Friday, May 25, 2018
Features and More

SoundCheck: Bush, Identity Festival, Ledisi, MewithoutYou, Ted Nugent, R. Kelly

m Bush

Details: 7 tonight. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $35. (813) 247-2555.

If you missed Bush's standout shows last December, you've got a chance at redemption. Grunge gets a good polishing as chiseled Gavin Rossdale and Co. revisit noisy, fuzzy '94 breakout Sixteen Stone. Critics were quick to say Bush was merely aping Pearl Jam and Nirvana, but the group gained legions of fans and the disc produced five charting singles. Cuts from latest album The Sea of Memories and Rossdale's solo album WANDERlust are also in play.

m Identity Festival

Featuring Wolfgang Gartner, Eric Prydz, Excision, Eva Simons, Showtek, Arty, Noisia, Doctor P, more

Details: 3 p.m. Friday. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $40 and up. (813) 740-2446.

It's yet another example of electronic dance music's foray into the mainstream. A-list DJ Wolfgang Gartner heads up the second installment of Identity Festival, an aural and visual assault of arena-sized proportions. Grammy nominee Gartner is the Mozart of melding spooky tech-house and playful electro (which the real Amadeus would love, no doubt). Not just for the nocturnal any longer, this one gets started at 3 p.m.

< Ted Nugent

With Laura Wilde

Details: 7:30 p.m. Monday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39.50 and up. (727) 791-7400.

Second Amendment protector, avid hunter and guitar hero Ted Nugent plays the bay just three weeks shy of the Republican National Convention. Given his status as one of the most outspoken conservatives in music, could he have timed that better? No matter your politics, it's hard to argue with the Motor City Madman's opening lick to Stranglehold, or that the guy brings more expertly wrung guitar feedback than anyone in a cowboy hat and a tacky sleeveless shirt ever will.

< R. Kelly

Details: 9 p.m. Sunday. Ybor Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $30 and up. (813) 873-8368.

Fool us once, R. Kelly, and shame on you. Fool us twice and … well, we know the deal. After canceling an Ybor appearance in April, promoters claim all systems are go this time. The controversial king of modern R&B with the window-fogging slow jams, salacious pop songs, the Trapped in the Closet hip-hoperas and one inspirational smash I Believe I Can Fly is once again being billed as "appearing live" in Ybor. So again, no guarantees here. But we'd love to experience not-so-subtle croon tune Share My Love up close and on the cheap.

> Ledisi

With Eric Benét

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $25.50 and up. (727) 892-5767.

When it comes to contemporary jazz, soul and R&B of the self-empowering sort, singer-songwriter-actor Ledisi is the star of the show. The New York Times calls her "resilient and passionate … a woman not afraid to be strong." And Patti LaBelle went as far as to anoint Ledisi her successor. Opener Eric Benét should add suave, falsetto-fueled Real Love to the warm summer eve.

MewithoutYou

With Kevin Devine, Buried Beds

Details: 7 p.m. Wednesday. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $14-$16. (727) 895-3045.

The top comment on MewithoutYou's strummy, old-timey The Fox, The Crow and The Cookie video on YouTube reads, "I love this song and I'm an atheist." The Judeo-Christian-band categorization is often a hot topic for this indie Philly outfit. But lead vocalist Aaron Weiss says the lyrics merely reflect a personal relationship with God and are not evangelistic. Most impressively, the band finds a way to mix post-hardcore and experimental rock with acoustic instrumentation, spoken-word sounds and Neutral Milk Hotel-styled folk.

Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at [email protected]

     
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