-- New Year's Eve? Forget about it. This year's hottest year-end 'Burg bash might be Nelly at Ferg's Sports Bar on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Yes, Nelly! It's goin' down, down, baby. Tickets are $19.99 and up, and they go on sale Wednesday. Click here.
-- Speaking of year-end parties, Tampa Bay's own globe-trotting punks Set It Off are headlining a benefit concert at the Orpheum on Dec. 19 alongside UNRB and Infinity On High. Tickets are $12-$17, and they benefit the Tarpon Springs Leadership and Music Conservatory. Click here.
-- Ruth Eckerd Hall is bringing back its free Blast Friday concerts for the first few months of 2016, and there are some good names on the bill: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (Jan. 29), David Cook (Feb. 26), Atlanta Rhythm Section (March 25), Greg Billings Band with the Black Honkeys (April 29) and Here Come the Mummies (May 27). Admission is free for the outdoor shows in downtown Clearwater, with select VIP tickets available for $25. Click here for details.
-- Graham Nash is coming to the Capitol Theatre on Feb. 2. Ticket prices haven't been announced, but they'll go on sale Dec. 4. Click here. …Full Story
Better have your money ready, because Rihanna is about to get a lot of it.
A day after rumors started swirling that she would surprise-release her new album ANTI any day now, Rihanna has announced a world tour in support of it, including a gig at Tampa's Amalie Arena on March 13. Travi$ Scott will open the show. Tickets start at $27.25, and they go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Dec. 3 (although pre-sales and VIP sales begin as early as Nov. 30). Click here for details.
According to various reports, including Teen Vogue, it'll be available on the streaming site Tidal on Black Friday, followed by other outlets Dec. 4. Songs expected to make the cut include the hits FourFive Seconds, American Oxygen and B---- Better Have My Money.
By the way, March 13 is looking to be a pretty huge day in Tampa Bay -- the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, the Band Perry at the Florida Strawberry Festival, the final day of the Gasparilla Music Festival and probably a whole lot more. Something tells us Rihanna will still manage to sell a few tickets.
-- Jay Cridlin
He writes the songs that make the whole world sing. But if you want to see him in person, this might be your last chance.
Barry Manilow is returning to Amalie Arena in Tampa on Feb. 4, the venue announced Monday. The legendary singer-songwriter and icon of smooth '70s pop is billing this latest trek of dates his "One Last Time! Tour," exclamatory emphasis his, and from all indications, he's not kidding around.
"It's the last big tour," Manilow, 72, told Billboard earlier this year. "It doesn't mean I'm retiring or anything. I'll do shows and I'll promote albums if I make any more, but no more big tours. That's it. It's too much packing."
Best known for smashes like Mandy, Copacabana and Can't Smile Without You, Manilow last came to Tampa in 2011, and just as he did back then, he's keeping ticket prices down this time around. Cheap seats to his 2016 show start at just $19.75, fees included. They'll go on sale Tuesday.
Click here for details about the show.
-- Jay CridlinFull Story
Kind of a quiet weekend as we head into Thanksgiving -- but it won't feel like that if you're at one of this weekend's big concerts around town.
Here to walk you through it all -- including Mavis Staples (above), Joan Osborne, George Winston, Circa Survive, the Front Bottoms, 50 Cent, Audien Katharine McPhee, Dumpstaphunk, 12th Planet, Alesana, Figure, Falling In Reverse, Atilla, Metro Station, the Sword and more -- are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...
Justin Bieber's not coming to Tampa next year -- at least not yet. You'll have to head to Orlando if you want to see him tour in support of his new album Purpose. And if so, you'd better get tickets fast, since they go on sale this week.
Concerts and events with tickets going on sale this week include: Gaelic Storm (Jan. 25, Capitol Theatre), Jukebox the Ghost (Feb. 1, Crowbar), Madeon (Feb. 11, Ritz Ybor), Storm Large (Feb. 12, Tampa Theatre), Hillsong United (Feb. 13, USF Sun Dome), Todd Rundgren (Feb. 14, Mahaffey Theater), Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (Feb. 15, Capitol Theatre), Vinyl Theatre (Feb. 17, Local 662), Melissa Etheridge (Feb. 18, Capitol Theatre), Abbath (March 20, Ritz Ybor), Chicago and Earth, Wind and Fire (March 26, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre), Rita Wilson (April 12, Capitol Theatre), Amy Helm and the Handsome Strangers (April 14, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives (May 26, Straz Center), Justin Bieber (June 30, Amway Center) and the Dixie Chicks (Aug. 19, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre).
Click here for this week's edition of Ticket Window.
Lee Brice, left, and Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley, right, performed at the WQYK Guitar Pull on Nov. 18, 2015, at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg.
WQYK-99.5 couldn’t have picked a better time for its first-ever Guitar Pull concert.
Two weeks after Sasquachian singer Chris Stapleton shocked and swept the CMAs, potentially heralding a new era of respect for the humble singer-songwriter, six big-time Nashville acts brought their acoustic guitars to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg for an all-night round-robin songfest. Lyrics, laughter and liquor flowed freely as fans were treated to 3-1/2 hours of stripped-down sing-alongs from Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, Lee Brice, Hunter Hayes, Eric Paslay, Jerrod Niemann and Maddie and Tae.
It was the sort of scene might associate with Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, hugely successful singers and songwriters swapping licks and lines on stage all night, and throwing in more than two dozen big hits to boot. It’s certainly not the sort of scene one normally finds in St. Petersburg on a Wednesday night — which is probably why it sold out well in advance.Full Story
Maybe you missed it, buried amid yesterday's unveiling of the Hangout Music Festival lineup and today's unveiling of the Firefly Music Festival lineup.
But the inaugural Okeechobee Music Festival in South Florida has unveiled its second wave of artists, too. And considering this is going to be one of Florida's most-watched music events of 2016, any announcement on the lineup should not go unnoticed.
Bassnectar, the Avett Brothers, Odesza, White Denim, Booker T. Jones and Post Malone are among the new acts added to Okeechobee's bill. Joining them are Kill the Noise, Lil Dicky, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Lettuce, Dungen, Family and Friends and the Shelters.
They join previously announced headliners Kendrick Lamar, Mumford and Sons and Skrillex, along with Future, Miguel, Fetty Wap, Jason Isbell, Grace Potter, Big Grams (Big Boi and Phantogram) and more.
Okeechobee takes place March 4-6 in Okeechobee, about a 2 1/2-hour drive southeast of Tampa. Three-day tickets are on sale now for $259.50 and up. That does not include RV amenities, which you might want, since this is taking place at an all-new campground.
Click here for all the details on Okeechobee 2016.
-- Jay CridlinFull Story
Joe del Tufo
On a recent November afternoon, George Winston was thinking about death.
He was speaking by phone two days after New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint, a “dear friend” and hero, died suddenly in Spain. Beyond being a great loss for the music, Toussaint’s death prompted Winston to discuss how he sees himself departing this earth.
“I have in my will, Don’t do anything,” Winston said from a tour stop in Alabama. “I want the least amount of effort. Cremate me right where I am. Don’t fly the body. Just throw the ashes away. Make the least amount of effort possible. Get on with your life. I’m not here.”
It would be an ironic way to go, because the Grammy-winning pianist, by his own admission, is obsessed with preserving American musical memories and traditions, particularly the instrumental work of legends like Toussaint, Professor Longhair and Vince Guaraldi.
“That’s kind of the main thing I do, is be a librarian,” he said. “If somebody influenced me, I not only talk about them, I try to get recorded portions of what they do that maybe are not documented.” …Full Story
Tina Turnbow, Shore Fire Media
Writing and performing music has always been an important part of Emily Kinney's life. Her first talent show was at age 7 in her home state of Nebraska, where she sang My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music.
Right around the time she joined the cast of The Walking Dead, Kinney released her debut EP, Blue Toothbrush. During breaks from the show she kept up her writing and recording, releasing a second album of lyrical indie folk songs.
"(The songs) tell stories, mostly about my relationships," said Kinney, now 30. "A lot of the atmosphere of where I am at the time ends up in my lyrics as well."
Kinney performs at 8 p.m. Thursday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Tickets are $22-$25. Click here.
For Chelsea Tatham's full interview with Emily Kinney, click here.Full Story
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys performed at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Nov. 17, 2015.
Legendary singer, songwriter and composer Brian Wilson made a much-anticipated stop at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, performing not only huge hits from his Beach Boys days, but also new material from his latest album, No Pier Pressure.
Joining him was his former Beach Boys bandmate Al Jardine, singing lead on a few numbers, as well as a number of longtime collaborators.
Dirk Shadd was there snapping photos; click the headline of this post for a slideshow.Full Story
East of New Orleans, there aren't many hip music festivals on the Gulf Coast that draw fans from all over the Southeast, including thousands from Florida.
One of them, the Hangout Music Festival, sits just across the Sunshine State line, right on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala. Next year's lineup was just unveiled, and odds are a ton of fans will be driving up from Tampa Bay to take part in the action.
The Weeknd, Florence and the Machine, Alabama Shakes, Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding, Lennie Kravitz, Cage the Elephant, Run the Jewels and Haim are among the biggest names on the bill for Hangout 2016, scheduled for May 20-22. Other big names: Walk the Moon, Fetty Wap, the Neighbourhood, Courtney Barnett, Silversun Pickups, Flume, Panic! At The Disco, Grimes, Jason Isbell, Foals, Alessia Cara, Big Grams (Big Boi and Phantogram) and more.
Keep in mind, almost every year, at least a couple of Hangout Fest acts end up coming to Tampa Bay, too -- sometimes for the 97X Memorial Day BBQ, sometimes for the Sunset Music Festival, sometimes for Big Guava. That could be the case next year, too, so start your wishlist!
Tickets to Hangout 2016 start at $249 and go on sale Thursday. Click here for details.
The rest of the lineup follows after the jump.Full Story
-- Buzzworthy fuzz-rockers Bully, above, are coming to Crowbar on Jan. 28, alongside Palehound and more. Tickets are $10-$12, and they go on sale Friday. Click here.
-- Need Valentine's Day plans? Prolific singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren is coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Feb. 14. Tickets are $37.50-$55.50. Click here.
-- Dokken have joined Quiet Riot on the bill for a metal show on Dec. 12 at Ferg's Sports Bar in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $25-$30. Click here.
-- Abbath, the former frontman of legendary Norwegian black metal band Immortal, is coming to the Ritz Ybor on March 20 alongside High on Fire, Skeletonwitch and Tribulation. Tickets are $29-$60, and they go on sale Friday. Click here.
-- Speaking of European metal: German outfit Primal Fear is coming to the Orpheum on May 21 alongside Luca Turili's Rhapsody. Tickets are $25 and up, and they go on sale Nov. 30. Click here.
-- Country legend Marty Stuart and his band the Fabulous Superlatives are coming to the Straz Center in Tampa on May 26. Tickets are $35-$45, and they go on sale Friday.
-- Dirt Nasty and Mickey Avalon are coming to the Orpheum on Jan. 13. Tickets are $20-$75. Click here. …Full Story
A pair of butt-kicking rock queens are coming to the relatively cozy confines of Clearwater's Capitol Theatre in February.
Pat Benatar, joined by her husband and guitarist Neil Giraldo, arrives first on Feb. 15, with an arsenal of mighty '80s hits in tow: Love is a Battlefield, Shadows of the Night, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, We Belong and more. Tickets are $77-$97, which is pricey, but good luck catching Benatar and Giraldo in such close quarters elsewhere anytime soon. They go on sale Saturday. Click here.
Three days later, it's Melissa Etheridge's turn. The Grammy- and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter will bring her mighty pipes to the Cap on Feb. 18, with tickets starting at $75.50 on sale Saturday. This is billed as a solo show, so expect lots of stories to go with hits like Come To My Window and I'm the Only One. Click here for details.
Now, if only we could figure out a way to get Benatar and Etheridge together for some co-headlining gig in the days between Feb. 15 and 18...
-- Jay CridlinFull Story
To paraphrase Job: The Lord giveth, and the lord taketh away.
There's been a shakeup in the concert lineup at the USF Sun Dome, one of Tampa Bay's top venues for gospel and Christian acts.
First, we have news that Kim Walker-Smith, the contemporary Christian star and worship leader from Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., has canceled her "When Christmas Comes Tour," which was to hit the Sun Dome on Dec. 17, due to "unforeseen circumstances." All tickets will be refunded at point of purchwase.
"We are terribly sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you," Walker-Smith said in a statement. "I am heartbroken about this turn of events. We hope to bring myself and my friends at Jesus Culture on tour again very soon in the New Year."
But while Walker-Smith won't be coming to the Sun Dome, another superstar Christian act is: Hillsong United.
The Australian worship band, perennially one of the top-grossing touring acts in the world, is coming to the Sun Dome on Feb. 13. It'll be their first local show since 2013. Joining them will be Irish folk band Rend Collective.
Tickets to see Hillsong United are $27.50 and up, and they'll go on sale Friday. Click here for details.
-- Jay CridlinFull Story
Lost in the hubbub over today's Florida Strawberry Festival lineup announcement is word of another huge country music event coming to Tampa Bay.
Chart-topping vocal group the Dixie Chicks are hitting the road for their first American tour in a decade, and it'll come to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Aug. 19.
The announcement is doubly sweet for Tampa fans, who missed out on a Dixie Chicks show 10 years ago when the band canceled a date at what is now Amalie Arena because it conflicted with promotion for their new documentary, Shut Up and Sing.
Considering the ire and controversy that Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Martie Maguire stirred up in post-Iraq War, pre-Taylor Swift America, it's no surprise they've been absent from the road for so long. But considering their influence on artists like Swift, Miranda Lambert and the Band Perry, it was only a matter of time before the returned to perform hits like Goodbye Earl, Wide Open Spaces, Not Ready to Make Nice and Sin Wagon on the road.
Tickets are $35 and up, and they'll go on sale Saturday. Click here for details.
-- Jay CridlinFull Story