Saturday is only the biggest party day of the year in Tampa Bay: Gasparilla. So it's only fitting that this week brings a ton of excellent concerts, including a big one on Saturday night: Zac Brown Band at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre. Expect a lot of pirattitude at that one.
Beyond Zac and company, you can check out The Kills (above), G. Love and Special Sauce, Anthrax, the Civil Wars, Roberta Flack, Willie Nelson, Patti LaBelle, The Temptations, the Four Tops, Anthony Green, the Dear Hunter, Dia Frampton, Tycho, Rhonda Vincent, Eddie Money and more. Here to walk you through the best of it all is Carole Liparoto...
Zac Brown Band
With Sonia Leigh, Nic Cowan
SATURDAY 7 p.m. 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $31.50-$57. (813) 740-2446.
Atlanta's Zac Brown Band has rapidly become the next Jimmy Buffet, the next Kenny Chesney — not just strummin' musicians but get-a-babysitter, call-in-sick-the-next-day party throwers, as well — by prefacing its roots-rock regalia with epic feasts. ZBB's culinary chops, a sly bit of music-biz marketing that bridges the backstage fame gap between superstars and diehard fans, have proved just as devourable as smash singles Chicken Fried and As She's Walking Away. The 2010 Grammy winners for best new artist should be extra-welcome in Tampa Bay this year, as they cap Gasparilla Saturday with one of their down-home hootenannies. All-day revelers will need something to soothe their head, and soak up some sloshy spirits, at the end of that mighty slog. — Sean Daly
With Jeff the Brotherhood, Hunters
MONDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $21-$23. (813) 247-2555.
Connected like a Chinese finger trap, Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince slither and wail in bold, beautiful, garage-rocking harmony as The Kills. Mosshart, a Vero Beach native and former member of Florida punk band Discount, and Hince, a British jack of musical trades, linked up after exchanging tapes through the mail. Today, their primitive tunes with 'tude land them comparisons to that other well-known boy/girl minimalist duo the White Stripes. Don't miss the sexually-charged U.R.A. Fever, a track that finds Mosshart and Hince trading verses over snarling, feedback-ridden riffs like they're playing a pick-up game in a seedy lounge. Calculatedly sloppy rock act Jeff the Brotherhood of Nashville opens the show.
G. Love and Special Sauce
With Kristy Lee
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $26. (727) 565-0551.
Not just the soundtrack to Frisbee golf outings or double keggers any longer, G. Love's light, feel-good mix of funk, blues and hip-hop has come a long way. Love, or Garrett Dutton, a former street performer and slacker bluesman with a gangsta bent, has risen to the ranks of respected guitarist, harmonica player and songwriter. On latest Fixin' to Die, produced by back-roads masters Seth and Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers, Dutton unveils his flair for dusty, down-home blues.
With The Dear Hunter
FRIDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15-$17. (727) 895-3045.
If Anthony Green's work in winding Philly progressive act Circa Survive has ever given you a case of musical motion sickness, you may find comfort in his latest album, Beautiful Things. Released last week, the more subtle solo rock effort features guests Ida Maria, Lights and Chino Moreno. Art-rock opener The Dear Hunter (not to be confused with bands Deerhunter and Deerhoof, or the '78 De Niro flick The Deer Hunter), however, still maintains that dizzying Circa Survive-ish style, so don't abandon that Dramamine just yet.
With Testament, Death Angel
WEDNESDAY 6:30 p.m. The Hawaiian Village at Stadium Green Iguana, 2520 N Dale Mabry, Tampa. $19.50-$25. (813) 868-7600.
If music truly is the universal language, metal is certainly one of the more well-traveled subgenres. Lately, Palladia has been airing the Sonisphere music festival in Bulgaria, in which speed metal titans Anthrax rip through Caught in a Mosh with stadium-sized participation. "Mosh" is "mosh" in any culture, we gather. Considered one of the "Big 4" in thrash metal (Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica), original guitarist (and frequent VH1 commentator) Scott Ian and company play this sole Florida date Wednesday in Tampa.
The Temptations and the Four Tops
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $59-$85. (727) 791-7400.
The Temptations and The Four Tops embody the best of Motown. Collectively they've given us myriad essays on soul, style and careful shimmying. An Otis Williams-led Temptations will perform greatest hits like My Girl and Get Ready, and the Tops will give us those '60s golden oldies, I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) and Reach Out I'll Be There. The Tops' Abdul "Duke" Fakir is the only surviving original member.
With Boney James
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39-$128. (727) 791-7400.
In 1974, Patti LaBelle's girl group (simply called LaBelle) became the first black act to appear at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, and the landmark performance introduced the Allen Toussaint-produced Lady Marmalade to the masses. Labelle solidified her diva status right then and there, and "itchy gitchi yaya dada" (we think) became perfectly acceptable diva speak. Boney James, the R&B and adult contemporary chart-topper, lends his sax skills to the evening.
SUNDAY 7 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland Street, Clearwater. $15 and up. (727) 791-7400.
Unlike most reality singing competition contestants, The Voice runner-up and Blake Shelton mentee Dia Frampton had a successful musical past long before her audition. Since 2004, she and sister Meg played the Warped Tour, toured with Say Anything and Anberlin and released four full-length albums and several EPs as "Meg and Dia." Last year, Inventing Shadows, a song Dia performed during the finale of The Voice, became the Frampton family's biggest breakthrough, peaking at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Civil Wars
With Zach Williams & The Bellows
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $22.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
Even folks who claim they don't like country can't help but dig folk duo the Civil Wars, whose debut album is dripping with rusty, delicate folk ballads and one all-out foot-stomper, title track Barton Hollow. Expect even bigger things from Joy Williams and John Paul White in 2012 — Safe and Sound, their collaboration with Taylor Swift (a huge fan), is the lead single from the soundtrack to blockbuster-in-waiting The Hunger Games. -- Jay Cridlin
Tycho Fri. With Beacon, Navigateur, Soft Rock Renegades. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $9-$12. (813) 241-8600.
Blast Friday Fri. featuring Molly Hatchet. 5:30 p.m. Cleveland Street Stage, Downtown Clearwater. Free. (727) 791-7400.
Cherish the Ladies Fri. 8 p.m. Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine Street. $24-$28. (727) 942-5605.
The Kingston Trio Fri. 8 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $38-$48. (727) 587-6793.
Rhonda Vincent and the Rage Fri. 8 p.m. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $25-$30. (727) 822-3590.
Ugly Radio Rebellion: A Frank Zappa Tribute Band Fri. 7:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $6-$8. theorpheum.com.
Tom Rush Fri. 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $22. (727) 791-7400.
John Q Fri. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Sunset Bridge Band Fri. 8 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Pete. $5. (727) 644-7895.
The Bright Light Social Hour Sat. With Black Taxi. 8 p.m. Skipper's, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Machine Gun Kelly Sat. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Pete. $17. (727) 895-3045.
Set It Off Sat. With Lion Faced Boy, Relief in Sleep. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor. $8-$11. theorpheum.com.
Boogie Woogie Blues Piano Stomp Sat. featuring Michael Kaeshammer, Craig Brenner, Bob Seeley. 8 p.m. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $22-$26. (727) 822-3590.
Roberta Flack Sun. 7 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $40-$65. (727) 892-5798.
Willie Nelson Thurs. With Scotty Emerick. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $48.50-$100. (727) 791-7400.
Eddie Money Thurs. With Rockstar Riders. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10 and up. (727) 895-3045.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*