This week in Tampa Bay area live music: Casket Girls, 2 Chainz, Children of Bodom, and more!

Concerts, March 13-19




Boney James
  • Boney James
Boney James The other curly-haired smooth jazz sax master (not Kenny G); Boney James has firmer R&B roots to his AC sounds. His 2013 14th album The Beat held the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums charts for eight weeks and includes crossover hit “Maker of Love” featuring velvety crooner Raheem DeVaughn. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)

The Delta Swamp Rats Gruff singing axe and cigar box guitar slinger/slider Steve Arvey is joined by howling harpman Tony Smith and drummer David Lee Maxwell in this Bay area three-piece that mixes the deliberate, down-and-dirty sounds of vintage country blues with modern Delta funkiness. (Ale and the Witch, St. Petersburg) [More after the jump...]


Damon Fowler Group Gruff-toned Bradenton-based blues and roots rock singer, songwriter, and slide guitar phenom Fowler hits town on the next round of dates with his band in support of his new solo outing on Blind Pig Records, the Tab Benoit-produced Sounds of Home. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

The Hit Men Former members of hit-making pop group Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons (“Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” “Walk Like a Man,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”) and called-upon session players for various other big name music-makers come together as The Hit Men to deliver fine-tuned performances of charting singles from the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

Coldspot 8 w/Tribal Style/The Duppies/Johnny Cakes & The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso/DJ Blenda A Florida eight-piece that originally formed in 1996 and issued a debut, It's the Feelgood, in 2000. Coldspot 8 was inactive for a number of years until their re-group in 2013; their sound marries elements of Motown soul and Jamaican rocksteady with straightforward reggae and ska. Warm-up by Orlando ska septet The Duppies and Tampa’s own brothers-led roots-reggae outfit, Tribal Style. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

Funktapuss Self-proclaimed purveyors of “smooth, sweaty New England style funk” Funktapuss adds sexy saxophones and croonls to their jammy grooving mix. (Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin)


Won't Be Arsed w/Mushmind/Shadow Laughter A free all-ages show staged at a record shop, this one by Robot Haus. Three local bands serve various styles of DIY-minded punk — amp-blasting pedal-pushing noise by Mushmind, fast and ska-kicking drive from Won’t Be Arsed, and Oi-minded hardcore by way of Shadow Laughter. Music starts at 7 p.m. Bring some scratch; you know you’ll regret it later, when you’re faced with righteous hunger pains, the nearby Taco Bus, and empty pockets. (Planet Retro, St. Petersburg)

WMNF Karib-B-Yan Kruze Fest w/Spy Vs. Spy/Impulse/Reality Band/Jahfari/Knext Level WMNF can usually be counted upon to get behind quality events, terrible phonetic spelling of this particular event name aside. Bay area bands making Caribbean area sounds fill the bill: equal opportunity (ska, rock steady, roots, dancehall) reggae purveyors Jahfari; one-time Readers’ Poll Best of the Bay-winning Rasta-minded Reality Band, their island sways calling on flavors of hip-hop, R&B, island zouk and calypso; regularly scheduled Wednesday reggae night headliners Impulse; and “Shaft”-fronted Spy vs. Spy, doling out a mix of reggae, calypso, zouk and soca with a whole lotta energy and panache. Haitian band Knext Level warms up the party. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

Breathe Carolina w/Jonny Craig/Ghost Town/Divided By Friday Breathe Carolina crafts a particular style of electro hardcore-ishness that appeals to Warped Tour audiences (big crunchy guitars, programming and auto-tuning, roared and shrieked vocals blending with snottier whining calls), and has earned them nearly 1.2 million Facebook likes. The Denver foursome returns to the road for their fourth round with Warped this summer but in the meantime, headlines some dates behind recently-released EDM-oriented full-length, Savages. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

Aaron Neville
  • Sarah A. Friedman
  • Aaron Neville
Aaron Neville Quintet w/Dirty Dozen Brass Band The leader of the Neville Brothers is back to doing his solo thing right now, which means the sweeter, more loving and nostalgic R&B side of Neville comes to the forefront. Last effort My True Story found him covering songs that are not only close to his heart but helped mold him into the musician he is today, pop/doo wop standards like “Under the Boardwalk” and “Tears on My Pillow” as backed by a rocking band. Though he’s pushing 73, Neville is still a live giant and not looking a day over 50. The hard and heavy brass pushing funk outfit Dirty Dozen Brass Band opens this solo Florida date. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)

Hip Hop Finesse w/Sir Pap/The Real Clash/Mike Mass/Samurai Shotgun/Gatsby/Sympol/Groovefist/A-FLO/King Jo Frazier A bombastic showcase of hip hop talent, from a few instrumentally-driven groups like aggro-funk hoppers Samurai Shotgun and explosive good vibe pushers The Real Clash, to newer school talents like Groovefist. (Crowbar, Ybor City)


AJ Ghent w/The Walker Smith Group Ghent was the star in the last Col. Bruce Hampton project, Pharaoh’s Kitchen, a Sacred Steel-trained guitarist and youngest in a long line of players practicing the tradition reaching back to his great uncle and grandfather. He wields a custom, candy-red eight-string electric lap steel axe, playing Southern-drenched sounds with blues, funk and rock drive as he howls vocals or slides solos soulfully over top. Ghent signed to Zac Brown's Southern Ground label last year, and he hits town on a hype tour leading up to the release of a debut with his five-piece band, which includes a few female vocalists and a guitar/sax juggler. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

Children of Bodom
  • Children of Bodom
Children Of Bodom w/Death Angel/Tyr One of Finland’s favorites, Children of Bodom, was formed by guitarist Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen when they were 13 years old, and their band has fallen under many genre umbrellas over its two decades of existence, including melodic death metal, power metal, thrash metal, and symphonic black metal. Legendary frontman “Wildchild” Laiho ranks high on most best-of-metal guitar lists (and you could wallpaper a room with all the guitar magazine covers he’s appeared on), but keyboardist Janne Wirman is also a virtuoso in his own right, and tilts his rig all the way forward so audiences can witness his perfect note-for-note synchronization with all the guitar shreds. CoB tours the States to promote 2013 eighth studio album, Halo of Blood. National support from thrash metal vets Death Angel and Viking folk metal band Tyr. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City) —Shawn Ohtani


Emmure Deriving their name from the cruel and unusual entombing-style of capital punishment known as ‘immurement,’ Emmure doesn’t mess around. Aside from pushing some of the hardest-hitting deathcore music in the biz, Emmure has been steeped in controversy of late, and vilified by the PC crowd for tee-shirt designs, lyrics and track titles like “Bring a Gun to School.” Emmure are keepin’ it real on “The Mosh Lives Tour,” which also features prominent deathcore bands Volumes, Thy Art is Murder, Gideon, and Sworn In. (Orpheum, Ybor City) —Shawn Ohtani

2 Chainz
  • 2 Chainz
2 Chainz w/Pusha T/August Alsina In a few short years, 2 Chainz has become hip hop’s go-to dude for guest spots, his bouncy drawl spitting verses in a ridiculous number of tracks, many of them hits; “Bees in the Trap” (Nicki Minaj), “Fuckin’ Problems” (ASAP Rocky), “Bandz a Make Her Dance” (Juicy J), “Rich as Fuck” (Lil Wayne), “HeadBand” (B.o.B.), “Talk Dirty” (Jason Derulo) and “All Me” (Drake) to name several. He also has a few of his own charting singles — the lyrical Drake-featured “No Lie” and “We Own It (Fast & Furious)” with Wiz Khalifa, not to mention his lead credit contribution to dark dance-floor burner with Kanye West, Big Sean and Pusha T, “Mercy,” which went double platinum and earned the foursome a few Grammy noms. Pusha T — one-half of Virginia Beach hip hop duo Clipse — brings an old school soulful Southern vibe to his sound, and his 2013 debut solo outing, My Name Is My Name, landed on year-ending Best of Lists by a slew of reputable music rags, including Rolling Stone, Paste, Spin and What I’m trying to say is, this show’s gonna sell out if it hasn’t by time of this posting, so get down with your ticket buying self. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

The Irish Tenors A post-Riverdance post-Three Tenors group spawned by PBS in the late ’90s, featuring three classically-trained vocalists with Irish pedigree (Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan) who draw from a repertoire of traditional Irish numbers (“Whiskey in the Jar,” “Danny Boy,” “Fields of Athenry”) and Irish-flecked hymns, pop hits, holiday tunes and various other randomness. Focus on the Irishness, which you can expect will be turned on high in honor of the March 17 holiday. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)


Moor Hound w/Alexander Charos Steve Marino is the singer-songwriter behind Moor Hound, his sweetly earnest serenades and enchanting lyrical turns (“Your words are a story / To brood over prophetically / Enjoy aesthetically / To hope in pathetically”) set over rustic folk melodies, and his gentle guitar fleshed-out with organ-swells, easy beats and occasional banjo when he picks up the pace to twangy roots rock. Moor Hound’s last album Stifled Spirit was recorded at Grim Face Studios just south of here, in Venice, and he has closer local ties in Alexander Charos (Alexander & the Grapes), who offered a limited Stifled Spirit cassette release via his St. Pete-based boutique label, Viva La Records. This all-ages in-store starts at 6:30 p.m. sharp; admission is free, but bring some cash for the artists’ gas fund or, you know, to buy some merch if he wins you over. (Microgroove, Tampa)

Tyler, The Creator
  • Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, The Creator Deep-voiced Cali-spawned rapper/producer Tyler, The Creator kept the momentum going from his surprise MTV Video Awards win for Best New Artist in 2011 as any young hip hop artist should, issuing a debut full-length with his Odd Future brethren (which counts PB&R star Frank Ocean and indie hip hop fave Earl Sweatshirt among the ranks), then following it up with his much-anticipated sophomore solo LP, Wolf, last year. His latest is more easy-going than the aggressive, controversial tone of Tyler’s debut, his rhymes more contemplative and production qualities more mature and eclectic, and included among the guests are Erykah Badu and Pharrell Williams, both names indicating a certain level of excellence. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)


BBQ Wednesday Acoustic Series: Fistful While his main “indie worship” outfit Ascend the Hill takes a break for the year, its beardy frontman, singer-guitarist Joel Davis, hits New World’s weekly series for a performance under his indie folk moniker, Fistful. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

La Dispute w/Pianos Become the Teeth/Mansions Returning to town as headliners after supporting Hot Water Music at Orpheum last January and directly on the heels of releasing their 2014 third studio album comes La Dispute, which doles out pre-mainstream post-hardcore made up of churning aggression and dissonance, prog rock time signatures, and impassioned idiosyncratic lead vocals. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

Casket Girls
  • Casket Girls
The Casket Girls w/The Stargazer Lillies/Dreamend/DOTT The Casket Girls' sophomore album should come with a warning label. The highly addictive effort clocks in at just over 40 minutes, but every moment of True Love Kills the Fairy Tale feels like a big, sensual, fuzzed-out hug powered by bombastic drum loops and sexy, swirling synths that don't necessarily make you want to dance but do make you want to turn down the blinds, occupy the bed and let the sun peek through the cracks while you're left to explore the sheets. It's almost sensory overload, and the album could use an ambient instrumental break somewhere in the middle. But the girls — primaries Phaedra and Elsa Greene joined by bandmates Ryan Graveface and TW Walsh — seem content to massage your sound-loving chakras until you reach some kind of eargasm. The Casket Girls stop in town in support of the album. Hit the show, pick up a copy and help them recoup losses from a February car accident that totaled their regular touring vehicle. (Crowbar, Ybor City) —Ray Roa

Schoolboy Q w/Vince Staples/Isaiah Rashad From Andrew Siverstein’s review of the new Schoolboy Q album, Oxymoron: “Schoolboy Q can rattle some nerves. He comes out of the gate on the first track of Oxymoron, ‘Gangsta,’ with a throat-shattering chorus composed more or less of the song's title repeated ad-nauseum and slapped over a slow, contemplative, rather obnoxious beat. Yes, it's kind of awful, but that's exactly what Q's trying to give off: a sloppy, nihilistic persona that'll fuck you up just as quick as it'll kick back on the couch and invite you to smoke copious amounts of chronic …” Check out the full Oxymoron review HERE. Warm-up for Q’s dates behind the album by LA up-and-coming rapper Vince Staples and Top Dawg labelmate Isaiah Rashad. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

CLICK HERE to see a complete rundown of shows taking place this week and in the coming weeks.

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