Saturday, April 21, 2018
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SoundCheck: Tampa Bay live music picks

. Big Time Rush and Cody Simpson

Details: Saturday 7 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $20-$80. (813) 740-2446.

It's scientifically proven that when Big Time Rush and Cody Simpson step on a stage, tween girls must emit sounds similar to those of excited dolphins. America's answer to scallywag Brit boy band One Direction, Big Time Rush is the Nickelodeon pop creation garnering a ferocious storm of ear-bleeding screams across the country. (But hey, Mom and Dad, the boys have a few Beatles covers, too). The band is also coming off a performance at the first Kids' State Dinner at the White House. Opening Aussie phenomenon Cody Simpson, who shot to fame at age 12 with a two-minute YouTube cover of Jason Mraz's I'm Yours, has the shaggy blond hair, dreamy Australian accent and a contagious smile that might just caution reigning bubblegum king Bieber to watch the throne.

m Manchester Orchestra

With River City Extension

Details: Saturday 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16.50-$20. (727) 895-3045.

The product of wunderkind Andy Hull, Georgia quintet Manchester Orchestra has a knack for combining the unlikely — emo, folk-rock, grunge and math-rock — for something altogether harmonious. Once described as "music to swoon to," the sound conjures up a combo of Bright Eyes' soft woes and Nirvana's famously frantic ways. Fans of Brand New and Kevin Devine should dig it, too. With the addition of children's choirs and extra brass on latest disc Simple Math, the band "supersizes the kitchen-sink approach," says Rolling Stone. Any conversation about opener River City Extension usually begins with Joe Michelini, the group's charismatic singer and guitarist who leads the eight-member act on a genre-jumping journey of rock, beardedness and sweater vests.

Hippiefest

Featuring Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter Band, Rick Derringer, Leslie West, Kim Simmonds

Details: Saturday 7 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$80. (727) 791-7400.

For this summer's edition of Hippiefest, Ruth Eckerd offers a gala of guitar gurus, including Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Leslie West and Kim Simmonds, and one commander of keys, Edgar Winter. The Winter brothers are somewhat regular players here in the bay area. And their talents are best realized in the live format. Same goes for big man Leslie West of blues-rock act Mountain, who lays down the Cream-influenced Mississippi Queen (a Homer Simpson favorite) on his first tour since the amputation of his leg. A "hippie marketplace" with vendors and groovy goods will open up before the show at 5 p.m.

, Conrad Oberg

Details: Friday 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.

Blind teen Conrad Oberg dazzled during Woodstock's 40th anniversary concert in 2009 with a Hendrix-inspired rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Since then, his guitar athleticism has been praised by CNN, USA Today and Rolling Stone. He opens for Lynyrd Skynyrd at an RNC gig on Sunday, but that's invitation only. Good thing you can see him at this intimate Skipper's show.

m Zulu Wave

With Sons of Hippies, DieAlps!, Macrame Owls

Details: Friday 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.

The boys of Tampa band Zulu Wave still have trouble curbing their excitement when they think about the day they stood in a room with Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, the Sex Pistols' Glen Matlock and Nirvana's Krist Novoselic during an event in Times Square. The band, which blends rock, experimental sounds and African elements, is on a roll after a gangbusters set at New York's CBGB Festival, and more recently, at AntiWarpt. Opener Sons of Hippies is a psych-rock act that writes songs about "post-apocalyptic candy wastelands" and "seeks spiritual guidance from colorful souls." But there are big changes on the horizon, says Sons of Hippies' Jonas Canales. And those might start with the band name.

Fang Island

With Adebisi Shank

Details: Tonight at 7. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10-$13. Facebook.com/thelocal662.

Perfect for your next workout or motivational mixtape, Fang Island brings a sound once likened to "everyone high-fiving everyone." The Brooklyn-based band takes the best elements of Titus Andronicus and the Polyphonic Spree for a chirpy, eager blend of progressive and anthemic rock. "One of our core ideas has always been that our songs would be all of your favorite parts of the song that other bands make you wait eight minutes to get to," says guitarist and singer Jason Bartell.

   
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