This week in Tampa Bay area live music: Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, BB King, Man or Astroman? & more

Concerts, Dec. 26-Jan. 1

| December 25, 2013
Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26
The Gift w/Deadmau5/Adventure Club/Nervo/GTA/Nom De Strip
It’s the night after Christmas, and all through the town, not a creature is stirring, except for a Deadmau5. The kids are snug in furry legwarmers and flashy threads, while his progressive house music makes them dance and bob heads. Yes, it’s The Gift, the last giant electronic music event of the year, presented by Disco Donnie and Sunset Events for some bonus holiday cheer. (The rhyming ends here.) On this night, Deadmau5 (aka Joel Zimmerman) stages an “unhooked” set, minus his giant LED cube and plus freestyle mixes and mash-ups of his favorite songs, original material and the odd bootleg find. (Raymond James Stadium, Tampa)

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27
ZZ Top
I caught up with Billy Gibbons more than three years ago when ZZ Top hit town supporting Tom Petty. At the time, the Houston blues rock trio — which likely could’ve spent the rest of its tenure touring on the strength of classic rock staples like “Legs,” “Pearl Necklace,” “Cheap Sunglasses,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’” — was in the beginning stages of recording the Rick Rubin-produced La Futura, described by Gibbons as “loud and kinda rude.” ZZ Top’s first full-length in nearly a decade and 15th album overall dropped last year and show a badass return to sleazy form as led by Gibbons’ well-aged gritty growl and showcased in the swaggering crunch of lead-off track “I Gotsta Get Paid” and the more heartache-y tender shuffle, “Over You.” Expect to hear the aforementioned hits along with new material — and before you’re inclined to write it off as setlist filler, stop and take a listen; you’ll remember why you started loving this band in the first place. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

An evening with Hendrix, Osborne & Key Folk rockers John Hendrix (guitar, vocals), Sam Osborne (bass, vocals) and Gary Key (guitar, harmonica, vocals) performed as a trio around the Bay area for around seven years, until Key relocated to the Virgin Islands in 1994. The musicians have gotten together to play the odd live dates since, though this is the first time in nearly a decade that all three have made it back onto the stage at once. Each jumps between lead vocals and backing harmonies, and setlists include original compositions along with covers by James Taylor, The Beatles and Crosby, Stills and Nash, among others. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

Mighty Mongo w/Paint the Town Red/This Day's Age/Ajeva A showcase of local alternative talent headlined by Mighty Mongo. Sweet-voiced keytar-wielding Lindsay Vitolla and male counterpart, singer-bassist Alex Card, pilot a pop catchy style of surf and ska-punk flavored alt rock that earned them a spot on the 2013 Warped Tour. Acoustic pop trio Paint the Town Red and propulsive funk-reggae rock outfit Ajeva bring added value to the bill. (Local 662, St. Petersburg)

Kansas “Dust in the Wind” is a song so poignant that if it catches you in the right (or wrong) mood, you’re liable to get a little choked up, or at least suffer from some bittersweet nostalgia about all those moments you didn’t take time to appreciate while they were happening. The strength of that track along with classic rock radio staple “Carry on Wayward Son” have fueled Kansas through the decades. The Topeka-spawned prog rock outfit celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. (Hard Rock Café at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa)

Blast! Friday w/Little River Band A significant placeholder in Australian rock n’ roll history, Little River Band achieved crossover success in the U.S. with easy swaying soft prog ode “Reminiscing.” The song barely broke the Top 40 in their home country but peaked at No. 3 here and it’s been played a yachtload since then — more than four million times, according to BMI, which recognized it as one of the most frequently played songs in American radio history. The member who wrote it, Graeham Goble, hasn’t been in LRB since 1992; in fact, no one from the original 1975 lineup remains, although Wayne Nelson has been around since ’80. (Cleveland Street, downtown Clearwater)

97x Last Free Show w/Switchfoot/J. Roddy Walston & The Business I’ll cop to a recent affinity for Switchfoot. I’d mostly avoided listening to the band up until recently, not being a fan of their humdrum heavy and radio-ready alt rock. But there’s something really exciting about the sonic direction they’ve taken, if soaring new single “Who We Are” off forthcoming ninth LP Fading West is any indication. 97X gets credit for re-acquainting me to Switchfoot. The station also deserves a shout-out for introducing J. Roddy Walston & The Business to listeners via “Heavy Bells” (off this year’s Essential Tremors), then letting Walston’s charmingly boisterous bar-soulful Southern-brewed rock woo said listeners into voting the track onto the playlist all on their own. Bonus props to 97X for partnering with Shock Top to bring both acts to play the Last Free Show. Visit 97XOnline.com for ticket drop locations. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

BB King
BB King
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