HEAVY METAL: THRASHIN' AT THE RITZ
This week, a veritable United Nations of Metal is coming to the Ritz Ybor (1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City): Cannibal Corpse on Saturday, Abbath on Sunday and Nightwish on Wednesday. Who's the most metal of them all? Let's break it down.
Originally from Buffalo, they relocated to Tampa more than two decades ago. Along with Deicide, Morbid Angel and Obituary (who will join them for this show), they're one of the city's "Big Four" death metal acts, and a big reason why the city is known worldwide as a cradle of the genre.
Claim to the scepter: They're the best-selling death metal group of all time, thanks in part to timeless classics like Hammer Smashed Face and A Skull Full of Maggots.
See them: 8 p.m. Saturday with Obituary, Cryptopsy and Abysmal Dawn. $25.
Demon-faced singer-guitarist Abbath Doom Occulta led Norwegian black metal heroes Immortal, and now fronts his own self-titled outfit. In January, Abbath released its first album, also self-titled, which opens with a track called To War!.
Claim to the scepter: Many of Immortal's songs detail a fictional kingdom called Blashyrkh, a wintry warscape of doom. Also, Abbath once had a drummer named Creature.
See them: 7:25 p.m. Sunday with High on Fire, Skeletonwitch and Tribulation. $29 and up.
Superstars in their native Finland, the symphonic metal outfit dishes out epic prog-metal riffs and over-the-top classical arrangements with operatic vocals.
Claim to the scepter: Fantastical lyrics, references to fantasy fiction and classical mythology — it's all there in spades. They have covered The Phantom of the Opera (the most metal Andrew Lloyd Webber song ever), and their 2015 album Endless Forms Most Beautiful features a cameo from evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.
See them: 7 p.m. Wednesday with Sonata Arctica and Delain. $41 and up.
KING OF STRINGS: Joe Satriani
Perhaps the time is right for the guitar gods of yore to rise anew. A new tour dubbed Generation Axe will hit the road this spring with Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt and Zakk Wylde; it stops at Orlando's Hard Rock Live on April 21. And did you hear Bettencourt's soaring solos on Rihanna's new album Anti? This all brings us to Joe Satriani, who's worked with all of these and more (he even gave Vai guitar lessons) during one of the most accomplished guitar careers ever. This 30-year retrospective tour will include hits and rare gems, from his 1986 solo debut Not of This Earth to last year's Shockwave Supernova. His technical virtuosity will be on full display at 8 p.m. Thursday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road. Strap in and let Satriani give you a St. Patrick's Day show to remember. $34 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
WHERE'S THE WILL? DJ Jazzy Jeff
Right about now would be a fine time for DJ Jazzy Jeff to give us all an update on that promised 2016 tour with the Fresh Prince. In October, Will Smith told Beats 1's Zane Lowe he was "pretty certain" he'd be hitting the road with Jazz this summer. We're still waiting on those dates, but to tide us over, we've got DJ Jazzy Jeff to shake the room at Shephard's Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. Unlike Smith, Jeffrey Allen Townes has been touring constantly since his Summertime days, and he's in demand across the industry — he even provided some scratching for the score to Straight Outta Compton. We may not be getting an arena tour, but as Saturday night beach parties go, this one's hard to beat. Advance tickets are $10 and up. (727) 442-5107. shephards.com.
HIP, HIP, HOORAY: The Hip Abduction
Last week, the Hip Abduction released its second album, Gold Under the Glow, which inches away from reggae-rock roots in favor of a more synth-driven indie-pop sound — think St. Lucia, Givers, Wild Cub or Bastille. The album's still plenty of catchy, though, which means the St. Petersburg group is probably in for another huge hometown crowd at Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg, on Friday. Mike Pinto and UNRB will join them. The show starts at 8 p.m. $20-$25. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.