Saturday, February 24, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Music Planner: Red Hot Chili Peppers, 98 Rockfest, Spoon, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper

LOLLAPALOOZA REVISITED: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden

Twenty-five years ago, Lollapalooza '92 marched an all-time great festival lineup across America: Pearl Jam, Ministry, Ice Cube, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine … and a couple of little bands called Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden. You can relive that explosive one-two punch when both bands come to Tampa's Amalie Arena this week.

First up, it's the Chili Peppers, who are still headlining eclectic festivals around the world (including Bonnaroo in June). They come in support of their relatively laid-back yet adventurous album The Getaway, but will still bring the funk on classics like Higher Ground and Give It Away. Don't miss openers Babymetal, a highly choreographed Japanese pop-metal sensation; and Jack Irons, the Chili Peppers' original drummer, who just attended his second Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony as a former member of Pearl Jam. 8 p.m. Thursday. $49 and up.

Then on Friday it's 98 Rockfest, led by grunge gods Soundgarden. Unlike Pearl Jam, Nirvana and the Chili Peppers, Chris Cornell and company are not yet in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (well, aside from drummer Matt Cameron, who's also in Pearl Jam), and that's a shame — the band's knotty guitars, thunderous riffs and Cornell's epic voice are among the best of their time. They're joined by Florida metalcore act A Day to Remember, post-hardcore act Pierce the Veil, Grammy-nominated rockers Highly Suspect, Nothing More, Beartooth and more. It starts at 5 p.m. inside, but there's also a free pre-show outside with performances by Starset, Loose Talk, Dinosaur Pile-Up and more. $39 and up. amaliearena.com.

HOT SCOOP: Spoon

The feeling is all over Spoon's twitchy, electric new album Hot Thoughts: After more than 20 years, this is a band that still has something to prove. "We want to sound hungry," bassist Rob Pope said in a recent phone interview. "At some points in the past, I think there have been times when it hasn't had the same kind of energy that it does right now. Every show right now has a little bit more of a dangerous element to it." That's good news for Tampa fans. Monday's Spoon concert at the Ritz Ybor is their first here as headliners, and their first of any kind in ages. That means this is Tampa's first shot to hear live songs from their wildly acclaimed mid 2000s albums Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, like the grooveable I Turn My Camera On and The Underdog. Joining them in another rare local appearance are slinky husband-and-wife indie pop duo Tennis. 8 p.m. 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-4050. theritzybor.com. For more with Spoon's Rob Pope, see tampabay.com/soundcheck.

WINDING ROAD: Sheryl Crow

It's been a minute since the talk around Sheryl Crow has focused on her music. There was her engagement and breakup with Lance Armstrong, her breast cancer diagnosis and discovery of a benign brain tumor, her two adopted sons. When people did talk about her music, it was usually about how she'd ditched her winning guitar-pop sound for country and Memphis soul. But with a new album, Be Myself, that Rolling Stone called her best in a decade, Crow is ready to reassert her place in pop music. The album is earning raves for its breezy sound and unapologetically self-accepting lyrics. She'll showcase the new album and old hits like Everyday Is a Winding Road and My Favorite Mistake at 8 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $52.75 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

BEEN A WHILE: Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals

For a guy who gets around like he does, it's surprising Ben Harper hasn't played in Tampa Bay since 2010. For a show with his longtime band the Innocent Criminals, you have to go all the way back to 2003. That seems impossible, considering the rootsy singer-slideman never seems to turn down a gig, from festivals the world over to albums and performances with a host of collaborators. But it makes Harper's concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Jannus Live is a welcome rarity, especially in the wake of last year's Call It What It Is, a deep collection of rusty folk, heartfelt soul and pointed observations on race and police brutality. This promises to be an insightful, inspiring night. 8 p.m. 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $35 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.

   
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