Tampa Summer Concert series sizzles

Summertime is here and there are many options for Caymanians to take a few days off and enjoy a well deserved vacation.

The greater Tampa Bay area and The Cayman Islands have been blessed with a strong connection for generations. Dating back to the early maritime shipping commerce, to the current wave of Cayman student enrolment at the University of South Florida and University of Tampa; there are lots of connections.

For those planning to visit Tampa area family and friends this summer, The Ruth Eckerd Hall is a wonderful venue for concerts and the Performing Arts. Conveniently located in Clearwater, Ruth Eckerd Hall was nominated one of the top five concert halls in the United States by artists, musicians and their management. It comfortably seats 2,180 for concerts, recitals, plays and special events. Its acoustically designed hall provides for clear, rich, deep and articulate sound and there’s simply not a bad seat in the house.

Ruth Eckerd Hall kicked off the summer on 15 June with The B52’s, unquestionably “The world’s greatest party band.” The B52’s emerged in the late 1970s from small college town, Athens, Georgia. Their eclectic, catchy rock and new wave sound was complimented by quirky funny lyrics and big-hair beehive hairdo’s worn by the band’s female singers Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson.

Fast forward the clock 30 years and The B52’s just released “Funplex”, their first new album in 16 years to high critically acclaimed reviews. The audience age demographics proved that they have spanned at least a generation with grand mothers dancing with daughters and grand daughters. The band was incredibly high energy with a splendid sound and fun attitude. The show opened with singles off the new Funplex album including hot rocking “Pump”, melodramatic “Love in the Year 3000”, dreamy sounding “Juliet of the Spirits”, and a blistering version of the album’s title song “Funplex.”

But the long time favourites which you’ve heard at reunions and wedding receptions came across as good as they’ve always sounded. These classics included “Love Shack”, “Private Idaho”, “Roam”, “Deadbeat Club” and “Planet Claire”. Of course, no B52’s show would be complete without a crowd rousing rendition of “Rock Lobster”, which they closed with in impressive fashion. The band members seem to have aged quite well and continue on their quest to be the world’s greatest party band.

Upcoming Ruth Eckerd shows include Ringo Starr & HIs All Starr Band, Pat Benatar, Carole King, Mark Knopfler, Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, Boston, John Prine, Spyro Gyra and Peter Frampton. See www.rutheckerdhall.com for full details.