Top live music picks: Diana Ross, Needtobreathe, Lemonheads, Takin' It to the Streets: A Tribute to Yacht Rock and more

Published Feb. 22, 2012


Details: Friday 8 p.m. The Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. Sold out. (727) 892-5798.

Hit-making Motown mama Diana Ross keeps us hanging on with a sold-out show at the Mahaffey this weekend. Her unshakable draw makes it hard to believe that Ross has never won a Grammy, with or without the Supremes. Last weekend, the Academy attempted to redress that wrong by honoring her with a Lifetime Achievement Award. You personally can redress that wrong by relishing in the Motown hits, club classics, costume changes and that voluminous pyramid of hair, all of which have made Ross an American icon. Marvin Gaye once said of the boss Ross: "She'll outrehearse you, outdress you and outperform you, so you'd best stay out of her way." Stop in the name of diva, we say.


With the Shining Twins, the Semis

Details: Friday 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $15-$18. (813) 241-8600.

Released 10 months after Nirvana's Nevermind, the Lemonheads' It's a Shame About Ray brought kinder, gentler vibes to a market oversaturated with grunge. Strummy, unassuming and warmly sung by the dreamy, Cobain-like Evan Dando, the Lemonheads' tunes were druggy but supersweet. "Thrilled to be in the same post code as you," they sang on Kitchen. The band will play the album in its entirety, except for best-known cover single Mrs. Robinson, something Dando has said still "haunts" him to this day.

The Doobie Brothers

With Pablo Cruise

Details: Sunday 7 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $53.50-$87.50. (727) 791-7400.

Our last memory of the Doobie Brothers' Listen to Music was over a sticky slab of baby backs at Ribfest. The '70s pop-rock stars return to a less gluttonous setting Sunday evening at Ruth Eckerd to deliver good tunes and mellow moods.

The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!

With Cats in the Basement, Gentlemen Please

Details: Friday 9 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $6-$8.

Absurd, exciting and most likely inebriated, former theater project the Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! tromps back to town with its quirky, interactive show. "Basically we show up with a billion lights, bags and bags of costumes (enough for anyone who wants one), 60 or more light sabers and really good songs," the group says. New York Magazine called it "nearly impossible to stand on the sidelines" at the show. Be part of the sweaty disco-dance pileup that's earned praises (and a record contract) from the Talking Heads' David Byrne.

Takin' It to the Streets: A Tribute to Yacht Rock

Featuring 8 Kinds of Thunder (formerly Nessie), Doll Parts, Funk N 8, Manmade, Pretty Voices, Shut Up Lita, Supercruiser, Thee Knight Sweats, Vodkanauts

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5.

Bloggers, music critics and Jimmy Fallon helped champion the phrase "Yacht Rock" to describe the soft, polished rock that came out of the mid '70s and early '80s. The genre's smooth tones have a tendency to conjure up champagne-sipping and lamb-braising on luxury yachts, you see. Think Orleans, John Ford Coley and Robbie Dupree. Ten local bands, including the normally loud and Ramones-y Doll Parts, will perform. So grab your bubbly, El Capitan, and rock (softly) on.


With Ben Rector

Details: Sunday 8 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $22. (813) 247-2555.

Followill brothers, beware. The South Carolina boys of Needtobreathe are churning out Southern charm and rockin' riffs with gusto while Kings of Leon remain on hiatus. The group has diversified its touring schedule, opening for Taylor Swift and playing Bonnaroo, among other festivals.

Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at