Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Funshine Music Festival tips from Sean Daly

The breakdown

When to rock? When to ride? Here's our take on which bands deserve your attention — and when you should sneak away from the music for a stomach-buckling ride on the Mega Drop. One corn dog coming right up! — Sean Daly

Friday

The fest's opening day is fat with goodies, easily the best lineup of the weekend. But that's also kind of a drag, as Friday doesn't start until early evening while Saturday and Sunday both commence around noon. Yes, there are four stages at the Funshine — Concourse, Pavilion, Expo Hall and Amphitheatre — but there's so much talent crammed into the first night, there was bound to be some bummer overlap.

It's too bad that L.A.'s Youngblood Hawke, one of the newest, hippest power-poppers here, will playing from 9:55 p.m.-10:45 p.m. in the Pavilion while headliner Train plays from 9:35 p.m. to 10:50 p.m. in the Amphitheatre. My advice? Catch some of Train, then scamper over to hear YH do crazy-catchy hit We Come Running, which hopefully they'll save for an encore. (As for Phillip Phillips, I stopped watching American Idol a long time ago, so you're on your own there.)

There's another young-vs.-old conflict: Good Old War — from Langhorne, Pa., think a sturdier Simon & Garfunkel — play the Concourse the same time as Billy Corgan and his Smashing Pumpkins are jamming to Bullet With Butterfly Wings at the Expo Hall. These are some of the best acts period at Funshine. I'm torn, to be honest. Maybe see a little of each? That said, some of these stages are a decent jog from each other. Wear sneakers.

By the way, expect a big crowd for Cheap Trick's 6:40 p.m. set. The boys don't have much competition in that time slot — plus they do have a local hero in frontman Robin Zander. "I wannt youuu to wannnt me!"

Saturday

There's a fair amount of head-banging, fist-pounding mayhem to be had today. Maybe not the freshest assortment of dudes, but there are some bright, bawdy spots. On the Concourse Stage, AC/DC tribute band Hell's Bells (5:25 p.m.) will be followed by radio maven Cowhead's must-see Pitbull Toddler (8:05 p.m.). Ted "the Nuge" Nugent will loose some sort of flaming death projectile on the big stage at 5:15 p.m.; yes, Uncle Ted is a bothersome loon, but c'mon, you know you're a little curious. Pop-punk mooks New Found Glory will summon the mosh pits at 9:35 p.m. on the Pavilion stage. And you'll be surprised how raucous REO Speedwagon gets (no, really) when it closes out the day in the Amphitheatre.

My don't-miss of the day is the smooth indie-rock goodness of St. Pete's own Alexander & the Grapes. They kick off the day at 12:50 p.m. on the Pavilion Stage. Seriously, you won't be sorry for showing up early.

Sunday

Here's how you should plan Funshine's finale, which is geared mainly to roots-rock. Don't miss a second of "Brooklyn country" trio the Lone Bellow on the Pavilion Stage at 5:50 p.m.; that's my fave band on the entire three-day bill (see story, Page 17). Then walk briskly to the Expo Hall to see Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers at 7:05 p.m.; Bob's boy has that whiskey-and-smoke vocal and a setlist you'll know better than you think. After One Headlight, return to the Pavilion for Tonic, the shoulda-been-bigger '90s band responsible for hit If You Could Only See. Then wrap it all up with country hunk Gary Allan on the amp stage. Your girlfriend loves the Every Story (Runs Out of Rain) singer, and let's be honest: The poor woman has had to sit through a whole lot of grunty guy rock this weekend.

For full lineup, see funshinefestival.com.

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.

If you go

FUNSHINE MUSIC FESTIVAL: Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Tickets are $25 per day ($30 at gate); $65 for all three days; $15 children 6-11; under 5 free. Concert tickets include unlimited rides on the midway. For more ticket options, see funshinefestival.com. (813) 621-7821.

THE RIDES: They include the 100-foot-tall LED Giant Wheel (Ferris wheel) that produces a light show; the largest portable roller coaster in the U.S.; the Fighter, with four large arms that turn high in the air; Log Flume; and Mega Drop. There are also fair-style games, a petting zoo and pony rides (extra fee) and rides on the Batcopter from the Batman TV show (extra fee).

FOOD TRUCK TERRACE: Features American Wiener, the Dude & His Food, Gone Bananas, Hot Mess, Maggie on the Move, Pao and Taco Bus.

 
Comments
Review: Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Championship Tour’ brings good sportsmanship, great rhymes to Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Review: Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Championship Tour’ brings good sportsmanship, great rhymes to Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Do they give Pulitzer Prizes for concerts featuring golf cart rides, cartoon sports-card backdrops and a slam-dunking doggie mascot?If so, Kendrick Lamar might want to start clearing shelf space for plaque No. 2.Weeks after the rapturous adulation th...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Want to drink free whiskey with country star John Rich in Tampa on Friday?

Want to drink free whiskey with country star John Rich in Tampa on Friday?

Here's an offbeat way to start your Memorial Day weekend right.Country star John Rich, half of the colorful, multiplatinum country duo Big and Rich, is coming to town for a couple of promotional appearances on Friday, including a tasting of his new w...
Updated: 4 hours ago
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since."Back in the ’80s, I had a couple of songs that kind of fell on deaf ears. I said, Well, I gu...
Published: 05/23/18
SZA will not appear at tonight’s Kendrick Lamar Championship Tour

SZA will not appear at tonight’s Kendrick Lamar Championship Tour

Singer SZA will not perform at Kendrick Lamar's Championship Tour at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa Tuesday, organizers announced shortly before the concert. Lamar's Top Dawg Entertainment label posted the news on Twitter. The Gra...
Published: 05/22/18
The Dirty Heads talk backyard barbecues, shedding the ‘reggae rock’ label and more

The Dirty Heads talk backyard barbecues, shedding the ‘reggae rock’ label and more

It's hard to say, exactly, how many 97X events the Dirty Heads have played at this point. There were three Next Big Things, at least, plus an acoustic Green Room performance or two.And if you want to talk about shows in St. Petersburg, forget about i...
Published: 05/22/18
SoundBytes: Todd Rundgren, Zomboy, Doyle, Bob Log III and more

SoundBytes: Todd Rundgren, Zomboy, Doyle, Bob Log III and more

— The wizard is returning. Just a few weeks after performing at the Mahaffey Theater with his band Utopia, Todd Rundgren is performing at the Capitol Theatre on Aug. 18. Tickets are $39 and up. Click here.— The headliners have been announ...
Published: 05/21/18
Kelly Clarkson, a gun owner, urges action at Billboard Music Awards

Kelly Clarkson, a gun owner, urges action at Billboard Music Awards

Kelly Clarkson said she was supposed to lead a moment of silence on Sunday night as she hosted the Billboard Music Awards in the aftermath of yet another school shooting — this one at Santa Fe High School in Texas, which killed 10 people.But she had ...
Published: 05/21/18
SoundBytes: Prince, Penn and Teller, Joe Nichols, Colony House and more

SoundBytes: Prince, Penn and Teller, Joe Nichols, Colony House and more

— Prince is no longer with us, but his estate has approved a new symphonic tour of his music, to be curated by Questlove from the Roots. "4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince" is coming to the USF Sun Dome on Oct. 5. Tickets are $25 and up. Cl...
Published: 05/16/18
Ticket window: Christina Aguilera, Shawn Mendes, Dierks Bentley and Paul Anka on sale this week

Ticket window: Christina Aguilera, Shawn Mendes, Dierks Bentley and Paul Anka on sale this week

Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:• Wiz Khalifa, 6 p.m. Aug. 16 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, $29-$125.95, on sale at noon Friday at the box office, 4802 U.S. 301 N, and via Ticketmaster at Ticketmaster.com, ...
Published: 05/16/18
Police: T.I. arrested outside his gated community in Atlanta

Police: T.I. arrested outside his gated community in Atlanta

Rapper T.I. was arrested in Georgia while trying to enter the gated community where he lives without a key, according to reports.T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., was charged with public drunkenness, simple assault and disorderly conduct ...
Published: 05/16/18