If last week was the week white-boy hip-hop took over Tampa Bay, this is the week rock 'n' roll takes it back.
A slew of hard-driving American rock bands are taking over the bay this week, including Cage the Elephant (above), Manchester Orchestra, Minus the Bear, Deftones, Clutch, Dillinger Escape Plan, Seven Mary Three, Fake Problems and Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights. Heck, throw singer-songwriters Jackson Browne and Amos Lee into the mix, if you like.
But as always, there are many more options out there, including the Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon, reggae star Maxi Priest and blues great Coco Montoya. And that's not even counting the biggest musical event of the weekend, Taste of Pinellas, featuring headliners like Colbie Caillat, Third Eye Blind, Bonnie Raitt, Chris Isaak, Buddy Guy, Josh Turner and more. Click here for the details on Taste of Pinellas.
After the jump, Carole Liparoto walks you through a plugged-in, amped-up verison of this week's concert picks...
Cage the Elephant
With Manchester Orchestra
TUESDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $24.50. (813) 247-2555.
We thought we had Cage the Elephant figured out when Ain't No Rest for the Wicked, a dusty garage rocker that sounded like Beck channeling the White Stripes, became an omnipresent radio tune in 2008. But we know now that the single really only showcased the casual side of this hard-partying act from Bowling Green, Ky. Manic frontman Matt Shultz has proven to be a savage on stage, squirming on the floor, tugging at his greasy hair and sweating like me on the level-12 Stairmaster. Co-headliner Manchester Orchestra is the product of wunderkind Andy Hull, and its latest disc Simple Math "supersizes the kitchen-sink approach," with the addition of children's choirs and extra brass, says Rolling Stone.
With Dynasty, Infinite Skillz, DJ Sandman, B.C., The Rukus
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $17-$20. (727) 895-3045.
Somewhere within the crackle of vintage vinyl samples, cinematic soundscapes, martial arts lingo, twisted jokes and weird pop culture references (what other hip-hop group could drop bombs about Streisand in The Way We Were?),Wu-Tang Clan made one thing crystal clear: They ain't nothing to (mess) with. (That's the family newspaper edit, anyway). Wu's key storyteller, Raekwon the Chef, continued to pair ferocity and funny business on the critically-acclaimed Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, a sprawling piece about the rise and fall of a crime lord. And this year, on his fifth and latest concept album Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang, Raekwon takes on his own multiple personalities, the street kid and the Wu-Tang semi-celeb. It reminds us a bit of the T.I. vs T.I.P. album, or if we're really stretching, Garth Brooks as Chris Gaines.
Minus the Bear
With Skysaw, The Constellations
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20-$27. (813) 247-2555.
Seattle-based band Minus the Bear (whose bearded, white-clothed members resembled multiple versions of Jesus on the Ritz stage back in May of last year) makes progressive and experimental music for folks who normally don't like that sort of thing. Mathy yet melodic, the group satisfies the musical dude's craving for sonic exploration, as well as his girlfriend's desire for slinky indie rock. (That probably explains why we saw so much making out during the show). Don't miss opener Skysaw, the dynamic new rock project from Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin.
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45.50-$79.50. (727) 791-7400.
Beneath Jackson Browne's mellow and accessible SoCal sound, you'll find deep thought, introspection, and over the last few decades, hefty social commentary. So, if you're down to hear a little nuclear arms talk between the sweet, sweet hums of Call It a Loan, Running on Empty or Somebody's Baby, snag your tickets sooner than later. This is Browne's first return to Ruth Eckerd Hall since his sold-out performances in 2009, 2005 and 2002.
WIth Standback Band
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
"Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues," warns Albert Collins, the "Master of the Telecaster" and the longtime mentor to Coco Montoya, in the '87 film Adventures in Babysitting. It's the kind of no-foot-unmoved sentiment that Montoya carries to this day onstage. After playing lead guitar in the Bluesbreakers (a spot once held by Eric Clapton), he stepped out as a bandleader in 1993 and released a slew of solo albums. Montoya has been touring internationally to rave reviews ever since.
With Dillinger Escape Plan, Le Butcherettes
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $28.50. (727) 565-0551.
"Guns, razors, knives," screams Chino Moreno on Rocket Skates, yet another Deftones effort that manages to blend deafening metal with dreamy atmospherics. The track comes from 2010's Diamond Eyes, a disc iTunes named Rock Album of the Year. "Hard rock thrives on conflict and chaos, and no band has found more beauty and soaring aggression within those ingredients than Deftones, says the Los Angeles Times. Sadly, Deftones bassist Chi Cheng remains in a semi-conscious state after a 2008 car accident.
With Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
TUEDSAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $19-$20. (727) 895-3045.
If you're a truck driver who's misplaced your No-Doz, pop in Clutch's Electric Worry and prepare for a speedy, swampy blues-rock ride to boogie town. We'd call the single from this heavy Baltimore band the rock equivalent of a wakeup call.
All Good Anniversary Party
Featuring Machinedrum, Soft Rock Renegades
TUESDAY 10 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $3-$5. (813) 241-8600.
All Good Tuesdays, the anything-goes dance party thrown by Soft Rock Renegades, a.k.a. Jack "2Critical" Spatafora and Cameron "Archaea" Correa, will celebrate its third year as a series at Crowbar. To mark the occasion, the guys are bringing in Machinedrum, an internationally-known electronic artist whose debut record had Pitchfork heralding it as the "standard to which the next wave of imitators aspires."
Amos Lee Fri. With Sonia Leigh. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $29-$45. (727) 791-7400.
Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights Fri. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Fake Problems Fri. With Laura Stevenson and the Cans, Into It. Over It., You Blew It. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600.
Noah Broe and the Groove Co. Sat. 7 p.m. JolliMon's, 941 Huntley Ave., Dunedin. Free (727) 735-0498.
Maxi Priest Sat. With Resinated, Fiyah Marshall, Banger Powaz, more. 7 p.m. Stadium Green Iguana, 2520 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $10 and up. (813) 868-7600.
St. Petersburg Museum of History Florida Folk Series Sat. featuring Ronny Elliott, Spark Notes, Dog Peter Pat. 2 p.m. Museum of History, 335 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 894-1052.
Mustard Plug Sat. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 241-8600.
Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday Bash Tues. featuring The Mojo Gurus, Radio Free Carmela and the Transmitters, Johnny and the Wranglers, Sara Mac Band, Judy Tampa and Bunko Squad, Saint Hill, Elysian Sex Drive, Grant Peeples, Maggie Council, Jim Mason, Scott Elliott and Kate Bradshaw, Big Wiggler. 5 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
(hed) P.E. Thurs. With Mushroomhead, Team Cybergeist. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 895-3045.
Seven Mary Three Thurs. 9 p.m. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 N Orient Road, Tampa. $20. (866) 502-7529.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*. Photo: Getty Images.