Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Weekend concert picks: Dierks Bentley, Scorpions, Freestyle Explosion and more

LONG TAIL: THE SCORPIONS

The Scorpions’ longevity, says co-founding guitarist Rudolf Schenker, is due partly to their ability to balance their classic sound with modern trends. Back in the ’80s, "we were surfing on the highest wave in the world, and that was great," the 70-year-old guitarist said by phone recently. "But you could see in the late ’80s how this music was going away by grunge and alternative. But now, the alternative and grunge bands are having a harder time. That’s what it is. Elvis Presley went through the same thing." Founded in Germany in 1965, the Scorps have delivered gigantic global hits (Wind of Change, Rock You Like a Hurricane, No One Like You) en route to becoming one of the longest-running hard rock acts of all time. All that mileage adds up, as Tampa fans found out when the band canceled a gig last fall due to laryngitis on the part of singer Klaus Meine. But they’re back now and ready to connect with fans old and new. Queensryche opens at 8 p.m. Friday at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $45.75 and up. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.comRead more with the Scorpions’ Rudolf Schenker.

SECRET’S OUT: POHGOH

Susie Ulrey is an open book. "Maybe to my detriment, sometimes," she said. But it served her well on Secret Club, her first album with her Tampa indie-emo band Pohgoh in 21 years. The new LP is largely about her struggle with multiple sclerosis since being diagnosed in 2001. The lyrics lay bare everything from her struggles with her body to her guilt of burdening her husband, Tampa music scene curator Keith Ulrey, with her ailment. "Writing about the experience helps me process it," she said. "And then in retrospect, I can f------ bang out a rocker, because I can say, ‘That happened, but I moved beyond it.’?" Pohgoh will celebrate the release of Secret Club with a show at
7:30 p.m. Friday at Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. DieAlps! and Blacksmith open. $10. (813) 241-8600. Read more with Pohgoh’s Susie Ulrey.

MOUNTAIN MOVER: DIERKS BENTLEY

Good on Dierks Bentley for always bringing a killer undercard to Tampa. In the spirit of his rustic-tinged new album The Mountain, the party boy’s openers at Saturday’s 7 p.m. concert at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, include shaggy barnburners Brothers Osborne, below left, the CMAs’ two-time vocal duo of the year; and Lanco, below right, whose Hallelujah Nights might be 2018’s best country debut. All we’re saying is if you’re tailgating, don’t show up late. $40.25 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT: FREESTYLE EXPLOSION

Did the ’80s ever end? Not for fans of the Freestyle Explosion, which is back for a 15th (!) year. The ’80s pop showcase packs in thousands of fans for a night of wall-to-wall hits from the likes of Stevie B (Because I Love You (The Postman Song)) with Lisa Lisa (Head to Toe), Taylor Dayne(Tell It to My Heart), right, Expose (Seasons Change) and Nu Shooz (I Can’t Wait). Pretty Poison, TKA with K7, George Lamonde and Company B round it out. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Amalie Arena. $47.25 and up. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

MISS INDEPENDENT: SUNNY SWEENEY

Sunny Sweeney should’ve been a star. Her debut major-label single From a Table Away is one of the decade’s great cheated-on country songs, which makes it one of the decade’s great country songs, period. Life on a label didn’t work out, though, and now Sweeney is doing the indie thing, which might not be so bad. Her last album Trophy is a triumph of Texas twang and major-chord melody, and we now get to see her in clubs like Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. Ward Davis and the Hummingbirds open. 5 p.m. Sunday. $12 and up. (813) 971-0666. skipperssmokehouse.com.

CAT POWER: RAINBOW KITTEN SURPRISE

Here’s one surprising thing about Rainbow Kitten Surprise: Their sold-out show at the Orpheum just got moved to the larger Ritz Ybor, so you might now be able to snag a ticket. Here’s something else: Despite selling out venues coast to coast, the Boone, N.C., indie rockers are still so relatively unknown they don’t even have a Wikipedia page. How is a band often compared to early Kings of Leon still so under the radar? Doesn’t matter, but even if you don’t yet own their album How to: Friend, Love, Freefall, you can still get in on the ground floor before they move on to venues even bigger than the Ritz. Sun Seeker opens. 6:30 p.m. Monday. 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25 and up. (813) 390-0397. ritzybor.com.

Comments
Country Music on the Bay festival bringing Scotty McCreery, Wynonna, Jerrod Niemann to St. Petersburg

Country Music on the Bay festival bringing Scotty McCreery, Wynonna, Jerrod Niemann to St. Petersburg

An all-new country music festival is coming to St. Petersburg.Country Music on the Bay will hit Vinoy Park on Oct. 13, with a lineup that includes American Idol alum Scotty McCreery, Jerrod Niemann (Drink to That All Night), Wynonna and the Big Noise...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Weekend concert picks: Niall Horan, Maren Morris, Lucero and more

Weekend concert picks: Niall Horan, Maren Morris, Lucero and more

UPWARD DIRECTION: Niall Horan, Maren MorrisHarry Styles is the biggest star, rakish as always and selling out arenas. Zayn and Liam Payne have the best pop hits (Pillowtalk, Strip That Down, Get Low). Louis Tomlinson is biding his time while anxious ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Clearwater’s Hispanic Heritage festival expands to two days; Gente de Zona, Olga Tanon lead lineup

Clearwater’s Hispanic Heritage festival expands to two days; Gente de Zona, Olga Tanon lead lineup

A big festival in Clearwater is getting even bigger.The annual 92.5 Maxima Hispanic Heritage concert — officially known as the Maxima Concerto Herencia Hispana — will expand from one day to two in 2018. It'll take place Oct. 13 and 14 at ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sunshine Music Festival won’t return to St. Petersburg in 2019

Sunshine Music Festival won’t return to St. Petersburg in 2019

For the last six years, the Sunshine Music Festival has broken up the wintry monotony of mid-January with a star-studded show at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.But for the time being, it's not coming back.The fest recently announced on social media tha...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rainbow Kitten Surprise added to 97X Next Big Thing lineup

Rainbow Kitten Surprise added to 97X Next Big Thing lineup

Now that Rainbow Kitten Surprise has sufficiently rocked Tampa, the secret can be told: They're coming back in December for 97X Next Big Thing.The fast-rising North Carolina indie rockers have been added to the bill for this year's Next Big Thing, pe...
Published: 09/18/18
SoundBytes: Nile Rodgers, Noname, Rosanne Cash, Kyle Kinane and more

SoundBytes: Nile Rodgers, Noname, Rosanne Cash, Kyle Kinane and more

— In case you missed it, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers will open for Cher on Jan. 21 at the Amway Center in Orlando. Click here.— Jazz- and spoken-word-inspired rapper Noname is coming to the Ritz Ybor on Jan. 18. Tickets are $25.50 and up....
Updated: 5 hours ago
Sarah Brightman coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

Sarah Brightman coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

Sarah Brightman is used to playing arenas. Since 2000, her concerts in Tampa Bay have all taken place before thousands of fans at what is now Amalie Arena.So getting to see her in a theater should be quite a treat.Brightman, one of the biggest stars ...
Published: 09/17/18
Review: Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne bring a four-hour party to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Review: Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne bring a four-hour party to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

  On Saturday, Dierks Bentley returned to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre — a place he said "feels like a second home" — for more partying, drinking and antics including a floating stage for Drunk on a Plane and some bananas...
Published: 09/17/18
Review: Scorpions strike Tampa with eager, ageless glee at Amalie Arena

Review: Scorpions strike Tampa with eager, ageless glee at Amalie Arena

It's probably best not to look too closely at the optics of playing Rock You Like a Hurricane while there's actual hurricane battering the seaboard just a few hours away.But what were the Scorpions going to do, NOT play their biggest hit for 7,000-pl...
Published: 09/15/18
John Mellencamp coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

John Mellencamp coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

John Mellencamp is about to R.O.C.K. all across the U.S.A. next spring. And his tour will include two  nights in Clearwater.The heartland rock veteran will bring his next tour to Ruth Eckerd Hall on March 29 and 30 for a "night with" performance...
Published: 09/13/18