Largo's monthlong August Rocks features tribute bands

GUITAR AUCTION AUG. 21-30: A mandolin, center, and electric guitars are among the instruments that will be up for bid on eBay as part of the Largo Cultural Center’s guitar auction. The instruments are signed by bands including Nazareth, Poco and Ambrosia.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

GUITAR AUCTION AUG. 21-30: A mandolin, center, and electric guitars are among the instruments that will be up for bid on eBay as part of the Largo Cultural Center’s guitar auction. The instruments are signed by bands including Nazareth, Poco and Ambrosia.

For those still grieving over the canceled ZZ Top show at the Ford Amphitheatre this summer, Rob Mondora has an invitation:

"Come on over to the Largo Cultural Center and see ZZNot. It's the next best thing.''

Mondora, 45, the artistic director at the Cultural Center, has the Southern rock band in his August Rocks lineup, a monthlong program that includes more than 12 tribute bands performing on select dates.

Also slated to make a stop in Largo:

• Bark at the Moon, an Ozzy Osbourne tribute band.

• Don't Stop Believin', a Journey tribute band.

• RUSHour, a Rush tribute band.

• Highway to Hell, an AC/DC tribute band.

• Carnival of Crue, a Motley Crue tribute band.

• Texas Flood, a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute band.

August Rocks includes other entertainment as well.

On Friday and Saturday, 43 summer campers at Largo Cultural Center will present School House Rocks Live! Jr. Kids take to the stage for a musical theater version of the '70s television series.

Terri Donofrio, who directs the show along with her husband, Rick Donofrio, believes rock 'n' roll can be a great educator. "Kids learn math through rhythm and timing and English through the lyrics,'' said Donofrio, 48.

An outdoor event, August Rocks in Central Park, will take place from 3 to 10 p.m. Aug. 15. Featured will be five Tampa Bay based bands along with a motorcycle show created in partnership with motorcycle enthusiast magazine Born to Ride.

Finally, the Largo Cultural Center will hold its annual guitar auction from Aug. 21 to 30. Fans are invited to go to eBay to bid on instruments signed by members of Marshall Tucker Band, Nazareth, Poco and Rick Derringer, to name a few.

Mondora thinks August Rocks — which pairs bands with songs originally by wild men like Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue members with elementary age kids singing Conjunction Junction, What's Your Function is a natural fit, not a stretch.

Although some of the tribute bands include a bit of shock value, parents can relax, Mondora said. "The bands are always on their best behavior in Largo."

And although many of the shows seem to target older baby boomers, Mondora has seen tribute shows "bring in three generations from one family.''

"Anyone who thinks rock music isn't valuable should think about that,'' said Nick Pidgeon, 12, who plays Tom the Teacher in School House Rocks Live! Jr. "It's fun, and you learn history by being a rock fan."

The lineup

Here's the lineup for August Rocks at the Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive.

School House Rocks Live! Jr., 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. Saturday. Cost: $7 for adults; $6 for kids.

The Smokin' Texas Blues Roadshow: ZZNot and Texas Flood, 8 p.m. Aug. 14. Cost: $23 day-of-show; $18 in advance.

August Rocks in Largo Central Park. Live music with several Tampa Bay-based bands including Emily's Ashes, the Stones, Fleetwood Max, Crossroads and Nuthin' Fancy. A motorcycle show coordinated with Born to Ride magazine will be going on simultaneously from 3 to 10 p.m. Concessions, including beer, will be sold. Proceeds will be donated to scholarship funds through the city of Largo. Cost: Free.

Elvis: The Show Goes On, 2 p.m., Aug. 16. $24 day of show; $20 in advance.

Masters of Metal: Bark at the Moon and Carnival of Crue, 8 p.m., Aug. 21. Cost: $23 day of show; $18 in advance.

Retro Party: Don't Stop Believin' and That's So '80's, 8 p.m., Aug. 22. Cost: $23 day of show; $18 in advance.

RUSHour, 8 p.m. Aug. 28. Cost: $23 day of show; $18 in advance.

The Monsters of Mock — Highway to Hell and Jet City, 8 p.m. Aug. 29. Cost: $23 day of show; $18 in advance.

For tickets: (727) 587-6793 or visit

largoevents.com or largoarts.com.

Largo's monthlong August Rocks features tribute bands 08/04/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 6, 2009 5:58pm]

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