Tag Archives: The Thermals

Central Florida December Rock Calendar

December Rock Music Calendar

Our typical slow December doldrums are upon us, but a few great shows.  The Thermals and Alabama Shakes hit all of the cities in our coverage area, but the big events are two festivals with tremendous line-ups the weekend of 12/7 and 12/8 in Tampa and Jacksonville areas.  Get the details below.


12/03 – Alabama Shakes, Hard Rock Cafe / Hard Rock Live

12/04 – Zoogma, The Social

12/06 – Jimmy Eat World, House of Blues

12/07 – The 1975, The Social. A special acoustic set courtesy of XL106.7
12/07 – The Supervillains, Beachside Tavern (New Smyrna Beach)

12/09 – The Thermals and Beach Day, The Social. We recently reviewed The Thermals excellent recent release, which should sound even better live. Here’s our Desperate Ground Review.
12/09 – Megadeth, House of Blues
12/09 – John Mayer, Amway Center

12/10 – NOFX, House of Blues

12/15 – Goo Goo Dolls, House of Blues. A boy named Goo headlines the Mix 105.1 All I Want For Christmas show.

12/19 – Tegan and Sara, Plaza Live Orlando

12/20 – Thomas Wynn & The Believers, Jessie’s (Winter Haven)

12/28 – The Supervillains, The West End (Sanford)
12/28 – Blaine the Mono, Violet, Leaving Haven, and Maybe If You Hit It, House of Blues. Blaine the Mono has free tickets for the show, and all Blaine proceeds are being donated to the Fight for Ryder Foundation.

12/29 – ZZ Top, Hard Rock Cafe / Hard Rock Live

12/31 – Todd Rundgren and Pat Travers, B.B. Kings Blues Club
12/31 – Thomas Wynn & The Believers, The West End (Sanford)


Cheap concert tickets


12/03 – Zoogma, 1904

12/06 – Cheap Trick, Florida Theatre
12/06 – Pat Travers, The Roc Bar

12/07 Alabama Shakes, St. Augustine Amphitheatre

12/08 – The Big Ticket Festival Presented by X102.9. We attended this festival in 2012 and it is just a great event (check out this review for a taste), and again features a killer line-up.  This is a can’t miss show, Jacksonville! Stone Temple Pilots, Thirty Seconds to Mars, A Day To Remember, Jimmy Eat World, Dirty Heads, Pepper, Manchester Orchestra, Twenty One Pilots, Sleeping With Sirens, The 1975, Saints of Valory, and the absolutely amazing Frank Turner!

12/08 – Huey Lewis and the News, Florida Theatre. See a recent concert review of Huey for a taste of what is in store.

12/10 – The Thermals and Beach Day, Jack Rabbits.
12/10 – John Mayer, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

12/15 – Misfits, Brewster’s Megaplex

12/28 – Thomas Wynn & The Believers, Jax Underbelly

12/31 – Gregg Allman, Florida Theatre

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Cheap concert tickets

Tampa Area

12/01 – Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Tampa Bay Times Forum. Always a good family rock event – see our review.

12/03 – Bonnie Raitt, Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater)

12/05 – Cheap Trick, Van Wezel Perf. Arts Hall (Sarasota)
12/05 – Zoogma, The Crowbar

12/06 – Alabama Shakes, Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)
12/06 – Chris Cornell, Mahaffey Theater (St. Petersburg)

12/07 – 97X, The Next Big Thing Festival, Vinoy Waterfront Park (St. Petersburg). Another excellent festival headed to the Tampa area.  Last month it was the excellent Coastline Festival, this month more great alt-rock: Stone Temple Pilots, Thirty Seconds to Mars, A Day To Remember, Jimmy Eat World, Dirty Heads, Pepper, Manchester Orchestra, Sleeping With Sirens, The 1975, Saints of Valory, and the absolutely amazing Frank Turner!

12/07 – Thomas Wynn & The Believers, Blue Rooster (Sarasota)

12/08 – Megadeth, Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)

12/11 – The Thermals and Beach Day, The Crowbar

12/13 – Goo Goo Dolls, The Fray, ZZ Ward, Mahaffey Theater (St. Petersburg). It’s Mix 100/7’s Acoustic Christmas event.

12/14 – Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray, Floyd’s @ Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

12/27 – Kansas, Hard Rock Casino
12/27 – ZZ Top, Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater)

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The Thermals Desperate Ground Album Review

The Thermals – Desperate Ground

Desperate Ground immediately grabs your attention, kicking off with vintage Thermals. “Born To Kill” races through a minute and 49 seconds of pure rapid-fire post-pop-punk.  It’s vintage Thermals with Hutch Harris railing against the Marines’ Born To Kill mentality and the way their recruits are “transformed” into killing machines.  It’s a sign of things to come on an album that reflects on the desperate war times in our country and the dubious fruits of war. It’s a killer track, and the band’s most hit-worthy offering since 2009’s “Now You Can See.”

The Portland, Oregon trio is possibly a bit less caustic on this, their 6th release, and if anything, a bit more melodic.  The album, their first for Saddle Creek was produced by John Agnello of Sonic Youth fame. It’s polished at times and raw and stripped down at others. It fits the music well; a powerful album and a good listen. The tracks weave together nicely making it an album, not a random collection of  songs.  The lyrics are missing some of Harris’s anti George W. venom and not quite as riveting in this new Obamian bliss, but still attention grabbing and worth reflection.

The songs are stories, albeit short stories, reflecting on the protagonist’s inner battles with war and turmoil, but tinged with just a sliver of romantic hope.  “I Go Alone” is a highlight track and nice microcosm of Desperate Ground. We hear an inner battle between the savage side of war and the glimmer of hope presented by a love left back at home.  Hutch Harris offers a dark yet hopeful tale in his distinctive, powerful vocals: “Each night I dream of a war; Each one greater than the one before; A cold dark force, it hangs above; I have to leave to save you, my love.”

Check it out on iTunes: Desperate Ground – The Thermals

The best cut on the album is “The Sword By My Side.” It’s stripped down, effectively under-produced, garage stomp.  Kathy Foster’s breakneck bass drives the song and Harris’s guitar and vocals are superb. The soldier’s proclamations of his invincibility are tinged with detached doubt as the song rocks to a close. Good stuff!

The ten-song offering is a non-stop blitzkrieg of powerful pop-punk. comparable to late 90’s Green Day (or last decade’s Thermals). The lyrics, no longer focused on right-wing protestations, deftly focus on war and violence and are poignant, unlike so much cookie cutter crap flooding the market these days.  Check it out and let us know what you think?

Rock On!

RARAs Choice (160x102) (see RARA’s rating system)