This week in Tampa Bay area live music: Leonard Cohen, Bad Religion, Jake Shimabukuro, Kenny Chesney & more

Concerts, March 14-20, 2013

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click to enlarge Country Mice - Robb and Melissa Thompson
Robb and Melissa Thompson
Country Mice

THURSDAY, MARCH 14
Hard Rock Rising Finale
A Hard Rock battle of the bands competition that takes place at 95 locations around the world. Tampa’s edition closes on this night as the three groups who claimed victory in the qualifying rounds (Scilter, Malaya and Alma Vertical) face-off in a live finale to see which one will rep the Tampa Bay area in the global online competition. Online voting whittles it down to the top 25 bands, and a panel of celeb judges and industry types pick the top three from these. The grand prize winner earns a fatty prize package that includes $10k in gear and opportunities to play London Calling (roundtrip airfare included), participate in a world concert tour, and record an album with Hard Rock Records. (Hard Rock Café, Tampa)

Masta Killa w/Lyricks/Infinite Skillz/Prince Golden/Barabbas The Wu Tang Clan’s mostly-in-the-background mystery-vibing member, multi-faceted lyricist and monotone-voiced emcee Masta Killa, returned late last year after an extended solo hiatus with Selling My Soul, bringing on guests like Kurupt for fat raspberry-bass thumping single “Cali Sun,” and getting nostalgic for the old days while paying homage to artists he loves, like in Tupac-inspired “Wise Words” and the bumpin’ “Dirty Soul,” which finds Masta cataloging his favorite soul artists, then breaking into Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Hippa to the Hoppa” complete with sample backing from his late bandmate. Support on his current tour from Virginia-based Korean-American rapper/producer Lyricks, with stage warm-ups by locally-based rhyme-slayers Infinite Skillz, Prince Golden (Samurai Shotgun) and Barabbas. (Fubar, St. Petersburg)

The Greatest Show on Surf w/Sawyer Brown Band/many others Treasure Island Beach plays host to a free four-day event that brings carnival rides, midway games, food and craft vendors, and daily live music showcases to its sandy shores. The tunes begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday (headlined by the Black Honkeys and Greg Billings Band, respectively), and kick off at noon on both Saturday and Sunday. A special Saturday night extravaganza is headed up by Florida-grown country music group Sawyer Brown, which has seven No. 1 singles to their credit. A fireworks display follows the performance. (Treasure Island Beach)

FRIDAY, MARCH 15
Applebutter Express w/Between Bluffs
Enjoy an evening of sunny-rustic roots music when two local groups unite for a Skipperdome bill. Between Bluffs compels with an upbeat synthesis of jazz, folk pop and newgrass music, setting a varying mix of mandolin, upright bass, banjo and acoustic guitars against galloping drums. Applebutter Express delivers funky Americana fueled by ukulele, fiddle and bass, and marked by the two-part masculine-femme vocal harmonies of front-couple Kyle and Shannon Biss. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

Bang Tango w/Melrose/WD-HAN/The Best Day Ever/The Hanging Chads There’s a chance you know Bang Tango’s sole MTV-aired single, glam metal ode “Someone Like You,” though more recent numbers like “Suck It Up” deliver a harder-edged AC/DC-flavored sound, the crunchy riffs roiling under the high-screeching tone of frontman Joe Leste. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

Queensrÿche Who owns the rights to the ‘Queensrÿche’ handle after a bitter parting of ways and subsequent legal feud between longtime lead singer Geoff Tate and his former bandmates? According to the Washington state superior court, both parties are allowed free use of the name until the November 2013 hearing that officially settles the matter. Which means that right now, there are two active versions of the “Silent Lucidity” prog-metal outfit — one fronted by Tate, the other featuring Todd La Torre (formerly of Crimson Glory) on lead vocals. This is the non-Tate version. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)

Canadian Brass A virtuosic display of brass-kicking talent by a Canadian quintet that encompasses tuba player Chuck Daellenbach, also its ostensible leader, along with Eric Reed on French horn, trumpeters Christopher Coletti and Brandon Ridenour, and freshest member Achilles Liarmakopoulos (trombone). Their repertoire encompasses more than 200 arrangements, including works by Renaissance and Baroque masters, marches, jazz, Broadway and beyond. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

Satellite High w/DC9V/Indigenous Ways Satellite High (real Jay Friedman) is a cheeky San Francisco alt hip-hop artist with sample-strewn, synth heady production values. He’s tried out all sorts of sonic experiments — a five-song recording built around a notebook of teenaged rhymes his wife found on the sidewalk (Trap Keep); a paternal-inspired Dad-Rock EP (from “Cool Dad”: “Cruisin’ in an empty car, noddin’ his head and saying ‘fuck yeah’ to NPR/Cool Dad write a parenting blog, black iPod filled with Girl Talk when he go for a jog”); Sing Along With Satellite High, a “covers” album that takes well-known songs (“We Will Rock You,” “Dinner Bell,” “We Care A lot”), feeds them through the Satellite High brain filter, and shits them out all twisted and hilarious. As he describes it: “You know those YouTube videos people always send you where some corny dude with an acoustic guitar plays a cover of a rap song but makes it into some ‘passionate’ college-guy anthem? This is the exact opposite of that.’” (The Venture Compound, St. Petersburg)

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