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SoundCheck: Willie Nelson, Dark Star Orchestra, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Chiodos and Emarosa, Flogging Molly

Willie Nelson

With Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real

Details: Wednesday 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $42.50-$88. (727) 791-7400.

In 1978, Willie Nelson reportedly smoked pot on the roof of the White House. In 2010, Willie Nelson was arrested for pot possession . . . and less than two weeks later, he was back at the White House again, this time for a reception paying tribute to this year's Kennedy Center Honorees. We're not sure what this means, but we have a feeling it has something to do with Willie Nelson being invincible, or, at the very least, free from the shackles of law that bind every other American. Assuming he doesn't get arrested for pot possession in the coming days, the Red Headed Stranger will be back in Tampa Bay next week, performing all his hits (Always On My Mind, On The Road Again) at Ruth Eckerd Hall. His son Lukas opens the show.

Jay Cridlin, Times staff writer

Dark Star Orchestra

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29.50-$39.50. (813) 229-7827.

To best recreate the Grateful Dead's famed live experiences, Dark Star Orchestra has made it its mission to play one of the Dead's 2,500 sets to the letter each concert. That means they play an original set list song by song (recent examples include the Dead's September 1981 gig at Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the October 1980 show at Radio City Music Hall). It's "the next best thing to being there," says the Dallas Morning News.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

With the Constellations

Details: Tonight at 7. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $22. (727) 895-3045.

Robert Randolph and his rocking relatives are going to take you to the church of sacred steel. And you're going to be glad. The all-smiles pedal-steel virtuoso (who made Rolling Stone's "100 greatest guitarists of all time" list) offers a blend of funk, rock, country and pop deeply rooted in gospel. Randolph's latest We Walk This Road, produced by T-Bone Burnett, calls to mind a marriage of Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Outkast.

Chiodos and Emarosa

With Go Radio, Decoder

Details: Wednesday 6:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $16. (813) 248-9500.

Of all our recent Warped Tour experiences, Chiodos, with its sheer screamo tenacity, and Emarosa, with its R&B twist on hardcore, produced two of the most memorable. Chiodos' new singer-screamer Brandon Bolmer (formerly of Yesterdays Rising) has big shoes to fill for Alternative Press cover kid Craig Owens, while Emarosa's always-passionate singer Jonny Craig remains one of the scene's best.

Flogging Molly

With Moneybrother, the Drowning Men

Details: Sunday 6 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 247-2555. Sold out.

Love is in the air this weekend. Just not at this show. Flogging Molly embarks on its seventh, Guinness-soaked "Green 17 Tour" (the string of dates leading up to St. Patrick's Day). Here, sea scourge, barroom brawling and wicked hangovers are the topics. Not sure what that says about the state of romance since this show is sold out, the day before Valentine's Day.

Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at

Also playing

Variety Workshop Sat. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.

Mike Pinto Sat. 8 p.m. With Buffalo Strange. Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10.

Sean Chambers Sat. 9:30 p.m. Ringside Café, 2742 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 894-8465.

Super Bob Sat. 8 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N, Largo. (727) 532-0265.

Afroman Sun. 9 p.m. With Jetson Fleet. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $12-$14. (813) 248-9500.

Kids Rock the Pier Sun. 1 p.m. Featuring Sound Parlor, Ella Jet. St. Petersburg Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-6164.

Trio Vibe Mon. 6 p.m. Della's, 608 Oakfield Drive, Brandon. Free. (813) 684-3354.

SoundCheck: Willie Nelson, Dark Star Orchestra, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Chiodos and Emarosa, Flogging Molly 02/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 3:30am]
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