Grab your sunscreen and your rain ponchos, because many of this month's best concerts are going to be outdoors, from the Vans Warped Tour in St. Petersburg to the reunited Black Sabbath at the MidFlorida Amphitheatre.
Hot Dog Party 7, Crowbar, July 3- Get your Fourth of July pre-game on with a night of processed meat and great local bands at this annual hot dog party featuring performances by the high-energy (and hairy) punks Wolf-Face, surfy Early Forms, trippy Funny Bunny and the dreamlike, shimmery, 80's-esque Dylar. There's also a hot dog eating contest and free barbecue.
Mac Miller W/ Chance the Rapper, Jannus Live, July 5- Mac Miller is out on tour behind his just-released sophomore album, "Watching Movies With the Sound Off," where the 21-year-old Pittsburgian seems to be taking a turn towards the serious and stepping away from the youthful mischief that made his "Blue Slide Park" so much fun. The main draw for this show, though, is newcomer Chance the Rapper, whose psychadelia-tinged "Acid Rap" mixtape--a smart, witty and inventive blast of fresh air out of violent, inner-city Chicago--could be one of the best hip hop debuts in years.
Alabama, Ruth Eckerd Hall, July 6 - One of the most succesful bands of all time reunites for its first tour in nearly a decade to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their first concert at The Bowery in Myrtle Beach. On the Back to the Bowery Tour, expect to hear the southern rock and country band's hits such as "Love in the First Degree," "Take Me Down" and "Feels So Right," songs that helped take the country genre into the mainstream.
Of Montreal, Czar, July 6 - Catch the veteran psych-pop band as they play the final live show in the Imperial Theater before Czar closes the doors at its current location and moves across the street to merge with The Ritz Ybor. Of Montreal's wildly theatrical costumes and stage spectacles are the stuff of legend, so this should be a good farewell for one of the more interesting concert venues in Tampa.
The Coathangers, New World Brewery, July 11 - The Atlanta punk outfit is made up of four women who play notoriously riotous live shows, infused with devil may care charisma, trashy humor, yowling vocals and fuzzy, crash-bang, high-energy playing.
America's Most Wanted Festival with Lil' Wayne, Midflorida Amphitheatre, July 13 - Arguably the most popular (and certainly the most confident) rapper of the past decade, Lil' Wayne at one point proclaimed himself the "greatest rapper alive" and backed it up for years with an amazingly prolific, creative, and untouchably weird, lyrical output. A 2010 run-in with the law forced him to stop taking drugs, most notably "syrup," a codeine concoction that commonly finds its way into rap lyrics, and something Wayne has talked about many times publicly since. Many critics, including The New York Times' Jon Caramanica, have noted a change toward the "conventional" in what has been called Wayne's "sober era," but this concert is a good chance for Tampa fans to see for themselves if Wayne is still as over the top as ever. T.I., Tyga and G-Eazy will also be there.
Dave Matthews Band, MidFlorida Amphitheatre, July 17 - After years of seemingly endless touring, Dave Matthews Band is now as much a part of the summer as afternoon thunderstorms. Their rabid fanbase will almost certainly make this a sellout, but those who've never seen the band live should prepare for some epic jamming and a spirited performance from a band who really makes you feel how much they love playing music together.
311 & Sublime w/ Rome, with Cypress Hill and Pennywise, MidFlorida Amphitheatre, July 23 - Whether you're in search of 90s nostalgia or mellow SoCal vibes, you should get a strong dose of both (and probably a strong wiff of secondhand smoke) with this lineup.
Vans Warped Tour, Vinoy Park, July 26 - The annual daylong festival featuring big names and up-and-comers representing a rainbow of punk subgenres, from power pop to metalcore to ska (and some other non-punk stuff), returns to St. Petersburg. This year's lineup includes The Used, Motion City Soundtrack, Hawthorne Heights, Forever the Sickest Kids, Reel Big Fish and dozens more.
Black Sabbath, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, July 29 - The influential heavy metal overlords, fresh off the release of their first studio album since 1995 (and their first to ever reach No. 1 in the U.S.) bring their doom and war infused metal to town for what has been called their final reunion. When asked why the band got back together now, ten years after their last reunion, guitarist Tommy Iommi has said in interviews that "it's now or never," and that may be the case for those wondering whether or not to go see them in Tampa. Party monster Andrew W.K. will open the show.
Other notable concerts this month:
We the Kings, Jannus Live, July 6; Anberlin, State Theatre, July 13; The Beach Boys, Hard Rock Tampa, July 18; Marilyn Manson, Jannus Live, July 20; Slum Village, Orpheum, July 25; Toad the Wet Sprocket, July 27, State Theatre; The Monkees, July 28, Ruth Eckerd Hall; Mayhem Festival, MidFlorida Amphitheatre, July 31.