Saturday, February 17, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Depeche Mode coming to Tampa

You've got the whole summer to look forward to a night of icy, moody alterna-pop.

Eighties icons Depeche Mode have announced a massive North American tour, and it includes a date at the Live Nation Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Sept. 14. Tickets are $29-$89.50, and they go on sale April 6, though there are several pre-sales starting April 3. Go to livenation.com for details.

Not a day passes on an '80s radio station when you don't hear Personal Jesus, Enjoy the Silence, Policy of Truth, People Are People or another of the band's international hits. The band's new album, Delta Machine, will be released March 26.

Two free concerts

What's better than a free local concert by a national artist? How about two free local concerts by national artists?

If you're down with O.P.P., you'll want to wave your hands in the air when early-'90s vintage rappers Naughty By Nature come to Jannus Live for a free concert on March 23. That's the same weekend as the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, so expect a big crowd. Go to jannuslive.com.

And two weeks after that, on April 6, alt-rock station 97X is throwing their first "Freebie Weebie" concert of 2013 with, you guessed it, Paper Tongues, a band that seems to sneak onto the lineup for every event 97X has ever thrown. The North Carolina rockers — seen here most recently at 97X Next Big Thing — will perform with Tampa's Tallhart at the Ritz Ybor on April 6. You do need a ticket to get in. Go to 97xonline.com/s/freebie-weebie-2013 for ticket drop info.

Fest hit all the right notes

The Gasparilla Music Festival brought a diverse lineup of about 30 local and national bands to Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday – including Best Coast, Dawes, Dr. Dog and members of The Meters with Phish keyboardist Page McConnell – and for the second year in a row, it was hard to find a single thing to complain about.

The festival strikes a balance that's hard to attain – it's packed but not crowded, clean but not corporate, urbane but not exclusive, affordable yet it doesn't feel cheap.

Several Tampa institutions had a presence at the festival, from restaurants like The Refinery and Tun-Du-Ree to breweries Cigar City and Saint Somewhere. And all throughout, there were little pockets of light weirdness – beach balls, hula hoops, break dancers – that yielded a commingling of cultures that might otherwise not come together in Tampa. Moms with strollers passed by yuppies in couture who passed by hazy jam-band fans, and no one group seemed to mind the others.

You could argue that the organizers could have used a bigger headliner – and that's taking nothing away from the Meter Men and McConnell, who closed out the night with funky jam after funky jam. But truth be told, fans probably wouldn't have traded Saturday's experience for a bigger name at the top of the poster.

Buzzy California indie rockers Best Coast, one of the most eagerly anticipated sets of the day, did not disappoint. Singer Bethany Cosentino was a slightly loopy presence on stage, chuckling to herself and singing snippets of the Frasier theme song, but the band's punky Let's Go Home and blissful girl-group haze of When I'm With You were a perfect pre-sunset soundtrack.

Best Coast also contributed to one of the kookier moments of the day. As they began to play Our Deal, Cosentino noticed a fan in the VIP pit with a giant seashell horn and invited him to play along. So he did, to the delight of the band. "We're gonna take you on tour in our shell section," Cosentino said.

Times staff writer Stephanie Bolling contributed.

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