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Monthly Music Preview: April 2011

The month of April is a real musical treat for us in Florida. We barely have a chance to think before the music starts barreling our way. First, I’ll give you an overview of what we’re in for. Click here for the next section of this post to see my picks. Follow my tips and I promise you a month of music you’ll never forget.


The Overview:

Things kick off on April 1 with the wonderful sounds of guitar master Al Di Meola at the James L. Knight Center. Meanwhile at Eve (formerly White Room), Jacksonville’s blues-funk mutt, Saltwater Grass, sharing the stage with local jazz-hop infusion, Artofficial, and Hoosha. Also on this day you can find Radioboxer at their “Magic City Ruse” album release party at The Stage.

On April 2, Saltwater Grass hits the road to play at The Funky Buddha in Boca Raton with Aquaphonics, a band that somehow manages to create music that sounds like their name.

Skipping to April 5, nationally renowned jam-band, moe. ($24.99), will grace the stage at the Culture Room to deliver one of the mind-melting performances they’re so well known for. Rapper Lil’ Wayne ($79.75-$110.75) will also perform at the Bank Atlantic Center that night.

The following day, April 6, rock legends Bob Weir and Phil Lesh of The Grateful Dead will take over Mizner Park Amphitheatre with their new project, Furthur ($53.50). Also in Boca that night, Florida jam-group The Heavy Pets will be throwing down at Hooligan’s. If alt-rock is more your thing, you might be pleased to find Staind’s Aaron Lewis ($49)performing at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood.

On April 8, The Stage will be hosting The Lee Boys. In Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans swamp-rockers, The Radiators ($26) will be playing one of their final two South Florida shows at Revolution Live.

On April 9, The Radiators ($26) will play their final show in South Florida on their farewell tour accompanied by the Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio. Also on that day, reggae superstars, the Easy Star All Stars ($15), will perform at the Culture Room along with Hawaii’s own The Green. Meanwhile, Harry Connick Jr. ($46-$82)will perform at Mizner Park Amphitheatre and Latin pop sensation, Ricky Martin ($49-$143.75) will take the stage at American Airlines Arena. You can also catch the Robert Cray Band ($47.25) at the Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale.

April 10, you can catch JGB ($17) ghost band of the Jerry Garcia Band, headed by Melvin Seals and Revolution Live. Local blues vets Iko-Iko will perform at the River Cities Festival in Miami Springs.

On April 12, little monsters will overtake the Bank Atlantic Center for Lady Gaga. Meanwhile, rock group Forever The Sickest Kids ($18) will play at the Culture Room.

The next day on April 13, Lady Gaga ($52.50-$178)moves south to take Miami at the American Airlines Arena.

On April 14, Live Oak’s Wanee Music Festival, (3-day passes for $198-$500) headlined by Widespread Panic and The Allman Brothers Band, kicks off at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park. The festival will last through the April 16.

If you can’t make the drive for Wanee, don’t despair. April 14 will feature Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant ($52-$98.50) at the Hard Rock in Hollywood. Swing revivalists, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy ($21), will play the Culture Room. Smokey Robinson ($32-$147.25) will perform at the Kravis Center and Classic rock n’ roll harmonizers The Beach Boys and Gloria Gaynor ($148-$298) will also be performing at The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theatre.

On the April 15, Florida’s jam-band, The Heavy Pets, will play the Funky Buddha in Boca. Latin rocker Juanes ($22-$110) will perform at American Airlines Arena while local Latin mezcla, Suenalo will play at Jada Coles. Also, new age composer, Yanni ($30-$135) will be performing at the Kravitz Center.

April 16, you can find neo-swing band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy ($27.05), at the Culture Room. Reggae trio, Spred the Dub will play at 1921 in Ft. Lauderdale. Also, thrash-metal band, Iron Maiden ($37.50-$64.50), will explode onto the stage at the Bank Atlantic Center.

April 17 is your second chance to catch The Beach Boys ($25.50-$112.75) with John Stamos at the Kravis Center. You can also find local reggae act, 4th Dimension, at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre.

On April 20, Chicago ($68.50-$99.50) will perform at the Hard Rock Live, but the headier folks may opt to check out the nation-wide screening of The Grateful Dead Movie, a recorded concert from the 1974, at select theatres.

April 22, new-grass group, Railroad Earth ($20) will perform at the Culture Room along with Dangermuffin.

April 23, punk rockers, Bad Religion and Rise Against ($32) will play at Sunset Cove Amphitheatre while Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band ($46.50-$157) The Heavy Pets and Aquaphonics take the stage at The Stage.

April 24, 30 Seconds to Mars ($29.50) will play Sunset Cove Amphitheatre.

Fast-forward to the April 27 to find Ghostland Observatory ($25) at the Culture room and Usher with Akon ($39.75-$115.25) at the Bank Atlantic Center.

On April 28, metalheads will unite once more at the Culture Room for Sepultura ($20).

April 29 will feature Interpol ($33) at the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theatre.

Finally, on April 30, you can head to Peacock Park in Coconut Grove for the Miami Reggae Festival (FREE!)featuring Luciano, Cultura Profetica, Warrior King and Jahfe. Also performing are Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra ($25) for the Transatlantic Festival at the North Beach Bandshell.

Phew! What a month of music! Now, to pluck the gems from the stones…


Chris’s Picks:


Okay, there’s a whole lot of music, but not a whole lot of time. Or money. If I had both of these things, these are the concerts I would check out.

April 1, you can see Saltwater Grass with Artofficial and Hoosha at Eve (formerly White Room), unless you’d rather check out Aquaphonics, who play with Saltwater Grass the following day in Boca Raton.

Definitely check out moe. at the Culture Room on April 5. Their musicianship is tops in the jam world. They put on an amazing show and draw a massive audience wherever they go, so a huge party is guaranteed.

Save some energy, though, because the next day you have to see Furthur at Mizner Park Amphitheatre. They’re as close to the original Grateful Dead as you can get today and Phil and Bobby are getting old. They won’t be around forever.

Rest on the 7th, because on April 8th, you ought to check out Easy Star All Stars at the Culture Room. They’re best known for their impeccable reggae renditions of Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Beatles tunes, so you’re sure to get a healthy dose of those. Also, their new original album comes out a couple days prior, so you’ll get a good dose of new reggae.

April 9, check out The Radiators at The Green Room next to Revolution Live. The band’s been around for about 33 years and they’re calling it quits with this farewell tour. Last chance to see them with the original line-up, so take advantage of this opportunity!

April 10, JGB is a good bet, especially for deadheads.

That weekend, from the 14th to the 16th, do yourself a favor and go to Wanee. There are so many unbelievable acts performing you won’t know what to do with yourself. I could rattle them off, but that would take too long. Click here for the full lineup.

If you can’t make it to Wanee, a couple consolations include two chances to see Robert Plant (who is also performing at Wanee), and the opportunity to catch the swingin’ sounds of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

April 22, check out Railroad Earth. They’re a wonderful neo-bluegrass group and are easily accessible by a wide variety of folks.

April 23 is a good opportunity to check out The Heavy Pets and Aquaphonics. Being from Florida, they’re generally around much of the time, but catching them at The Stage means less driving.

Finally, if you have the money, go see Antibalas on April 30. They’re internationally renowned and don’t tour very often. It’s impossible not to get down with them. Trust me.

But, if you don’t have money, you can always go to the reggae festival at Peacock Park. It’s free, aside from the couple cans of food for the food drive, to attend. Cultura Profetica alone is worth making it out there, and the others are icing on the cake.

Be safe out there and most importantly…