Thursday, January 18, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Music Planner: Dave Mason talks Journey, Doobie Brothers; plus Weezer and St. Lucia

ROCK HALL ROLL CALL: Journey, Doobie Brothers, Dave Mason

If you're going to Journey, the Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason on Friday at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, get there early and don't leave your seat to grab a beer. You never know when you might witness a rare collaboration.

"I got John McFee up playing with us the other night," Mason said of the longtime Doobie Brother. "I know (Journey's) Ross (Valory) and Neil Schon have asked me to come up and play on All Along the Watchtower, so we'll see how that develops."

Even if the three bands don't share a stage, it'll be a night of wall-to-wall hits, from Mason's early smashes with Traffic (Feelin' Alright?, Dear Mr. Fantasy) to the Doobies' wood-paneled rock 'n' soul (Jesus Is Just Alright, China Grove, What a Fool Believes) and Journey's blue-collar anthems (Wheel in the Sky, Open Arms, Faithfully and, of course, the new national anthem, Don't Stop Believin').

"It's not Steve Perry singing," Mason said. "But they do a great job of doing all those songs. And I don't know that for a large percentage of the audience, I'm not sure how much it matters that the original members are there."

Very true — especially if all the bands can get a jam session cooking. Showtime is 7 p.m. Friday at MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

EMO-LUTION: Weezer and Panic! At the Disco

A decade ago, a joint tour between Weezer, right, and Panic! at the Disco would've been a much different animal, pairing a pre-nostalgia-driven Weezer with Panic's original guyliner-streaked lineup. Both bands have evolved a bit since, for both good and bad. Weezer's Rivers Cuomo has often seemed bent on recapturing the band's '90s glory, embarking on full-album tours for 1994's Blue Album and 1996's Pinkerton, and reuniting with producer Ric Ocasek for 2014's rearview-looking Everything Will Be Alright in the End. Panic, meanwhile, is down to one original member, full-throated wailer Brendon Urie, left, who has chased his musical muse into the realms of synth-pop and psychedelic chamber rock. It's a mixed bag for both, is what we're trying to say. Thankfully, both bands are riding high on fairly decent new albums, Weezer's self-titled White Album and Panic's Death of a Bachelor, which takes a few sonic risks unlikely a decade ago. (Okay, fine, Cuomo probably would've attempted the half-rapped Thank God for Girls on 2005's Make Believe, but there's no way Urie would've dropped the Sinatra-inspired Impossible Year on A Fever You Can't Sweat Out.) Their summer tour — which is tripling down on 2016's wave of emo-pop nostalgia with opening act Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness — will hit Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at 7 p.m. Wednesday. $23 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

SWEPT AWAY: St. Lucia

The electro-pop music of St. Lucia isn't much like what you'd hear on Saint Lucia, the small island in the eastern Caribbean. Okay, fine, maybe a little — several tracks on St. Lucia's wonderful debut album, When the Night, possess a certain sun-kissed sensibility that might just make you crave a neon-blue cocktail or three. This year's Matter, however, trades island life for the fast lane, as St. Lucia — the nom de plume of singer-songwriter Jean-Philip Grobler and the band that surrounds him — hits full-on glitter mode, particularly on driving, glistening tracks Do You Remember? and Dancing on Glass. It's still a sound that can sweep you away to paradise, even if your destination is no longer the tropics — and it sounds even better in concert, as St. Lucia are fantastic live performers. Three days after playing Bonnaroo, they'll perform with Kind at 7 p.m. Monday at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18-$20. (727) 895-3045. statetheatreconcerts.com.

PUNK PROGRESSION: Gogol Bordello and Frank Turner

For people who don't like punk, here's the best punk show of the year: Gogol Bordello, right, and Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, left, today at Jannus Live. Both artists are full of rip-roaring rage, from Gogol Bordello's furious live freakouts to Turner's razor-throated anthems. But beyond the sound and the fury that both artists bring to the stage, both are folk acts at heart. Gogol Bordello is a pack of musical wildlings, delivering Balkan-tinged gypsy rock with unparalleled passion (seriously, its headlining set at last year's Gasparilla Music Festival was one of Tampa Bay's best live performances of 2015). And Turner could unplug and play confessional pub-rock gems like Get Better and Recovery on a street corner, and get the same enraptured response from an audience. All of it's punk, but you don't have to like punk to love it — which makes this one of more inspired tour pairings of the spring. They'll perform at 7 p.m. today at Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $29.50 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.

     
   
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