Evans Blue, Kansas, Spoon

Plus 3 Green Windows


BLUE OCTOBER w/YELLOWCARD/SHINY TOYGUNS A modern rock band with a smart, dark sound recalling the layered, atmospheric works of U2 and prog-rockers like Gabriel-era Genesis (filtered through an emo sensibility), Blue October has been performing together for more than a decade, but just started to rise to national prominence in recent years with such hits as "Hate Me" and "Into the Ocean." Jacksonville's Yellowcard is a pop-punk band that distinguishes itself from the pack by including a fiddler in the lineup. Shiny Toy Guns offers 1980s-style synth-pop buoyed by the dual vocals of Jeremy Dawson and Carah Faye. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

EVANS BLUE w/FRAMING HANLEY/NEUROSONIC/SAVING ABEL A hard-rock band guilty of melodramatic power ballads like their current hit "The Pursuit," Evans Blue has put out two albums in as many years. Its latest, The Pursuit Begins When This Portrayal of Life Ends, came out in July and just missed the Top 40 on the Billboard 200 album chart. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

ERIC LINDELL New Orleans-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Eric Lindell is one of the more interesting figures on the modern blues scene. A talented vocalist with a throaty growl and a fiery ax man, Lindell couches his guitar solos in funky rhythms and offers lyrics that steer clear of blues clichés. He's been releasing albums since the mid-1990s but his career didn't take off until last year, when his CD Change in the Weather came out on the venerable indie blues label Alligator and reached No. 9 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums chart. (Ace's Lounge, Bradenton)


KANSAS/FRAN COSMO Ah, Ribfest, that bastion of classic rock, cheesy or otherwise (but mostly cheesy). This year's event trots out a plethora of acts, starting tonight with Kansas, a band that has always sprinkled a bit of prog-rock into its basic foundation of pop-song structure. It's interesting how classic rock cuts across generations. The other day, one CL staffer played the Kansas groaner "Wayward Son" in the office, and another staffer, a woman shy of 30, cheered it on. Oh well, at least he didn't play "Dust in the Wind." Also on the bill is Fran Cosmo, a former singer for Boston; he'll be joined by fellow ex-Bostonites Anthony Cosmo (his son) and Barry Goudreau. (Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg) —Eric Snider

DOWN Something of a metal super-group, Down features Pantera singer Phil Anselmo, Corrosion of Conformity guitarist Pepper Keenan, Crowbar guitarist Kirk Windstein, bassist Todd Strange and drummer Jimmy Bower. The New Orleans-based band put out its acclaimed debut album, NOLA, in '95. Last month, they released the equally potent — in a hard, Southern-rock sorta way — Over the Under. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

LIL ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS w/SEAN CHAMBERS Following in the footsteps of greats such as Elmore James, Chicago's Lil' Ed Williams is a gloriously flashy slide guitar player who leads a tight blues band that rocks, swings and boogies, offering the ideal soundtrack for a night of drinking and shuffling under the oaks at Skipper's. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

SPOON Witty lyrics that are often humorous, grabby melodies unadorned by superfluous noise and a frontman (Britt Daniel) whose vocals reach out to the listener with sassy flair — for my money, Spoon reigns supreme in the modern indie-rock world. Considering the popularity (No. 10 on the Billboard 200) of their latest album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, prospective concertgoers might want to call ahead for tickets before making the trek on I-4. For more info go to clubatfirestone.com. (Club Firestone, Orlando)

3 GREEN WINDOWS Neo-classic rockers 3 Green Windows is a local band formed by guitarist Todd Grubbs. The quartet delivers blues-based crunch with occasional forays into prog-rock grandeur that recalls Pink Floyd. (Kelly's Pub, Tampa)


GRAND FUNK RAILROAD/EDDIE MONEY/ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION/CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE: THE WALL Ah, more Ribfest, the Big Saturday extravaganza. When I was a much younger fellow, I plunged ears first into a 1970 live album by Grand Funk; my immersion lasted for maybe two months, after which I emerged cleansed, with no further interest in the band. I look back on that as a good thing. Eddie Money is a survivor; after nearly succumbing to all manner of excesses in the '80s, and then watching his hitmaking come to a halt, he has endured as an engaging performer (and appealingly raspy-voiced singer) on the classic-rock juggernaut. Atlanta Rhythm Section held down the poppy end of Southern rock in the '70s and has likewise endured. Also part of Big Saturday is Classic Albums Live: The Wall, which the website says "features exceptionally talented musicians and singers" reproducing the iconic Pink Floyd album "note for note and cut for cut." (Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg) —ES

SARA EVANS This Nashville star has been serious tabloid fodder in recent months thanks to an ugly divorce from failed politician Craig Schelske. She's touring in support of her first greatest-hits collection. The disc includes the 2004 smash "Suds in the Bucket." Goosed by old-timey fiddle and steel guitar, it's one of my favorite tunes to come out of Music City in recent memory. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

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