Fall Arts: What to watch for in Tampa Bay area music and beyond


Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers make a triumphant return to town for the first time in two years with a critically lauded 12th studio album, Mojo, under their belts; ZZ Top and Joe Cocker support. (Sept. 16, St. Pete Times Forum). Alt rock heavyweights Kings of Leon hit town with The Black Keys and The Whigs (Sept. 18, ASK-GARY Amphitheatre). A reunion tour [image-1]everyone’s buzzing about, Stone Temple Pilots, swings through with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Oct. 8, St. Pete Times Forum). And finally, Roger Waters brings his highly-anticipated “The Wall 30th Anniversary Tour” to Tampa, and plays the album in its entirety, with the small (but not impossible) possibility that David Gilmour will make a surprise appearance, which he’s promised to do during Waters’ U.S. tour on an undisclosed date (Nov. 16, St. Pete Times Forum).


Two veteran troubadours who’ve clocked innumerable hours on the road play intimate theater dates that snake their way down South: Neil Young, who has produced more than 30 solo LPs, excluding live releases and any material he recorded with Buffalo Springfield and CSNY (Sept. 22, Ruth Eckerd Hall); and Lyle Lovett and his Large Band [Lovett pictured above], which features more than 15 instrumentalists and singers (Nov. 21, Mahaffey Theater).


Here’s a breakdown of the buzz bands you desperately need to know about: West Palm Beach reverb-drenched beach rockers Surfer Blood and Brooklyn’s summery indie pop ensemble The Drums, which co-headline on their current tour (Sept. 19, State Theatre); experimental worldtronic rock trio Yeasayer (Oct. 4, State Theatre); Afro pop darlings Vampire Weekend with dreamy duo Beach House and globally influenced dance pop purveyors The Very Best (Oct. 12, Jannus Live); revival-style folk rock ensemble Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (Oct. 16, The Ritz Ybor); spacious guitar-driven alt rockers Built to Spill (Oct. 16, State Theatre); popadelic indie rock misfits MGMT (Oct. 27, Ruth Eckerd Hall); and the long-awaited return of SoCal punk rock pioneers, Social Distortion (Nov. 12, Jannus Live).

[image-2]THREE IF BY SEA

Finally, we have a trio of fab acts that are traveling across some body of water or another to treat us to performances right in our hometown during their respective U.S. tours: Venezuela’s disco-acid jazz-funk sextet Los Amigos Invisibles (Sept. 25, Crowbar); UK New Wave revivalists La Roux [pictured right] on their re-scheduled date (Nov. 4, The Ritz Ybor); and British downtempo trip hop groovetronica producer/musician/DJ Bonobo, who’ll be accompanied by a full band (Nov. 14, Crowbar).


Some upcoming shows worth the gas: Bandwagon Roadshow featuring Snoop Dogg, Sublime with Rome and many others (Sept. 4, The Citrus Bowl); Paramore (Sept. 5, UCF Arena); Slayer / Anthrax / Megadeth (Oct. 2, Hard Rock Live); The Gaslight Anthem (Oct. 4, House of Blues); LCD Soundsystem with Sleigh Bells (Oct. 5, Hard Rock Live); The National with Owen Pallett (Oct. 6, House of Blues); Avi Buffalo with Blitzen Trapper (Oct. 8, The Social); Gary Numan (Oct. 17, Firestone Live); Black Label Society (Oct. 26, Hard Rock Live); Phoenix with Wavves (Oct. 26, House of Blues); Massive Attack / Thievery Corporation (Oct. 27, Hard Rock Live); and Wolf Parade (Nov. 09, The Social).

Florida is flush with live music offerings this fall, and the Bay area is reaping the benefits. Arena rock stars, the hottest indie buzz bands, a bounty of music fests brimming with first-rate talent, and plenty else. Here’s the music you need to have on your radar.


Florida’s fall festival season begins even before the humidity wanes and the temperature drops from mild and tolerable to cool, breezy and pleasant. Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak hosts two camping-optional fests. The first is this weekend’s inaugural Blackwater Music Festival (Aug. 26-28). Jamtronica, swamp rock, world beat, West Coast reggae, Nola funk and jazz — all these sounds and more are repped by a lineup headed by Slightly Stoopid, Michael Franti & Spearhead and STS9, and featuring Disco Biscuits, G. Love, Galactic and guest Cyril Neville, Particle with Michael Kang, and many others. The fourth annual Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival (Nov. 12-14) arrives at Suwannee three weeks later. Legendary illustrator Ralph Steadman created 30 limited edition posters for the event, which features its usual abundance of funkadelic fusion artists (Soulive [pictured], New Mastersounds, Maceo Parker Band, Dumpstaphunk, Lettuce) along with some jam tasty highlights — upstate New York fivesome moe. and co-prog jazz rock fusionists, Chicago sextet Umphrey’s McGee, Canadian electro-funtastic trio The New Deal and scene turntable vet DJ Logic. Some perform twice over the weekend and Bear Creek kicks everything off early with pre-party shows on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Locally, Pinellas County’s nonprofit arts center for people with disabilities, Creative Clay, closes down three blocks of Central Avenue for its Fourth Annual FolkFest St. Pete. Organizers have raised the bar of the free music and art fest fundraiser with two solid headliners: folk rock duo Indigo Girls and folk pop singer-songwriter Dar Williams, who join a solid bill of local and regional acts, like Heavy Pets, Lorna Bracewell and Have Gun, Will Travel (Oct. 1-3, 1100-1300 blocks, St. Petersburg). Clearwater Jazz Holiday strays from its contemporary flavor a bit into surprising territory, with headliners like Little Feat, Dr. John & the Lower 911 and Soulive [pictured above] rounding out the usual smoothies (Oct. 14-17, Coachman Park). Finally, HCC’s Ybor Jazz Festival (“There’s nothing smooth about it!”) features topnotch local talent (Trio Vibe, Helios Jazz Orchestra) as well as select out-of-town guests, like scat-singing vocalist Kevin Mahogany and jazz fusion guitarist Larry Coryell (Nov. 2-7, HCC-Ybor City).

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