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This week in Tampa: Wild Splash, Florida Strawberry Festival, Rascal Flatts, Reggae Rise Up and more



Festivals are dominating Florida this weekend.

Not only is the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival launching in South Florida today, but this weekend brings several major fests to Tampa Bay: Wild Splash with Lil Wayne, Fabolous and Yo Gotti; the Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival with Gary Allan and Huey Lewis and the News; and Reggae Rise Up with the Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds and Stick Figure.

And then there's the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, which will bring in a huge list of names, including Donny and Marie Osmond, the Band Perry, Charlie Wilson, Cole Swindell, Trace Adkins, Martina McBride, Merle Haggard, Echosmith, Lecrae and more. Click here for our full preview of the 2016 Florida Strawberry Festival.

For everything else -- including concerts by Willie Nelson, Tony Bennett, Steve Aoki, Rascal Flatts, the Moody Blues, Yelawolf, Melanie Martinez, State Champs, Neck Deep, Los Lonely Boys, Mac Sabbath, Donavon Frankenreiter, Between the Buried and Me, August Burns Red, Machine Gun Kelly, Caskey, Michale Graves, Southern Culture on the Skids and more -- here's Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...

Wild Splash
With Lil Wayne, Fabolous, Yo Gotti, Lil Dicky, Kodak Black, Dougie F, JR Castro, more
SATURDAY 1 p.m. Coachman Park, Clearwater. Sold out, but some tickets available via Wild 94.1. See
The key to a good festival, said WLLD-94.1 FM program director Orlando Davis, is diversity. You want that big-name headliner. You want that up-and-comer. You want that one act with the serious diehard fans. This year’s 94.1 Wild Splash, which returns Saturday to Coachman Park in Clearwater, has it all. “If you look at Lil Wayne by himself, he can garner a $35 ticket with ease,” Davis said. “Lil Dicky is that one that’s coming up with this great lyrical content. Throw in a Fabolous, who is just is a verse superstar. And the ’hood and the streets love Yo Gotti.” Throw in 18-year-old Florida phenom Kodak Black — who just scored a hot feature on French Montana’s new mixtape Wave Gods — along with Dougie F, JR Castro and a few possible surprises, and Davis is right about that ticket price. This year’s Wild Splash once again sold out in advance; the only way to win tickets is through the station. If you can’t get in to see the concert, there are always parties on the side. Club Skye (1509 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City) will host an official pre-party with Dougie F and Castro on Friday night, and an after-party with Lil Dicky on Saturday. Whiskey North (11921 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa) is slated to host an after-party with Yo Gotti, while AJA Channelside (290 S Meridien Ave., Tampa) will bring in Fabolous. Might Weezy himself show up? It’s not a bad bet — he’s a fixture at the Skatepark of Tampa’s Tampa Pro competition, which kicks off Friday, so you might see him around town all weekend.

Melanie Martinez
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. Sold out.

Beyond Taylor and Katy and Adele, there’s a whole realm of alternative ingenues doing big things of their own. Halsey is headlining Madison Square Garden. Grimes and FKA Twigs are topping year-end lists. And Melanie Martinez is one of the most popular alumni from NBC’s The Voice. The 20-year-old Season 3 finalist last fall released the chilly electro-emo album Cry Baby, which cleverly juxtaposes images of childhood innocence with the confessional anxieties of young adulthood. It’s striking a nerve: Her concert at the Ritz Ybor sold out weeks ago. If a new generation of stars really is about to take pop’s reins, Martinez will be a player to watch.

Reggae Rise Up
With the Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds, Stick Figure, Fortunate Youth, Sun Dried Vibes, Tatanka, Resinated, Oceanstone
SATURDAY 1 p.m. Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg. $40.05 and up.

St. Petersburg became a hub for America’s reggae-rock movement thanks to a string of packed Jannus Live concerts. But the crowds have grown too big for the courtyard. Enter festivals like Reggae Rise Up, which arrives in Vinoy Park on Saturday, 18 months after it debuted in Tampa. The Dirty Heads (My Sweet Summer) top the bill, along with Tribal Seeds, Stick Figure, Fortunate Youth, Sun Dried Vibes, Tatanka, Resinated and Oceanstone. This is the first of two big summer reggae-rock shows in St. Pete — the other, on Aug. 14, brings Slightly Stoopid, SOJA and Fortunate Youth. Slather on sunscreen and invest in a new hemp blanket, and your sweet summer is made.

Steve Aoki
With Basomatik, Blunts & Blondes, Nate Verde
SATURDAY 10 p.m. Amphitheatre Event Facility, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $40. (813) 873-8368.
Steve Aoki gets a lot of slack for being one of those DJs who largely pushes play on his rig before shooting confetti all over the place, all while smashing people with cakes and blinding them with lasers. Critics say he couldn’t mix a drink, but the 38-year-old producer probably just ignores all the hate and enjoys his status as DJ Mag’s No. 10 DJ in the world. (He was No. 2 a year ago.) Aoki’s set at Amphitheatre is still notable, though. It’s a tiny room considering the EDM mega-star’s popularity and happens just a few months after he played an unforgettable set at the Tampa Bay Rays’ summer concert series. Tickets are a little more pricey than most of the itinerary at this Ybor City dance music stronghold, but don’t be surprised if the show sells out before doors even open.

Wet Nurse (Album Release)
With Permanent Makeup, Broom Closet
FRIDAY 10 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
“Babez” hanging on walls. You’ll see some of that at The Bends on Friday night thanks to the opening of local photographer Mari Sabra’s “Wild Babez” photo exhibit, but there’s even more double-X chromosome action to be had when Wet Nurse, a raucous and fun-loving power-punk and pop quartet from Orlando, celebrates the vinyl release of their sophomore album So It Goes. (It’s been available online since September.) St. Pete proto-punk favorites Permanent Makeup flesh out the heart of this lineup that will also see a set from Broom Closet, a carefree garage-pop trio led by Avery Moore. The off-Central watering stop is giving the power to the people for this First Friday show by keeping the cover at zero dollars.

The Alternative Press Tour
With State Champs, Neck Deep, Knuckle Puck, Like Pacific
SATURDAY 5:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $17-$20. (813) 248-9500.
In 30 years on magazine racks and newsstands, the Alternative Press has seen its fair share of ups and downs alternating between being on the forefront of the space and feeling nearly forgotten in today’s blog-heavy landscape. Alternative Press endures, however, and celebrates three decades this weekend by bringing to Ybor City State Champs, an Albany, N.Y.-based five piece heavily influenced by Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory, and Story So Far. The Champs’ sound is one of the poppiest of all the punk-pop outfits floating around and will fit well with the rest of the Alternative Press tour’s lineup, which includes Ben Barlow’s crunchy emo outfit Neck Deep and Chicago’s Knuckle Puck, who might be the dark-horse favorite to steal the show.

With Mike Mass
SATURDAY 6 p.m. Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $15-$16. (813) 247-1214.
As skateboarding continues to permeate the mainstream (We’ll likely live to see it in the Olympics.), the Tampa Pro continues to stand as one of the most unique contests in the sport’s annual schedule. It’s the extremely rare contest in which attendees can literally reach out and touch the athletes (please don’t during runs), and there’s no way not to walk out of the warehouse without smelling like day-old underwear. The event promises to get extremely rowdy after competition closes on Saturday thanks to the skate park’s infamous open bar, a concrete course cash contest, and a set from tatted-up Alabama country boy Yelawolf. The 36-year-old comes with a trunk-rattling new single, Out Of Control, and he’ll have to do everything he can to make sure local emcee Mike Mass does not steal the spotlight with an inimitable flow that’s earned him a reputation as one of the best emcees the area has ever seen. Admission is included with a ticket to Saturday’s competition, but fans who don’t care about skating can still pop in for an extra dollar.

Los Lonely Boys
With Daniel Thomas Phipps &  The Kinfolk
SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30-$37.50. (727) 791-7400.
More than a decade after they injected it into the global lexicon with their smash hit Heaven, Los Lonely Boys are content to ride high on Chicano rock. The family band is still touring behind the same album (2013’s Revelation) that they brought to the Tampa Bay Margarita Fest two years ago, but their easy-listening, guitar-slinging brand of Tejano-flavored blues hasn’t been watered down at all. Instead, it has grown more potent, and should be on full display when the Garza boys — Henry, Jojo and Ringo — unplug for a special acoustic set at Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall. Cosmic folkie Daniel Thomas Phipps leads his band, The Kinfolk, through a set of laid-back strummers to open the show.

Denny Laine
With The Cryers, Billy Buckley
TUESDAY 7 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$30. (813) 971-0666.
Proximity to a Beatle is the most valuable form of currency in many circles, and Denny Laine definitely flaunts his share of it. The 71-year-old Englishman was a founding member and lead singer of Birmingham, England, psych rockers the Moody Blues (who are actually playing in the area few days before Denny), but he hangs his hat on a decade spent playing alongside Paul McCartney in Wings. His stint as the band’s guitarist and backup vocalist coincided with Wings’ commercial apex and Laine has co-writing credits on hits like Mull of Kintyre plus a Grammy on the shelf (thanks, Band On the Run). He brings his signature guitar chops and a wealth of stories to the Skipperdome on Tuesday for what is sure to be a nostalgia-filled set.

Rascal Flatts
THURSDAY at the conclusion of play at the Valspar Championship. Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, 36750 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. $39-$125. (727) 942-2000.

Love country music, but hate golf? You’ve got a decision to make this week because Gary Levox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney are coming to Palm Harbor’s Valspar Championship to help wrap up the PGA Tour stop’s first day of play. Fans of the game can spring for passes to watch the athletes slap that dimpled white orb around, but the rest of you can buy a concert-only ticket to see the country harmony makers work through a decade and a half’s worth of albums, including 2014’s uber-smooth Rewind. The boys are no strangers to the area and normally stop in every year, so don’t feel bad if you have to skip heading out to the golf club to catch this show.

Mac Sabbath
With Wolf-Face, Nerds Raging, Twisty Chris and the Puddin’ Packs
THURSDAY 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12-$15.
Munch’s Make Believe Band. Schroeder from the Peanuts. Alvin and the Chipmunks. There is no shortage of famed cartoon music makers out there, but Mac Sabbath might take the cake… or McNugget if you will. The parody band unofficially brings McDonald’s Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese, Grimace and of course Ronald McDonald to life in a demented live show that pays tribute to Black Sabbath with what they’ve dubbed “Drive Thru Metal.” The costumes look like something out of a minor acid trip, and the tunes are a hilariously sloppy adaptation of Ozzy classics like Iron Man, Paranoid and Never Say Die that have been repurposed (and retitled Frying Pan, Pair-a-Buns and Never Say Diet) to suit Mac Sabbath’s fast-food roots. This show is supposed to sell out, so fans should wrangle up tickets now if they want a special Happy Meal on Thursday night.

Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival
With Gary Allan (Saturday), Huey Lewis and the News (Sunday)
SATURDAY-SUNDAY 6 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 McKinley Drive, Tampa. Included with park admission.
In recent years, the food at theme parks has become an attraction itself. This week, the Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival returns for eight weekends of culinary creations and a concert series with 11 different culinary cabins set up along Gwazi Park. The festival offers small plates of gourmet goods and more than 120 wines, beers and cocktails. A concert series kicks off with country’s Gary Allan on Saturday and Huey Lewis and the News on Sunday. It will include Andy Grammer, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meatloaf, the All-American Rejects and O.A.R. The concerts are included with park admission, though food samples start at $4 and drinks start at $7.50. The park has sampler tickets of $24.99-$44.99 that get you five to 10 smaller-sized samples of drinks and food. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Also Playing

Michale Graves, Fri. With Kevin K. Band, The Surfin’ Dead, Switchblade Villain. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10 and up.

Rayzilla’s Dreamboats (CD Release), Fri. With WAHH! World Fusion Band, Maggie Council, Ed Woltil, Gumbi’s Electrik Rendezvous, Ronny Elliott. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 971-0666.

Willie Nelson Fri. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Sold out. (727) 791-7400.

Gillian Carter, Sat. With Innerout, Cepheus, Station Cases, Escapist, Oceans Rise, Fevers, Big Brother. 6 p.m. Lucky You Tattoo, 9633 Bay Pines Blvd., Seminole. $6-$8 donations for touring bands. (727) 623-9928.

Southern Culture On the Skids, Sat. With The Stick Martin Show. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.

Moody Blues, Sat. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $68.75-$200. (727) 791-7400.

Brooke Evers, Sun. With Chris Bedore, Barry Carew, Santana, OB7, Chris Craze, Sambo. 6 p.m. Beach Bar, 7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. Free. (813) 281-8900.

Machine Gun Kelly, Mon. With Caskey. 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $40. (813) 247-2555.

Tony Bennett Mon. 7:30 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $65 and up. (727) 893-7832.

Antje Duvekot, Mon. 7:30 p.m. Club Jaeb at David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $15-$29.50. (813) 229-7827.

Between the Buried and Me, Tue. With August Burns Red, The Faceless, Good Tiger. 5:30 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $23-$25. (727) 565-0550.

The Veer Union, Tue. With Bobaflex. 6 p.m. Venom’s Back Room Bar & Grill, 7430 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. $12-$15 (727) 842-8371.

Au Revoir, Wed. With Mountain Holler, Infinite Third, Gullwing. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 424-1809.

Donavon Frankenreiter, Thurs. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$25. (727) 895-3045.

Laney Jones and the Spirits, Thurs. With Shae Krispinsky, Sam Robertson. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $10-$12. (813) 248-4969.

Creepoid, Thurs. With Holly Hunt, Junior Bruce. 8 p.m. The Amsterdam, 1049 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 623-4950.

-- Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 6:23pm]


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