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Hard Rock Café (at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino), 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. $55. (813) 627-7757.
Almost two decades after its release, LeAnn Rimes’ Blue, with all it’s twangy sass and soul, still rings loud in the ears of fans who have been following the 31-year-old country songstress since she burst onto the scene as a 13-year-old with the voice of a grown woman. Her career arc has featured a novel’s worth of ups (1997’s Best New Artist Grammy, a 2009 CMA Humanitarian Award for her work fighting psoriasis) and downs (weird divorces, Coyote Ugly), but Rimes has soldiered on, and she arrives at the Hard Rock Cafe supporting last year’s Spitfire. Her label botched the promotion of the album, which is a shame, because songs like the tile cut and a Jeff Beck-featuring cover of Buddy and Julie Miller’s Gasoline & Matches are some of the best things the Rimes camp has ever released.
SATURDAY Following Rays vs. Seattle Mariners (first pitch at 4:10 p.m.) Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. Free with game ticket. (888) 326-7297.
Say It Ain’t So. After a 2012 power-popped, nerd-worthy set at the Mahaffey Theater, Weezer are returning to The ’Burg to play the outfield of our favorite little air-conditioned baseball stadium. The Rays’ play on the diamond has been depressing to watch of late, but maybe songs like Beverly Hills, My Name Is Jonas and Surf Wax America will be enough to dig them out of the dumps and back on track to win their first World Series title (if Only In Dreams, right?). Recent tours have found the 20-year-old outfit playing the entirety of their classic albums, but we’ll definitely settle for frontman Rivers Cuomo leading his band through a few cuts from their 1996 cult favorite Pinkerton this time around.
Preson Phillips album release
With MRENC, Brother Cephus
SATURDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
God rock gets a bad rap sometimes. Preson Phillips, who is celebrating his fourth full-length In Our Winter, can turn all that around in a heartbeat. As the pastor of Seminole Heights’ Watermark Church, Phillips, 33, is armed with tunes that could be used in praise and worship sessions, but the palatial sound of his band’s dynamic, sprawling Americana is worth a listen for music lovers who appreciate honest lyricism, tight musicianship and unabashed passion. Part of the face of Phillips’ beat-up guitar has been worn down to reveal the guitar’s innards, and that transparent look into his instrument is good metaphor for the way this songwriter approaches his craft: Without pretense, and marked with a refreshing commitment to giving listeners every ounce of the person he is and hopes to be.
Black Star Riders
With Rockstar Bentley, Azzitizz
MONDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $17-$25. (727) 895-3045.
Thin Lizzy’s iconic bassist and founding member Phil Lynott died almost 20 years ago, and the ’70s rock legends have honored his legacy ever since by mostly refusing to put out new material (we’re not going to count a 1999 live album). Well, The Boys Are Back In Town ... kind of. Black Star Riders is a new band centered around longtime Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham plus on-and-off keyboardist Darren Wharton, and while this new outfit doesn’t feature original drummer Brian Downey (he didn’t want to commit to touring), Black Star Riders’ sound is a total homage to the Irish classic rock that Thin Lizzy executed with albums like their 1971 self-titled LP and the 1976 highlight Jailbreak. The Riders’ new album All Hell Breaks Loose features 13 songs hurriedly recorded over as many days, and songs like Bound For Glory and Someday Salvation are definitely good enough to get longtime fans out to the show, where they can close their eyes and pretend it’s their old-school heroes onstage anyway.
With Larry and His Flask
TUESDAY 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15. (813) 248-9500.
A band better hope it can back up its chest-thumping after titling a song Welcome To The Church of Rock And Roll. Cincinnati quintet Foxy Shazam put their money where their mouths are and then some. Their discography is a shimmering collection of modern glam rock that boasts all the bravado of ballsier outfits like The Darkness while painting songs like Killin’ It, Wanna-Be Angel, and Oh Lord with the kind of strange, almost effortless look-at-me-go musicality Freddie Mercury would be proud of. Frontman Eric Nally and company take things even further on their new, free-to-download album, Gonzo, on which they dress nine tracks up with the sounds of mathy nerd-pop (Don’t Give In), dark synths (Have The Fun), and sultry horns (Gonzo). Oregonian punkgrass outfit Larry and His Flask provide the banjo-driven (but equally energetic) sonic foil to Foxy’s shazamming at this show.
With Lawrence Rothman
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20-$25. (813) 248-9500.
Yukimi Nagano’s confident strut and vocal prowess during Little Dragon’s 2011 Ybor City show was enough to land the set on Soundcheck’s best-of-the-year list, but she hasn’t slowed down after that. Nagano, 32, and her band went on to blow the doors of Coachella, and everything the band has done onstage and in studio since then has been affirmation of the talent they displayed on their 2011 breakthrough LP Ritual Union. Their latest offering, Nabuma Rubberband, continues the tradition by splattering Nagano’s simultaneously airy and ferocious soul-licked vocals all over neu-pop arrangements that teeter on the fringes of electronic acid jazz (Klapp Klapp), bedpost-breaking R&B (Pink Cloud), and ridiculously dark and danceable industrial chamber music (Killing Me). The Orpheum usually has its air conditioner set to feel like it’s ’60 degrees inside, but don’t be surprised to see steamy streams of sweat pouring down the windows at this one.
Everyone Dies In Utah Fri. With InDirections, Ashylus, Nevada Rose, Tonight Not Josephine, Civil Action, Relief In Sleep. 6 p.m. Brass Mug, 1450 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 972-8152.
An Evening of Inspired Improvisation Fri. With Dave Coash, Lowell Adams, Corey Holt Merenda, James L. Hall, Ray Villadonga, Jeremy Powell, Robert Constable. 8 p.m. Salvador Dali Museum, 1 Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 823-3767.
Selwyn Birchwood Fri. With T.C. Carr and Bolts of Blue. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Enview Fri. With Photobomb, Civil Action, When I Wake, SAHE, Rosedale. 8 p.m. Pegasus Lounge, 10008 N 30th St., Tampa. $5-$7. (813) 971-1679.
Rod Rojas Jazz Quartet Fri. 8 p.m. St. Petersburg City Theatre, 4025 31st St. S, St. Petersburg. $10-$20. (727) 866-1973.
Gina Sicilia Fri. 9 p.m. Ace’s Lounge, 4343 Palma Solo Blvd., Bradenton. $8-$12. (941) 795-3886.
Josh Lamkin Sat. 6 p.m. Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $5. (727) 644-7895.
Tritonal Sat. With Paris Blohm, Docco, Basomatik. 10 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15. (813) 873-8368.
Smells Like Teen Lit: Teenage Wasteland II Sat. With Permanent Makeup, Y Los Dos Pistoles, Glow Low. 7 p.m. Planet Retro Gallery, 2414 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Suggested $7 (or new children’s or young adult book) for donation. (727) 218-7434.
Loud Harp Sat. With Joel Davis, Ashley Jones. 7 p.m. Christ Community Church, 6202 N Himes Ave., Tampa. $10. (813) 879-2077.
Juliet Simms Sat. With Lions After Dark, The Northwest. 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10-$15. (813) 241-8600.
Level 10 Sat. 9:30 p.m. Ybor City Jazz House, 1611 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 409-4258.
Suncoast Blues Society 17th Anniversary Sat. With Shaun Murphy. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
We Are Jazz (Session Three) Sun. With NPG, Resurgence. 8 p.m. Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Donations accepted. (901) 619-1519.
Crazy Legs Sun. With Charlie Chase, DJ Casper, DJ Lesage. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. Free. (813) 241-8600.
Delta Moon Sun. 4 p.m. Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$15. (813) 248-2356.
See Through Dress Sun. With Zulu Wave, Empire Cinema. 9 p.m. The Hub, 519 N Franklin St., Tampa. Free. (813) 229-1553.
The Ukiah Drag Tues. With I Like Dog Face and Swamp Hag, Fishwife, No Milk. 8:30 p.m. Mojo Books and Music, 2540 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Donations accepted. (813) 971-9717.
-- Ray Roa, tbt*