On May 1, Live Nation participated in “National Concert Day,” for which they sold 1 million tickets to select 2017 concerts for just $20 each. Fans looking to see bands like Depeche Mode, Jimmy Eat World or Kings of Leon (all coming to the Bay area this year) were jazzed, but it was hard to actually get excited about buying from a company that reported $7.2 billion in revenue in 2015 (approximately $19.7 million a day), even at a reduced price.
That got us thinking — every day should be “National Concert Day,” full of cool Bay area summertime shows that are $20 or less.
Check out this roster of upcoming concerts that fit that criteria, and listen to music, too.
May 19 Sheer Mag w/Flamethrower/Permanent Makeup From Coachella to...the American Legion? You bet your fuckin’ ass, and if any band can do that, then it’s gotta be Philadelphia hard rock punks Sheer Mag who has a love for DIY venues where its full-throttle brand of soul-inspired classic rock and roll can live and breath even harder than it already does on three excellent 7-inch EPs (which they’ve mashed together on a new compilation released in January). Frontwoman Tina Halladay could the coolest bandleader in rock & roll, but she’ll never be too cool to mix it up with fans and friends who know each and every single word she sings. (American Legion Post 111, Tampa — $10) INFO
May 25 Career & Mike Mass Two of Tampa’s most-talked about music makers — post-punk noise makers Career and Bronx-born emcee Mike Mass — play a head-scratchingly intimate and eclectic show at Seminole Heights record shop Microgroove where shop owner Keith Ulrey has already gotten ahead of the demand by making it very clear that there will be limited entry due to capacity issues. Early arrival is suggested, and you better not block the gate at Olsen’s VW, ya bish. (Microgroove, Tampa —$5, BYOB ) INFO
May 27 97x BBQ w/Grouplove/Milky Chance/K. Flay/The Unlikely Candidates/Magic Giant/The Heydaze You can’t really find a criticism for the value that is WSUN 97.1’s annual alternative rock throwdown in the park, and this year’s installment is even more handsome now that Los Angeles indie-pop outfit Grouplove has released a new EP, Little Mess, which is made up of outtakes from an über-fun 2016 full length, Big Mess. Folky-reggae German duo Milky Chance is also on bill where tickets are free at ticket drops and just $20 for anyone who’d rather not get in line with the kiddos.(Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg — $20) INFO
June 9 Froggy Fresh w/Purr Purr Purr/79 Sorcery Half a decade after his viral hit, “The Baddest” catapulted him to Internet infamy, Georgia rapper Froggy Fresh is coming to bring the promise of his millions of views to fans IRL. “I never met any of the fans,” Fresh said in a recent video explaining how a television show is in the works. “I might as well do a little tour. We don’t even know if people are gonna come. I feel like it’s time to pull away the curtain from the character.” The rapper formerly known as Krispy Kreme will be supported by Tampa songwriter Shae Krispinsky’s cat rap project, Purr Purr Purr, and genre-bending rap collective 79 Sorcery. (Crowbar, Ybor City — $15) INFO
June 30 Post Animal w/TBA Fans of Stranger Things have a present coming their way, and it comes in the form of Post Animal, a Chicago rock and roll band featuring Joe Keery (Steve, Nancy’s boyfriend) on guitar. Before you write this off as some gimmicky, bullshit, kitschy stuff, do know that the group — which also features Dalton Allison, Jake Hirshland, Javi Reyes, Wesley Toledo and Matt Williams — is no joke. Seriously, listen to the heavy psych-pop, Toro Y Moi and Tame Impala vibes on a March 2016 single, “When I Get Home.” What’s more is that Post Animal has been doing its thing since way before we all pretended to care about Demogorgon and 80’s synth soundtracks. So there. (New World Brewery, Ybor City — $7-$10) INFO
May 12 Pajamas Album Release w/Fr33dback/Rogerthomas/Tommy Simms/Kerry Courtney The story of St. Pete songwriter Shane Schuch (who’s traversed the country as a member of popular rock band Mouse Fire) comes full circle at this release show for his pop-tronica project Pajamas. Read our profile of Schuch here. (Paper Crane, St. Petersburg — $10) INFO
May 12 Coin w/Arizona Vampire Weekend may be no more, but indie-pop still has a few golden boys floating around. Just look at Nashville, Tennessee four-piece Coin who arrive in St. Pete on the heels of a brand new LP, How Will You Know If You Never Try (released on April 21), where front man Chase Lawrence & co. graduate to a shimmering, brighter and bigger synth-driven sound which they hope brings them beaucoup success on the radio dial. Arizona — who are actually from New Jersey — will open the show with tunes from a forthcoming new LP, Gallery, which they’ll release a week after playing St. Pete.(State Theatre, St. Petersburg — $12) INFO
May 13 The Casket Girls w/The Venus/Girlfriend Experience Nothing against Ybor City (where the Casket Girls last played), but Phaedra & Elsa Greene always belonged in the seedy corners of a haughty-dive like The Bends. It’ll be interesting to see how many of the band’s cult followers can cram into the place when they arrive in support of a 2016 record The Night Machines, where the girls — along with Ryan Graveface and drummer T.W. Walsh — have all but perfected their very special, and always haunting, brand of industrial goth-pop. Alexander and Philip Charos’ new trippy beach-punk outfit, The Venus, opens the show.(The Bends, St. Petersburg — Free) INFO
May 14 David Sanborn w/Ben Tankard Shitty weather forced saxophonist David Sanborn to cancel his appearance at January’s Black Heritage Festival, but the 71-year old Tampa boy famous for “Chicago Song” and “Maputo” is making it up in grand fashion with a free Mother’s Day show in the park.(Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa — Free) INFO
ALSO $20 OR LESS...
May 17 Matt Hires w/JD Eicher (The Attic at Rock Brothers Brewing, Ybor City — $15) INFO
May 19 Bit Brigade w/Spar/Boy Without Batteries (New World Brewery, Ybor City — $7-$10) INFO
May 20 LYR’s Babefest w/Wet Nurse/The Pauses/The Young Dead/Psychic Dose/Red Nectar/more (Fubar, St. Petersburg — $15-$20) INFO
May 23 An Atomic Whirl w/Vacancy/Weak Knees (Tre Amici at The Bunker, Ybor City — $5 suggested donation) INFO
May 27 That’s Hot Soup presents: The Punk Funk Disco Party w/Wally Clark/Tortilla Punx/DJ Silence (Crowbar, Ybor City — Free) INFO
May 28 Ol’ Dirty Sundays 6 Year Anniversary w/Large Professor (Crowbar, Ybor City — Free) INFO
June 7 Doyle w/Davey Suicide/Paths of Possession/Cypher Machine (Orpheum, Ybor City — $15-$18) INFO
June 24 Wimps w/Sallow/Seafang/NMBRS (Transitions Art Gallery, Tampa — $8) INFO
July 8 STRFKR w/Reptaliens (Orpheum, Ybor City — $18) INFO
July 20 Strand of Oaks (Crowbar, Ybor City — $11-$14) INFO
July 28 DragonForce (Orpheum, Ybor City — $20) INFO