Everyone knows Ribfest is essentially one giant classic rock-a-thon. In addition to all the barbecue, you're definitely going to get a lot of solid gold FM rock singles.
Last year, the lineup included Styx, the Doobie Brothers and Asia. In 2007, it was the Edgar Winter Band and Foreigner's Lou Gramm. In 2006, it was the Guess Who and the Marshall Tucker Band. And so forth and so on, year in and year out, until the beginning of time.
We heard this year's headliners included George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Blue Oyster Cult. Both cool — we can always use more bourbon, scotch, beer and cowbell, not necessarily in that order — but still, it's more of the same. Classic rock, baby, all the way.
But wait! What's this? This year's Ribfest headliners include some musicians who might be familiar to people under age 40!
Morningwood and Aussie rockers Jet will perform the first night of Ribfest, and the Zac Brown Band and Big Kenny from Big & Rich will perform the last day.
Jet's the best-known of the bands, thanks to the success of songs like Are You Gonna Be My Girl and Cold Hard B----. But we're still suckers for the dumb pop shimmer of Morningwood's Nth Degree. And we all know Big Kenny is the most entertaining half of Big & Rich, but the Zac Brown Band has developed a wide range of fans, from hippies (they've played Bonnaroo) to hard-core Nashvillians (they won this year's ACM Award for Top New Group).
Can this really be the same Ribfest we've always known and (sort of) loved?
Other performers include Damon Fowler, Gator Country, Sonia Leigh, Levi Lowrey, Nic Cowan, Suite Caroline and Amanda Drake and the Barnburners.
Ribfest is Nov. 13-15 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $10-$15. Go to www.ribfest.org for all the details.
Valentine's Day shamrock
If you had to pick one band to play your St. Patrick's Day party, Flogging Molly would have to make the shortlist, right? (Alongside U2, the Corrs, the Pogues, the Dropkick Murphys and, what the heck, House of Pain.)
Sadly, Flogging Molly is not coming to Tampa on St. Patty's Day 2010. But they will be here for … Valentine's Day? Eh, sure, why not. The Celtic-styled punks will play at the Ritz Ybor on Feb. 14. Tickets, $25-$27, go on sale Nov. 14. If you're the type who likes to start your St. Patty's Day party early — like, a month early — this might be the show for you.
• Sad news from Lakeland, as one of the region's top pop-rock bands, Copeland, has decided to call it quits. "It has come time for us to move on from Copeland and follow other paths in our lives," the members wrote in a statement on their MySpace blog. The band said they wouldn't dream of splitting without a proper farewell, so expect an announcement about a major spring tour sometime soon.
• Phil Vassar returns to the Dallas Bull on Nov. 13. Tickets are $9.95 in advance, $15 at the door.