BELA FLECK AND THE FLECKTONES
Details: Tonight at 8. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $32 and up. (727) 565-0551.
"Newgrass" pioneers Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are clinic-style players with big heart. This year, harmonica and keys are back in the mix as original member Howard Levy rejoins "drumitarist" Roy "Futureman" Wooten, bassist Victor Wooten and banjoist Bela Fleck, a New Yorker who originally picked up his instrument because of The Beverly Hillbillies theme song. Fleck and crew will deliver tracks off latest jazz-bluegrass-rock-pop-country-mixer-upper Rocket Science, some of which involve 11/16 time signatures (we think). Rocket science indeed.
PANIC! AT THE DISCO
With Foxy Shazam, Patrick Stump
Details: Sunday 7:30 p.m. at the Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25-$27. (813) 247-2555.
Since Panic! At the Disco's lineup change in 2009, the band's supporters could be divided into two camps. Fans of breakout disc A Fever You Can't Sweat Out will appreciate the group's return to emotive pop-punk on this year's Vices and Virtues. Fans who preferred the vintage pop effort on Pretty. Odd. are better off with the Young Veins, a group that features former Panic! members rehashing '60s-style California sounds. Opening the show are Foxy Shazam, an Ohio band that channels Queen to construct operatic piano rock, and former Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump.
Details: Saturday 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $29.50-$64.50. (727) 791-7400.
Dream Theater shows are like fingerprints. No two are ever exactly the same (which probably explains why they are so commonly bootlegged). The band, recently voted one of the top 10 progressive rock bands of all time by Rolling Stone readers, is known for its spacey symphonies of rock, its elaborate metal arrangements and its tendency to draw a largely male audience. On this tour, which supports current release A Dramatic Turn of Events, the band offers licks from new stickman Mike Mangini (Mike Portnoy left the group last year). And keyboardist Jordan Rudess has been offering varying musical tributes to Steve Jobs on an iPad.
Details: Sunday 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $29 and up. (727) 565-0551.
A tomato is a fruit in much the way Bassnectar is a DJ. You know, kinda, sorta. We'd call him a multimedia maestro, a gateway drug to modern electronica, or best of all, a party-starter whose basslines anger car alarms. Like Skrillex's neo-hippie counterpart, the Cali artist offers a less-ominous side to dubstep, as displayed on his wobbly remix of Ellie Goulding's Lights. Expect an audio-visual feast with a Blur sample here, a Gogol Bordello bit there, and lots of caffeinated dancers as the dubstep invasion rumbles on in St. Pete on Sunday.
Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith
Details: Wednesday 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $42.75-$95. (727) 791-7400.
Before Amy Grant, "inspirational" music sales were limited to Christian bookstores and, well, limited in general. Grant helped popularize the genre beginning in the '70s and '80s, and though she's flirted with pop, folk and beyond, her roots have always been steeped in gospel. If your only real Grant memory is the carnival scene from '91 No. 1 hit Baby, Baby, there's plenty to discover at this show. Accompanying Grant is Michael W. Smith, the keyboardist who first performed with Grant on her '82 Age to Age tour.
USF Homecoming Concert
Featuring the Cool Kids, Chiddy Bang, Travis Porter, Hoodie Allen
Details: Friday 8 p.m. at the Meadows at USF, corner of 50th Street and Holly Drive, Tampa. Free.
It's an all-hip-hop affair at USF's post-parade concert this year. Performing Friday are designer sneaker connoisseurs the Cool Kids (last seen with Lil Wayne in Orlando), Bring It Back trio Travis Porter, a group in which no one is actually named Travis (also booked for Wild 94.1's Last Damn Show in November), uber-slick duo Chiddy Bang and excellently named white rapper Hoodie Allen.
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at [email protected]