Details: Wednesday 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Sold out. (727) 791-7400.
Winning isn't everything. Just ask Chris Daughtry. After Taylor Hicks claimed victory on Season 5 of American Idol, fourth-place finisher Daughtry released the fastest-selling rock debut in SoundScan history just months later. Today, the bald and beautiful 30-something is a certified rock star, paying homage to bands like Fuel and Bon Jovi on hits Home and It's Not Over. Latest Break the Spell, which went gold in four weeks, brings more fan-favored combinations of hard muscle-car riffs and Hallmark-ready lyrics. Daughtry hasn't ever claimed "hipness," but his family-man vibe, smile and average Joe ascension make him someone to root for.
Portugal. The Man
With the Lonely Forest
Details: Wednesday 7:30 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $18-$25. (813) 247-2555.
This German liquor-sponsored tour (the Jagermeister Music Tour) taps oddly punctuated, Alaskan psych-rock band Portugal. The Man as its headliner. The fellas from the last frontier rank among Sarah Palin and a guy from Ice Road Truckers as Wasilla, Alaska's, most "notable residents." Lead by singer John Gourley, who has been likened to a long-lost Gibb brother thanks to some uniquely high-pitched vocals, the group offers a pretty massive head trip with careening psychedelic riffs, electronic flourishes and prog drumming.
With Palantine, Feral Babies
Details: Tonight at 7:30. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $9-$12. (813) 241-8600.
Led by Jack Black lookalike Steve Brooks, doom luminaries Torche combine de-tuned, droning guitars with harmonic vocals. If you like your metal extra sludgy, or you dig Kylesa, the Sword or Isis, this one's a must-see.
Ricky Wilcox and the Moonsnakes CD Release
With Gale Trippsmith and Kirk Adams
Details: Friday 8 p.m. The Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 644-7895. And Saturday (solo) 5 p.m. pregame. Tropicana Field, 16th Street at First Avenue S, St. Petersburg. Free. (888) 326-7297.
St. Pete's Ricky Wilcox is an accomplished pop-rock singer-songwriter whose unusual credits include a featured song on the ABC soap All My Children and a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo in The Punisher movie. On new disc, Last Day on Planet Earth, Wilcox and his band of Moonsnakes — Steve Connelly (guitar), Rick Boucher (drums), Jim Brown (bass) and Bill "Julio" Barrett (keys) — play Midwestern power-pop, soul, country and early '80s British pub rock tunes with effortless harmonies. They contemplate the wonders of love and spaceships, too.
Plants and Animals
With This Is the Kit, Alexander and the Grapes
Details: Tuesday 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8-$11. (813) 241-8600.
In the shadow of mammoth Montreal act Arcade Fire, fellow Quebecers Plants and Animals have been plugging away at a genre-jumping sound that changes like the seasons. Arty and evocative, the group combines rootsy, acoustic folk with elements of classic and progressive rock.
With the Sheffield Crew, Resinated
Details: Sunday 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $5-$8. (727) 565-0551.
Jannus Live continues its "Reggae Sundays" series with Lionize, a progressive Maryland act offering a darker side of the groove. Take the soulful wail and the Hammond B3 pounding of Gov't Mule, add some sludgy, Clutch-ish riffs, and top them with spacey dub grooves in the vein of Lee "Scratch" Perry and you've got the gist.
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.