Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Music & Shows

SoundCheck: Lil Boosie, O'Jays among top live music picks

. Lil Boosie

With Yo Gotti, August Alsina

Details: Friday 8 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $35-$200. (813) 301-2500.

Scammers have recently been using Lil Boosie's name to pull one over on would-be concert bookers, but we here at Soundcheck have called the Times Forum, and this show is definitely on. The 31-year-old Baton Rouge, La. rapper born Torrence Hatch just wrapped up a five-year drug stint at Louisiana State Penitentiary, and he's wasted no time hitting the road to perform songs from a discography that goes back almost 15-years. Boosie recently sold out an April show at Nashville's 10,000-seat Municipal Auditorium, and while songs like Show Da World, Betrayed and Better Believe It are definitely bangers, it'll still be a tough task filling this massive venue to even half-capacity. NoLa Def Jam Records signee August Alsina (Make It Home) and Memphis' Yo Gotti (Act Right) should help pack 'em in, though.

m The O'Jays

Details: Saturday following Rays vs. Houston Astros (first pitch at 4:10 p.m.). Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. Free with game ticket. Toll-free 1-888-326-7297.

At this point there's just not a lot to be happy about at Tropicana Field, but here's a bright spot: a postgame concert from the O'Jays. The Philly soul trio's history is rich, thanks to a 50-plus-year career that has produced handfuls of hit singles (Use Ta Be My Girl, For The Love of Money, I Love Music) rife with big string arrangements, saccharine ballads and a whole lot of funk. They've inspired countless artists who came after them, and who knows, maybe our boys will join in on the O'Jays' Love Train and turn the season around.

, Tonic

Details: Saturday 9 p.m. Shephard's Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. $10. (727) 441-6875.

Tonic may have been excluded from last weekend's big Summerland '90s alt-rock nostalgia fest at Vinoy Park, but the Grammy-nominated trio might have landed an even better gig, as Shephard's has booked them for a Saturday night summer party. Who knows what the weather will be, but tickets are about as affordable as they can get, so what more could you want, anyway?

Conrad Oberg

Details: Sunday 5 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.

Let's all admit that Woodstock's 40th anniversary concert in 2009 was a horrendous idea. A highlight of that concert, however, was when a then-15-year-old Conrad Oberg took the stage for a solo performance of the Star-Spangled Banner, just like his idol Jimi Hendrix did 40 years earlier. The Jacksonville bluesman's story becomes extra special when you consider that he taught himself to play the piano as a toddler, eventually recording with Jerry Lee Lewis' backing band on his debut full length, Decade, all before turning 11. Even better, he did it all without a sense of sight. Born blind, the phenom, now 19, is better than many players without disabilities, and his prowess has earned him spots performing alongside the likes of Robert Randolph, Jefferson Starship and the Meters. His screaming solos — sometimes reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn — have the ability to blow the leaves off the Skipperdome.

Agalloch

With Vex, Faethom

Details: Wednesday 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$18. (813) 248-9500.

Agalloch's only Florida date stops in the unofficial death metal capital of America, and that's fitting. The Portland, Ore., quartet's Marrow of the Spirit (2010) is an hourlong album that plays more like an epic, thrashing, demonish book on tape. Their latest effort, this year's The Serpent & the Sphere, solidified their place in bringing metal further toward the mainstream by debuting a week early on NPR, giving life to the idea that an open-minded, everyday listener could appreciate the brilliance of slow-building songs and ear-splitting riffs that almost come off as orchestral. Spin didn't call Agalloch one of the "best bands in modern metal" for no reason, and anyone who finds themselves at the Orpheum for this show is going to see and hear exactly why.

Blackbird Blackbird

With Beat Culture, Rude 100

Details: Wednesday 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $9-$10. (813) 241-8600.

Mikey Maramag is the mind behind this northern California electro psych-pop project, and while his production — all anchored in blood-pumping bass, shimmering keyboard and carefully spliced samples — establishes him as a master sound manipulator, it's his gift for melody and an uncanny ability to create complex emotions from synthesized noise that has allowed him to outgrow that tired "chillwave" label. A new LP, Tangerine Sky, is a welcome follow up to 2012's Boracay Planet, an all too-short collection of joyous, sometimes '80s-loving synth-pop, and the company Maramag has on this tour is top-notch. Beat Culture's Sunki Kim is a rising producer who doubles as a Yale University undergrad, and Rude 100 is one of Tampa's hidden hip-hop treasures.

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

 
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