Sunday, February 25, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Music Planner: Chicago, Earth, Wind and Fire team up, Third Eye Blind hits Busch Gardens

LET'S GROOVE: Chicago and Earth, Wind and Fire

Verdine White said the Earth, Wind and Fire family is "hanging tough" since the February death of his brother and band co-founder Maurice White.

"Barack Obama reached out," he said. "Lenny Kravitz reached out. Pharrell. It wasn't that it was a surprise; it's just a lot of great support from everybody."

He also heard from his pals in the band Chicago, with whom they're now out on the road for their fifth co-headlining tour since 2004.

"I consider them very dear and close friends," said Chicago co-founder and keyboardist Robert Lamm, shown right, "because each and every one of them are wonderful musicians, and good guys."

It's surprising it took so long for Chicago and Earth, Wind and Fire to hook up. Horn-powered powerhouses from the city of Chicago, they've left an indelible impact on pop and party music over the past 50 years. Earth, Wind and Fire was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and in two weeks, after decades of fan lobbying, Chicago will finally join them.

"Some musicians say it's not about the awards, and that's true," White said. "but when your fellow colleagues honor you, it's a big deal. And with Chicago, it's well deserved."

At Saturday's co-headlining show in Tampa, both bands will play a couple of songs together, then do individual headlining sets, then reunite at the end for an all-star finale. White said he loves jamming out on Chicago's 25 or 6 to 4. Lamm said White and singer Philip Bailey have more stage presence than both formidable horn sections put together.

"They fight for attention when Verdine is on stage, and Philip is singing, soaring with his high notes," he said.

"Oh man," White said, "you gotta hear that thing."

The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater, 4802 U.S. 301 N. $18.95 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

For more of our interview with Earth, Wind and Fire's Verdine White and Chicago's Robert Lamm, see tampabay.com/soundcheck.

OPEN YOUR EYES: Third Eye Blind

Third Eye Blind fans who bought tickets to December's Mix 100.7 Mistletoe Show in Clearwater didn't exactly get their money's worth.

The vastly underrated '90s rockers played all of six songs — including, fair enough, huge hits Semi-Charmed Life, Jumper and Never Let You Go — before yielding the stage to Rob Thomas, prompting cries from diehard fans for another Tampa Bay tour stop in 2016.

They'll get it on Sunday at Busch Gardens' Food and Wine Festival, where Third Eye Blind will deliver more new songs from 2015's Dopamine and, hopefully, plenty of old material, too — maybe Motorcycle Drive By from 1997's Third Eye Blind, Crystal Baller from 2003's Out of the Vein or Bonfire from 2009's Ursa Major.

Non-fans have every right to be skeptical about Third Eye Blind's ability to wow crowds in 2016. Many radio rock bands of their vintage haven't aged well; a lot have simply broken up. But their most devoted fans won't hear it. Stephan Jenkins always could craft a memorable guitar-rock song as well as any songwriter of his generation (just try and pretend you don't still know all the lyrics to Semi-Charmed Life).

They may be playing a theme-park food festival in Tampa, but they're also playing Bonnaroo in June — a testament to the quality and nostalgic punch of their music. Time will be kind to Third Eye Blind, just you wait and see.

Third Eye Blind isn't the only concert happening this weekend at Busch Gardens. There's also Chino y Nacho, a Latin pop duo who are superstars in their native Venezuela, on Saturday. Both concerts start at 6 p.m. in Gwazi Park, and are included with park admission. buschgardens.com.

BATTER UP: The Baseball Project

R.E.M. may be long gone, but at least we still have the Baseball Project. An indie-rock supergroup consisting of R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, the Minus 5's Scott McCaughey, the Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn and drummer Linda Pitmon, the Baseball Project is more of a lighthearted lark than a globe-conquering rock band. Instead of singing about the end of the world as we know it, they sing about America's pastime, filling several albums with ditties about stars from Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson to Harvey Haddix and Fernando Valenzuela. They play for fun in much smaller venues than Mills was used to with R.E.M. — including Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St. in Ybor City, at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. They'll be hitting some spring training during their tour, so keep an eye out at Yankees, Blue Jays or Phillies games. $15-$18. ticketfly.com.

   
Comments
SoundBytes: The Shadowboxers, Lit, O-Town, Saba, Wolfgang Gartner and more

SoundBytes: The Shadowboxers, Lit, O-Town, Saba, Wolfgang Gartner and more

— The Shadowboxers will open for their mentor Justin Timberlake on May 15 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. You might remember the pop-rock group from their several performances around the 2017 College Football Playoff national championship game in Tam...
Published: 02/23/18
Tampa Bay’s Ries Brothers playing Parkland shooting benefit concert with Austin Mahone, Saigon Kick, more

Tampa Bay’s Ries Brothers playing Parkland shooting benefit concert with Austin Mahone, Saigon Kick, more

The Ries Brothers were driving to a gig in Corpus Christi, Texas, when they heard about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland."We played Fort Lauderdale like two days before it happened, so it was really bizarre," said...
Published: 02/22/18
Review: Mary J. Blige, fresh off Oscar nominations, unleashes soulful fury on Amalie Arena in Tampa

Review: Mary J. Blige, fresh off Oscar nominations, unleashes soulful fury on Amalie Arena in Tampa

It took 10 songs and a solid half hour of furious funk for Mary J. Blige to stop strutting and dancing to sit and sermonize on matters of faith and fidelity."I'm going to say it for you, because I'm a little crazy," she told nearly 6,500 fans Wednesd...
Published: 02/22/18
Imagine Dragons coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Imagine Dragons coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Let's be honest: Imagine Dragons are probably the most successful rock band of this decade.They're not the only group to debut in the 2010s who can also headline arenas, but they're definitely the only one to have such enormous crossover success on a...
Published: 02/21/18
This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Willie NelsonI’m sure that when Willie Nelson had to postpone his recent Clearwater concert after a bout with the flu, you, like me, took the news well, spitting through clenched teeth: "OH NO YOU DON’T, 2018. YOU WILL NOT TAKE WIL...
Published: 02/21/18
Spin Doctors’ Chris Barron talks touring at 50, being the ‘Two Princes’ guy and more

Spin Doctors’ Chris Barron talks touring at 50, being the ‘Two Princes’ guy and more

Go back and read Rolling Stone's 1993 cover story on the Spin Doctors — yep, that's a thing that actually happened — and the first quote from singer Chris Barron jumps out."I don't want to be 50 years old and be out on the road with my vo...
Published: 02/21/18
Hernando symphony tackles old and new favorites

Hernando symphony tackles old and new favorites

BROOKSVILLE — From Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra to Bruno Mars and Carlos Santana — tunes from all over the musical spectrum.Those are a taste of the old and new favorites audiences can enjoy when the Hernando Symphony Orchestra presents its Spectrum...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/21/18
SoundBytes: Coheed and Cambria, Taking Back Sunday, Dua Lipa, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and more

SoundBytes: Coheed and Cambria, Taking Back Sunday, Dua Lipa, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and more

— Prog-punk and emo will meet this summer when Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday embark on a summer tour that stops at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on July 7. The Story So Far will open. Tickets are $29.50 and up. Click here...
Published: 02/20/18
Snoop Dogg, T.I. to headline inaugural Halftime Music Festival in Tampa

Snoop Dogg, T.I. to headline inaugural Halftime Music Festival in Tampa

Are you ready for an all-new hip-hop festival in Tampa?Snoop Dogg and T.I. are scheduled to headline the inaugural Halftime Music Festival on May 5 in the North Lot of Raymond James Stadium. Also on the bill: Karol G, Baby Rasta y Gringo and Brytiago...
Published: 02/20/18
SoundBytes: Glass Animals, Katt Williams, Natalie Prass, Lee Ann Womack and more

SoundBytes: Glass Animals, Katt Williams, Natalie Prass, Lee Ann Womack and more

— British alt-rock outfit Glass Animals is coming to the Ritz Ybor on July 24. Knox Fortune will open. Click here.— Katt Williams is returning to the USF Sun Dome on April 14. Tickets are $49 and up. Click here.— It's been a while s...
Published: 02/19/18