Tonight in live music: Black Tusk, Barry Manilow, Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics + more

A look at some concerts happening this Thurs., Feb. 4.

click to enlarge Black Tusk - Angela Boatwright
Angela Boatwright
Black Tusk

This Thursday is jamming out! And by that, I mean, there's a boatload of concerts happening on either side of Tampa Bay. Check out the full breakdown for February 4 below.

Black Tusk with Royal Thunder, Bask, Beer Wolf In 2014, a tragic motorcycle accident took the life of Black Tusk founding member Jonathan Athon. The Savannah, Ga. metal makers had recorded a fifth LP of fast, hard, punk-fueled rage with Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind, however, and Pillars of Ash finally dropped on January 29 via Relapse. Joining Black Tusk on their current tour is Altanta outfit Royal Thunder, freshly signed to Spinefarm Records and bearing their own metallic dramatic sounds culling from doom, glam and stoner terrains with light blues and prog flourishes. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

Classically-trained Luka Šulic and Stjepan Hauser are the Croatian duo otherwise known as 2Cellos, their repertoire encompassing three albums of material that re-imagine pop and rock hits – Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails among them – into spirited instrumentals that are unexpectedly fresh, and avant garde yet accessible. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

The Witch Turns 5 Years Old Celebration Over the past five years, Ale and the Witch has amped up both its selection of craft beers and live music offerings, with sounds filtering from the courtyard nearly every night and its barbecue den upgraded with a second stage and ample dance space to allow for bigger performers (and later gigs). On this night, the Witch celebrates turning five with a tap list that includes a special staff-made brew, the Witch’s Winter Solstice Porter, and sets of tunes from 6 to 10 p.m. by folk-grass trio Oak Hay and special TBA guests. (Ale and the Witch, St. Petersburg)

Love Has No Borders Benefit Show with David Rovics Singer, songwriter and self-proclaimed anarchist/activist who has a giant back-catalog of music (more than 200 songs), gives it away for free to anyone who wants it (he has more than 1 million downloads and counting), and broaches topical subject matter along with the history that got us here, whether he’s mocking Donald Trump as a presidential candidate in “God’s Gift to the Caliphate” or examining the early exclusionist “Sunset Laws” of his Portland homebase. This show supports the refugee aid work of Love Has No Borders. Suggested donation is $10-$20 but all are welcome regardless of funds. Also performing: Nisrin Dweik, Marissa Angela, Ricky Steece and Roger Butterfield. (Sacred Grounds, Tampa)

Graveyard The name might be sinister but the music of Swedish quartet Graveyard is an inviting, vintage-familiar blend of hard rock, blues-soul, and psychedelia, songs like “Too Much Is Not Enough” – off last year’s Innocence & Decadence – riffing and roiling along in heavy instrumental passages both brightened and sweetened by gospel-tinged chorales that bolster the husky growls and howls of guitarist Joakim Nilsson. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

Michal Menert & the Pretty Fantastics Instrumentalist/electro music producer Michael Menert has been blending hip hop and trippy grooves since the early ‘00s, starting his career as one-half of Pretty Lights until Derek Vincent Smith took full rein following the release of debut album Taking Up Your Precious Time. Then, he worked the solo angle and did some collabs before landing in Michael Menert & the Pretty Fantastics, his productions supported by a six-piece of live keys, bass, drums, horns, and guitar that fuse funk-pop, electro-soul and spacey jazz into lush and sparkling orchestrations. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

Barry Manilow Not only does the legendary 72-year-old pop potentate with the buttery delivery have enough fans to fill arenas across the country (he’s been active since the early ‘70s and has sold more than 80 million records worldwide), but Barry Manilow is a philanthropist, too. On his “One Last Time Tour” – allegedly his final farewell, joined by guest sax man Dave Koz – he brings his Manilow Music Project to Tampa’s McLane Middle School and donates a Yamaha piano to launch a local instrument drive. Bring a new or gently used instrument to the arena box office before 5 p.m. today, and get two free tickets to the show. Call 813-301-2500 for more info. (Amalie Arena, Tampa)

John Kadlecik Band with Uncle John’s Band The founding guitarist of foremost Grateful Dead tribute act Dark Star Orchestra, John Kadlecik (who left DSO in 2009 to play with Phil Lesh), hits town with his solo project to play Dead Nite with our own Dead music impresarios, UJB. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

Dirk Quinn Band
Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin
Jackie Mason Capitol Theatre, Clearwater
Rock the Park w/Queen of Ex Carter/The Tattered Saints/Dan Padilla Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa


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