Superb in the Burg

Need to issue hearty props to Super Secret Best Friends, the Unitards and the Semis for a fun Friday night of rock at the Emerald in St. Petersburg Aug. 1.

SSBF provided fun visuals — a film backdrop of Jem and the Holograms, Hello Kitty, Solid Gold Dancers and Miss Piggy. They performed their new song Bear City, based on the crazy SNL sketch about a world inhabited by the large furry rodents.

Unitards performed bar-rock covers with feisty aplomb. They, like the SSBF, are St. Pete Times peeps, the super-evolved kind who actually get hired for full-time positions there. I’m not worthy. I’m not worthy. Front man Rob Farley jumped up and down like his feet were on fire.

The Semis — oh, man oh man oh man — rocked our faces off, licked them up and spit them back out at us. I have to say, the addition of Don Butler has added a tough rhythmic backbone to idiosyncratic rock that was already fiercely appealing.

Billy Summer played guitar expertly, showing of his self-taught/genetic talents (parents are esteemed professors at USF). I’m glad to see a tight, focused show from the Semis. Seems the band has evolved past a super-good party band to a super-good band, period.

Before the show, I thought I saw Billy of the Semis. I spotted the typical conductor hat, glasses, T-shirt and jeans. Somewhat short, muscular, not-quite-stocky build.

It was Edmund, the Times photographer and guitarist for the Unitards. I felt so dumb.

Well, later Billy and Edmund were leaning against the wrought-iron railing by the stage and viewing them side by side made me realize I wasn’t that far off the mark. It was trippy and hilarious. The only difference is Billy wears older, bigger glasses and a scruffy beard now. Edmund could be a Billy Jr. or doppelganger. Billy should hire him to be his straight guy when he’s blitzed out of his mind.

Not sure how much the Soma man partakes anymore, but he made us all laugh when he was engaged in a photo opp for the Times. The photographer asked him to be stoic. Billy folded his arms and obliged.

Then he said, “Now for the opposite of stoic,” and pulled a hand-rolled cigarette from his pack, put it up to his mouth in smoking-joint fashion, and with the other hand, placed a miniature spoon to his nostril.

I didn’t take that photo, but here are some I did:


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