This week in Tampa Bay area live music: Neon Trees, Lucinda Williams, Sunset Music Festival & more

Concerts, May 22-28

Judy Kang She can play lovely, expertly wrought classical music in solo, chamber and orchestral frameworks, but Judy Kang’s individuality stands out most in outside-the-box stylistic choices that touch on pop, indie, jazz and hip hop aesthetics. The Canadian musician started playing at 4, was the youngest graduate of Curtis Institute of Music at 17, and her achievements and talents have only continued to grow in the years since. She’s worked with anyone from from Pierre Boulez to Lenny Kravitz, and earned no small bit of buzz for her run as soloist on Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball” tour. Her self-produced self-titled album dropped last March, and builds on her violin compositions with vocals, keys, synths, guitar, beats and various other sonic accoutrements. Check her cover of Gaga’s “Applause” on violin and cello right here, then see her live at this exclusive Venture date. (The Venture Compound, St. Petersburg) –Leilani Polk

David Sanborn A third of his 24 albums have gone gold (one platinum). His mantle boasts half-a-dozen Grammys. He’s worked with names like Bowie, Vandross and Clapton. Still, if you played David Sanborn’s “Maputo,” “Chicago Song,” or “This Masquerade” for anyone under the age of 30, they’d probably just point out the porn-horns or suddenly think of Lethal Weapon 4 (Sanborn and Clapton worked on the film’s score). A damn shame, because at 68, Tampa-born Sanborn has enjoyed an almost unrivaled smooth jazz career that’s earned him the respect of his peers and the adulation of scores of fans, who can instantly identify Sanborn’s squealing solos and instrumental pop-wizardry from the second the elevator doors slide open. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater) –Ray Roa

The Lion Faced Boy (Reunion) w/Surviving the Skyway (Reunion)/The August Name (Reunion)/Lions After Dark/IM1 Three now-defunct local bands come back together and throw it down, reunion style, in honor of Evander Lipps’ 25th birthday. Lipp played in one of said bands, propulsive alt rocking outfit The August Name. During this last-chance-to-see-them live date, the sextet will likely perform tracks off the eponymous LP they recorded right before calling it quits. Also reuniting for a single-night: harder-edged howling outfit Surviving the Skyway and emotive pop-melodic rockers The Lion Faced Boy. (Local 662, St. Petersburg) –LP

Logic w/Quest Logic’s new mixtape – Young Sinatra: Welcome To Forever (out now via Def Jam Records) – is a refreshing hour-long breath of modern hip hop that was downloaded more than 100k times the day it dropped for free online. The emcee also known as “Sir” Robert Tyson is the product of a generation that grew up on Wu-Tang, and while a Nas-sampling track (“Dead Presidents III”) is a bold-move, Logic has more than enough cajones to actually pull it off. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg) –RR

#LEANFUNERAL2K14 w/Abstract Machine & others A cheeky memorial to Actavis lean – that high-end purple cough syzzurp made with Promethazine Codeine, beloved of music stars like Justin Bieber, and recently taken off the market – with this electro experimental she-bang featuring lean-themed drinks and headlining duties by party host Ben "bnen" Holley, aka Abstract Machine. His sounds are production driven, with a sample-studded glitchy stuttering beat tape quality not unlike Sweet Valley, but with lower-toned raps and occasional higher-toned croons laid over top. Also making appearances on this night are Mark Castle, Bay Sir, Blud Dmnd and Laser Coffins. (The Bends, St. Petersburg) –LP

Poetry n’ Lotion Presents Abbey Road w/Brian Deeds/DJ Gabe Echazabal We’ve seen PNL stage full-scale performances of The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, and Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!. The brass-blown jazz-and-prog-fused quintet embarks on a rather ambitious undertaking this time around: The Beatles’ Abbey Road. PNL re-creates the album in its entirety, including “Because,” no mean feat since they’re an instrumental band and that song has nine vocal tracks. According to drummer John Nowicki in a recent FB status update, “PNL has this bitch on lockdown … It isn't every day that you get to hear a trumpeter and a drummer sing a duet in falsetto.” Show starts at 10 p.m. sharp. (Crowbar, Ybor City) –LP

Emperor X/Rec Center/The Other Ryan Willis Chad Matheny aka Emperor X, is one of those guitar playing dudes who always seems to be on the road. Though born in Jacksonville, and currently based in LA, Matheny can probably claim at least a handful of the country’s cities as his hometown. This Friday night show finds Emperor X spinning his brand of experimental, blissed-out folk at one of the ‘Burg’s coolest new places to catch a show — Green Bench Brewing Co. Don’t expect him to not get weird, though, since he recently devoted an entire performance to live scoring a 43-minute edit of a Soviet art house flick. Best of the Bay winning indie rockers Rec Center and another up-and-coming Sunshine State songwriter – The Other Ryan Willis – open this free show. (Green Bench Brewing, St. Petersburg) –RR

The Stooges Brass Band Like any proper New Orleans brass band, the Stooges tout a repertoire that includes second line brass standards and Crescent City jazz and R&B tunes along with funk, hip hop, soul, pop and a taste of rock n’ roll. (Ringside Café, St. Petersburg) –LP

Les Sabler CD Release Party Canada-born, Florida-based jazz guitarist Les Sabler honors Brazilian bossa nova pioneer Antonio Jobim (the iconic composer behind “Girl from Ipanema”) in his just-released album, Jobim Tribute, heavily inspired by a recent trip to Brazil that gave Sabler a more profound understanding and love of Jobim’s music. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg) –LP

Old Crow Medicine Show Producing twangy all-acoustic Americana and bluegrass odes is one of Nashville’s favorite old timey string bands, Old Crow Medicine Show, made up of seven musicians who pit tight multi-part vocal harmonies against picked, plucked, bowed and strummed instrumentals. This tour hypes a forthcoming ninth full-length, Remedy, due out July 1 on ATO. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg) –LP

Bedroom w/Atlantic Oceans/Mountain Holler Noah Kittinger pieces together melodic synth pop with the sort of lo-fi dreaminess that comes when you record in a bedroom (hence his alias, Bedroom). “Nothing Lasts,” the second single off his just-released Grow LP, has a bit more beat-driven oomph to the backdrop of swirling instrumentals, Kittinger’s sweetly earnest vocals wheeling over top. (New World Brewery, Ybor City) –LP

Bands on the Sand 6 A Memorial Weekend sun n’ musical fun party held on Treasure Island’s expansive stretch of sand and featuring eight bands over two days. Rev. Funky D’s Home Team Family Orchestra headlines the Saturday night festivities, with the namesake keys master leading a non-stop two-and-a-half-hour jam session featuring members of Green Sunshine, Cope, Applebutter Express, Urban Gypsies, Seratonic and Shoeless Soul. Come Back Alice leads the Sunday finale with their Southern-friend gypsy-funking rock. More info at (Treasure Island Beach, Treasure Island) –LP

Lucinda Williams This year marks the 25th anniversary re-release of the self-titled third album from Lucinda Williams, who’s built up a fine repertoire that encompasses 10 full-length LPs. She’s won three Grammys, in the folk, country and rock categories, though she also dips into blues and Americana aesthetics, and is a much-called-upon guest vocalist who’s worked with Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Flogging Molly, and Ray Davies among many others. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater) –LP

Tampa Ska Prom 2014 w/Deals Gone Bad/The Snails/The Ambassadors/Askultura/General Tso's Fury/Victims Of Circumstance/UNRB/The Apes/Saganaki Bomb Squad/SKAbortion Twins Admit it, prom sucked. It’s okay, though, because likely that was a really long time ago for you. This version of the school-year-ending soiree will be different as it finds a bunch of Florida’s best ska outfits bringing friends and fans (both new and old) to skank along with The Snails from Philadelphia, Pa. for a party that promises free food and prom caricatures along with the possibility of someone getting crowned king and queen of the night’s festivities. If the rocksteady and reggae licks of Snails songs like “Walking Softly Down Broad Street” and “Only A Fool” can’t get you to ditch your wallflower ways, then you should probably check your pulse. (Epic Problem, Tampa) –RR

Florida Night Heat w/Fat Night/The Patients Florida Night Heat is one of those bands that locals inadvertently end up taking for granted because musicians Chris Wood, Jensen Kistler and Andre Jones always seem to be around, whether they’re on the stage or in the crowd supporting another band playing on it. Their style of proggy, grit-caked instrumental rock gets even more muscular with every show (formerly reserved guitarist Kistler is getting subsequently more ballsy with each confidence-building performance) and they’ll have good company on this homegrown bill. Orlando quartet Fat Night supports an excellent 2013 eponymous debut LP of psych-tinged soul. (New World Brewery, Ybor City) –RR

Ladies of the Mic w/OG Layla Johnson/JK/Jerrica Cabrera/Queen Of Ex/Bri Beats/Aja Lorraine/Asher Despite the continued mainstream presence of female emcees, the world of hip hop is still sadly dominated by dudes. This Crowbar showcase is devoted solely to Tampa Bay’s double-x-chromosome-wielding rhyme slingers. Layla Johnson offerings like “OG Mix” and “That’s That Shit” run the gamut from trap to dancehall while New York City transplant Queen of Ex will likely show why she stunned the crowd during her opening set for Mobb Deep, and at least one songstress – Jerrica Cabera – will croon her way through a performance that is just one piece of a long overdue, hopefully regularly occurring celebration of femme fatales trying just as hard as their male counterparts to make a name for themselves. (Crowbar, Ybor City) –RR

Sunset Music Festival: Zedd/Benny Benassi/Adventure Club/Borgore (Saturday); Hardwell/Krewella/Koan Sound/Minnesota/The Crystal Method (Sunday) Bass-heads and kandi-kids rejoice — the Sunset Music Festival has returned for a third year and the lineup is stacked with EDM heavyweights. Quickly becoming the Bay’s own miniature Ultra, the fest has expanded to two days and brings some of the biggest electronic artists in the world (a testament to EDM’s infiltration into pop music) to several stages in RayJay’s North Lot. Day one of the fest features, among others, radio staple Zedd, progressive-house veteran Benny Benassi, and the trap-infused dubstep sounds of Borgore. Arguably the most bourgeoning electro-house DJ on the scene, Hardwell headlines day two of the fest; other Sunday highlights include the melodic/dupstep trio Krewella, glitch-hop outfit KOAN Sound and electro vets The Crystal Method. (Raymond James Stadium, Tampa) –Melanie Wiesen

Tampa Bay Margarita Festival w/Los Lonely Boys Another week, another big happening at Curtis Hixon Park to spoil downtown Tampa’s denizen as they chase a buzz (it’s gotta be expensive to garnish all those margaritas with authentic Mexican limes), and Los Lonely Boys (who could probably make a good living riding the success of ‘04 hit “Heaven” alone) descend upon the 813 for their only Florida date supporting new album, Revelation, which finds the sibling trio paying tribute to their dad’s past as frontman of conjunto outfit the Falcones while continuing to fine tune their own Texas-sized blend of blues, rock, country, and pop. Fireworks top off the day, so please – pace yourself. (Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa) –RR

Burgatory Fest 2014 + PBR Burger Bash w/Wolf-Face/set and setting/Fero Lux /Wet Nurse/Ex-Breathers/Zulu Wave/Buffalo Buffalo/Caffiends/Gouge Away/You Vandal/Heretic/Nothing In The Dark/Awkward Age/Won't Be Arsed/Lipschitz The Teen Wolf pack of punk rockers otherwise know as Wolf-Face stage their second annual music fest, which also doubles as the second anniversary of their first-ever live date at their unofficial home venue, Fubar. PBR brings the beers and burgers (free while supplies last), Wolf-Face headlines and a range of Florida talent touching on garage, post-metal, alt rock, ska and power pop rounds out the 15-band, two-venue bill. More info about Wolf-Face and their fest on right here. (Local 662, Fubar, St. Petersburg) –LP

REO Speedwagon Imagine every cheesy AC rock hit you know and I betcha there’s a few by REO Speedwagon in there somewhere. No? Really? What about “Can’t Fight This Feeling”? Or, “Take It on the Run”? “Keep on Loving You”? And you know you’ve belted along to one, if not all three of these songs at some point in your driving career. I won’t judge – I’ve done it, too. (Hard Rock, Seminole Hard Rock Casino, Tampa) –LP

Scratch My Back Benefit w/Woody and the Woodtones/Quivering Rhythm Hounds/The Lint Rollers The 18th annual edition of the charity concert to benefit Friends of Hillsborough County Animal County Services features blues and electric swing by Woody & the Woodtones, as well as a set of classic rock n’ blues covers by Quivering Rhythm Hounds, and the self-styled “garage band for indiscriminate grownups, playing music that doesn't stick to your clothes” of The Lint Rollers. All proceeds go to FOHCACS. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa) –LP

Uh Huh Her It hasn't even been a year since Uh Huh Her headlined a State Theatre show coinciding with St. Pete’s Pride Parade, but Camila Grey and her main squeeze – The L Word’s Leisha Hailey – have returned to give fans “Another Case” of anthemic, “Innocent” indie electro pop that will surely offer the “Same High” as last year. Hailey and Grey’s new album, this year’s Future Souls, mostly continues in the same vein as any one of Uh Huh Her’s other offerings, but the girls do lean heavy on some seriously danceable grooves on songs like “Nuthin’ Without Your Love” and “Shine." (State Theatre, St. Petersburg) –RR

The Last Lament w/DELUXE/Teach Me Equals/Kyle Chason & The Swindlin' Hearts/ARTICLE 47/Lonly Monster/Abortion Twins/Part Robot/Instanter/Lavola Longtime Bay area promoter Craig Adams is skipping town soon, but the 34-year-old St. Pete scene hero behind Pelican Pop Fest and the recent Under The Covers tribute show isn’t punching out without one more big hurrah. “The Last Lament” features an eclectic lineup plus a comedian (the hilarious David Watts) stuffing Local 662 and Fubar with music fans for the second day in a row; Burgatory happens the day before and Adams gives anyone who went to Burgatory a 50-percent discount on Last Lament’s cover. A pair of acts (Instanter and Deluxe) have heavy ties to long-beloved local acts Tres Bien, Win Win Winter, and Tallhart, but the show will also feature current St. Pete favorites like Article 47 and the handsome, drunken heart-on-his-sleeveless tee stylings of the inimitable Lonly Monster. (The Local 662 & Fubar, St. Petersburg) –RR

click to enlarge Neon Trees - Andrew Zaeh
Andrew Zaeh
Neon Trees

The Icarus Account w/Hydra Melody Fort Meyers-spawned Icarus Account has an astonishing number of likes on their Facebook page for a band that’s unsigned – 62k and counting. Brothers Ty and Trey Turner are the sole members, and they write poignant acoustic pop songs driven by guitar, fleshed out with occasional piano, and aptly showcasing the Turners’ pretty, high-toned vocal harmonies. (Brass Mug, Tampa) –LP

Neon Trees w/Smallpools/Nightmare and the Cat The New Wave-influenced synth-pop rockers who came up with a few boppin’ hits, both Billboard 200 charters – first, “Animals” off 2010 debut Habits, then the considerably more popular “Everybody Talks” off 2012’s Picture Show. This tour finds Neon Trees touring behind third full-length Pop Psychology, which might’ve never happened had frontman Tyler Glenn not taken a break from the band to seek help for his growing identity crisis and unhealthy outlook on life; the album’s content is inspired by his therapy sessions. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City) –LP

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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