Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

SoundCheck: All-American Rejects, Bonnaroo's Umphrey's McGee among top acts this week

Bullstock

With All-American Rejects, Owl City, Hot Chelle Rae, Variance, South of Holly

Details: Friday 4 p.m., the Meadows at the University of South Florida, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 974-1001.

Most of today's undergrads were barely hitting puberty when All-American Rejects broke through with their hit 2003 single Swing, Swing, so it's pretty impressive to find the Stillwater, Okla., outfit headlining USF's free spring concert, Bullstock. The Rejects can credit a pair of uber-catchy singles (Dirty Little Secret, Gives You Hell) with helping them retain and grow a rabid fan base over the past decade. The pedigree of Top 40 talent being showcased at the mini-music festival is not to be overlooked, either. Adam Young's 2009 quadruple-platinum hit Fireflies brought his basement poptronica project, Owl City, into arenas across the country, and Hot Chelle Rae's Tonight Tonight will have you singing "la, la, la" for weeks on end. USF's Campus Activities Board says the event is open to "students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the USF community," so that basically means everyone.

Floor

With Thrones, Hello. Invade

Details: Saturday 8 p.m., Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8-10. (813) 241-8600.

Florida often gets pigeonholed (and ridiculed) as a vestibule to a cavernous death-metal wormhole. Thankfully there are legendary bands like Floor that remind us to wear that badge with pride. The band's 23 years are marked by several periods of inactivity and lineup changes, but the Miami purveyors of damning doom and sludge still managed to release a pair of revered LPs to accompany a handful of singles and compilation appearances. In 2010, Richmond, Va., imprint Robotic Empire put together a comprehensive retrospective collecting every ounce of Floor's recorded material, and the band obliged their disciples' devotion with a reunion. They've even signed on to record an album of new material.

Umphrey's McGee

With Break Science

Details: Saturday 6:30 p.m., Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $23.50-$26. (727) 565-0550.

Bonnaroo veterans Umphrey's McGee would be found in the same record store section as Phish, the Grateful Dead and Widespread Panic. But that isn't bad company, is it? As the band's 15-year anniversary tour arrives in St. Petersburg, ditch the jam band prejudice and consider the Chicago outfit's tendency to get proggy (think King Crimson and even Zappa), their universally appreciated live show and the fact that they'll be kicking off summer concert season at one of the Southeast's most storied outdoor music venues.

Dry Branch Fire Squad

Details: Sunday 5 p.m., Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-13. (813) 971-0666.

When it comes to old-school bluegrass, being a part of a band like Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys for even a short time is akin to saying you spent a few semesters at Harvard. As the leader of Dry Branch Fire Squad, Ron Thomason has taken his experience from his time with the legendary Mountain Boys and built a lifelong career out of this old-time mountain music. While all of the elements — speedy picking, ripe harmonies, heart-wrenching folk tales — are perfectly set in place, there is something about the way Thomason seasons songs like Devil, Take the Farmer, Black Lung and We Believe in Happy Endings that suggests he knows even more than his impressive resume might suggest.

All Time Low and Pierce the Veil

With Mayday Parade, You Me At Six

Details: Tuesday 5:30 p.m., Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Sold out. (727) 565-0550.

The Queers, Dillinger Four and Thrice once all called Hopeless Records home. Those bands all experienced some degree of commercial success, but none has bolstered the storied label's bottom line like All Time Low, who to date have moved more than 500,000 copies of single Dear Maria, Count Me In. The Maryland quartet plays a particularly catchy brand of pop-punk, and they're joined by a trio of equally likable contemporaries on this bill. Mayday Parade's cover of Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know is nearly as inescapable as the original. You Me At Six, a U.K. import, makes a certain kind of celibacy seem like the cool thing to do on their 2009 hit Save It for the Bedroom, and Pierce the Veil anchors the lineup with a heavier sound that incorporates elements of hardcore.

This week's SoundCheck is by Ray Roa, who can be reached at suburbanapologist.com.

   
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