Tonight in live music; The Lawsuits at Rock the Park, Sara Watkins at State Theatre, Florida Orchestra happy hour and more

Remember, the Frankie Valli show was rescheduled.

Sara Watkins w/Liz Longley Fans of Nickel Creek are used to seeing Sara Watkins with a fiddle in her hand, but the 35 year old songwriter has left it mostly behind on her third solo LP, Young In All the Wrong Ways (released last year). Watkins is back in front of the mic on the 10 track effort, and she’s ditched the pop sound from 2012’s Sun Midnight Sun in favor heartbreak tales lifted onto the shoulders of big rock & roll riffs and the occasional flurry of bluegrass plucking. Young was probably one of the most slept on records of last year, but Watkins will rattle you awake if you show up to this one where Liz Longley brings her own 2016 LP of heavy-hearted pop (Weightless) to open the show. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg) INFO

Florida Orchestra’s Coffee & Happy Hour Concerts This is kind of like a double header for Stuart Malina. Florida Orchestra’s principal guest conductor is scheduled to be up early and working through pieces by Bizet, Ravel and Bernstein for a coffee concert in St. Pete before he switches gears (and picks up a martini?) for the orchestra’s Happy Hour concerts at the Straz Center in Tampa. Booze, Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture and Prokofiev’s Summer Day are on tap for the evening session, and we say Malina deserves a siesta after it’s all over. More information is available via floridaorchestra.org. (Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg and Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa ) INFO

Rock the Park w/The Lawsuits/Sleeping Pills/Demi Nova Every now and then, a Rock the Park bill comes along that makes you feel like The Curt might be the best outdoor venue in town. This is one of those shows. A pair of fast rising Bay area acts open the evening (post-punks Sleeping Pills and R&B singer Demi Nova) before The Lawsuits come to clean up with an addicting brand of indie rock that’s been soundtracking the streets of Philadelphia since 2002. The band is set to hit some festivals this summer (see them at Firefly alongside The Weeknd, Bob Dylan and Muse), and this is a ridiculously rare chance to see them for free on the banks Hillsborough River. For further proof, listen to incredulously sexy single “Sweet Marcelle” — it’s money in the bank, baby G. (Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa) INFO

Frankie Valli UPDATE: This show has been moved because Valli is feeling under the weather. The new date is May 23Nostalgia is in high demand. Just ask Frankie Valli. The 82 year-old Jersey crooner is in Clearwater on Thursday, and his 19th show at the venue is is a virtual sellout (some ADA seats and their accompaniment are available). It’s all to see Valli & the Four Seasons work through a storied catalog that includes endless hits like “Sherry,” “Walk Like A Man” and “Rag Doll.” It’ll feel like December 1963 in there, and it’ll be a night for sure. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater) INFO

Nick Moss Band w/Dennis Gruenling They’re probably not itching to get back to sunny Chicago after a week on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise (Taj Mahal, JJ GRey & Mofro and Irma Thomas were also on the journey), so Nick Moss Band are making a couple stops in Florida in the weeks after they disembark. This one happens at downtown Tampa’s newest venue, Franklin Manor, which boasts an outdoor stage that should give the band a chance to soak in their last days living in this beautiful state we call home. (Franklin Manor, Tampa) INFO

ALSO PLAYING

Infinite Third Ambient Installation (The Metta Center, St. Petersburg) INFO

Songs of My Mothers (Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library, Tampa) INFO

South Pasadena Community Band (Galatea Garden, Pasadena) INFO

Cherish the Ladies (Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, Tarpon Springs) INFO

Behind the Music: Musician Storyteller Meditations w/Mark Etherington (Moving Meditations, St. Petersburg) INFO

Aesthetic Perfection w/Solar Fake/Nyxx/DJ Maus (Orpheum, Ybor City) INFO

Killmama w/Johnny Mile and the Kilometers/Sad Shibas (Emerald Bar, St. Petersburg) INFO

About The Author

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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