Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Music Planner: ZZ Top returns, Jon Bon Jovi stumps for Clinton, and indie rock abounds

LONG IN THE BEARD: ZZ Top

We're closing in on 50 years of ZZ Top. Pretty incredible, considering singer-guitarist Billy Gibbons, singer-bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard seem about as ageless as their rip-roaring Texas riffs. But all those years and tours have taken a toll, to the point where you wonder just how much gas the Eliminator has left in the tank. Their concert at 8 p.m. Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall is a make-up date for an April concert canceled when Hill tripped and dislocated his shoulder before a gig in Lubbock, Texas. This was the third time in two years that an injury to Hill has forced ZZ Top to postpone a Tampa concert, so local fans are understandably getting antsy about the group's future. But at least we've got Friday's show to appreciate hits like Legs, La Grange and Cheap Sunglasses live and in person. The show is sold out, but call the box office for any late-dropping tickets. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

ROCK THE VOTE: Jon Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi has a concert in Tampa on Valentine's Day. But if you can't wait that long for a little taste of Runaway, frontman Jon Bon Jovi will perform a rare solo show here Saturday. The catch: It's a "Get Out the Vote" concert for Hillary Clinton, of whom Bon Jovi is a longtime friend and supporter. So if you're with him, but not her, be prepared to push your politics aside for the night. At press time, campaign organizers were still working out all the details (time, venue, ticket distribution, etc.), but by the time you read this, they'll be at hrc.io/JBJinFL.

MAKE YOUR HANDS CLAP: Fitz and the Tantrums

Album by album, Fitz and the Tantrums are building their case as one of America's top party bands. Their hits tend to be more ditzy than deep — MoneyGrabber, Out of My League, The Walker, Fools Gold and most recently HandClap — but the interplay between singers Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs is undeniable, and hey, sometimes you just wanna dance. If you were looking for a big-time wedding band and couldn't afford Maroon 5, you'd give these guys a whirl, wouldn't you? So do the same when they hit Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg, at 8 p.m. Thursday. Barns Courtney opens the show. $25 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.

CREATURE FEATURE: Animal Collective

If the results of the 2016 presidential election come in early enough, maybe Animal Collective will pause their set at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa to announce them. Perhaps they'll even do it during their 2016 song FloriDada. That would be appropriate on Election Day, wouldn't it? The trippy indie rockers do have some roots in politics — Brian "Geologist" Weitz once worked on Capitol Hill — but are better known for their psychedelic, synthesizer-based art-rock, which made them critical favorites in the heyday of blog rock. Their heat has cooled since 2007's Strawberry Jam and 2009's Merriweather Post Pavilion, but their heavily visual live shows are still worth checking out, provided you can tear yourself away from Tuesday's election coverage. The show, with openers Actress, is at 8 p.m. 1503 E Seventh Ave. $25 and up. (813) 247-2518. t heritzybor.com.

DIVINE LINEUP: Kevin Devine

Heckuva lineup of indie-alternative folk coming to the Orpheum on Saturday. Topping the bill is Brooklyn singer-songwriter Kevin Devine, right, whose just-released album Instigator wrestles with issues ranging from 9/11 (No History) to white privilege (Freddie Gray Blues) to, well, everything else (Both Ways), all filtered through a mist of emo and power pop. Joining Devine is Memphis singer-songwriter Julien Baker, who won raves for her sparse, beautiful 2015 album Sprained Ankle; New Jersey alt-folk outfit Pinegrove, whose Cardinal mixed melodic folk and driving rock to become one of this year's best efforts; and Pennsylvania's Petal, whose 2015 LP Shame swims through shoegaze and sugary power pop in ways that recall the Lemonheads and Belly. There's a little something for everyone for this show, which kicks off early at 6 p.m. (all the better to fit in all this great music) at the Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $16.50 and up. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.

     
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