Kacey Musgraves to play the Trop, Pre-Fest announces bands, Surfer Blood needs help & Weezer's Brian Bell brings his new group to Ybor

Some Florida-centric newsbits to kick off your day.

click to enlarge Surfer Blood guitarist Thomas Fekete - Zane Roessell
Zane Roessell
Surfer Blood guitarist Thomas Fekete

Surfer Blood is a band that the Tampa Bay area has seen several times over the last year and a half. They’re West Palm Beach boys, after all, and the Sunshine State has had their backs ever since they were still called TV Club. But now one of their own needs our help.

Guitarist Thomas Fekete (pictured) won’t be joining the band on tour in support of a new album (1000, set for release on May 12) because of what he’s described as a “rare and aggressive cancer” that will require alternative treatment not completely covered by insurance. He’s already had surgery to remove a large tumor from his abdomen, but the cancer has moved.

“A few days ago, my doctors informed me that it had spread to my lungs and spine,” he wrote. The band has set up a GoFundMe page for their friend, and after two days, nearly 1000 donors have pitched in the raise just over $38,000 of the $76,000 goal. Feteke admitted "I never in my life thought that I would be asking for money publicly,” but added, “the universe works in funny ways.” He and the band understand that not everyone will be able to help financially, but they’ve taken to their own Facebook page to ask anyone to help spread the word.

“We miss [Thom] every day on the road, but we know he is incredibly strong and we have faith in him,” they wrote. “ Fekete, for his part, remains optimistic.

“I am in great spirits, and I know this will soon be over like a bad dream,” he wrote. “Please take care of yourselves, enjoy every single day. Life is beautiful. Love and light always.” You can read Fekete’s entire note and make a donation here.

In other news, the Tampa Bay Rays have announced artists for its six-part Summer Concert Series and leading the way is Grammy-winner Kacey Musgraves. The 26-year-old “Merry Go Round” singer will take the field after the Rays take on the Baltimore Orioles on July 25, and she’s the biggest name on a schedule that also includes mega-DJ Steve Aoki (October 3, vs. Toronto), tween heartthrob Cody Simpson and throwback R&B group The Jacksons (May 24 & 23, vs. Oakland).

Shit, the youngsters are even getting a show thanks to a June 28 appearance by Kidz Bop Kids after a game against the Boston Red Sox on June 28. Tickets to the post-game shows are free with paid admission to the game; field access for the concerts will cost you an extra $15. More details are available at the Rays’ official website. Watch Musgraves in action above.

There are just under 200 days until Pre-Fest — a now annual two-day punk rock bacchanal/family reunion — takes over Ybor City for the third year in a row. Yesterday, organizers announced that more than 75 bands have been confirmed to play the party in Cigar City (adding that 267 bands are confirmed to play Fest 14 in Gainesville later that weekend).

On top of the bill for “Big Pre-Fest In Little Ybor” are Conor Oberst-led indie rock outfit Desaparecidos and SoCal legends of the '90s punk rock era Lagwagon. Other highlights include Mustard Plug, Young Widows, Modern Baseball, Pup, Turbo Fruits, and Prawn, but Pre-Fest also has a great Sunshine State showing thanks to bands Look Mexico (Tallahassee), Nothing In The Dark (Gainesville), plus Tampa Bay area favorites like Awkward Age, Set and Setting, and Wolf-Face.

This year’s Pre-Fest festivities will take place October 28-29, and organizers have made it very clear that they will only be selling 1,200 passes. Early bird two-day passes to Pre-Fest start at $55 and will go all the way up to $75 on day of show if they aren’t already sold out (passes for Fest 14 — which takes place over three days in Gainesville — start at $105 and will go up to $150 on day of show if not sold out).

There are combo packages available and even transportation options between Ybor and Gainesville. More information and the full band list is available at thefestfl.com. You can listen to a 200+ track Fest playlist here.

If you haven't figured it out yet, Brian Bell (of Weezer fame) is bringing his new band The Relationship to Crowbar on May 6. The band also features Nate Shaw of U.S. Bombs, Albert Hammond Jr. pal Jon LaRue, as well as Anthony Burulcich, who plays drums for Morrissey and the Bravery. They'll be pimping a new 7-inch single (Burger Records).

Listen to A-side "Oh Allen" above and look below to hear  B-side “Young Temptations." Tickets for the show are $10-$13. Zulu Wave, Gringo Star, and the Infinite Eights play support. Doors are at 8 p.m. Crowbar is located at 1812 N. 17th St. in Ybor City. 

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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