Tampa Bay weekend concert picks: 97X Barbecue with Taking Back Sunday, Blue October leads the way

Plus, don’t miss the Drums, Tracy Lawrence, Hocico, Perturbator, Nitzer Ebb and a festival curated by Have Gun, Will Travel.
Published May 15

TIME WARP: 97X Barbecue Music and Arts Festival

Hold on a second. 97X is taking over Coachman Park. Taking Back Sunday is sitting atop the bill. What year is this, 2004? No, but it’ll feel a lot like 15 years ago when the 97X Barbecue Music and Arts Festival takes over Clearwater this weekend. The alt-rock station hasn’t staged a major event in the park in a decade and a half, but moving its annual spring festival there seems like a good fit, especially since Taking Back Sunday (right) is in a nostalgic mood these days. The Long Island emo group is spending this year playing shows where they perform one or more of three albums in full: 2002’s Tell All Your Friends, 2004’s Where You Want to Be and 2006’s Louder Now. Joining them on the bill is another frequent 97X guest, Blue October (Hate Me), along with younger acts Flora Cash (You’re Somebody Else), Grandson (Apologize), Shaed (Trampoline), Oliver Tree (When I’m Down) and Matt Maeson (Cringe). $35 and up, though you can still find free tickets at select ticket drops through Friday. Gates open at 11 a.m. Saturday. 97xonline.com.

THE MAN TO BEAT: The Drums

The Drums are still the Drums, but there’s really only one Drum left. That would be Jonny Pierce, who split from childhood pal and band co-founder Jacob Graham a couple of years back. Their years together spawned a handful of minor indie pop/post-punk earworms, including Let’s Go Surfing and Days. But the Drums’ new album, Brutalism, is essentially a solo affair, with Pierce laying his heart out on a platter, singing about breakups and heartbreak above deceptively upbeat beds of music. Even on songs like Bed of Joy, where Pierce is singing, “With just one kiss, I forget I hate myself,” it’s hard not to want to dance. Tanukichan opens. $18 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.

DARK WAVE: Hocico, Perturbator, Nitzer Ebb

Dark, devilish and danceable: That’s the weekend the Orpheum has in store for you, with three international Gothic-industrial acts lined up over several nights. First up at 7 p.m. Thursday is Mexican electro-industrial duo Hocico, who have been pumping out nightmarish dance jams for more than a quarter century. $15 and up. Then at 8 p.m. Sunday, it’s cyberpunk-inspired French synthwave artist Perturbator, who’s bound to stir up a dark dance party with his ’80s-tinted mixes. And at 7 p.m. Monday, it’s visceral U.K. veterans Nitzer Ebb, friends of Depeche Mode best known in the United States for their sinister single Join in the Chant. $29.50 and up. The Nitzer Ebb show will be followed by an after-party at the Castle, 2004 N 16th St. — although, come to think of it, on a weekend like this, the Castle will probably be hopping every night. Better stock up on eyeliner. The Orpheum is at 1915 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.

MARCHING ON: Tracy Lawrence

Before you start getting your ’90s country stars all confused, remember that Tracy Lawrence is not Tracy Byrd, the guy who sang Watermelon Crawl. Or Trace Adkins, the guy behind Honky Tonk Badonkadonk. And he’s definitely not Terri Clark, the lady from Girls Lie Too. No, Lawrence is the ACM- and CMA-winning songsmith behind a handful of No. 1 singles like Alibis, Time Marches On and Find Out Who Your Friends Are. Despite a checkered legal history, including a 1998 arrest and conviction for domestic battery on his then-wife, his career has soldiered on as his hits have piled up. $25 and up. 10 p.m. Friday. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 987-2855. dallasbull.com.

TRAVELING CIRCUS: Have Gun, Will Travel

Have Gun, Will Travel has been one of the bay area’s most popular Americana acts for more than a decade. So it’s about time they got their own festival. WMNF-FM 88.5 is co-organizing the End of the World Festival, featuring an array of local talents joining the Bradenton group on stage: Someday Honey, Josh Reilly and the CornFed Locals, Hotel Life, Mark Etherington, Kristopher James, Fever Beam, Johnny Mile and the Kilometers and more. $15 and up. 4 p.m. Saturday. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. (813) 971-0666. skipperssmokehouse.com.

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