This week in Tampa Bay area live music: Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Mason Jennings, Young The Giant + more

Concerts, Feb. 13-19


Russian Circles w/KEN Mode/Inter Arma/Tides of Man Chicago trio Russian Circles — guitarist Mike Sullivan, drummer Dave Turncrantz and bassist/keyboardist Brian Cook — craft heavy instrumental post rock that doesn’t get too monotonous, needlessly technical or over-drenched in reverb and noise. Fifth full-length Memorial is a dark and brooding odyssey fluctuating between melodic forlorn passages of hazy synth atmospherics with delicate solos or finger-tapped and effected guitar lines, and doomful slow-burners with thick chugging guitars and blasts of bass that build to muscular urgently-paced scorchers with shredding riffage and chunky power chords, fuzzy cascading bass notes and battering rhythmic assaults. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

  • Russian Circles

The Mobros w/Parker Urban Band/Ay Dios Mios A two-piece combo from South Carolina featuring brothers Kelly and Patrick Morris on guitar and drums, respectively, The Mobros dole out fresh and punchy soul-informed blues rock as piloted by Kelly’s strong groaning croons and howls. Out-of-town support from Jacksonville family-led Parker Urband Band, jamming on blues, soul, R&B, funk and rock aesthetics. (Fubar, St. Petersburg)

Abandon All Ships w/The Browning/My Ticket Home/I Am King Sometimes it’s real hard to tell the cream from the crap when it comes to —core bands. Take for instance Abandon All Ships. The Canadian quintet has a high number of Facebook likes (more than 364k), but they’re on a major label (Universal) and part of its task is to pad those numbers. A lot. Hard to find much redeemable in their ‘electronicore’ orientation, and “Reefer Madness,” the first single off forthcoming third full-length Malocchio, finds them following a pungent EDM path. (Local 662, St. Petersburg)

Bunker Singer-Songwriter Night: Jct 27/ Tom "Skid Row" Scudiero/Alice Wallace Amy Snider presents a rather diverse bill of talent for her weekly Bunker series: a new local ukulele fusion five-piece, Jct 27, with three four-string players — two traditional, one on u-bass and upright bass — along with a drummer/percussionist and throaty lead vocalist/songwriter; Florida-bred, So-Cal-based country-folk songstress Alice Wallace, who’s got yodeling chops; and raspy-voiced Celtic and barroom blues-soaked folk rocker Tom Scudiero. (Tre Amici @ The Bunker, Ybor City)


click to enlarge That 1 Guy - Olivier Oswald
Olivier Oswald
That 1 Guy
  • Olivier Oswald
  • That 1 Guy

That 1 Guy He’s the one-man avant band otherwise known as Mike Silverman, a classically-trained double bassist whose arsenal of handmade instruments — a Magic Pipe, Magic Boot and Magic Saw — bear little or no resemblance to typical sound-making gear, while his music is an equally eccentric dance-vibing mix of funk, jazz and experimental rock. The Pipe is his go-to, an electronically-rigged 7-foot-tall harp-shaped assemblage of steel plumbing pipes, adjustable joints and orchestral bass strings that he slaps, plucks or bows while firing off effects and samples via the Pipe’s 13 trigger points. He employs the usual digital looping and sampling techniques to build his tracks in a live setting, and he sings and beat-boxes, too. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

Chimaira w/Iwrestledabearonce/Oceano/Fit For An Autopsy/Reflections In the history of heavy metal bands enduring lineup changes, New Wave groove and thrashers Chimaira is among the most notorious, with a dozen people cycling through the ranks since its formation in 1998. Vocalist Mark Hunter remains the only enduring member through seven albums, the latest 2013’s Crown of Phantoms. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

MattyB An 11-year-old online pop sensation from Atlanta who sings in sweet piping R&B intones untouched by puberty and delivers sing-song rhymes with a similarly youthful quality. MattyB’s YouTube page has more than 2 million subscribers, while his cover of Eminem’s “Monster” has clocked upwards of 8.5 million views. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

Lauris Vidal w/Devon Stuart Lauris Vidal has been touting the one-man-ness of his act for years now, but his whole performance — complete with mini-drum kit he plays with his feet — is really hitting on all cylinders lately. The Ormond Beach native returns to Tampa for a Valentine's Day show at one of the most un-Valentine-like places in Tampa, The Hub. He is bearing a present, however, in the form of a brand new song “Hey Oh.” He explained, “I recorded it with wunderkind Carl Cadwell of the Chattanooga supergroup Summer Dregs. I played all instruments and will play it one man band live." The track clocks in at just under three minutes, driven by a sparse ukulele riff that gets colored with the subtle tap of a tambourine, kick drums, and warm slide guitar, and marked by Vidal's joyous screaming prophesying about crying skies, floods of hope, and despair drowning on the killing floor. Gainesville-based singer-songwriter Devon Stuart opens this Friday night bill. (The Hub Bar, Tampa) —Ray Roa

  • Mason Jennings

Mason Jennings w/Rebecca Pidgeon Since issuing his eponymous debut in 1997, 38-year-old Honolulu-bred indie roots rocker Mason Jennings has built up quite an extensive repertoire that includes a soundtrack, a live album, four EPs, and 10 more full-lengths including his latest. It’s hard to imagine Jennings not turning a thought into a song, and many years of practice have made his knack for sonically capturing everyday moments and emotions seem effortless ala last year’s emotive, twangy, lushly arranged Always Been, which AllMusic called “a deftly sophisticated album whose straightforward simplicity belies darker emotional truths.” (Orpheum, Ybor City) —Leilani Polk and Ray Roa


Alan Parsons Live Project I chatted with Alan Parsons last February prior to his last Rock Symphony Series performance at Ruth Eckerd. (Read the Q&A here.) The iconic progressive rock producer/composer most famously engineered Pink Floyd's enduring classic, Dark Side of the Moon and spear-headed advanced studio recording techniques that he also applied to his band’s own 10-album catalog. He and late APP partner Eric Woolfson penned a string of hits in the 1970s and ‘80s (“Time,” “Eye in the Sky,” “Wouldn’t Wanna Be Like You,” “Games People Play” and others) that were never actually performed live until the 1990s. This date finds Parsons joined by his full band (which includes a few vocalists) and backed by the Rock Symphony Orchestra. As he explained, “It's the best possible representation of the music, because it was real orchestra on the records. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival w/The Robert Cray Band/Vintage Trouble/Peter Karp & Sue Foley/Marquise Knox & The Hard Knox Blues Band (Saturday) and Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds/Ana Popovic/Eric Lindell/Samantha Fish (Sunday) Now in its eighth year, the two-day fest celebrates the Tampa Bay area’s finest seafood purveyors with a few days worth of eats, drinks and blues-rooted music. Saturday’s bill features two fiery headliners — funk-and-soul pushing Cali-based rockers Vintage Trouble, buzzing hard after opening for The Who last year and appearing in a new Honda Civic commercial this year, and five-time Grammy winning axeman and Blues Hall of Famer Robert Cray with his tight driving backing band. Sunday’s music schedule headed up by Welsh guitar giant Kim Simmonds and the band he’s led off and on since the mid-1960s, Savoy Brown, backing a just-released 2014 album, Goin' To The Delta. (Coachman Park, Clearwater)

click to enlarge Shovels & Rope - Dualtone Music Group/Leslie Ryan McKellar
Dualtone Music Group/Leslie Ryan McKellar
Shovels & Rope
  • Dualtone Music Group/Leslie Ryan McKellar
  • Shovels & Rope

Shovels & Rope w/Shakey Graves As Shovels & Rope, South Carolina husband-and-wife duo Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent ply a white-lightning sort of rough-hewn roots-punk that stands way out from the alt-country crowd. It's dirty and raucous and fun, and has been garnering tons of airplay on WMNF. The national scene took notice as well — at last September's Americana Honors & Awards, Shovels & Rope took home trophies for Song of the Year (for "Birmingham") and Emerging Artist of the Year. Also on the bill: Texas-bred one-man folk explosion Shakey Graves (real name Alejandro Rose-Garcia), who picks and strums acoustic guitar, operates a kick-drum built from an old suitcase, and howls over it in a comely husk. This is gonna be a good one, folks. Don't blow it. (Crowbar, Ybor City) —Scott Harrell

John Wesley w/Sisemore Tampa’s much called-upon axe-slinger and session artist John Wesley (aka Wes Dearth) keeps mighty busy as the touring guitarist in prog rock outfit Porcupine Tree, and as co-owner/engineer at the well-regarded nationally-acclaimed Red Room Recorders. He also has seven albums’ worth of solo material that he dusts off for the odd concert dates, like this one. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

  • Seth Glier

Seth Glier The pop rock singer-songwriter has higher-register vocals, plays both guitar and piano, and hits town fresh from a gig on the Cayamo Cruise supporting this third full-length, 2013’s Things I Should Let You Know. He’s joined by 61-year-old veteran saxophone player Joe Nerney. (Craftsmen House Gallery, St. Petersburg)

Whitney James Valentine Show A sultry swinging and swaying program led by jazz crooner James joined by sax master Jeremy Powell, guitarist LaRue Nickelson, bassist Alejandro Arenas and drummer Mark Feinman. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)


Flogging Molly This year marks the 10th anniversary of Flogging Molly’s annual St. Paddy’s Day-themed “Green 17 Tour,” a month’s worth of live dates counting down to the Irish holiday as celebrated by LA’s favorite blue-collar Celtic punk septet. It’s also the final “Green 17” tour, ever. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)


World Premiere Screening: What Difference Does It Make? Red Bull Music Academy celebrates its 15th anniversary and forthcoming Tokyo edition with a documentary directed by award-winning filmmaker Ralf Schmerberg. What Difference Does It Make? (shot onsite at the Academy headquarters in New York) sheds light on what it means to devote your life to music as discussed with artists like Brian Eno, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Nile Rodgers, Erykah Badu, Debbie Harry, James Murphy and others. This is the date of the world premiere before its digital release tomorrow, and Crowbar is the only venue in town holding an event. Screening starts at 8 p.m., and it’s free. (Crowbar, Ybor City)


click to enlarge Jon Batiste & Stay Human - Peter Lueders
Peter Lueders
Jon Batiste & Stay Human
  • Peter Lueders
  • Jon Batiste & Stay Human

Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human A keysman of fine Louisiana pedigree (the HBO show Treme is based on his family) and a Julliard education, Jon Batiste is versed on piano, Hammond B3 and melodica, and pairs choppy instrumentals with soulfully sweet vocals. His NYC-based quartet with drummer Joe Saylor, tuba player Ibanda Ruhumbika and alt saxman Eddie Barbash, Stay Human — which hits town backing new full-length Social Music — has a funky hopping jazz and R&B-fused sound. (Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center, Tampa)

The Gibson Brothers With three wins at last year’s 24th Annual IBMA World of Bluegrass Awards (including ‘Entertainers of the Year’), finely harmonizing brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson (on guitar and banjo respectively) are finally receiving their due after many years of touring and recording as a quintet with upright bassist Mike Barber, fiddle phenom Clayton Campbell and mandolin player Jesse Brock. This date backs most recent full-length, 2013’s They Called It Music. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

Young The Giant w/Cayucas “Anthemic So-Cal outfit Young the Giant’s sophomore full-length Mind Over Matter is a mildly fun but ultimately forgettable record that makes a valiant effort at trying to capture the spark that made the Cali fivesome so likable in the first place,” Andrew Silverstein wrote in his review of the band’s the 2014 LP. Is the band suffering from the cliched yet true-ringing sophomore slump? Read the full review at here, see the Samer Gadhia-fronted band play this date in support, and decide for yourself. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

USF St. Pete Jazz Fest: Helios Jazz Orchestra The fifth annual SPC-helmed jazz fest kicks off with the expanded, David Manson-directed 22-piece big band, Helios Jazz Orchestra, which stages another reprise of its ever-popular License to Thrill program, made up of music from spy films and television shows (James Bond, Get Smart, Austin Powers, Mission Impossible and the like). Helios is joined by guest vocalists Denise Moore, Tomika Waldon, Bryan Hughes and Andrea Moraes Manson. (SPC Music Center, St. Petersburg)


USF St. Pete Jazz Fest: LaRue Nickelson Quartet The second day of the fest features a program of original music by renown local jazz guitarist Nickelson, Patrick Bettison (chromatic harmonica, piano), Elias Tona (electric bass) and Ian Goodman (drums). (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

CLICK HERE to see a complete rundown of shows taking place this week and in the coming weeks.

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