GIVING BACK: Set It Off
When you're rock stars who've spent the past year playing to huge crowds around the globe, no one expects you to invite your high school band teachers to your holiday party. Set It Off wouldn't have it any other way.
On Saturday, the nationally signed, North Pinellas-based pop-punk band will throw a benefit concert for the Tarpon Springs Leadership Conservatory for the Arts, the prestigious music academy where singer Cody Carson and guitarist Dan Clermont met. All of the proceeds from Saturday's show will help students pay fees, the band cover travel costs and other expenses.
"That marching band program really shaped who we are as people," said Carson. "So much of our lives have come from that band."
Since forming in 2008, Set It Off has become one of Tampa Bay's biggest musical exports, signing with Equal Vision Records, playing multiple stretches on the Warped Tour (including many dates on this summer's main stage) and touring around the world. This year, they've toured with All Time Low in Canada and Mallory Knox in the United Kingdom, and they recently returned from an L.A. writing session for their third album, which they hope to release next summer.
And yet Carson and Clermont remain unabashed band geeks. Carson and Clermont played — and still play — clarinet and trumpet, respectively, and gush over the Conservatory's role in their musical development. At Saturday's show, Carson is toying with the idea of writing out some horn parts for current Tarpon Springs students, or possibly selling themed merchandise, like signed copies of their senior marching band photos.
Set It Off performs with Infinity On High and UNRB at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12-$17. VIP upgrades, $35, include access to a meet-and-greet, acoustic performance and pizza party with the band. soundrink.com. For more of our interview with Set It Off's Cody Carson and Dan Clermont, see tampabay.com/soundcheck.
CHRISTMAS TRADITION: Michael McDonald
When your beard is as bushy and white as Michael McDonald's, it's probably inevitable that you'll record a Christmas album or two. The erstwhile Doobie Brother actually has four to his name, which makes him a reliable tour ticket around Christmastime. Almost exactly two years after McDonald played the first concert in Clearwater's renovated Capitol Theatre, he'll be back for another flurry of holiday favorites mixed in alongside classic soul hits like Yah Mo B There and I Keep Forgettin'. 8 p.m. Sunday. $79 and up. 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
'HIGH TIDES' RETURN: The Outlaws
A handful of rock stars have called Tampa Bay home over the years, from Steven Stills to Cheap Trick's Robin Zander. Few have a resume quite like Henry Paul, who co-founded the Outlaws in Tampa in the early '70s. Like fellow Floridians Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet and .38 Special, the Outlaws scored a few Southern rock hits (There Goes Another Love Song, Green Grass and High Tides, (Ghost) Riders in the Sky) before Paul went solo with the Henry Paul Band, and later formed the country group Blackhawk (Goodbye Says It All). On Friday at the Capitol Theatre, Paul will turn back time with a concert featuring music by (and members of) the Outlaws and Henry Paul Band. It's a history lesson in the music of Tampa, the music of Florida and Southern rock in general, all rolled into one night. $37.50 and up for the show, 8 p.m. Friday. (727) 791-7400.
SHOP LOCAL: Brokenmold, New Granada holiday shows
You know the local promoters who work tirelessly all year to bring you a full slate of cool indie concerts in Ybor City? This Christmas, show 'em some love.
On Friday, Brokenmold Entertainment will throw its annual Holiday Comedy Explosion featuring standup sets from Matt Fernandez, J.B. Ball, Law Smith and more. $10 with all proceeds benefitting Big Cat Rescue. 8 p.m. at New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City.
On Wednesday, Brokenmold switches from comedy to music for their ninth annual holiday party. Israeli dance-pop duo Hank & Cupcakes headlines the gig along with Fat Night, Dynasty, Atlantic Oceans and more. $8. 8 p.m. at Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. facebook.com/brokenmold.
Then on Christmas, head back to New World for New Granada Records' long-running Xmas Night Extravaganza. Brash noise-punks Meatwound headline, but the highlight might be indie rockers Rec Center playing the soundtrack from the 1979 cult film Over the Edge, including cuts like Cheap Trick's Surrender, the Cars' My Best Friend's Girl and Van Halen's You Really Got Me. Empire Cinema and Mountain Holler round out the bill at 8 p.m. Dec. 25 at New World. $10. facebook.com/newworldbrewery.