Alicia Keys >>
With Robin Thicke
Details: 7:30 p.m. Sunday. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $71.80-$118.10. (813) 301-2500.
When Lauryn Hill slipped from public view in the early '00s, the neo-soul genre was left with a gaping hole. That is until a stunning and able Alicia Keys swooped in. A classically trained pianist and an admirer of greats Aretha and Gladys, Keys merges the silkiness of old-school soul with the strut of modern hip-hop. Unfortunately, in today's gimmicky, Auto-Tuned pop diva world, sometimes it takes an American Idol butchering of Fallin' to remind you just how good Keys really is. Oprah, Bob Dylan and your dental hygienist all love Keys. And for me, Diary is still the kind of song I'd circle the neighborhood once more just to listen to until the end.
Luke Bryan, Chasco Fiesta concerts
Featuring Luke Bryan, Love and Theft, Wiley Fox
Details: 5:45 p.m. Saturday. Sims Park Amphitheater, 6341 Bank St., New Port Richey. $15-$30. www.chascofiesta.com.
Pasco's oldest and largest festival goes country Saturday night. Small-town Georgia boy Luke Bryan just picked up "top new solo vocalist" honors at the Academy of Country Music Awards, a nice supplement to the fact that he can "grow his own groceries and salt cure a ham" (Country Man). Clearwater native Stephen Barker Liles writes, sings and plays guitar and piano for rising country-rock act Love and Theft. The group's Top 10 country single Runaway, complete with three-part Eagles-esque harmonies, helped them earn a slot on Tim McGraw's upcoming tour. Also at Chasco are John Lee Hooker Jr. and Damon Fowler (5:30 tonight, $5) and the Legends of Doo Wop with Joey Dee and Jonathan Cortez (6 p.m. Friday, $5).
Details: 7 p.m. Wednesday. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $10.50. (813) 248-9500.
The only predictable thing about a 100 Monkeys show is its unpredictability. Jackson Rathbone, shown here, the actor who plays Jasper Hale in the Twilight series, fronts this improv-rock group, which sometimes sounds like the Strokes. The rest of the time they're making it up as they go. We'd call gimmick on this one, but the last time we underestimated a concert with a Twilight connection, folkie and Robert Pattinson pal Bobby Long blew us away.
Sensory Overload 5
Featuring Joe Popp, the Beauvilles, Have Gun, Will Travel, Beardsley, the Hole, Sons of Hippies, Worldwide Zoo, Dynasty, DJ Cub, more.
Details: 8 p.m. Saturday. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. And the Roosevelt, 1812 N 15th St., Ybor City. $10 advance, $15 day of. sensoryoverloadtampa.com.
Before Jobsite Theater reprises Joe Popp's rock-opera take on Pericles in April, the former Tampa resident will play an acoustic rock set at Sensory Overload, a multimedia, multi-arts feast for the senses. We've gushed over Have Gun, Will Travel and Sons of Hippies before, but here's another opportunity to check them out. And how about giving this a try: "Flavor tripping," a Bacchanalian food-tasting experience, features "Miracle Fruit," a taste bud-twisting berry that "makes lemons taste like candy and hot sauce taste like donut glaze." It's all part of the Creative Loafing event that stretches among several Ybor City venues including New World Brewery, King Corona, RedLetter 1, the Honey Pot and Jezabelle and Her Wandering Gypsies.
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at [email protected]