Friday, May 25, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Music Planner: Gladys Knight leads diva parade, Kurt Vile plays Ybor, Billy Joel in Orlando

 

GET VILE: Kurt Vile

 

Kurt Vile is a little Lou Reed, a little Mark Knopfler, a little Stephen Malkmus, a little J Mascis — and those diverse influences helps explain why he's in such demand. The Philadelphia singer-songwriter, a co-founder of the War on Drugs, has released a handful of solo albums (most recently 2015's highly acclaimed alt-folk collection B'lieve I'm Goin Down), and has collaborated with artists like Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval and Arcade Fire's Win Butler. It's all thanks to his easygoing but evocative music, which would work just as well on a playlist labeled "Love Songs" as it would "Let's Get Stoned." This is arguably local hipsters' first must-see show of the year, so don't miss out at 7 p.m. Wednesday at The Orpheum in Ybor, 1915 E 7th Ave., Tampa. Luke Roberts opens. $20 and up. theorpheum.com. (Note: this show was originally booked at the Ritz Ybor and was moved to the Orpheum.) 

DIVAS LIVE: Gladys Knight

 

The sad thing (well, one of many sad things) about Mariah Carey's disastrous New Year's Eve performance is that there are still so many soul queens walking the earth who might have seen it. Carey's got a few months to squeeze in a soundcheck before her concert in Tampa on May 26. Until then, it might be wise to catch one of these other divas to see how it's done.

Gladys Knight (Monday, Ruth Eckerd Hall): Would the seven-time Grammy-winning queen of the Pips ever bail on a performance of Midnight Train to Georgia? Would she ever stumble through Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) or Who Is She (And What Is She to You)? $49.50 and up. rutheckerdhall.com.

Dionne Warwick (Feb. 12, Mahaffey Theater): Say a little prayer for your wallet, because catching Warwick live will set you back at least $52.50 per ticket. themahaffey.com.

Patti LaBelle (March 11, Florida Strawberry Festival): She may be just as known for her Walmart pies these days as her music, but have you tried those pies? Can you blame her? flstrawberryfestival.com.

STILL ALIVE: Dead Kennedys

 

Cool as it was to see Jello Biafra sing a handful of Dead Kennedys songs with the Reverend Horton Heat at the State Theatre in December, that's unfortunately all it was — a handful. If you want a full night of classic NoCal punk, you'll have to go see the rest of the Jello-less Dead Kennedys at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Cuban Club, 2010 N Avenida Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. Founding guitarist East Bay Ray and bassist Klaus Flouride, longtime drummer D.H. Peligro and vocalist Skip Greer will play classics like Holiday in Cambodia and Too Drunk to F---, albeit minus the wild stage presence of estranged founder Biafra. Punk purists will debate whether it's worth the ticket, but it's better than nothing at all. Reagan Youth opens. $20. eventbrite.com.

MAD DECENT: Mad Beach Block Party

 

Don't confuse the Mad Beach Block Party with the Mad Decent Block Party — Diplo is definitely not bringing Major Lazer and DJ Snake to Madeira Beach. But that doesn't mean it won't be fun. A slew of local rock and reggae-flavored acts lead the bill for Sunday's inaugural fest, a one-year anniversary party for Infinite Descent Scuba and Freedive, 15029 Madeira Way, Madeira Beach. Resinated, NoNeed, Badda Skat, the Ries Brothers and more play starting at 11 a.m., with food, games, art and more throughout the day. $15. (727) 202-6965. eventbrite.com.

ORLANDO 2017: Billy Joel, Florida Georgia Line

 

Billy Joel, left, rang in 2017 with Miami 2017 in Miami. Okay, technically, it was Sunrise, but close enough. The Piano Man usually plays a New Year's Eve gig in Florida, but this one was special because it allowed him to dust off 1976's excellent Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway) in the perfect time and place. It's bound to be a staple of his setlist throughout the year, no matter the city — including Orlando, where he plays the Amway Center at 8 p.m. Friday. $49.50 and up.

Joel isn't the only big act skipping Tampa for Orlando this weekend. There's also Florida Georgia Line, the love-'em-or-hate-'em roughnecks who brought bro country to the masses with hits like Cruise and This Is How We Roll. They've mellowed a bit through more introspective tunes like Dirt and H.O.L.Y. Chris Lane and Dustin Lynch open at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Amway Center, 400 W Church St., Orlando. $50 and up. (407) 440-7000. amwaycenter.com.

     
 
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