(Through the end of the year on Soundcheck, our contributors will be looking back at the best local concerts of 2014. Up first: tbt*’s Stephanie Bolling.)
The Black Angels (Feb. 26, Daddy Kool Records): The main gig at the State Theater did not disappoint, but it was the free, intimate Daddy Kool show a few hours before that makes the cut. The rareness, realness and unpretentiousness of a band posting up and playing five songs at a local record store, interact with fans within arms’ length and still sound impeccable ... bravo!...
Review / photos: Primus bring wonderfully weird 'Chocolate Factory' to life at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater11/13/14 Blog
What went down at Ruth Eckerd Hall Wednesday was part brilliance and part insanity. To put it simply, Primus went Willy Wonka.
The band, known for South Park’s theme song and the 1995 hit Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver, presented “Primus and the Chocolate Factory,” a live incarnation of their latest album, Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, an homage to the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder....
There’s no doubt Jannus Live was the beating heart of downtown St. Petersburg Sunday night, with about 2,000 fans pulsing in the city’s core as they rocked out to alternative rock outfit Brand New.
Tickets to the much-anticipated gig sold out in less than an hour back in May, despite the band ironically not releasing anything brand new in five years.
And fans had to wait a little longer. Just after the lights went down and the crowd grew restless, Olivia Newton-John’s Please Don’t Keep Me Waiting comically played out in its entirety. Then the smokey silhouette of frontman Jesse Lacey appeared behind a flora-wrapped mic stand....
Electronic newcomer Chvrches (pronounced “churches”) made their inaugural appearance in the Sunshine State this week, a year after their debut album The Bones of What You Believe peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard charts.
Their bubblegum synth-pop isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but between being featured on the FIFA '14 soundtrack, covers of songs by artists ranging from Bauhaus to Prince and their ties to the esoteric witch house crew, they’ve garnered a diverse fan base hailing from their homestead in Scotland to an almost sold-out show at the Ritz Ybor Monday night. ...
Review: Local Natives warm a packed State Theatre in St. Petersburg with meaningful, memorable melodies04/17/14 Blog
Review: Avett Brothers deliver a dynamic, harmonic set of folk and rock at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa03/30/14 Blog
After seeing the Avett Brothers perform at the USF Sun Dome on Saturday night, I came away convinced that they’re the kind of fellas that’d take you out to a really nice dinner … if they weren’t so famous.
Buttoned up shirts, (mostly) neat hair, an air of southern gentlemen, these North Carolina boys knew how to shake down a room, sing a tender ballad and rock out while somehow maintaining total class....
Review: The Black Angels, Roky Erickson dive deep into psychedelia at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg02/28/14 Blog
Psychedelia is back. Not in the way that you feel you need magic mushrooms or LSD, but in the way guitar riffs bend and bounce back in reverb, followed by the echo of lyrics you can’t quite make out but somehow understand.
That, my friends, is the sound of the Black Angels, who played to a nearly full house at the State Theatre Wednesday night. Swallowed in a swirl of feedback and hallucinatory inducing projections, the Austin, Texas rockers took St. Petersburg on a journey into Indigo Meadow, their fourth studio album, in the way a pop-up book comes to life....
(All week on Soundcheck, our contributors are looking back at the best local concerts of 2013. Today: Soundcheck contributor Stephanie Bolling.)
The xx (Feb. 7, Ritz Ybor): ’Twas a big deal when the British trio announced several stops in oft-forgotten-Florida, including one in Ybor City. The sold-out crowd absorbed the delicate dream pop flawlessly delivered from a dark, moody-lit stage. Who knew that the intimate, breathy tracks would translate into surging, soulful musical pulses, reeling you into a deep, romantic reverie? Way to kick off 2013....
Light-hearted, merry mountain rock spilled out of the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Saturday night thanks to the combination of sets from the Lumineers, Dr. Dog and Nathaniel Rateliff.
The serenade kicked off early at 7:15 p.m. when Rateliff’s four-person musical entourage, including a pregnant Julie Davis on the upright double bass, entered the already crowded venue. Davis’ shy voice complimented Rateliff’s hearty vocals through an energetic 30-minute set. The first of many surprises came when two members from the Lumineers (Stelth Ulvang and Jeremiah Fraites) suddenly appeared on stage to play a boisterous tune with the opener, and exited as fast as they came....
Review: Dawes' simple, melodic style draws lovers of all ages to the State Theatre in St. Petersburg10/17/13 Blog
You might recognize them from the Gasparilla Music Festival in March or as the opening act for Alison Krauss and Union Station in 2011, but on Wednesday night at the State Theater in St. Petersburg, they were the guys everyone came to see: Dawes.
By the looks of the crowd, it was the type of show you’d bring your boyfriend or girlfriend to, and maybe even dad or grandpa. The alt-country soul/folk rock style appealed to everyone....
Out of L.A. and into our backyard, roaring rock trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club delivered raucous jams to a nearly full house at St. Petersburg’s State Theater Thursday night. From behind the incessant smoke machines and epilepsy-inducing strobe lights came an almost two-hour set that showcased more than half the tracks off their latest release, Specter at the Feast.
The trio — Peter Hayes, Robert Levon Been and Leah Shapiro — opened with Hate the Taste, setting the perfect lyrical tone to begin a gig: “I wanna ride with you/Why won’t you take me there?”...
She stood there, tears rolling down her cheeks. The glamor, the glitter meant nothing. She collapsed to the floor after the song. She finally had been broken.
That wasn't how it ended, or how it began, but it was among the most gripping scenes from Jobsite Theater's full throttle season opener, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, at Shimberg Playhouse.
Hedwig, played by Spencer Meyers, isn't your normal protagonist. She's saucy, eccentric and transgendered. A botched sex change operation left her with "an angry inch," now also the name of her misfit band, which she uses to cope and express her bizarre chain of life events. Music is her medicine and the audience finds her in the middle of a breakdown, or breakthrough. ...
Jobsite Theater presents the cult musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, about an East Berlin transwoman, Hansel, who endures a botched sex change operation leaving her, now Hedwig, with "an angry inch."
Hedwig's journey manifests in a sort of rock music soliloquy that takes her across countries, genders and love. She joins a glam rock band (the Angry Inch), falls in love and struggles to find what makes her whole after a life seemingly split in half by cities, people and him/herself....
If the line of cargo trailers in lieu of tour buses outside the Ritz Ybor on Friday night was any indication of the intimate show that beckoned inside, then appearances turned out to be right.
Fewer than 100 people braved the thunderstorm outdoors and crowded into a side room of the venue. Instead of watching Family of the Year and The Mowgli's in the main hall, fans got an up-close-and-personal performance of the bands on the Royal Room’s side stage, which normally housed a projection screen for concert-goers quelling their nicotine needs....
TAMPA — Sometimes nothing means everything, and everything means nothing, and there's much ado about it. From the schemes and quarrels to comedic commentary on love, Jobsite Theater's production of Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing captures the vulnerabilities of human emotion and error.
Underneath multicolored lit lanterns and tree branches strung from the rafters, the cast of 10 performed to a nearly sold out show Sunday afternoon....