Rock The Park's 8-Year Anniversary leads Tampa Bay's Thursday live music lineup

UPDATE: It's raining, so they're rocking The Hub instead.

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click to enlarge Mike Mass, who plays Rock the Park at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa, Florida on July 5, 2018. - Anthony Martino c/o Gasparilla Music Festival
Anthony Martino c/o Gasparilla Music Festival
Mike Mass, who plays Rock the Park at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa, Florida on July 5, 2018.

✔️= Critic's Pick

UPDATE: It's raining, so they're rocking The Hub (719 N. Franklin St. Just two blocks away) instead.

✔️ Rock The Park 8-Year Anniversary w/Ray Olan y su Nuevo Sason/Hannah Harber & The Lionhearts/Mike Mass There’s supposed to be something like 800 cupcakes waiting for partygoers headed to the Rock The Park 8-year anniversary in downtown Tampa, and we’re hoping that they play nice with the “Wine & Pasta” that’ll get doled out by the evening’s opener, Mike Mass. The track goes back at least three years, but it did leave Sway Calloway impressed when Mass showed up to rap for his Shade 45 program in 2016. Mass has left local hip-hop watchers hanging while they wait for a proper LP from the emcee, but it’s right that he represents the Bay area’s best hip-hop at this anniversary show, where Americana songwriter Hannah Harber brings her own rising profile to the party before local salsa king Ray Olan taps an all-star band to get concertgoers onto their feet. (Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa) INFO

✔️ Beres Hammond w/Third World Lover’s rock legend Beres Hammond has been making evocative reggae ballads packed with vivid, romantic lyrics for over 35 years, and he brings quite a backlog of signature-smooth love songs to this visit to Jannus Live. The 62-year-old’s buttery vocals are best enjoyed with a special someone, or you can go alone and just reflect on your own loneliness. If that’s not your speed, or if you feel like a whole night of slow romance might be too much, Hammond has brought along a great counterweight in the more uptempo classic reggae-fusion band Third World. In its 45-year history, the band has played alongside Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder. Third World originally made its own splash internationally with the 1977 hit “96° in the Shade” and a great funky reimagining of the O’Jay’s “Now That We’ve Found Love” in 1978 (a version which has lost none of its energy in the 40 years since its release). Although the band’s biggest success came in the late '70s and early '80s, it has remained anything but stagnant. Both Third World’s lineup (only two of the original members remain) and style have been constantly evolving, adding in new influences from rap, pop, and even the electronic world without losing any of the music’s great, underlying grooves. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg) INFO  —Ryan McGahan

The Absence Fills a Void: A true metal band makes its presence known in the Bay area

The Absence w/Exmortus/Hatchet/Black Fast/more One of Tampa’s favorite homegrown metal bands, The Absence, is kicking off its new tour at Crowbar. For the uninitiated, we here at CL have been hyped on The Absence for a very, very long time (the band won a Best of the Bay award in 2008 and was profiled by now Editor-in-Chief Scott Harrell two years before that), and despite — or maybe because of — its ever-changing lineup, you should take every chance to hear that sweet melodic grittiness. This show finds The Absence rolling out songs from A Gift for the Obsessed, its first album in nearly eight years, and opener Exmortus — an equally awesome melodic death metal group notable for having what’s easily the most kick-ass “Moonlight Sonata” cover you’ll ever hear — is currently riding the wave of its own new album The Sound of Steel, which came out last month. Along for the tour are thrash metal groups Hatchet, playing cuts from its new brand new album Dying to Exist and Black Fast, which will likely be teasing songs from Spectre of Ruin, which comes out July 13. To add some more local flavor, Tampa-based outfit Wirethrone will perform, along with Burning Fair Verona from New Port Richey. (Crowbar, Ybor City) INFO  —RM



Some Kind Of Nightmare w/Forsaken Profits/Switchblade Villain/Low Season (The Bends, St. Petersburg) INFO

Vintage Youth w/VJ Jason Barco (Orbit 19 Lounge, Holiday) INFO

Uke Jam (Safety Harbor Arts and Music Center, Safety Harbor) INFO

 Island Jamz (Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, Tampa) INFO

July 5, Nelson Mariscal (c.1949 Florida Beer Garden, Tampa) INFO

About The Authors

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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