Monday, June 25, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

SoundCheck: Avett Brothers, Scotty McCreery among top live music picks

.The Avett Brothers

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $35-$47.75. (813) 974-3004.

Seven years ago, the Avett Brothers played a packed Skipper's Smokehouse while supporting their breakout album, Emotionalism. A lot changed for the North Carolina folk outfit after that. Super-producer Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers) caught wind and signed on to helm the band's major label debut, and the Avetts have almost become a household name. A meteoric rise hasn't been left unscathed by the plague of fame, though, as guitarist Seth Avett embarked on his own Hollywood affair by allegedly dating Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter while still married to his now-ex wife, Susan (we can never hear January Wedding in the same, sweet way again!). Gossip aside, the boys still (folk) rock and their live set — complete with loud twang, loads of foot-stomping and no shortage of hootin' and hollerin' — will translate well in the cavernous Sun Dome, hitting joyous fans, new and old, square in the earholes (and probably their hearts as well).

Scotty McCreery

With Jason Mizelle

Details: Friday 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39.50-$125. (727) 791-7400.

Scotty McCreery has kind of a goofy look to him, a bit like the kid on the front of Mad magazine, and that's why — even three years after he stole the hearts of the country en route to an American Idol win — we're still taken aback by his massive baritone, which has taken the pop country world by storm. At just 20 years old, he's the baby among other hunks like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Dierks Bentley, but he may actually lay claim to having the best voice of any of the boot-kicking studs on the radio these days. His latest single, See You Tonight, just earned him the third gold single of his career, solidifying the fact that he has a bright future ahead.

Casting Crowns

With Laura Story, For King and Country

Details: Friday 7 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $25-$75. (813) 974-3004.

Already one of Earth's biggest Christian rock bands, Casting Crowns take the idea of evangelization through song to another level altogether. The septet with roots in Daytona Beach is touring behind Thrive, a brand new LP inspired by Psalms' chapter 1. It debuted atop Billboard's Christian music chart and hit No. 6 on the Billboard 200, and is being augmented with an interactive, web-based program that finds frontman (and pastor) Mark Hall exploring each of Thrive's songs by dissecting scripture references. It would all come off as gimmicky if it weren't for the band's squeaky clean reputation (face it, that's hard to accomplish in this day and age), and that everyone in Casting Crowns is committed to keeping their "church jobs" and having tour dates at the end of the workweek so that they can spend time ministering to their various congregations.

Somos

With Station Cases, Snacking, With Crows, Victor Alvarez

Details: Tuesday 7 p.m. Epic Problem, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $6. (813) 382-3477.

Somos speaks volumes to the golden days of pop-punk, when the genre was less fabricated "pop" and more rooted in the pursuit of bottling all the angst and uncertainty of life into catchy, sonic journal entries. A three-song EP, Temple Of Plenty, was released this week, and for 8 1/2 crucial minutes, frontman Michael Fiorentino leads the Massachusetts quartet through a crunchy, melodic meditation on what it means to give up (Distorted Vision), grow up (Dead Wrong) and battle cynicism (Domestic). Catching a high-energy show at a small space like Epic Problem is something every music fan should experience at least 10 times in their lifetime, and with a relatively early weeknight show like this on the calendar, it'll be hard finding an excuse not to go.

Deltron 3030

Details: Wednesday 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25-$28. (727) 895-3045.

Solo appearances from emcee Del the Funky Homosapien, DJ Kid Koala or producer Dan the Automator would be enough to make any hip-hop head giddy, but having the trio come to the 'Burg in the form of supergroup Deltron 3030 makes this show pure music nerd nirvana. The year 2000 saw the group release a conceptual debut that doubled as a modern day hip-hop opera, marked by Del's potent raps about being an intergalactic space warrior, Koala's groundbreaking record scratching and splicing (the guy's live setup included four turntables), and production so luxurious and rich that it's a surprise Quentin Tarantino didn't tap Dan the Automator to score each of his films from there on out. They spent the next decade or so doing their solo thing (and contributing to Damon Albarn's legendary Gorillaz project), but late last year Deltron 3030 returned with their highly anticipated sophomore effort, Event 2, which solidifies the groups legacy as one of the quirkiest, most envelope-pushing collectives in the game.

Times correspondent Ray Roa can be reached at SuburbanApologist.com.

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