Tonight in live music; Alice Cooper, Lecrae, Newsboys and more

Moose Blood, Ceschi, Bendy Straw and more all in action.

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✔️= Critic's Pick

✔️ Lecrae No word if Lecrae will be crowd-surfing like he did on a short springtime run through Europe, but the 38-year-old Texas-born rapper will be full of fire when he arrives at The Ritz in support of All Things Work Together, a 2017 album that finds Lecrae moving away from the overtly Christian themes of his previous work in lieu of a more transparent message that questions the reasons why fans flocked to him in the first place. The 14-track effort finds him getting help from the likes of Ty Dolla Sign, Tori Kelly, Verse Simmonds and Kierra Sheard, and production credits come from some of hip-hop’s hottest including Metro Boomin, Boi-1da and Mike WiLL Made-It’s EarDrummers who all helped Lecrae craft his most vulnerable and raw album to date. Read our Q&A with Lecrae here. (The Ritz, Ybor City) INFO

Interview: Lecrae talks Tampa ties, his dark days and more ahead of Ybor City show

Ceschi w/Onry Ozzborn/Moodie Black/Esh/Introvert It’s a nice week for Bay area hip-hop fans (see blurbs on Lecrae and Caleborate above), and Transitions at the Skatepark of Tampa is getting in on it all, too, by welcoming some underground heavyweights to play its venue. Julio Francisco “Ceschi” Ramos has been tweaking his own brand of progressive hip-hop spliced with elements of folk & indie rock since the release of his 2004 solo debut Fake Flowers, and on Saturday he’s headlining a show and bringing Michael Martinez to open. The Northwest coast rapper better known as Grayskul and Dark Time Sunshine founder Onry Ozzborn is touring behind his own 2017 mixtape, Black Phillip, where he continues to explore his own make-believe trials and tribulations and make them relate to today’s real-life situations and relationships. (Transitions Art Gallery at Skatepark of Tampa, Tampa) INFO 

Newsboys If you don’t want to lie to your religious parents about the concert you’re seeing this Friday, then you might do good to head out to Lutz, where long-running contemporary Christian rock group Newsboys brings its “United” tour to Idlewild. The jaunt finds current frontman Michael Tait and longtime members Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein and Jody Davis welcoming back former drummer/lead vocalist Peter Furler and bassist Phil Joel for the 40-plus city tour, but notably absent is former member George Perdikis, who in 2015 lost his faith in God while also questioning some of the ‘Boys actual piousness. “The truth is — from someone who knows what went on then and what goes on now — the Newsboys aren’t as holy as they profess,” he wrote in a blog post. “Instead of wearing a ‘mask of righteousness,’ they should acknowledge that they are struggling as much as everyone else.” Holy drama, man. (Idlewild Baptist Church, Tampa) INFO

Catching up with the Arizona indie-rock band playing Orpheum on March 23

✔️ Moose Blood w/Lydia/McCafferty Moose Blood is making the long trip from the U.K. and bringing a new album along for the ride. I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore finds the Canterbury-based emo band finally fleshing out the promising sound it teased on 2016’s Blush, and there’ll be even more new music to go around since indie-rock outfit Lydia — a band of high school friends which broke out of Gilbert, Arizona quickly after forming — will likely play songs from a forthcoming full-length due this summer. Read our short Q&A with Lydia here. (Orpheum, Ybor City) INFO

In Bloom art show w/Bendy Straw A spring-themed art show gets soundtracked by Bendy Straw. The Tampa-based four-piece started out as a joke, but became something a little more serious when promoters started asking ukulele player Evan Cooper, frontwoman (and tambourine player) Kat Mata, guitarist Keenan Sivitz and drummer Tyler Mauriello to play sunny, strummy pop songs like “Champagne Sunday” out in public. (The Bricks, Ybor City) INFO

Interview: Alice Cooper is going to heaven, and he knows it

✔️ Alice Cooper Alice Cooper thinks he’s going to heaven. In fact, he seems to know it. Just ask him about the time a nuclear bomb was about to drop on the Hawaiian islands. “I’m tellin’ ya, people were putting their babies in sewers,” Cooper told CL in a quick phone call from his home in Arizona. Cooper, 70, was on Maui when that accidental nuclear bomb alert went off, but for some reason he felt peace. “I was in Maui on Makena [Golf & Beach Club]. It’s 84 degrees, I just shot even on the front and I’m standing there all of a sudden [the alert] comes up. You never want to see the words ‘ballistic,’ ‘imminent’ and ‘not drill’ in one sentence, and that’s what it said.” In Cooper’s mind? “I kept looking at it going the worst that could happen is that I go from this paradise to the next one, and the next one is probably better than this one,” he said, laughing. Read more of our interview with Coop here and watch his all-star band — Ryan Roxie, Nita Strauss and Tommy Henriksen plus drummer Glen Sobel and longtime bassist Chuck Garric — support 27th studio album (Paranormal, released in July) at this Friday-night gig. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater) INFO




March 22-25, 2nd Annual Suwannee Spring Reunion (Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park, Live Oak) INFO

March 23-25, Ultra Music Festival (Bayfront Park, Miami) INFO


Scott Kirby (Hideaway Café, St. Petersburg) INFO


The Core w/Stevie Frank/Eclectic Fusion Band (The Blue Note, Tampa) INFO

 Facefuck Grindfest /Swampgas/Vilest Breed/more (Brass Mug, Tampa) INFO

Spring Beer Jam w/Displace/Row Jomah (Talking Heads)/DJ 43Revolver/Ike Stubblefield/Joe Marcinek (Dunedin Brewing, Dunedin) INFO

Toadface (Crowbar, Ybor City) INFO

Silver Alert w/Doll Parts/Laser Mouth/Pig Pen (Fubar, St. Petersburg) INFO

Heavy Hitters w/Aegea/Murder the Crow/more (State Theatre, St. Petersburg) INFO

Unpainted Souls and Juan Love Friday (Beer & Brownies, Tampa) INFO

Fast Talkers w/Donna Lu/Kerry Courtney (Cage Brewing, St. Petersburg) INFO

Oldsmar Days w/Greg Billings Band/Stormbringer/Brother Phil/Black Honkeys (R.E. Olds Park, Oldsmar) INFO

Shevonne (Ringside Café, St. Petersburg) INFO


The Florida Orchestra presents A Little Night Music (Ferguson Hall at David A. Straz Center For Performing Arts, Tampa) INFO


Twisted Revolvers (Smokin’ 19, St. Petersburg) INFO

Badfish (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg) INFO

The Black Honkeys (Buckets Grill & Tap, Tampa) INFO

Jaded (Two Buks, Clearwater) INFO


Somatic (Ella's Americana Folk Art Café, Tampa) INFO


Reality Bites 90'S Dance Party w/The Crate Brothers (The Bends, St. Petersburg) INFO

Flashback Friday: New Order versus OMD w/DJ Wonderbread/Meow-Mix A Lot (Independent Bar, St.Petersburg) INFO


Betty Fox Band (3 Daughters Brewing, St. Petersburg) INFO


The Woodwork (The Ale & the Witch, St. Petersburg) INFO


March 23-24, Vesta Follies w/Hank Fellows (Kings Point Veterans Theater, Sun City) INFO

Chubby Checker and the Wildcats (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg) INFO


Lingerie & Lace #Pound Fridays (The Ritz, Ybor City) INFO

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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