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Don't settle for the fakes for February's top concerts

Say what you will about Florida, but we excel at artifice, at puckish illusion, at inflatable snowmen and minor-scale pagodas in Epcot and all manner of fake plastic thingies forked into our chemically juiced front yards. Fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice — let's throw a party!

Musicwise, there will be all manner of make-believe in February. Not one but four "tribute" acts will salute the classic-rock gods: the Pink Floyd Experience will trip out the Mahaffey on Feb. 11. And on Feb. 12, you'll have a choice between the Ultimate AC/DC and Queen tribute bands at Jannus Live (a free show!) or the Dark Star Orchestra (all hail the Dead!) at the Straz. Why? Because sometimes in Florida, phony is just as tasty as the genuine article.

Of course, if you're weird and crave something, you know, real, here are other February shows …

Top 5 February shows

1DIANA KRALL (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Friday): My mother loves Diana Krall, and I love my mother, so the jazz pianist was already getting a mention on this top five list. But Krall's recent infatuation with bossa nova and Antonio Carlos Jobim is the ideal fit for the subtly alluring siren of the ivories. Should be a steamy show. (

2DAN BERN (Hideaway Cafe, Saturday): The 45-year-old Bern is no doubt sick of being compared to a modern-day Dylan (or Springsteen or Woody Guthrie), especially since his songwriting prowess never launched him further than fevered cult status. But hey, there are worse fates. His 1998 album Fifty Eggs remains a personal fave. Do yourself a favor and holler a request for Tiger Woods. (

3ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Feb. 15): It's not a concert, but it's an appropriately thrilling, thumping way to celebrate Black History Month. This visceral celebration of movement (and muscles I didn't even know we had, like those cool stomach ones) has been an annual staple at the Clearwater venue, and there isn't a better time to embrace some of the greatest dancers in the world. (

4MIRANDA COSGROVE (Tampa Theatre, Feb. 16): My daughters love iCarly, and I love my daughters, so the Nickelodeon star's tween-pop Tampa show was already a done deal for this column, too. But Cosgrove, who first made a splash as the band manager in School of Rock, is also the rare kids-show talent with endurance and star power. I'm not buying into her career as a "singer," but she's a welcome guiding light for my kids. (

5OZZY OSBOURNE AND SLASH (St. Pete Times Forum, Feb. 18) It's been a while since I was giddy about covering a show. Sure, Barry Manilow was fun, and the outpouring of love for my review of his concert was wonderful. (That was sarcasm. I still need security to walk me to my car.) But Ozzy and Slash will try to be as loud and bawdy and hairy as possible. And a silly night of metal mayhem is just what we could use these days. I'll be the one dressed in black. Come find me! (

Top 5 weekend movies

Dollar amounts in millions

The Rite, $15

No Strings Attached, $13.7

The Green Hornet, $11.5

(tie) The Mechanic, $11.5

The King's Speech, $11.1


Top 5 primetime TV shows

 AFC Championship: New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)

 AFC Championship Post Game (CBS)

American Idol - Wednesday (Fox)

American Idol - Thursday (Fox)


Source: Nielsen Co., for week ending Jan. 23

Top 5 albums on iTunes

The King Is Dead, The Decemberists

Science & Faith, The Script

Teenage Dream, Katy Perry

Sigh No More, Mumford & Sons

Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, Social Distortion

Source: iTunes, for week ending Jan. 24

Top 5 Yahoo search terms in Tampa Bay

 Gasparilla Parade

 Oscar nominations

 Kobe Bryant

 Steven Tyler

 When is Super Bowl 2011


Don't settle for the fakes for February's top concerts 01/30/11 [Last modified: Sunday, January 30, 2011 7:23pm]
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