Tropical Heatwave in Tampa stirs musical memories, creates new ones

The rain didn’t stop Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles who actually left the stage and performed in the downpour Saturday in Tampa.

Leigh Armstrong | Times

The rain didn’t stop Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles who actually left the stage and performed in the downpour Saturday in Tampa.

Jay Cridlin, who edits our Soundcheck blog for tampabay.com, chronicled his first Heatwave Saturday night in Tampa's Ybor City as he dodged raindrops and lightning bolts. Here are some excerpts. Read the full post (blogs.tampabay.com/tbt) and find out what he thought of the flower-shirted hippies dancing at Big Sam's Funky Nation, among other musings.

8:08 p.m.: Here's an awesome thing that just happened.

Sarah Borges was wrapping up her set in the Bandshell. It was drizzling, but her audience had slowly built back up during the course of her rip-roaring blues-rock set. And in the middle of her final song, she decided the audience wasn't quite as into it as she felt they ought to be.

So Borges hopped offstage (sans mic), ran through the crowd, grabbed a vinyl chair and climbed on. She implored the audience to join her in a rain-soaked, unplugged call-and-response.

"Turn your lights down low!" Borges called. "TURN YOUR LIGHTS DOWN LOW!"

"Open up your back door!" "OPEN UP YOUR BACK DOOR!"

She pulled a fan's fuzzy purple hat off his head and did it all again.

"Turn your lights down low!" "TURN YOUR LIGHTS DOWN LOW!"

"Open up your back door!" "OPEN UP YOUR BACK DOOR!

Then she ran back on stage and finished her set. Great stuff. This is the kind of moment that you hear about whenever people reminisce fondly of Heatwave.

• • •

11:30 p.m.: Now is the time when we talk about Trombone Shorty.

He sang like a prophet of soul. He made his trombone sound like a saxophone. He made his trumpet sound like R2D2. ... Trombone Shorty made the 'bone sound like the coolest instrument on the planet.

• • •

The wrap-up: Here are three acts that wowed me — three local and three national — in no particular order:

Stolen Idols: Surfing at the point where kitsch and cool meet.

Roppongi's Ace: Southern-fried indie-rockalicicious.

GreyMarket: This was one of the last bands I saw, at New World Brewery, and ... I mean ... wow. They're two alternative rockers from Tampa, a guitarist and a drummer (and a laptop), who played with a fire and technical precision I could not believe. They were so good, the crowd demanded an encore. I have no idea how these guys are not signed to a label and touring the country.

Sarah Borges: Into the crowd ... into our hearts. Awwww.

Blair Carmen and the Belleview Boys: So what if they played a bunch of covers? They were awesome covers. And they looked as cool as they sounded.

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue: 'Nuff said.

Tropical Heatwave in Tampa stirs musical memories, creates new ones 05/17/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:52am]

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