ROCK GODS: Muse, Thirty Seconds to Mars
It's fitting that Muse and Thirty Seconds to Mars are touring together, because frontmen Matt Bellamy and Jared Leto, right, seem like a pretty perfect match. From their bombastic sci-fi space rock to their myriad accolades (Grammys for Bellamy, an Oscar for Leto) and Hollywood ties (Bellamy dated Kate Hudson; Leto is, well, Leto), they seem like they'd love hanging out, always trying to one-up one another with some show-offy guitar lick or epic stage maneuver. This concert, featuring openers PVRIS, is the second of about 15 shows they'll play together this year, with space in between for Muse to headline some of the world's biggest festivals and Thirty Seconds to Mars to finalize their follow-up to 2013's Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams. 7 p.m. Sunday, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $22 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
POPPIN' FRESH: LOTOS Music Festival
Fresh off a Bell Biv DeVoe/En Vogue/SWV triple bill at the Mahaffey Theater, downtown St. Pete is dipping back into the old-school well with this weekend's snap-tastic LOTOS Music Festival. That stands for Legends of the Old School, and if you're into freestyle and mid-'90s pop, they're not lying. Freestyle king Stevie B (Because I Love You (The Postman Song)), left, tops a bill that includes Exposé (Seasons Change), Ace of Base singer Jenny Berggren (The Sign), Rob Base (It Takes Two), 69 Boyz (Tootsee Roll) and Debbie Deb (When I Hear Music). Listen closely and you might hear this crop of artists' influence on today's pop charts (Swedish svengali Max Martin wrote songs for Ace of Base back in the day). But really, this is about getting down to the sounds of your youth. 7 p.m. Saturday, Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N. $49.50 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.
SING THE BLUES: George Thorogood
Forty years after their debut self-titled album, the one that spawned the hit John Lee Hooker cover One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, should we rank George Thorogood and the Destroyers among the standard-bearers of American blues music? It's hard to argue with inescapable songs like Move It on Over, Bad to the Bone and Who Do You Love.
But for his part, Thorogood doesn't necessarily think about such accolades.
"I just see myself as somebody who you're paying good money for a ticket to see, a truly great live rock show," he said in a recent phone interview. "That's it. That's all I've ever thought about since I was 16 anyway."
Thorogood and his band, including longtime sidemen Jeff Simon on drums and Billy Blough on bass, are still going after the charge of live performance, which keeps them on the road almost constantly. They'll return to Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road in Clearwater, at 8 p.m. Thursday, with Damon Fowler opening. $30 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
For more with George Thorogood, click here.
A local bluesman just getting started on a big-time career of is own is St. Petersburg's Selwyn Birchwood, who on Friday will release his second album on Alligator Records, Pick Your Poison. Birchwood's Alligator debut, Don't Call No Ambulance, earned great reviews from the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, among others, along with a shelf full of awards from national blues organizations and outlets. And the robust and textured Pick Your Poison should do the same. He'll play a free show at 8 p.m. May 25 at the Ale and the Witch, 111 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. t healeandthewitch.com.
ADIES' NIGHT: Babefest
Angela Page is launching Babefest with a purpose. "I sort of got the idea from some of the fests from the '90s, like Rock Against Rape, that had a political goal," said the Fort Myers musician. "Babefest is about empowering women in the arts and activism." Indeed, a portion of proceeds at Babefest, Saturday in St. Petersburg, will benefit Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Performing are Florida bands Wet Nurse, the Pauses, the Palmettes, Psychic Dose, the Good Bad Kids, the Young Dead, Snowmoon and Red Nectar, but the music is only half the appeal. Florida zines will be on site selling art and merchandise. "There's a realness in these zines that can't be faked, and is barely ever represented in mainstream art and writing," Page said. Babefest starts at 4 p.m. at Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15-$20. loveyourrebellion.org.