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  • Writer's pictureJade

Tampa Area Live Entertainment Music Scene for Visitors


Silent Planet Tampa Florida
Silent Planet @ The Orpheum on 02/09/24

Everyone loves music. It is the one thing that the entire world can really agree on and when you’re traveling to different parts of the country, knowing exactly where to go for true local live entertainment can be difficult. Growing up in the area and being an established live entertainment photographer has given me a sort of backstage knowledge as to the best venues, promoters, and talent in the area. In this article, we will cover Tampa’s lively music scene, which venues to check out, which promoters to follow on social media, and local talents of all genres to see perform while you’re in town.


Venues

Amphitheaters and stadiums are easy to find and good avenues in new areas but if you’re looking for more intimate venues, here are 5 to look into.

 

The Orpheum Tampa Florida
Alpha Wolf @ The Orpheum 05/04/24

The Orpheum is a popular venue for lovers of metalcore, nü-metal, and alternative music, with its indoor and outdoor stages allowing it to accommodate small and large quantities of showgoers. It has a full bar both inside and outside with draft beer and mixed drinks available as well as adequate seating. This particular Tampa venue seems to book a lot of touring bands as well as local talents in comparison to other local venues due to its popularity with the locals. So, it makes for an all-around great option when visiting the area. The Orpheum has hosted a number of popular touring bands such as Alpha Wolf, Emmure, Thornhill, Left To Suffer, Bad Omens, Crown The Empire, Whitechapel, and Slaughter To Prevail. Local talents are also welcomed in with open arms and play regularly on the intimate inside stage, packing out the venue all nights of the week.


Address:

14802 N Nebraska Ave

Tampa, FL 33613

Hours: Check the website for show dates and times.

 

A unique venue for the area that has recently begun drawing a lot of attention is called The Noise Box located in Brandon, Florida, just on the outskirts of Tampa. This indoor venue is currently a fully functioning church as well as a DIY non-profit underground hardcore music venue. The Christ Community Church has been established since 1978 but The Noise Box was created around 2012 by a group of college students from the congregation, opening a whole new world for the church community as well as the local scene. The majority of the management for The Noise Box are actually still members and have the full support of the church for what they do in the scene as a whole. Venue manager, Justin Hatton, says the goal of the venue is to “provide people a place to perform and pour out their hearts.” He went on to say “Ya, it’s in a church, but we don’t care what you have to say. You’re angry? Let it out. You’re happy? Let it out. You’re sad? Let it out. Our whole mission is to inform, inspire, and empower local artists and the music community. We want people to feel loved and welcomed when they enter our doors, and we know it’s probably the first time they’ve felt that way in a church.” And they let that goal show with every event they host. "The Noise Box is for everyone. Come out, have fun, beat up your friends, and discover some bands you may have never heard before.” Follow them on Instagram @thenoiseboxfl and we will see you there!


Address:

1310 John Moore Rd

Brandon, FL 33511

Hours: Sunday-Thursday; CLOSED / Friday; 6pm-11pm / Saturday; 12pm-11pm


Dark Divine Oscura Florida
Dark Divine @Oscura 12/16/23

Now let’s say that you want to venture about 30 minutes south and get away from the busy streets of Tampa Bay. A venue called Oscura exists in the middle of quaint downtown Bradenton, Florida, where you can drink, relax, and enjoy good company. With an occupancy cap of 400, Oscura has hosted several sold-out shows for well-known artists such as Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Dark Divine, Archers, Not Enough Space, and many more! Oscura was originally opened in 2018 by Keith and Benjamin "Benny" Greene with the goal of being a "super dope live performing arts venue which offers a decorated high-quality food and beverage program, excellent hospitality/service and an ambition that aims to raise the standards of community and culture in our neighborhood."


Its modest 1200sqft space originally served as a counter cafe during the day and at night transformed into a popular beer and wine bar. Oscura started off with smaller events - such as trivia nights, private event rentals, acoustic performances by local talents, etc - eventually branching in the direction of ticketed concerts and larger community events. With their increased popularity in the surrounding areas, Keith and Benny realized that a change needed to be made in order to attract the younger generation. So, in 2022 they reopened their doors with improvements to the stage, bar area, and employee spaces, in turn, furthering their original goal. Benny stated during our interview that "the circumstances to just survive as a small business in Bradenton can be tough, especially in the service industry." So, they partnered with the Friendly City Foundation as a nonprofit, allowing them to continue working with great local organizations to help "reinvigorate our community into a vibrant place of arts, culture, and inclusivity". Everyone in the area is supporting the positive evolution of this venue and with the love and kindness they bring to the community, we can expect exciting things from them in the future.


Address:

816 Manatee Ave E

Bradenton, FL 34208

Hours: Monday; Closed / Tuesday-Saturday; 8am-4pm / Sunday; 10am-2pm

 

Other intimate type venues include:

Brass Mug: 1450 Skipper Rd Tampa, FL 33613

Indoor

Hours:

Monday-Tuesday; Closed

Wednesday-Thursday; 6pm-1am

Friday-Saturday; 6pm-3am

Sunday; 6pm-1am

 

Crowbar Ybor: 1812 N 17th St Ybor City, FL 33605

Indoor/Outdoor

       Hours: Check website for show dates and times.

 

The Ritz Ybor: 1503 E 7th Ave Tampa, FL 33605

Indoor  

Hours:

Monday-Thursday; Closed

Friday; 10pm-2:30am

Saturday; 11pm-2:45am

Sunday; 6:30pm-11pm

 

Local Talents

Anyone can play a live show, but it doesn’t always necessarily mean it is peak local entertainment. In this section, we will be speaking about 2 specific groups to keep an eye out for as well as a list of others that continuously rock the Sunshine State for the better.


Stoned Mary
Stoned Mary @Conduit Orlando 01/20/24

Stoned Mary is a local Tampa jewel, founded in 2020, that frequents The Orpheum’s stage as well as the stages of Oscura in Bradenton and Conduit in Orlando. If you are looking for a pop-rock band that encourages crowd participation and brings the energy to match, this is the one you’ve been looking for. They originally started as a Fall Out Boy cover band, playing shows in the parking garages of our very own University of South Florida, and soon evolved into writing their own music and playing live shows on stages across the state in 2022. “We like to dabble in other genres and try to take your ear by surprise within most of our songs. But that being said, every song we’ve put out has both elements of pop-style melodies mixed with rock instrumentals” says 27-year-old lead vocalist, Tani Jade Pittard. Blowing out the speakers of any venue with their hit songs “O” and “Push,” Tani brings the heat with her storybook beauty, outstanding vocal range, and unmatchable stage presence. Stoned Mary’s fan base has even begun learning a TikTok dance created by Tani herself to their single “Moonlight,” quickly gaining tons of traction on social media outlets via audios and reels. To catch a show and learn the Moonlight dance live for yourself, follow their socials @StonedMary and turn on post-push notifications to never miss another show announcement for this incredible Tampa band. All songs mentioned can be heard on most streaming platforms including Apple Music, YouTube, and Spotify.

 

Now if you are looking for music on the heavier side of Tampa and feel like getting annihilated in a wall of death just for funzies, Illuminate Me is another solid pick. These Tampa locals fall into the genre of metalcore with inspiration from Every Time I Die, Underoath, Norma Jean, and others, creating the perfect atmosphere for moshing and crowd surfing; whether it is to relieve some stress after a long week or to just simply have a good time. Lead vocalist Christopher Murray, age 32, formed Illuminate Me in 2013 and they have been climbing to the top of Tampa’s favorites ever since. Their hit single “Faults Like Daggers” has especially resonated with the surrounding community since its release in 2023 and continues to gain the band followers; growing their fan base to over 7.5k+ followers on Instagram and other platforms. “Seeing everyone's reactions and having a great time with us is always the best feeling. I love feeling like I'm just at a big party with all of my closest friends” said Christopher during our interview. So, there it is. Just show up, have a good time, and party on! To give them a listen, search Illuminate Me wherever you get your music, and don’t forget to check out their social media platforms @Illuminatemeband.

 

Other local artists include:

Suburban Wasteland: @suburbanwastelandfl

       Genre: Alternative/Rock Cover Band

Downpour: @downpour.fl

       Genre: Metal

Penny Fountain: @pennyfountainband

       Genre: Rock

Fiends: @fiends.fla

       Genre: Metal

Burn Absolute: @burnabsolute

       Genre: Metal

The Dirty Janes: @thedirtyjanes

Genre: Rock

Spiritual Chaos: @spiritualchaosfl

Genre: Metal

 

Promoters

       The easiest way to find out about shows happening in an area you’re planning to visit is by following the popular promoters of that area. In this section, we will be giving a shout-out to three well-known promoters of the area along with their social media handles and how best to remain up to date on their upcoming events.

 


152 Productions
Shelby Short of 152 Productions and AJ from Were Wolves @Conduit on 04/20/24

152 Productions is one of the single most popular promoters in the area. Founded and organized by Shelby Short, they host events all year long at venues stretching from the west to east coast of Florida; showcasing bands such as Left To Suffer, Woe Is Me, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and so many more. While this community continues to grow, 152 Productions has managed to grow right along with it and I am proud to be a part of their team. This particular promoter has helped me make a name for myself in the Tampa community as a photographer and for that, I couldn’t be more grateful to Shelby. To catch a show or plan a trip around one, follow their Instagram @152productions.

 

The Scary Neighbor Collective is a local music promotion company and was founded in early 2021 by none other than Illuminate Me’s lead vocalist Christopher Murray in Tampa Florida. The name Scary Neighbor Collective was used because “Honestly being the way I look and am with the alternative clothing and (mostly) covered in tattoos, I sometimes would have neighbors that were put off by it. I kind of thought of the phrase "Scary Neighbor" and that in turn helped me make it into the name for the Collective,” Chris explained during our interview. “I wanted it to represent the phrase 'never judge a book by its cover,' and that the people who you think might be the most opposite or different than you, can become some of the best people you'll ever meet in your life.” A huge reason for starting this company was to benefit the music scene of Tampa as a whole, taking inspiration from the way Warped Tour used to be. Chris also stressed, “There are so many good artists of different genres of music, and I wanted to do something that brought them all together as one big collective of incredible people.” As the collective slowly grew, Chris began looking for an individual to interview bands both touring and local in order to bring a new element to the organization. Kimberly Mendoza then volunteered to help in a time of need and has been killing the game ever since; interviewing bands like Southpaw, Bodysnatcher, Stoned Mary, and tons more. To watch these interviews and stay up to date on local shows, follow their Instagram @scaryneighbor.collective or watch the full-length interviews on their TikTok @ScaryNeighborCo.

 

 

Dedicated to my best friend, the only one who believed in me and supported my dreams even when no one else did. For that, I am forever grateful.

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