Top 5 concerts this week in Sarasota, Bradenton, Englewood, Punta Gorda (2024)

May is when events start to slow down in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties, and that's reflected in this concert picks installment, which features fewer shows than usual. Yet don't despair if you're a live music lover, as this week will still have some noteworthy concerts taking place.

In fact, there are a couple of bands playing multiple area shows this week, including a blues group that was nominated for four Blues Music Awards in 2022. Other notable concerts include a two-time Juno Award (Canada's equivalent of the Grammys) winner playing a Mother's Day brunch; a show paying tribute to one of the most famous rock bands of all time, fronted by a British talent competition TV series winner; and a triple-bill of reggae/hip-hop acts. Here are this week's highlights. Event details are subject to change.

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One Night of Queen

Top 5 concerts this week in Sarasota, Bradenton, Englewood, Punta Gorda (2)

This tribute to the rock group Queen is set to return to Sarasota's Van Wezel this weekend. The tribute act is lead by Freddie Mercury imitator Gary Mullen, who won series 11 of British talent competition TV series "Stars in Their Eyes" in 2000 for portraying the Queen frontman. Soon after that, he formed the group Gary Mullen and The Works that performs One Night of Queen, which has toured across multiple continents and performed at the prestigious BBC Proms in the Park concert. 8 p.m. Friday; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; sold out as of press time; 941-263-6799;vanwezel.org

Big Al and the Heavyweights

Top 5 concerts this week in Sarasota, Bradenton, Englewood, Punta Gorda (3)

Louisiana blues band Big Al and the Heavyweights are set to play two Sarasota-Manatee shows this week, first at Cottonmouth in Bradenton, then Leroy's in Punta Gorda. The band is led by "Big Al" Lauro, who used to perform as the Unknown Blues Band with Warren Haynes of Allman Brothers Band and Gov't Mule fame before the group's current iteration. The band frequently pays tribute to their Louisiana home in their music, with songs such as "Cajun Roux," "Hey, Hey Mardi Gras" and "Happy Mardi Gras to You." 7 p.m. Friday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton; $5; 941-243-3735;facebook.com/cottonmouthsoul; 8 p.m. Wednesday; Leroy's Southern Kitchen & Bar, 201 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda; 941-505-2489; leroyspg.com

J.P. Soars and the Red Hots

Top 5 concerts this week in Sarasota, Bradenton, Englewood, Punta Gorda (4)

South Florida blues guitarist and singer-songwriter J.P. Soars and his band the Red Hots will also play two area shows this week at Cottonmouth and Englewoods on Dearborn. The group earned four Blues Music Award nominations in 2022 including Band of the Year, Instrumentalist — Guitar and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year for Soars, and Instrumentalist — Drums for his bandmate Chris Peet. Along with fronting his own band, Soars has played in the supergroup Southern Hospitality with Grammy-nominated pianist Victor Wainwright and fellow Floridian Damon Fowler. 7 p.m. Saturday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton; $10; 941-243-3735; facebook.com/cottonmouthsoul; 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16; Englewoods on Dearborn, 362 W. Dearborn St., Englewood; $7; 941-475-7501; englewoodsondearborn.com

Crystal Shawanda

Top 5 concerts this week in Sarasota, Bradenton, Englewood, Punta Gorda (5)

Cottonmouth's live music lineup this weekend will be rounded out with a Mother's Day brunch show featuring Canadian blues musician Crystal Shawanda. She started out in country music, landing on both Billboard's country albums chart and the Billboard 200 with her 2008 debut studio album "Dawn of a New Day," before switching to the blues with 2014's "The Whole World's Got the Blues." She won one of her two Juno Awards (Canada's equivalent of the Grammys) for Blues Album of the Year for her 2020 full-length "Church House Blues," and was nominated in the same category last year for her 2022 album "Midnight Blues." 11:30 a.m. Sunday; Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton; no cover; 941-243-3735;facebook.com/cottonmouthsoul

Bonzai!

Top 5 concerts this week in Sarasota, Bradenton, Englewood, Punta Gorda (6)

Bradenton venue Oscura will host a triple-bill of reggae and hip-hop acts on The Best Around Tour, headlined by the Tennessee band Bonzai! The group's songs include 2022's "One Margarita," featuring fellow reggae band Kash'd Out from Florida, and this year's "Hometown" featuring Project Pat, the Tennessee rapper and older brother of Juicy J from Oscar-winning hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia. They'll be joined by Muck Sticky, who's also from Tennessee but has since relocated to Florida, and St. Petersburg-based reggae/hip-hop band The Rhythm-Inya. 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show Thursday; Oscura, 816 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton; $15 advance, $20 day of; 941-201-4950; oscura.live

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Top 5 concerts this week in Sarasota, Bradenton, Englewood, Punta Gorda (2024)
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