This week: Primus, Matt & Kim, and more!

The best in live music, June 2-6, 2011


Combichrist w/iVardensphere/Star Killer/Deadstar Assembly Fresh off playing a string of dates supporting German industrial metal heavyweights Rammstein, Atlanta-based aggrotech outfit Combichrist hits town as part of their 2011 next headlining tour following the release of 2010's Making Monsters. The band's fifth studio album is marked by heavy pulsing synths, pounding rhythms, darkly textured sonicscapes, and the harsh, accented conversational-style vocals of Norwegian frontman Andy LaPlegua. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

Gavin DeGraw w/Mike Sanchez The singer-songwriter crafts a charming mix of blue-eyed guitar-fueled soul and Chuck Taylor-stomping piano pop (he plays both instruments), his vocals a lightly husky adornment. DeGraw's break came when his upbeat track "I Don't Want to Be" was used as the TV theme song in the WB's One Tree Hill, and he's only grown in popularity since. His fourth studio LP, Sweeter, is due out August 9 via J-Records and he just debuted the saccharine first single, "Not Over You," about the failed efforts of trying to get over a break-up, co-written by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder. This is his only solo date in Florida. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)

Dinner at the Thompsons' w/Ani Stark A twosome made up of high-toned soulful California-raised singer/spoken word artist Lucille Tee and Fablive, a France-based producer/multi-instrumentalist who draws on hip-hop, jazz, funk and electronic influences. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

FRI 03

First Friday Fandango w/Suenalo!/Green Sunshine The next free concert in the First Friday series features Miami fusion ensemble ¡Suenalo!. The nine-piece produces an intoxicating blend of hip-hop, reggae rock, R&B, Afrobeat, salsa and more, their sweaty dance-inducing jams led by singer Mish Elle and MC Amin De Jesus, and given vibrant punch by a lineup of instrumentalists that include a two-piece brass/woodwinds section (Juan Turros on saxes and flute, Chad Bernstein on trombone and conch), and a hand percussionist (Allan Ramos). (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

John Waite "I ain't missing you at all," English AC rocker John Waite denies in a rasping, unconvincing croon-turned-cry in his 1984 Billboard-topping hit, "Missing You," one of the few songs you likely know by Waite. Way before his solo '80s fame, he led British group The Babys, and after, he formed Bad English and produced another hit song you know, "When I See You Smile" in 1989. He's continued to sustain a successful solo career and a loyal base of fans with steady gigging and regular recordings released every few years; the latest, 2011's Rough & Tumble, is a full-length that includes new songs co-written by Matchbox Twenty's Kyle Cook, revised recordings of older numbers, and a few covers, like Tina Turner's "Sweet Rhode Island Red." (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)

Jeffrey Osborne The R&B/funk artist who led L.T.D. for 11 years (from 1970 to '81) and recorded such Top 20 hits as "(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again" went solo in the 1980s and has since issued five gold and platinum albums with charting singles like the syrupy balladry of "On the Wings of Love." Like all other concerts at the Club, a portion of ticket proceeds benefit All Children's Hospital. (The Club at Treasure Island)

Select Start CD Release Party w/Neglected Superhero/Set It Off Tampa emo pop-shaded alt rock sextet Select Start unveils their second studio effort, The New Atlantic, a seven-track EP produced by Lee Dyess (Mayday Parade, Go Radio) that finds the newly expanded band in a more synth-fused state, with the nasally howl of singer Daniel Lancaster taking front and center stage. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

SAT 04

An Evening with The Monkees — The 45th Anniversary Tour Sing along to "I'm a Believer," "Last Train to Clarksville," and other hits while celebrating the 45th anniversary of the TV-spawned sensation. The Monkees perform pop gems penned by Neil Diamond and other famous lyrical legends, and even some themselves. Original members Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork hit the road for their first live performances in a decade. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater) —Julie Garisto

Car Bomb Driver w/The Spears/Dead Cat Lounge A night of locally-brewed punk rock headed up by longtime local favorites, the sneering and volatile Car Bomb Driver, a five-piece that doles out dark and funny numbers like "Chicks Don't Dig Me" and "Balls on the Outside." (The Local 662, St. Petersburg)

Blackfoot w/Black Rose/Big Deal/Red Rockits/Crash Fist Fight A hard Southern blues-saturated classic rock outfit that came out of Jacksonville in the 1970s but didn't make it big like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers. Though Blackfoot did produce one hit album (1979's Strikes) and a few moderately successful singles ("Train, Train," "Highway Song"), they didn't catch on much beyond their loyal legion of fans. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

All Star Rock Tour Five rock music luminaries form a super group of sorts for the "All Star Rock Tour," with proceeds from each concert to benefit nonprofit advocacy groups Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the Forgotten Soldiers Foundation. Singer/guitarists Larry Hoppen (Orleans) and John Cafferty (Beaver Brown Band), singer Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple), bassist Joe Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult), and singer-songwriter Robbie Dupree are joined by a backing group of players in a set that includes all five of the musicians' hit songs — "Dancing in the Moonlight," "Smoke on the Water," and many others. (Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg)

Girls on Film w/ Last Minute Stars/Red Calling/Steel Gypsy Tallahassee electro-pop two-piece Girls on Film is made up of commanding vocalist and lyricist Rio, and her lipstick-smeared partner-in-sounds, Kazhmir (programming, bass, backing vocals), who've dubbed their 1980s revival style "glam wave." (Pegasus Lounge, Tampa)

Suncoast Blues Society Anniversary Show: Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King w/Standback Band The society celebrates its 14th year with a bill for the record books featuring the two-guitar attack of raw Texas blues-rock staple Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King. Kubek strums, picks, bends notes, and slides through solos, sometimes applying Hendrix-style wah-wah pedal, and sings with a gravely bite while King foils with a softer, jazz-based style of playing and vocals that are soaked in soul. The two are supporting their 12th album and second Alligator release, last year's Have Blues, Will Travel. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

SUN 05

Aiden w/Eyes Set To Kill/Vampires Everywhere!/Get Scared/Dr. Acula Seattle horror-punk outfit Aiden brings their headlining "Horror Nights Tour" to town to promote their latest album, 2011's Disguises. Since 2003, they've evolved from experimental goth to a more post-hardcore sound. Frontman/lyricist William "WiL" Francis has left his lyrical style intact, however, delivering an excess of prose about his misery and thoughts on death, addiction, despair and religious conformity. Disguises is fast-paced, aggressive, and pays tribute to one of the band's major inspirations with its closing track — a piano-driven cover of Alkaline Trio's "Radio." (Orpheum, Ybor City) —Adam Richards

Crossfade w/Anurism/Consinity S.C. mainstream post-grunge/alt metal quartet Crossfade stumbled into some moderate success with a platinum-selling self-titled debut in 2004. The newly rejuvenated and re-arranged outfit releases a third LP, We All Bleed, on June 21 via Eleven Seven Music. (The Local 662, St. Petersburg)

Second Annual Enter the Thunderdome Bass Festival More than 25 bassists are expected to appear in the second edition of the local fest for lowend lovers organized and led by fat-string extraordinaire, Andrew Irvine (of jazz-funk fusion trio, Beanstalk). Both of Play's stages — the outdoor courtyard and intimate indoor theater — feature solo, duo, and trio performances throughout the day, and the day's music culminates with the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to musician John Lamb and a set by Beanstalk. (PLAY Ybor, Ybor City)

Hadden Sayers A Texas born-and-raised roots-country blues rock artist who plays a battered '57 Stratocaster and delivers his lyrics in a gruff drawl. Sayers turned his back on music for a few years after experiencing a series of serious setbacks, but eventually returned to his love when Grammy-nominated blues songstress Ruthie Foster called up looking for a guitarist. He hasn't looked back since. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

The Jazz Professors feat. Marty Morell: A Tribute to Evans and Getz Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association presents a concert of compositions by two jazz icons — piano great Bill Evans and noted saxman Stan Getz, aka "The Sound" — as performed by four UCF jazz professors: tenor sax player Jeff Rupert, pianist Per Danielsson, bass player Richard Drexler and drummer/percussionist/vibraphonist Morell, who recorded and performed with Evans in the 1960s and '70s. (freeFall Theatre, St. Petersburg)


Primus w/Dead Kenny G's The cheeky-quirky funk-metal-rock-experimental outfit led by eminent bassist Les Claypool and underappreciated guitarist Larry LaLonde hit town on their current tour. Expect to hear select cuts from their forthcoming eighth LP and first album of new material in a dozen or so years (tentatively titled Green Naugahyde, due out in July), along with deep cuts and various Primus classics from their 25-year catalog ("Jerry Was a Racecar Driver," "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" and "Tommy the Cat," to name a few). (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

Matt & Kim w/The Thermals/DJ Autobot Matt & Kim are small, but they pack a walloping punch, like a double shot of adrenaline chased with a Five Hour Energy drink. Adorable, pocket-sized Kim Schifino plays a four-piece drum kit and a grinning Matt Johnson sings lead and bangs keys. The Brooklyn duo produces catchy, positive dance punk tunes like "Daylight" and "AM/FM Sound" that have been used in commercials, numerous TV shows and even video game soundtracks. Matt & Kim are known for getting crazy in their live shows and though they'll be promoting their 2010 LP, Sidewalks, they've promised loyal fans that they'll play cuts from all three of their albums. Portland's fun-loving indie punk-garage trio The Thermals — which released a fourth full-length, Personal Life, last year — supports. (Czar, Ybor City) —AR

WED 08

Sleepy Vikings Tour Kickoff Party The local alt roots/folk rock four-piece has led a charmed 2011. Their lush, thoughtful, well-produced debut full-length, They Will Find You Here (New Granada Records), has secured them an upward spiral of positive attention; cover stories in Creative Loafing and later, the Friday Extra, glowing reviews on and, and a jam-packed CD release party, not to mention a campaign that added lucrative padding to their publicity pot when they raised $2,100 more than their intended $3,000 goal). This intimate acoustic send-off is followed by their first-ever (19-date) national tour. (Cappy's Pizzeria, Tampa)

BBQ Wednesday Acoustic Series: PJ Bond w/Brian McGee For the next installment of tasty barbecue and live tuneage, New World welcomes N.J. indie roots musician PJ Bond (ex-Charlotte Sometimes), who plays acoustic guitar and wails earnestly or sings tenderly, pained but resolute. In a recent news update, he wrote, "I hope you come hang out, and I promise I'll play some new songs, some old ones, tell some cool stories and probably drink beers with you." He's joined on this solo acoustic tour by Americana blues rocker/punkabilly singer-songwriter Brian McGee. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

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