EVE 6: Rock into 2016
New Year's Eve is a week away, but who wants to be stuck planning the year's biggest night out on the night of? That's all the more true if you're going to a concert — and there are several good ones happening all over town. (Sadly, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic is no longer among them — that show, which was scheduled for Ferg's Sports Bar in St. Petersburg, has been canceled.) Here are a half-dozen ways to ring in 2016 by rocking the freak out.
How else would Jannus Live ring in the new year but with a concert by one of the biggest reggae-rock bands in America? The soulful and uplifting Virginia outfit known as SOJA returns to the historic courtyard, site of numerous sold-out concerts in years past, for a concert with reggae-popster Collie Buddz at 7:30 p.m. $40 and up in advance, $45 and up at the door at 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.
Midnight is about the time parties at the Amphitheatre start cranking up, so if you're raging on West Coast time this year, head there for a show by Miami DJ and production duo GTA, who meld house energy and hip-hop beats into one party-hardy melange. Wiwek, Vincent and more will support them at the Amp, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Doors open at 10, and the party continues until 3 a.m. $25. amptampa.com.
Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band
What's longtime Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks, above, been up to since the group's dissolution last spring? Forming his new Freight Train band, for one thing, featuring a handful of Allmans associates and Tampa Bay buddies. The band includes Trucks' son Vaylor; Berry Oakley Jr., son of the Allmans' late bassist; and Tampa Bay blues favorite Damon Fowler. Opening the show are rising Clearwater pop-rockers the Ries Brothers. The show ends with a countdown at midnight. Tickets start at $49.50, but hey, it's New Year's Eve; shell out for the $125 VIP tickets that include a meet-and-greet and champagne toast. 9 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
Donna the Buffalo
New York roots rockers Donna the Buffalo are familiar faces at Skipper's Smokehouse. They've played New Year's Eve shows there every year since 2010, including a three-night stand in 2014-15. Considering the colorful community of support they've cultivated beneath the Skipperdome, we imagine this gig will be as packed and popular as ever. 8 p.m. 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $35 and up. (813) 971-0666. skipperssmokehouse.com.
Speaking of familiar faces: Cincinnati bassist Freekbass returns to Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., for a night of low-end magic inspired by the likes of Bootsy Collins and Larry Graham. He'll be joined by his band the Bump Assembly, but if that's not enough of an incentive, the brewery is promising partiers a free pour of their 2016 Dram Alter, brewed with golden raisins, cinnamon and oak. There's no cover for the show at 9 p.m. (727) 736-0606. dunedinbrewery.com.
The People's Blues of Richmond
Psychedelic (and party-riffic) blues-rockers the People's Blues of Richmond, who this spring wowed crowds at the Gasparilla Music Festival, are only half the reason to hit Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe this New Year's Eve. Revelers will also get dinner, champagne, drink specials and additional music from Poetry 'n Lotion and John Nowicki. The fun kicks off at 7 p.m. at Ella's, 5119 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa; $40 at ticketfly.com and daddykool.com.