This weekend's best bets in Bay area music: of Montreal, Pat Metheny, Easy Star All Stars, Omar Sosa, Alchemy Fest, and more

Pat Metheny [pictured] More than 30 years into a career that’s accrued him 17 Grammy Awards and seen him play with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Pulitzer-Prize-winning musician Ornette Coleman and bassist Christian McBridge, consummate guitarist [image-1]Pat Metheny continues to deliver to sold-out crowds around the world. His most recent album, the five-track Orchestration, employs a rich tapestry of instrumentals that back Metheny’s nimble finger work. The 15-minute opener, “Orchestration,” begins bright and whimsical, and transitions into a jubilant, fluttering segment that perfectly encompasses Metheny’s gift of capturing unexpected beauty through song. 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, $41-$71. –Matthew Spencer

COPE w/Soulgrass Rebellion The Bay area’s own on-fire jam rock four-piece (which encompasses lead singer/guitarist/banjo player Dennis Stadelman, and on backing vocals, bassist brother Kenny Stadelman, drummer Dave Gerulat, and keyboardist/sax player Juan Montero) brings pretty melody and incorporates the flavors of funk, jazz, pop, classic rock and reggae into their sound. (Click here to read the feature I wrote about the band last year.) The current lineup just released their first official studio album, Going Home, and plays two sets at this show in support — one acoustic, one electric. Asheville’s Soulgrass Rebellion opens with their blend of roots and reggae. 8 p.m., Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa, $8.


Sunbears!/MRENC 7" Release Show w/King of Spain New Granada Records artists Sunbears! and MRENC celebrate the limited NGR release of a split 7” featuring two songs by each. Sunbears! have a more electro pop sound, with “Mind’s Trapped in Static” marked by sunny-day acid-washed melodies and a fairy tale chorus of ascending harmonies. MRENC (the solo project of Eric Collins from Lakeland’s Dark Romantics) has a ’60s psyche rock feel with modern indie sense, like in the stripped-down menace of “OhOhOhOh.” 9 p.m., New World Brewery, Ybor City, $7.

Easy Star All Stars [pictured below, photo by Ben Sarle] w/[email protected] Ever hear Dub Side of the Moon, or Radiodread, those tribute albums that bring dub-style grooves and heady reggae jams to seminal albums by Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon) and Radiohead (OK Computer)? The men and women responsible are members of NYC-based reggae collective Easy Star All Stars, who infuse the rock songs with their dirty reggae tastiness. Their third and most recent full-length, Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band, was released last year and pays homage to the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. Expect to hear cuts from all three albums with originals numbers sprinkled throughout. 9 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $15.



Alchemy Fest w/Rise of Saturn/Shunda K [pictured below, photo by Claire Curran Corbett]/Katherine Kelly/Have Gun, Will Travel The fifth annual family-friendly, all ages fest created by CL’s own Joran Oppelt and named after his adorable daughter features a lineup of reputable area acts: [image-3]Sarasota songstress Katherine Kelly, the dark-haired rich-voiced lead singer of Sons of Hippies; rap and rhyme aficianda Shunda K; Have Gun, Will Travel, purveyors of old-timey roots rock and rousing Americana; and Rise of Saturn, a funk and hip-hop prog rock five-piece that includes members of Soulfound and Weaksauce. Soft Rock Renegades spin child-friendly dance mixes and Jason the Balloon Guy makes special appearances at various points throughout the afternoon fest. 2-6 p.m., Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa, $8.


April 9-11: Tampa Bay Blues Fest To find out more about the artists playing and who you shouldn't miss as well as the complete lineup, click here. To read Eric Snider's feature on Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials, which plays on Friday afternoon, click here.

For a full schedule of this week's live music offerings, and for a complete schedule of concerts coming up in the next six months, check out our Upcoming Concerts page.

The following is a quick breakdown of shows this weekend's worthiest live music offerings beginning with Thursday, ’cause that’s when the weekend really starts, right? For a more comprehensive schedule, check out our Upcoming Concerts page


of Montreal [pictured] w/James Husband When of Montreal performed here in 2008, the Athens, Ga. ensemble put on a full-scale boundary-crossing psychedelic pop and glam rock stage spectacle complete with a backdrop of brilliant animations, performers acting out various bizarro-land scenes in costumes ranging from charming to ghastly, and frontman/visionary Kevin Barnes holding court as the flamboyantly wacky maestro of it all. The band has since parted ways with aux drummer Ahmed Gallab (who toured with of Montreal in support of 2008's Skeletal Lamping but never became a bonafide member) and is working on a new album tentatively titled False Priest and slated for release sometime this year. James Husband (of Montreal multi-talent James Huggins) opens the show with his solo side project. 8 p.m., The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City, $23.

Bastard Lovechild of Rock N Roll w/The Auctioneers/Set & Setting Bastard Love Child of Rock N Roll is a Jacksonville duo (Chris Hess and Adam Winn performing as Cookie SugarHips and Hot Damm Sweet Huckleberry Winn) who generate dirty raw blues rock with slithering grooves and an electro edginess played on guitar and drums, or keys and drums. The Auctioneers are a NYC-based rock band with a slickly-produced swagger. This show is billed as an “of Montreal After Party,” so the two headliners will likely go on a little late. 9 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $7 (ages 18 and up).

Copeland [pictured below] Farewell Tour w/I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business/Person L/Deas Vail After nine years, four LPs, four EPs and a B-sides collection, Lakeland’s Copeland is calling it quits because the members (according to their MySpace announcement) felt the group had run its course. The news is particularly surprising since it comes after the success of their well-regarded 2008 album, You Are My Sunshine. Frontman Aaron Marsh’s androgynous vocals inject heart-wrenching sincerity into brooding mid-tempos like “Chin Up” and the playful jazz throwback of “The Day I Lost My Voice” with guest singer Rae Cassidy Klagstad. Despite being in the home stretch of a farewell tour, Copeland has hinted there may be another album in them yet. 7 p.m. doors, State Theatre, St. Petersburg, $15. –Matthew Spencer


Omar Sosa Afreecanos Quartet with Mola Sylla Afro-Cuban jazz composer and pianist Omar Sosa (who is known for his versatility and fluid improvisations in a live setting) leads this ensemble that includes drum-and-bass pioneer Marque Gilmore, Mozambican electric bassist Childo Tomas, and Senegalese vocalist and percussionist Mola Sylla. Sosa performs in support of his latest album, Ceremony, a big band collaboration with Brazilian arranger/composer/cellist Jaques Morelenbaum and Hamburg, Germany’s 18-piece NDR Bigband. Sosa plays piano, vibraphone, marimba and percussion on the album, which includes an homage to T.S. Monk titled, “Monkuru.” 8 p.m., Largo Cultural Center, Largo, $25 in advance/$30 at the door.

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