This week in Tampa: ZZ Top, B.B. King, Switchfoot and more
The week between Christmas and New Year's is usually kind of a slow one, concert-wise, but not this year. It starts tonight with Deadmau5 at Raymond James Stadium, and continues into next week with ZZ Top, B.B. King, Switchfoot, Kansas, Man Or Astro-Man?, Laidback Luke, Zach Deputy, Donna the Buffalo, Little River Band, Tommy Trash and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Hard Rock Café, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. $55 and up. (813) 627-7757.
If you disregard a brief hiatus in the mid-’80s, Kansas and their wayward sons have been blowing around like dust in the wind for 40 years. To celebrate the occasion, the Topeka-born band is livening up your post-Christmas itinerary by taking their British-influenced brand of good-ol’-boy prog-rock to the casino’s Hard Rock Café, where beloved songs like Hold On and Song For America are sure to mix in just fine with cuts from Kansas’ latest LP, 2009’s There’s No Place Like Home. Superfans who got a little something extra from Santa might be able to spring for the deluxe meet-and-greet VIP package, too.
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $55-$175. (727) 791-7400.
Everything is big in Texas, and the beards of Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill are no exception. Since 1970, the pair — along with drummer Frank Beard (who has ironically forgone facial hair) have been pumping out boogie-based blues-rock, piecing together 15 LPs and earning a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along the way. What’s more amazing is that they’ve avoided personnel changes for the last four decades and remain as sharp-dressed as ever. They’ll come to Ruth Eckerd ready to throw all their lovin’ onto hits like Just Got Paid, Legs and La Grange, so be ready to shake your Tush at this one.
Little River Band
FRIDAY 5:30 p.m. Cleveland Street, Downtown Clearwater. Free ($30 for VIP). (727) 791-7400.
Classic rock fans without rock star budgets are probably saddened by some of the ticket prices and VIP packages for shows like Kansas or ZZ Top, but downtown Clearwater is offering a less expensive outing in the form of Blast Fridays. This particular edition of the free monthly music series welcomes Little River Band to Cleveland Street, where the Aussies will do a little Reminiscing of their own via soft-pop hits like Cool Change and Lady while concertgoers enjoy the lights of the revamped façade on the recently re-opened Capitol Theatre. There’s even some VIP seating for anyone who feels the need to part with their money, and the weather is set to be beautiful, so you shouldn’t feel like a Lonesome Loser when you get there.
With J. Roddy Walston and The Business
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Free, but ticket required. See 97xonline.com for details.
Local radio station 97X might have mostly ditched actual programming in lieu of a new listener-dictated playlist, but they sure haven’t shied away from curating quality shows for their followers. Coming off the success of their latest Next Big Thing show at Vinoy Park, WSUN is headed to Jannus Live and welcoming Switchfoot and J. Roddy Walston and the Business to play the station’s last free show of 2013. The Christian alt-rockers responsible for the hits Meant To Live and Dare You To Move turned into filmmakers for their latest album Fading West (which coincides with the release of the band’s surf documentary of the same name), but get there early to catch a rowdy set from Walston and company, who have been hawking intense scorched-earth southern rock 'n’ roll since their debut LP, Here Comes Trouble, in 2002.
With Tommy Trash, Brazzabelle, Nick Hogan
SUNDAY 6 p.m. Hogan’s Beach, 7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. $27.50-$49.50. (813) 281-8900.
Melding two words that could only coexist in Florida, the “Winter Beach” mini-fest is set to be a saltwater-infused celebration of EDM, where Manila-born Dutch hitmaker Laidback Luke (real name: Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen) brings songs like Promise Land and the Major Lazer collaboration Sweat to the sandy shores of Old Tampa Bay. The hard-partying Tommy Trash and Los Angeles-based remixer Brazzabelle play support, but super early birds will be able to witness an opening set from Hulk Hogan’s offspring Nick, who looks to use his DJ skills to entice the crowd into some early fist-pumping.
TUESDAY 9 p.m. and THURSDAY 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $65-$200. (727) 791-7400.
There’s only one thing better than a New Year’s Eve show at an extremely intimate classic theater, and that’s an encore performance two days later. B.B. King and the Capitol Theatre will deliver just that when the 88-year-old blues legend and Lucille (his equally fabled Gibson ES-355 Les Paul) take over downtown Clearwater for a pair of shows. He might sneak in a post-holiday tune like Back Door Santa, but will surely deliver surefire hits like Rock Me Baby, Three O’Clock Blues and Please Love Me. King may be approaching his 90s, but rest assured, the thrill is not gone from his live show.
Man Or Astro-Man?
With The Apes
TUESDAY 10 p.m. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, 5119 N Nebraska, Ave., Tampa, $60 (includes dinner buffet, champagne toast, more). (813) 234-1000.
Ella’s already provides plenty of down-home southern hospitality within their cozy Nebraska Avenue digs, but their New Year’s Eve parties are almost legendary. They might have outdone themselves this time around, though, as they’ve booked a performance from surf rock’s intergalactic superheroes, Man Or Astro-Man?. The Alabama outfit has been busy since coming off of hiatus (they just played Orbit 19 in Holiday five months ago), and their wild stage show might not even be able to fit on Ella’s tiny stage, so it’ll be interesting to see what the place looks like when it’s all over. Admission gets you Ella’s famous dinner buffet, and this show is likely to sell out, making advance sales a priority if you want to get in the door.
Rock The Park
With Beartoe, Little Sheba and the Shamans, Brand New Opiates
THURSDAY 6:30 p.m. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Free. (813)274-8677.
In the three years since its inception, Rock The Park has quickly become a staple of downtown Tampa nightlife, and as the monthly music series begins its 2014 campaign, they’re set to continue their tradition of mixing the occasional national touring act with some of the best musical talent Florida has to offer. For this all-Sunshine State bill, they invite gypsy-swamp-folk quintet Beartoe to occupy Curtis Hixon Park along with ’60s garage-soul makers Little Sheba and the Shamans and rock 'n’ rollers Brand New Opiates. The music is always good, plus the views of the Hillsborough River and the sun setting behind the University of Tampa’s minarets can’t be beat, so grab a blanket and head out early for this one.
Mighty Mongo Fri. With Paint The Town Red, This Day’s Age, Ajeva. Fri. Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Tommy Brandt Fri. 6:30 p.m. The Farm, 7829 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Lithia. Free. (813) 967-3046.
Dull Blades Fri. With One Trip Little. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 424-1809.
Chris Fortier Fri. With Brian Busto, Andy Mara. 10 p.m. Hyde Park Café, 1806 W Platt St., Tampa. $10 (free for ladies). (813) 254-2233.
UNRB Fri. With Christie Lenee. 5 p.m. Ale and The Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.
The Fritz Fri. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Dvbbs Sat. With Doco, Masoatik. 9:30 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 873-8368.
Sean Chambers Sat.. 9 p.m. Ace’s Lounge, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton. $7-$10. (941) 795-3886.
Zach Deputy Sat. With Kaleigh Baker. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $.15-$20. (813) 971-0666.
No Loves Sat. With Switchable Villain, Therapeutic Chokehold. 9 p.m. Emerald Bar, 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3-$4. (727) 898-6054.
Legendary JC’s Sat. 9 p.m. Hard Rock Café, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. Free. (813) 627-7757.
Sonic Graffiti Sat. With Flat Stanley, NoMore, Vanguard. 9:30 p.m. Pegasus Lounge, 10008 N 30th St., Tampa. $5-$7. (813) 971-1679.
Donna The Buffalo Tues. With Rebekah Pulley. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Rd., Tampa. $35-$40 (includes party favors, champagne toast, breakfast buffet). (813) 971-0666.
Baby Anne Tues. With Nerd Rage, Docco, Winta, Shanta, Mr. Saturn, Basmatik, Tommy Rize. 9 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$20. (813) 873-8368.
All Good Tuesdays NYE Tues. With Florida Night Heat, Samurai Shotgun, DJ Qeys, DJ Mes, SJ Silencio. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. Free. (813) 241-8600.
Nick and The Ovorols Thurs. 9 p.m. Ringside Café, 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 894-8465.
-- Ray Roa, tbt*