LYRICAL LOVE: Jason Isbell and John Hiatt
When you think duck tacos, chardonnay and roller coasters, you definitely think gut-wrenching lyrics about addiction, redemption and the tapestry of the American experience. So of course Busch Gardens booked Jason Isbell and John Hiatt for its Food and Wine Festival on Sunday. The former is a Grammy-winning alt-country bard who's in the conversation for America's current best songwriter; the latter is one of his heroes. Hiatt will perform as part of a trio, but we're betting the two of them end up on stage together for a couple of numbers. It's a stellar booking for the park. Matter of fact, let's go ahead and call this the best weekend of music Busch Gardens will offer all year, as vivacious California alt-rockers Young the Giant (My Body, It's About Time) headline Saturday. Concerts are free with park admission (reserved seating is $24.95 and up) and start at 7 p.m. buschgardens.com.
LIFE ON VENUS: Florida Björkestra
Yeah, yeah, we know what you're thinking: Another David Bowie tribute? We've seen a lot of those since Ziggy Stardust returned to Mars in 2016. But St. Petersburg hasn't quite seen a Bowie tribute like the one coming from the Florida Björkestra, an ever-evolving tribute project led by pianist Jeremy Douglass. Like past tributes to Radiohead, Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Peter Gabriel, this one will feature up to 18 musicians — strings, horns, percussionists, vocalists and more — playing a selection of Bowie hits and deep cuts, with singer Colleen Cherry on lead vocals. The group will also play a set by its namesake, Björk, played by Jamie Perlow. After two straight sold-out gigs at the Palladium's Side Door Cabaret, the Björkestra moves into the venue's 850-seat Hough Hall for its biggest event yet. They'll even have T-shirts and face painters. Because if you don't dream big, are you really honoring Bowie and Björk at all? 6 p.m. Sunday. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $20 and up. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.
For more on the Florida Björkestra's unlikely success in St. Petersburg, click here.
THEY LIVE: Obituary
Raise a glass of booze or blood or any poison you like to Tampa death metal icons Obituary for dropping their 10th studio album on Friday. Several early singles from the self-titled effort — the searing Sentence Day, the lumbering Ten Thousand Ways to Die, the crunching, grungy Turned to Stone — show the band still has some nasty spin on its fastball some three decades after their first gig. So their hometown show Sunday at the Orpheum should be cause for celebration. Technically, however, this is not an album release show; it's part of the Decibel Magazine Tour, headlined by German thrash metal pioneers Kreator and featuring Midnight and Horrendous. Still, it's a good night to get out there and show the hometown boys some love. 6 p.m. Sunday. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.
ALL HAIL: Casting Crowns
In the annals of great Florida rock bands, we all too often forget about Casting Crowns, the blockbuster Christian contemporary heroes founded out of a Baptist church in Daytona Beach who have gone on to sell 10 million records. Not that they'd mind, of course; vanity really isn't their bag. The group's latest album, The Very Next Thing, was written to inspire with a single theme: Where you are in life right now will prepare you for what's coming next. For Casting Crowns, that'll probably be an even bigger audience. Danny Gokey and Unspoken open at 7 p.m. Saturday at the USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $26 and up. (813) 974-3004. sundomearena.com.