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SoundCheck: Fitz & the Tantrums among top live music picks

Fitz & the Tantrums

With Max Frost

Details: Wednesday 8 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $22-$25. (813) 974-3004.

Three years ago it was the State Theatre. Last year it was an opening slot for Bruno Mars in front of a sold-out Tampa Bay Times Forum. Fitz & the Tantrums are back on the road in 2014, and this time the Los Angeles-based six-piece is staging an arena show of their own at the USF Sun Dome. They've got a relatively new album to show off — last year's pop, soul and rock merging More Than Just a Dream. While the band will have a tough task entertaining a large room specifically there to see them, singers Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs have more than enough energy to send hits Out of My League, The Walker and Moneygrabber bouncing off the back walls and back on stage with plenty of punch leftover. Singer-songwriter Max Frost, whose White Lies rivals any Ed Sheeran strummer in terms of pure catchiness, opens the show.


With Ophelia, Geri X

Details: Friday 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $9. (813) 248-4969.

Tobiasz Bilinski makes very chill ambient music under the Kyst moniker, but the Polish multi-instrumentalist flies under the Coldair banner when the urge to actually say something with words comes over him. That has happened quite a lot lately, and the folk world is much better for it. Bilinski's coo is reminiscent of a quieter Sufjan Stevens, and the prettiest parts of songs like Safe & Sound conjure images of Bon Iver. Fingerpicking singer-songwriter Roger Lanfranchi opens the show, and his Ophelia project has three new live members making this show a good chance to catch the Tarpon Springs outfit play songs from their A Chrysalis EP in a more fleshed-out fashion.

Anthony David

With Ms. Chantae Cann

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. Freefall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$25. (727) 498-5205.

Freefall Theatre spends most of its days staging radical renditions of plays like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It will switch gears for one evening, welcoming a pair of Georgia songwriters — Anthony David and Chantae Cann — who are two of the South's freshest faces of rhythm and blues. Both have cut their teeth performing with India Arie, and the 42-year-old David, who promises to fill his set with material from a new LP, is a songwriting nerd's dream. Cann is a relative newcomer, but one look at her 2013 performance with Grammy-winning jazz outfit Snarky Puppy will reveal vocal gymnastics over multiple octaves. Both singers like to work a little outside the traditional realm of their genre, but they're both clearly taking it to new and innovative places, too.

Bobby Amaru & Nolan Neal

Details: Saturday 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.

If you haven't heard, Wednesday's ZZ Top and Jeff Beck show is off after Dusty Hill had a tour bus accident. The date is postponed to November, but rock 'n' roll fans are going to have to find a way to get their fix in the meantime. This particular solution is to put frontmen from two of the harder rocking bands from the 2000s out to play acoustic at the State Theatre this weekend. And while Saliva's Bobby Amaru and Hinder's Nolan Neal might be replacements for their groups' original frontmen, this show gives fans a chance to experience the new guys in a more stripped-down, simple setting. "I definitely feel like I add my own things without taking away from what the song was," Amaru recently told Pollstar when asked about taking on Saliva's older material. "I would hate to see a band that I liked butcher some songs that I loved." Will the fans buy it? They'll get a really good chance to decide at this show.

Diarrhea Planet

With Luxury Mane, Alexander & the Grapes, Sonic Graffiti

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

It's possibly the worst band name in the history of terrible band names, but at least Nashville's Diarrhea Planet has a sound that makes the moniker halfway acceptable. "We are a very serious band with a joke name," they recently told Spin. They weren't kidding. Four guitars, one bass and a drummer make up their attack on songs like Separations and Lite Dream, and while the new EP Aloha finds the guys crafting two-minute blasts of rock, they do spread out on songs from last year's I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, revealing a band unafraid (and capable) of exploring all kinds of sonic territory. Three of St. Pete's strongest outfits open this hump day treat of a show.

Contact Times correspondent Ray Roa at

Also Playing

3 Doors Down: Fri. 9:30 p.m. Hard Rock Cafe at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. (813) 627-7757. Sold out.

Hank Woji CD Release: Fri. 6 p.m. With Eileen Kozloff. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 644-7895.

Rebekah Pulley: Fri. 7 p.m. WXYZ Lounge at Aloft Tampa, 100 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Free. (813) 898-8000.

Dilldozer: Fri. 7 p.m. With Radarmen, No Talent, Power Cosmic. Planet Retro Gallery, 2414 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 218-7434.

Public Speaking: Fri. 9 p.m. With Whitey Alabastard, Lilith, Tired Kingdom, Novasak, Run With Hunted. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $7. (901) 619-1519.

The Mud Flappers: Fri. 8 p.m. With Dust Bowl Revival. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.

Nate Najar Trio: Sat. 6 p.m. The Independent, 5020 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 341-4883.

One Trip Little: Sat. 9 p.m. With Kimi Tortuga, Lesa Silvermore, Kristopher James. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 424-1809.

Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun: Sat. 9 p.m. With Atlantic Oceans, Sun Signs. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.

The Hummingbirds: Sun. 4 p.m. Ella's Americana Folk Art Café, 5119 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa, Free. (813) 234-1000.

SoundCheck: Fitz & the Tantrums among top live music picks 09/02/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 6:29pm]
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