Friday, January 19, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

SoundCheck: OneRepublic among top live music picks

OneRepublic

With the Script

Details: Saturday 7 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25-$80.40. (813) 740-2446.

This time last year, OneRepublic was riding high on Grammy-nominated single Lose Myself and gearing up for a postgame concert at Tropicana Field. The Colorado quintet hasn't released a new album since its last visit, and while frontman Ryan Tedder has admitted to growing weary of playing hit song Counting Stars on television, he does have new single Love Runs Out to keep him entertained. The venue will be an upgrade from an indoor ballpark, and OneRepublic will have a stellar opening act to keep them on their toes: Irish hip-poppers the Script.

All-American Rejects

Details: Saturday 8:30 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Free with park admission. Toll-free 1-888-800-5447.

At this rate, All-American Rejects won't ever need a long tour as an excuse to play the bay area. The last two years have seen the Stillwater, Okla., pop-punk monarchs drop in to play special events (Taste of Pinellas two years ago and USF Bullstock last April), and on Saturday they add another wrinkle to an already busy itinerary from Busch Gardens, which has been keeping music fans of all stripes happy with its Summer Nights concert series. The Rejects' Dirty Little Secret is that they haven't released any new material since 2012's Kids in the Street, but longtime fans will still have plenty to be excited about, since old staples like Swing, Swing, Beekeeper's Daughter and Gives You Hell still pack more than enough punch to make a live set memorable.

Groovefest 5

With the Lee Boys, Holey Miss Moley, High Cotton, Shane Meade and the Sound, Shoeless Soul, Boxcar Hollow, Tangled Mandos, Rich Whiteley, Oak Hay, J.T. Brown

Details: Saturday 2 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.

Skipper's Smokehouse and WMNF-FM 88.5 are safe havens for the kind of jam rock that features multitudes of noodling solos worked into songs that can run well past the 10-minute mark. This daylong festival finds the venue and radio station teaming up to give fans a healthy dose of all that, with more than a few succulent sides of bluesy licks. Widespread Panic tribute band High Cotton will be on hand along with regional favorites like Shoeless Soul and Holey Miss Moley, but the icing on the cake is an appearance by Miami gospel-funk outfit the Lee Boys. Bandleader Roosevelt Collier is a top-notch ambassador for the "Sacred Steel" genre thanks to the creamy solos he pumps out of his Fessenden six-string.

The Whispers

With the Manhattans

Details: Sunday 7:30 p.m. Morsani Hall at David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $34.53-$70.11. (813) 229-7827.

Sundays aren't usually reserved for '70s-soul super-parties at the Straz Center, but it's the heat of summertime, so why the heck not? Hits like The Time Has Come and I Was Born When You Kissed Me have been burning bright in the Whispers' tank for the better part of a half-century, but you can still find a few spirited souls erupting into spontaneous dance sessions when songs like Rock Steady get played on your favorite dive bar's jukebox. The Los Angeles quintet isn't the only reason to turn back the clock on this bill, however, since the Manhattans — whose 1976 hit Kiss and Say Goodbye clearly served as the prototype for every Boyz II Men song ever — will be on hand, too.

Parasites

With Flamingo Nosebleed, Awkward Age, Agents of Dimension X, With Crows

Details: Sunday 7 p.m. Epic Problem, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $8. (813) 382-3477.

The 14 tracks on Parasites' latest release, 2013's Non Stop Power Pop Vol. 1, clock in at just over half an hour, but the album lives up to its name thanks to songs like Why I Get This Feeling, Never Die and Still Hoping You Might Come Back, which are boiling over with crunchy chords, jumpy bass lines and harmonized, memorable melodies. They're veritable punk-pop legends who haven't toured the Sunshine State in some time, and they'll have a trio of solid locals (Awkward Age, Agents of Dimension X, With Crows) supporting them.

Michael McDonald and Toto

Details: Tuesday 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$95. (727) 791-7400.

This tour announcement was so overly nostalgic and epic that we couldn't believe it was true. Turns out Michael McDonald and Toto go way back, however, since McDonald, 62, and Toto drummer Jeff Pocaro played in Steely Dan together. McDonald was actually almost in Toto. "(He) was approached to be in our band," Toto guitarist Steve Lukather recently told ABC Radio, "but he had just joined the Doobie Brothers a week before." They ended up having to settle for random collaborations on tracks like I'll Be Over You. While McDonald has been here twice in the past year — once for the 2013 reopening of Clearwater's Capitol Theatre, and again for the 2014 Tampa Bay Blues Festival — it's still going to take a lot to drag us away from Ruth Eckerd, where the yacht-rock crooner will work through cuts like Can Let Go Now and I Gotta Try.

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

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