This week in Tampa: Zac Brown Band, Pink, Muse, 3 Doors Down and more
Good day, folks -- and what a good day it is indeed, with a gigantic lineup of massive concerts coming to Tampa Bay. No need for pleasantries -- let's get right to the lineup, which includes huge shows by Pink, Zac Brown Band, Muse, 3 Doors Down, Daughtry, The Hives, Foreigner, Doobie Brothers, Matisyahu, Loudon Wainwright III, Dead Sara, Blackberry Smoke, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Dave Mason, Every Time I Die and much more...
With The Hives
WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $ $36.75-$96.75. (813) 301-2500.
Alecia Moore has long since abandoned the rose-tinted ’do that once defined her. But truth be told, her tough-as-platinum blonde pompadour may be a better fit. Pink is the bird-flipping bad girl in a world of Taylors and Biebers, a scorned riot grrl who’s not afraid to tell it like it is to the men who done her wrong — often with language as colorful as her name. (Come on, Alecia, we know you don’t really need that parenthetical on Blow Me [One Last Kiss].) Since reinvigorating her still-young career with 2001’s Missundaztood, Pink has continually challenged her limits as a pop star, co-writing all of her hits and peppering her arena shows with high-flying feats of acrobatic derring-do (though at her “Truth About Love” tour opener in Phoenix, some critics noted that she seemed to focus more on her stunts than her singing). Nevertheless: As she sings in Raise Your Glass, all the “loud and nitty-gritty, dirty little freaks” will be out in force for this one. Get there early for openers the Hives, an audacious garage-punk trio who swaggered onto American shores with the 2000 single Hate To Say I Told You So. On this night, animated vocalist and frequent tuxedo-wearer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist may be the only singer capable of matching Pink antic for antic.
With Dead Sara
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $32.25-$62.25. (813) 301-2500.
Hollywood has been fretting for years over who should play Freddie Mercury in a Queen biopic. Sacha Baron Cohen is currently preparing for the role, but we have to ask, did anyone consider Muse singer Matthew Bellamy? He’s already got rock-star swagger; he knows a thing or two about showbiz, having fathered a child with fiancee Kate Hudson; and most importantly, he possess an insanely operatic set of pipes. Bellamy’s wild, warbling croon meshes well with the music of Muse, a bombastic British trio that seems to sneer at the quaint notion of artistic restraint. Each Muse album ups the ante on bombast, with 2012’s The 2nd Law dabbling in funk, dubstep and alternative, outer-space orchestras. With cranked-up anthems like Time Is Running Out and Uprising, the group has always had arena-sized ambitions — they played the Forum in 2007, opening for My Chemical Romance, and Raymond James Stadium in 2009, opening for U2 — but this is their first local headlining show, meaning this’ll be the first time Tampa Bay fans can see them in all their resplendent rock-starritude. God only knows what Bellamy has planned for the occasion — but our fingers are crossed for a cover of Bohemian Rhapsody.
Zac Brown Band
With Blackberry Smoke, Levi Lowrey
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Live Nation Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $31.50-$67.50. (813) 740-2446.
If you’re looking for a party band, you’ve come to the right place. Grammy winners the Zac Brown Band played a sold-out concert in Tampa on the night of Gasparilla 2012; they headlined a pricey oil-industry party here during the Republican National Convention; and they closed out the final night of last fall’s DeLuna Music Festival in Pensacola. Then again, isn’t every day a party for these good ol’ beards? Brown and company are famous for their belly-busting “eat and greet” tailgates before every show (sorry, gawkers, but you gotta belong to the fan club), and for letting loose on stage once the lights go down. Sure, casual fans know all about signature singles Toes, Free and Chicken Fried. But their furious live cover of The Devil Went Down to Georgia is a wonder to behold (don’t take your eyes off guitarist Clay Cook or fiddler Jimmy De Martini) — as are their gutsy, out-of-nowhere covers, such as Nirvana’s All Apologies and Rage Against the Machine’s Killing In the Name. The group’s latest effort Uncaged won a Grammy for Best Country Album, largely for daring to dabble in genres most country artists rarely sniff. That’s Zac and the boys in a nutshell.
3 Doors Down and Daughtry
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $52.50-$79.50. (727) 791-7400.
It’s a night of rip-roaring rock for anyone who likes their their chords crunchy, their licks meaty and their singers blessed with Southern snarls. Mississippi’s 3 Doors Down stole the last laugh from any haters who thought they’d be a one-hit wonder after Kryptonite. Their recent Greatest Hits rounded up more than a half-dozen modern rock Number Ones, including Here Without You and When I’m Gone. North Carolina’s Chris Daughtry, meanwhile, remains one of America’s most successful reality TV success stories. Sure, he’s not starring in Smash (like fellow Season 5 winner Katherine McPhee) or performing at the Republican National Convention (like winner Taylor Hicks), but he’s probably pretty happy with Top 10 hits Home and It’s Not Over. As if to make this a true co-headlining tour, 3 Doors Down singer Brad Arnold has taken to joining Daughtry on stage for a cover of Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight. Oh lord, indeed.
Florida Strawbery Festival
With Foreigner, Chubby Checker, Jimmy Sturr
THURSDAY Florida Strawberry Festival grounds, 303 N Lemon St., Plant City. Festival admission: $8 adults, $4 kids in advance, $10/$5 at gate. Concert admission varies. flstrawberryfestival.com.
The biggest names (Blake Shelton, Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam, Hunter Hayes) won’t arrive until March, but the Florida Strawberry Festival does get started next Thursday with a country-free lineup. Polka master Jimmy Sturr plays a free show at 10:30 a.m. Chubby Checker twists yet again at 3:30 p.m.; tickets are $15-$20. And classic rock radio staples Foreigner brings hits like Cold as Ice, Juke Box Hero and Feels Like the First Time — but not famed vocalist Lou Gramm — to the main stage at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $25. As always, about 3,000 free bleacher seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
SATURDAY 7 p.m. University Area Community Center, 14013 N 22nd St., Tampa. $20-$25, $7 children under 12. (813) 386-6687.
Wyclef Jean may get all the headlines, but Haiti’s most beloved musical export might be BélO, a singer-songwriter-guitarist whose diverse catalog defies easy categorization. Singing in Haitian Creole, he plays ragga-tinged Caribbean jams (Jasmine), tender ballads (Timoun Yo) and jazzy pop with flamenco-like touches (M’damou). He’ll unplug for this intimate performance for the Hatian-American Alliance Inc.’s “Anba Tonel” acoustic music series.
Loudon Wainwright III
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $27-$39. (727) 791-7400.
Over 45 years, Loudon Wainwright III’s career has comprised everything from New York folkster to novelty singer-songwriter to now a favorite of comedy’s premier tastemaker. The musician started in 1968, receiving the oft-used label of the “new Bob Dylan.” Then he continued playing for four decades, perhaps scoring his biggest hit with the 1972 novelty song Dead Skunk. Now to a certain generation he may best known for his work with Judd Apatow, including playing the father on Undeclared, and as the father of singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright. Yet he’s still putting out albums including his newest Older Than My Old Man Now, which deals with his father, a Life magazine journalist, and death. The subject is a familiar one for Wainwright, having written about his father’s death before on History and his mother’s on Last Man on Earth. — Jimmy Geurts
Blues at the Crossroads
With The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kim Wilson, James Cotton, Jody Williams, Tinsley Ellis, Bob Margolin
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $39.50-$59.50. (727) 822-3590.
Can’t wait for April’s Tampa Bay Blues Festival? This should tide you over. A group of blues favorites will take on the music of the legendary Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Grammy-nominated group the Fabulous Thunderbirds will back up a handful of blues greats, including Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, who toured with Waters in the ’70s; Jody Williams, who recorded with Wolf in the ’50s; and James “Superharp” Cotton, who accompanied them both on harmonica. If Jack White himself showed up somewhere on this tour, we wouldn’t be surprised.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Tampa Theatre, $38.50-$58.50. 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. $38.50-$58.50. (813) 274-8981.
For most rock stars, an afterparty consists of consuming bottles of Hennessy behind a well-guarded velvet rope. For reggae singer Matisyahu, it’s a Purim spread. The soulful singer born Matthew Miller will bring his acoustic tour to the Tampa Theatre on Saturday, the same night the Jewish holiday begins at sundown. Though Miller shocked fans in 2011 by shaving his iconic beard and saying he was no longer Hasidic, he still identifies as Jewish and explores spiritual themes in his music. So following this show — which will feature stripped-down versions of his best-known songs, plus stories and audience interaction — Matisyahu will be part of Purim afterparty, featuring a costume contest, kosher desserts, a cash bar and a reading of the Megillah. Tickets to the afterparty are $22 and may be purchased at tampatheatre.org. L’chaim!
SUNDAY 5 p.m. Busch Gardens, 3605 Bougainvillea Ave., Tampa. Free with park admission. (813) 987-5600.
The latest date of Busch Gardens’ Bands, Brew & BBQ series brings the Doobie Brothers, a band with the most Yacht Rock cred this side of Seals & Croft. You won’t get long-gone uber-Doobies Michael McDonald or Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, but you will get founding singer-guitarists Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons, whose high harmonies made hits of Blackwater, Jesus is Just Alright and China Grove. Brush up on their Grammy-winning 43-year career with rock doc Let The Music Play: The Story Of The Doobie Brothers.
Dave Mason Fri. 5:30 p.m. Blast Friday in downtown Clearwater’s Cleveland Street district. Free; $25 VIP. (727) 791-7400.
Blair Crimmons and the Hookers Fri. With Poetry n’ Lotion, Dean Johanesen. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Gove Scrivenor Fri. 6 p.m. Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $15. (727) 644-7895.
Ponderosa Fri. 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $7. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Irish Rovers Sat. 5 and 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $39-$49. (727) 791-7400.
Peter Mulvey Sat. With Ralston Bowles, Dean Johanesen. 6 p.m. Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $17-$20. (727) 644-7895.
Clenchfist Sat. With Worlds Divide, Emerge, A(k)new, Screaming at the Silence. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 895-3045.
Pink It Up 4: Ska Bands and Fans Against Breast Cancer Sat. With Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso, Jeremy Gloff, the Long Johns, Victims of Circumstance, more. 7 p.m. Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. $7. (813) 248-2356.
Cope Sat. With Mama’s Love. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Rd., Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
Mat Zo Sat. 10 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave, Ybor City. $10. (813) 873-8368.
Boogie Woogie Blues Piano Stomp! Sat. With Bob Seeley, Daryl Davis, Carl Leyland, Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues. 8 p.m. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $22-$26. (727) 822-3590.
Teenage Bottlerocket Sat. With The Queers, Masked Intruder. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. facebook.com/thelocal662.
That 1 Guy Sat. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $12-14. (813) 241-8600.
Dallas Marlow Sat. 7 p.m. Angry Pepper Taphouse, 9366 Oakhurst Road, Seminole. (727) 596-5766.
Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Sun. 2 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $18-$35. (727) 791-7400.
Every Time I Die Mon. With The Acacia Strain, Vanna, Hundredth, No Bragging Rights. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $17-$20. (813) 248-9500.
Bad Rabbits Wed. 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $7. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Jesse Cook Thur. 8 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $27.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*