The St. Petersburg Rock Report: Tim Barry with Against Me! at State Theatre + the Rock and Roll Swap Meet at Shackleton's Folly

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After Barry's performance, I noticed the Fire Marshall standing at the entrance on my way to the merch desk. After getting my "Raisin' Hell & Living Cheap" shirt, I asked what was up. Seemed the place was packed to max capacity and the only way anyone [image-1]could get in was if someone left. Looking out the door there was a 30-plus deep line of people just waiting and hoping for someone to leave. At that point, I decided that it was more important to let one of those kids who actually cared about Against Me! get in than it was for me to listen to a band I've never heard at all in the name of "journalism." So I went home. [Photographer James Zambon stayed on, hence the photos of Against Me! included in this post at left, and below.]

Sunday started with me feeling energized by Tim's "work for yourself" message the night before, so I got up and finished putting up the fence up at my house, much to the happiness of my dogs. I managed to get done early enough that I was able to make it up to the 7th Annual Rock and Roll Swap Meet at Shackelton's Folly in South St. Petersburg to catch sets by Standback, Tailgunner Joe and Have Gun Will Travel. I wasn't sure what the "swap meet" portion of the even was all about, but I was pretty impressed by the amount of vendors hawking wares. There were easily enough to keep you occupied between bands.

Standback has recently moved back to the Bay area from New Orleans and their blues chops are as sharp as ever. Either they've added a horn player or I've totally forgotten about him from when they lived here. Either is possible, but the band was as good as [image-2]ever and St. Pete's local music scene is better for them being back in it. Tailgunner Joe was next and they mostly played material indicative of their new direction. I have to be honest, I preferred their alt country/rock sound, but the crowd seemed really receptive. Have Gun Will Travel took the stage next with the grace and power we've come to expect from these guys. Mowing through a stellar collection of songs from their current album, Postcards From The Friendly City, they managed to captivate a crowd complete with women, men, toddlers and dogs. The highlight of their set (for me) was "Sole of Our Shoes," easily my favorite track of the new album.

All in all it was a great weekend complete with rock shows, whiskey drinks, physical labor and scooter rides. It's good to live in St. Pete.

To see more pictures from the show by James at After Hours Photography, click here.

I understand that the majority of Tampa dwellers refuse to come to St. Petersburg for almost anything. Unless the Yankees or the Red Socks are in town, y'all prefer to hang out in your overly congested urban sprawl and joke about how St. Pete is where your grandparents live. In most cases, I'm fine with that. Keep your car and club culture over there and we'll ride our bikes to live shows over here. This weekend was a great one for the St. Pete live music scene. For me, the fun kicked off Saturday night when Gainesville's Against Me! brought one of my musical idols, Tim Barry, to town. I suspect no shortage of Tampanians bitched about having to cross the Howard Frankland. [Photos by James Zambon.]

A Tim Barry show is as much a motivational speaking engagement as it is a concert where the message is working as little and living as much as possible, instead of making as much money as possible (as seen in lyrics like "that's all right / that ain't my life / work a 60 hour week / see 1 hour daylight"). Even as an opener and with a reduced set, Tim managed to get that message across. The show was sold out and the crowd definitely wasn't late arriving, so I was really expecting a lot of chatter from a largely indifferent crowd. Apparently, I underestimated the overall taste of an Against Me! crowd 'cause the bulk of the crowd was not only attentive but they also managed to sing along to every Barry chorus. Tim performed a set evenly weighted with classic songs and numbers from his new album, 28th & Stonewall, living up to every expectation I had.

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