Tampa Bay’s top concert picks: O.A.R., Galantis, Steel Pulse

Plus, this week brings Sleep, Remo Drive, Slushii and Gareth Emery to town.
Published June 12

MIGHTY MEN: O.A.R.

A while back, Richie Sambora introduced O.A.R. as “the mighty O.A.R.” The phrase stuck with the Maryland jam-rockers, inspiring them to title their new album The Mighty. And longtime fans will be happy to tell you the name fits. Over the course of 23 years, the band’s polyglot blend of funk, jam, reggae-rock and the occasional pure pop anthem has expanded and evolved, from their breakthrough, fan-favorite 1997 epic That Was a Crazy Game of Poker to mid-2000s radio flirtations like This Town and Shattered (Turn the Car Around). The Mighty sounds big, bright and extremely summery, like it was written to play on a loop in beach bars until Labor Day. Might as well get a mighty big jump start next week. American Authors, the band behind the inescapable 2013 single Best Day of My Life, opens the show. $30 and up. 7 p.m. June 19. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.

WAKEUP CALL: Sleep

Good luck catching some Zs after catching Sleep. The San Jose, Calif., doom metal legends will go down as one of the loudest bands to pass through Tampa Bay all year, leaving plenty of ears ringing in the aftermath. While never that commercially successful during their ’90s heydey, their droning, destructive stoner metal was an influential bridge between Black Sabbath and Queens of the Stone Age. How influential? None other than Jack White snapped them up to release 2018’s The Sciences, their first album since 2003’s 73-minute, two-song Dopesmoker, via his Third Man Records. It was another critical success, ending up on several national year-end top 10 lists, proving they haven’t lost their ability to bludgeon the world with brain-scrambling distortion. Bring earplugs and an open mind, and your inner metal kid will thank you forever. Big Business opens. 8 p.m. Monday. $30 and up. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 390-0397. ritzybor.com.

SURREAL FUN: Remo Drive

If Minnesota indie rockers Remo Drive need a diversion when they come to town this weekend, may we suggest the Salvador Dalí Museum? The duo’s new album Natural, Everyday Degradation was, according to their label Epitaph Records, inspired in part by Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory (you know, the one with all the melting clocks). The cover, featuring a line of sky gondolas streaming into a horseshoe, even looks a bit like one of Dalí’s surrealist works. The duo’s fuzzy, melodic songs leap from punk to emo to power-pop, which doesn’t necessarily sound very Catalonian, but Dalí would no doubt appreciate the shout-out nonetheless. Slow Pulp and Slow Ballet open. 7 p.m. Saturday. $15 and up. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.

ELECTRONIC REVIVAL: DJs at the Ritz

Wait a second — wasn’t the Sunset Music Festival last month? You wouldn’t know it from the lineup this weekend at the Ritz Ybor, as three big electronic acts with major SMF cred come to Ybor City. First up Thursday night is Slushii, who sloshes up electro melodies and bassy beats with a prankster’s impish glee. Bro Safari opens. $24 and up. On Friday it’s Swedish electro giants Galantis, one of SMF’s headliners in 2016, who still score big at festivals with their single Runaway U & I. $45 and up. And on Saturday it’s British trance hero Gareth Emery, shutting down the club’s weekly Sunset Saturdays. $15 and up. Doors open at 10 each night.

FULL OF HEART: Steel Pulse

Not all reggae legends come from Jamaica. Case in point: Steel Pulse, the Grammy-winning roots heroes from Birmingham, England. For 40 years, the deeply political collective led by David Hinds has preached against racism, violence and inequity alongside their peers from Bob Marley’s homeland. And they didn’t back down on Mass Manipulation, their first new album since 2004, on which Hinds decries police shootings, human trafficking and the destruction and exploitation of African resources. $25 and up. 7 p.m. Sunday. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.

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