I’m a regular in a Reddit subgroup that represents the entirety of the Tampa Bay area, /r/tampabay. Most of the citizens of the cities in the Bay area aren’t members of that group, they’re in the singular cities like /r/tampa, /r/stpetersnurgFL, or not in a city subgroup as all (hey, power to the people – it’s not like everyone goes on Reddit to talk about local life).
Anyway, a couple of months ago on the less-populous /r/tampabay subreddit, a new-resident sounded a disdain for the lack of original musicians in the Tampa Bay area:
So, I’m starting to think there just doesn’t exist any kind of local music scene here at all, unless you consider septuagenarians playing jurassic-rock covers a “scene”. Please tell me I’m wrong. The only show that I’ve gone to in a year and a half was when I flew back to Ohio to visit. This is depressing.
This opens up a question of where in the Bay area they were looking for performances and when – it’s not like it’d happen every day of the week. It’s also not like you can expect original music by local band members to be available at a golf resort or at a bar/pub/club/tavern deep in suburbia. Oh, it likely happens but you’re more likely to get cover acts in small time locales like that.
Lack of local music scene, though? No… That’s not the case.
You have to know where to g to find them performing (St. Petersburg’s Central Avenue and Ybor City in Tampa for starters) and knowing who they are and who is another aspect. Wouldn’t it help to know members of the local scene and perhaps hear a sample of their work before going to see them live?
The 2017 Best of the Bay reader poll is out now (voting is open until late August) and one area that just so happens to address some of the whom of the local scene is in the Arts & Entertainment section of the Best of the Bay ballot. Below is a list of the nominees for Best Local Band. I’ve taken the liberty to link where and when I can to their web sites so you can find more information about them and perhaps sample their songs. Not all the local acts I know of are on this list, while some other voting categories cover other genres and musical aspects. Whatever – these are the 2017 Best of the Bay nominees for Best Local Band:
(Note: Some of the below listed groups are also listed under “Best Cover Bands” on the 2017 Best of the Bay Arts and Entertainment page. Because that list includes artists with original content such as Four Star Riot , cover bands are removed on a case-by-case basis)
Here are some groups/performers of note that did not make the “Best Local Band” list and who are to be found on the Tampa Bay music scene:
There you go, a taste of the local scene. And it’s a hell of a lot fuller when you’re actually out there sampling it on Central Avenue in St. Pete or somewhere in Tampa.
Of course not all original acts are listed here (and many cover acts are still on the list). I’d encourage other artists / band reps to use comments if you want to make sure your own act is listed.