NewsPinellas County


St. Pete Sons, the Inhalers ready to bring loud, live and safe music back to downtown's Jannus Live

Saturday's show is free; gates open at 8 p.m.
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Posted at 5:08 AM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 13:24:49-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Billy Wells is putting downtown St. Pete on "sonic alert."

"Just follow the noise," he says with a grin.

This Saturday, Billy's band, whiskey-bent blues rockers the St. Pete Sons, will join opening act the Inhalers at Jannus Live to help usher loud live music, especially at larger venues, back to downtown.

The show is free to all ages. Gates at the long-dormant venue open at 8 p.m.

"We're going to do this show in the safest way possible," says Billy.

Jannus Live will enforce social distancing, with patrons seated at high-tops. There will be no rushing of the stage.

"It's not set up that way," says Billy.

Next to Billy at the band's Clearwater studio and rehearsal space today is son and frequent bandmate River Wells, a University of Florida student who will join his dad for this weekend's big show.

Yes, this gig is symbolic, River says, "a return to normalcy" -- or close enough.

But for the son of the chief St. Pete Son, this is also about the thrill of playing next to his dad, which he hasn't been able to do a whole lot of recently.

"To be up on stage playing with him again is just awesome," says River.

St. Pete Sons are a hot local band, a raucous force of wicked licks and garage-rock boogie. A year ago, they were booked all over town.

"And then the world stopped," says Billy.

But now, finally — albeit slowly — larger venues are trying to bring back concerts and crowds while still maintaining order and safety.

Sure, Saturday will look different, but Billy promises everyone a good time.

"We're gonna bring the positivity," he says.