Saturday, July 21, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Music Planner: Zac Brown Band, Super Freestyle Explosion return; meet Merchandise and the Oh Hellos

BIG ZAC ATTACK: Zac Brown Band

What's the Zac Brown Band been up to since its last trip to Tampa less than a year ago? Not much. They're still touring behind Jekyll + Hyde, their rockish sixth studio album, so their live show likely hasn't evolved a whole lot. But don't let that dissuade you from seeing them at 7 p.m. Sunday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4202 U.S. 301 N. Zac and company remain some of the fiercest, fieriest live acts in all of music, with no two sets quite the same. You'll get your Toes and your Chicken Fried, sure, but you might also end up hearing a cover of Nirvana or Rage Against the Machine. Last year's set saw the Georgia boys nearly double the size of their lineup, with extra horns and percussion yielding a hugely beefed-up sound. Sunday's show might feel familiar, but nothing about it will seem stale. $25.50 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

TOTALLY RAD: Super Freestyle Explosion

It's one of the unlikeliest smash events on the Tampa Bay music calendar: the Super Freestyle Explosion, the annual '80s-tastic jam that returns to Amalie Arena at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Nothing against Stevie B and Lisa Lisa but did anyone expect them to still be packing thousands of fans into arenas in 2016? Credit the Explosion's snappy format, which whips between old-school hitmakers with nary a moment's break, and enduring nostalgia for the upbeat, radio-friendly dance jams of the Me Decade. In addition to Stevie B (Because I Love You (The Postman Song)) and Lisa Lisa (Head to Toe), this year's lineup brings Exposé (Point of No Return), Shannon (Let the Music Play), Sweet Sensation's Betty Dee (Hooked on You), Noel (Silent Morning), Trinere (All Night), Connie (Funky Little Beat), the Jets (You Got It All) and Stacey Q (Two of Hearts). $34.50 and up. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

HI THERE: The Oh Hellos

Which Americana act stole the show at March's Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival? Was it Mumford and Sons? The Avett Brothers? Jason Isbell? Or maybe it was Texas act the Oh Hellos, who delivered a rousing daytime set of fiddle- and banjo-driven anthems with smiles plastered all over their faces. Siblings Maggie and Tyler Heath, left, lead an excitable troupe whose luscious harmonies and instrumentation deserve comparisons to Of Monsters and Men. Pick up their 2015 album Dear Wormwood if you like; it's their festival-sized stage show that'll really steal your heart — especially in a venue as intimate as the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Penny and Sparrow open the show at 8 p.m. Saturday. $15 and up. (727) 895-3045. statetheatreconcerts.com.

TRANE SPOTTING: A Celebration of John Coltrane

John Coltrane would have turned 90 next week. To mark the occasion, the Tampa Jazz Club will kick off its fall concert series at Hillsborough Community College's Mainstage Theatre in Ybor City with a tribute to the iconic saxman, led by the Jack Wilkins Quartet. Wilkins, an accomplished saxophonist and director of jazz studies at the University of South Florida, will be joined by Chris Rottmayer (piano), Charlie Silva (bass), Walt Hubbard (drums) and others. 3 p.m. Sunday at 1304 E 11th Ave., Ybor City. $15-$20, $10 for students with ID, free for HCC students and kids under 10. tampajazzclub.com.

HOMEGROWN: Merchandise

To mark the release of A Corpse Wired for Sound, their swoony sophomore album on legendary British label 4AD, Tampa art-rockers Merchandise are showing some unexpected love to their home state. The band is building up to a Sept. 23 release-day concert at Crowbar with a week of free performances in Florida record shops, including 8 p.m. Tuesday at Mojo Books and Records, 2540 E Fowler Ave. in Tampa. There, you can buy the album early (and on limited-edition vinyl, no less), and wish the lads well as they head off to spend the rest of the fall touring the globe. Get info on the Mojo show at (813) 971-9717 or facebook.com/mojotampa, or keep tabs on their release-week shenanigans at wmerchandise.com.

HOLD MY BEER: Hootie and the Blowfish

Odds are against you if you only wanna be inside the Mahaffey Theater at 7 p.m. Friday for a rare revival of Darius Rucker's, right, old '90s bro-rockers Hootie and the Blowfish. Most tickets to the gig — which celebrates the wide release of Hootie's Homegrown Ale, a collaboration with Tampa's Rock Brothers Brewing — are long gone. But I'll be there. Keep an eye on Twitter (@JayCridlin) on Friday night, and look for a report late Friday on tampabay.com.

     
 
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