We've said it before, and we'll say it again: We caught one of Coldplay's first American Mylo Xyloto shows last fall in Atlanta, and it was, hands down, one of the best concerts we've ever seen. Laugh if you must, but it's true. So skip next week's concert at the Tampa Bay Times Forum at your own risk. We have no doubt it'll be one of the best shows of the year, especially with Robyn opening.
Other big shows in a surprisingly slow Tampa Bay concert week: Machine Gun Kelly, Tech N9ne, Jacob Jeffries Band, a Homegrown Hip Hop showcase and CD release shows by a pair of great local bands, Alexander and the Grapes and Resinated. Here to walk you through it all is Carole Liparoto...
With Robyn, Wolf Gang
THURSDAY 7 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $46.75-$96.75. (813) 301-2500.
Radiohead's foray into highbrow electronica, Oasis' band-ending brawl, and Blur's Damon Albarn's venture into hip-hop and African music left a void in the big Britrock category at the turn of the century. Just then, in swooped Coldplay with Yellow, an introspective, anthemic rock tune that quickly made Chris Martin and co. some of the fastest-rising stars of the new millennium. Big sounds and even bigger aspirations are a given at any Coldplay show, and even more so during the Mylo Xyloto (pronounced MY-lo ZY-letoe) tour, the band's first U.S. expedition in three years. But there's still an unanswered question. Will showgoers get the special-edition LED wristbands that flash and flicker to the Coldplay beat? In recent weeks, there's been much hubbub about these wristbands, ones that Coldplay has reported spending nearly $640,000 a concert to give out.
Machine Gun Kelly
With Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, ¡Mayday!, Prozak, Stevie Stone
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. The Hawaiian Village at Stadium Green Iguana, 2520 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $27. (813) 868-7600.
Theoretically, this is madcap indie rapper Tech N9ne's tour. And while Tech brings plenty of oddities - we're talking anything from Dean Martin sampling and backwards rapping to disturbing horrorcore, grunting and guitars - all eyes will be glued to Tampa Bay trouble-starter and rapper Machine Gun Kelly. MGK was arrested in St. Petersburg in the wake of a brawl following a January show at the State Theatre and is also being sued by a local security guard for the incident. And during his March visit to Coachman Park for Wild Splash, he stripped down to his skivvies and climbed the scaffolding. So, if this Cleveland rapper lives the clamorous life, why would his music be any different? Rest assured, it isn't. Expect rage-rap anthem Wild Boy and shot-chasing LTFU, which melds Daft Punk with Pimp C., from the profane Bad Boy-signee. Sure, this is a rap show, but MGK's punk-hop has more in common with Travis Barker than Eminem.
Alexander and the Grapes CD release
With Bachelors in English, The Happiness Machine
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.
Young, harmony-happy locals Alexander and the Grapes offer up gently woozy tunes wise beyond their years. This St. Pete bunch's blend of baroque harmonic pop, alt-country and rock nods to folk fathers The Byrds, The Association and Neil Young. New debut full length Hemispheres, however, packs a '90s rock wallop, particularly on East Coast, a track that singer Alexander Charos says encapsulates the tension of writing a new song. "Everything we do feels like an experiment," he says. "That tension of not knowing the outcome but working really hard regardless is frightening but exciting at the same time." On a lighter note, the band's name used to be "Alexander and the Greats," but it was written as "Grapes" on a flyer promoting its inaugural show and the name stuck.
Jacob Jeffries Band
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Durty Nelly's, 149 First Ave. N., St. Pete. Cost TBD. (727) 823-3878.
"It's going to take one little person like Jacob to open doors to all those other Jacobs down there," the New York Times pronounced of this Miami working man's band. (Did they say this kind of thing about Springsteen?) The Jacob Jeffries Band recently won the Nationals Singer Songwriter Shoot-Out (previous winners include John Mayer and The Indigo Girls) and also became the first musical act to make the cover of the Broward Palm Beach New Times. In other words, they're kind of on a roll. Before hitting the road with Eric Hutchinson and Sister Hazel this summer, they'll play St. Pete with piano-pop, rock and '70s soul tunes that conjure up a combo of The Hush Sound and Jason Mraz.
Homegrown Hip Hop 4
Featuring Hagan Lee, The Rukus, Waystid Talent, Infinite Skillz and Jake Jansen, Headnokka, FLA All Day, Samsoul, DJ Carl Spinslow, Da Beav
SATURDAY 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10-$12. Facebook.com/thelocal662.
When it comes to rallying up the hip-hop troops around Tampa Bay, consider Infinite Skillz "El Capitan". Skillz brings talent from both sides of the bridge together during the fourth edition of the Homegrown Hip-Hop showcase Saturday. "Improving the hip-hop scene locally takes a collective effort and this annual show is my little experiment towards that end," he says. Skillz also preaches partying peaceably, since promoters and venues have been wary of booking potentially-violent rap shows.
Resinated CD release
With Burning Tree, Paint the Town Red, Danfield
SATURDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 895-3045.
Seminole reggae-funk band Resinated are regulars at clubs and beachy venues around town, and their tight skills, harmonies and use of brass and string instruments has led to gigs opening for the likes of Stephen Marley, Iration and Ballyhoo! On the heels of their debut EP Unity, they're gearing up for the release of their first full-length album, BEyourself. They'll do so with a release party on Saturday at the State Theatre.
Michael Jackson Tribute Party Fri. featuring DJ Short-E, more. 11 p.m. Green Iguana, 9202 Anderson Road, Tampa. Free before midnight. (813) 288-9076.
Bad Magistrate Fri. With Fall on Purpose, Mag Sauce, Rising Down. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-3045.
Redfeather Fri. With Victims of Circumstance, Adam Randall, Harpers Ferry. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Matt G Fri. With Undertow, Khora, Roots for Change. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. facebook.com/thelocal662.
The Dropa Stone "Goes Pink" (Pink Floyd Tribute set) Fri. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Big Picture Fri. 12 p.m. Franklin Street Mall, 713 N Franklin St., Tampa. Free. (813) 514-0489.
Electric Powered Windmills Sat. With Pedro El Poeta, more. 9 p.m. Dave's Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd. St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 576-1091.
Sunday Funday Jam Session Sun. featuring The Groves, The Hip Abduction. 5 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 565-0551.
Beat Connection Tues. With White Arrows, Brothertiger. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $9-$11. theorpheum.com.
Camryn Wessner Wed. 5 p.m. Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, 4200 Jim Walter Blvd., Tampa. Free. (813) 877-9200.
Three Bad Jacks Thurs. With Dead Popes. 7:30 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $8. facebook.com/thelocal662.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*