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Photos: Walk the Moon dance into the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

Walk the Moon performed at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on April 26, 2015.

Brian Mahar

Walk the Moon performed at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on April 26, 2015.

After years of playing festivals (Big Guava, 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball) and opening for other acts (Fitz and the Tantrums, Grouplove), Ohio pop-rockers Walk the Moon finally graced Tampa Bay with a headlining show on Sunday, performing for a long-sold-out crowd at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. They brought with them a slew of energetic hits both old (Tightrope, Anna Sun) and new (their Top 10 smash Shut Up and Dance). Brian Mahar was there snapping photos; click the headline of this post for a slideshow.

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Zac Brown Band coming to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

They're playing The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday. Their new album Jeykll + Hyde comes out on Tuesday. And this November, the Zac Brown Band is coming back to Tampa.

The Georgia country-rockers have announced a return engagement at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Nov. 13. Ticket prices haven't been announced, but according to the band's website, they'll go on sale to the public May 15. Click here for details.

Jekyll + Hyde promises to be a genre-pushing affair, which should come as no surprise to anyone who saw them perform with Soundgarden's Chris Cornell on Saturday Night Live. The album also features an appearance from Sara Bareilles and a cover of a Jason Isbell song. Then again, Zac and company have long been rockers at heart, with covers of songs like Nirvana's All Apologies in their arsenal. Whether this November show is more country or more rock, it's bound to be a fun show. Zac Brown band concerts always are.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

 

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Photos: 98 Rockfest brings The Pretty Reckless, Young Guns, Sleepwave, more to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Young Guns performed outside Amalie Arena as part of 98 Rockfest on April 24, 2015.

Jay Cridlin

Young Guns performed outside Amalie Arena as part of 98 Rockfest on April 24, 2015.

The big guns came out to play Friday night at 98 Rockfest, as Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, Rise Against and more hit the stage at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

But early in the day, downtown Tampa was just as hopping. As Bryan Cranston filmed scenes for The Infiltrator a few blocks north, 98 Rockfest kicked off with a pre-show on the Amalie Arena's outdoor plaza featuring Young Guns, Beartooth and St. Petersburg's own Sleepwave, led by former Underoath singer Spencer Chamberlain.

Shortly thereafter, The Pretty Reckless -- led by Gossip Girl actress-turned-singer Taylor Momsen performed a short unplugged set for VIP ticketholders inside the arena before taking the main stage for 98 Rockfest.

We were there for the early going and snapped a few photos of 98 Rockfest's early bands. Click the headline of this post for a gallery.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Denny Tedescho talks 'The Wrecking Crew,' his father's legacy, working with Glen Campbell and more

Magnolia Pictures

The Wrecking Crew is the name given to one of the most famous groups of studio musicians of all time. Artists like Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Carol Kaye and Glen Campbell backed up stars like the Beach Boys (Good Vibrations), the Ronettes (Be My Baby), the Mamas and the Papas (California Dreamin') and Simon and Garfunkel (Bridge Over Troubled Water).

Now Tedesco's son, Denny Tedesco, is coming to St. Petersburg with his documentary about the group. The Wrecking Crew, released in March, will get a special screening at Muvico Sundial 19 on Friday, followed by a reception and Q&A with Tedesco at the Palladium's Side Door theater.

"I wanted to always tell this story about him and his friends the Wrecking Crew," he said in a phone interview. "My biggest fear was if I don't do it, it's going to be the biggest regret of my life if I didn't take advantage and tell this story."

Click here for info on the screening. For more on Tedesco and The Wrecking Crew, click here for Jimmy Geurts' story.

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This week in Tampa: 98 Rockfest, Alanis Morissette, Paramore, Sammy Hagar, Tyler, the Creator and more

A ton of adventurous music hits Tampa Bay this weekend, including a major metal fest (98 Rockfest), two ass-kicking rock heroines (Alanis Morissette, above, and Paramore's Hayley Williams), a few members of Odd Future (Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt) and various other big names (Sammy Hagar, Daughtry, Aloe Blacc, Walk the Moon, Home Free, Queensryche, Yellowcard, Robert Cray, Of Mice and Men, In Flames, Donna the Buffalo and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...

 

 

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Breaking Benjamin talks health scare, building a new band, 'Dark Before Dawn' and more

Ben Burnley of Breaking Benjamin.

Hollywood Records

Ben Burnley of Breaking Benjamin.

Things changed in the five years since Breaking Benjamin last performed in Tampa.

Lead vocalist Benjamin Burnley got an entirely new group of bandmates, spent years dealing with a still-undiagnosed illness and had a son with his wife. For all the change, Burnley said fans of the band can count on the music remaining consistent.

"I've always been the band's primary songwriter … so the core sound hasn't really changed," Burnley said.

Breaking Benjamin is currently touring to promote their new album, Dark Before Dawn, due June 23. They'll stop in Tampa Friday as part of 98 Rockfest at Amalie Arena, along with Five Finger Death Punch, Rise Against, The Pretty Reckless, Nothing More and more. Click here for details on 98 Rockfest.

For more of Robbyn Mitchell's interview with Ben Burnley, click here.

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Review: Bob Dylan swings through timeless, intimate set at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Bob Dylan, shown here in a file photo, performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall on April 22, 2015.

Bob Dylan, shown here in a file photo, performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall on April 22, 2015.

It is tempting to think of Bob Dylan as a priceless American artifact, an antiquity to be preserved behind crystal-clear, smudge-proof glass. Look, there he is, the voice of a generation, the man who wrote Blowin’ In the Wind! Stand behind the rope! No flash photography allowed!

But the thing about priceless antiquities is that no one ever takes them out of the cupboard to play. And Dylan, who brought his Never Ending Tour to Ruth Eckerd Hall Wednesday night, still wants to play. Just watch him up there, tilting his mic stand, shuffling his feet, sneaking little grins, striking funny poses and finger-gunning his bandmates. Pew pew!

If Dylan wants to embrace his inner cowboy lounge lizard – and judging from his set’s emphasis on traditional country, swing and the blues, he does – this is the way to go about it. This was his most intimate local concert in many years – tickets, which went for up to $300 a head, sold out long ago – and the scaled-down setting could not have been more welcome. Full Story

Mahaffey Theater turns 50: How the venue has survived, and is thriving, after a half century

John Pendygraft

The Mahaffey Theater does not look 50. Unlike, say, the Tampa Theatre or St. Petersburg's Coliseum, no part of it feels historic, apart from the commemorative photo exhibit lining the walls of its lobby. It has been through so much sprucing up through the decades that virtually none of its original features are visible.

"I give tours quite a bit," says general manager Joe Santiago, "and I tell people, 'The building was built in 1965, and we're celebrating the 50th anniversary,' and they look at me in disbelief."

The Mahaffey this week will celebrate its 50th anniversary. It's a remarkable milestone for a venue that at times set the bar for cultural entertainment in Tampa Bay, at other times seemed like an albatross around the neck of the city. It remains an underdog among Tampa Bay's three major performing arts halls, yet after decades of government backing, a few timely benefactors and the occasional 100-hour workweek, the Mahaffey is not only humming right along, but plotting more growth in its future.

For more of our story about the Mahaffey's 50th anniversary, click here.

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Ticket Window: Incubus, Colbie Caillat, Umphrey's McGee and more

A short but sweet edition of Ticket Window this week. Among the Tampa Bay concerts with tickets going on sale: Billy Gardell (June 26, Mahaffey Theater), Colbie Caillat (Aug. 9, Capitol Theatre), Incubus with the Deftones (Aug. 13, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre), Hippiefest (Aug. 15, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Umphrey's McGee (Aug. 23, Jannus Live) and Chaka Khan (Nov. 13, Mahaffey Theater) Click here for this week's edition of Ticket Window.

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Greg Sestero talks 'The Room,' James Franco, sex scenes and more

As one of the stars of The Room, director Tommy Wiseau's cinematic trainwreck-turned-cult classic, Greg Sestero's place in film history is secured. In fact, he's making a trip to Tampa Bay this weekend for a couple of days of The Room-themed events -- a signing of his book The Disaster Artist at Inkwood Books in Tampa on Friday, and an interactive screening of The Room at Snappers Grill and Supper Club in Palm Harbor on Saturday.

"I put together a short documentary about the behind-the-scenes making of the movie, so I show that," Sestero said of the screenings in a recent phone interview. "Then I usually do a Q&A because there's obviously a lot of questions regarding this movie, how it was made, why it was made, what it was like to be there. So I usually try to shed light on what the crazy experience was like."

For more of Jimmy Geurts' interview with Greg Sestero, click here.

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Indian superstar Shreya Ghoshal coming to the USF Sun Dome

Anyone who’s a fan of music in languages other than English knows the struggle to get concerts here in Tampa Bay is real. Major Latin, Indian and more acts tend to zip right past on their way to Orlando or Miami.

Hopefully this is evidence times are a-changing, since the International Indian Film Academy Awards (or “the Bollywood Oscars”) promised to put Tampa on the map a year ago: Top Indian recording artist Shreya Ghoshal is coming to the USF Sun Dome on July 25, the venue announced today. Last year, she performed in Fort Lauderdale; in 2012, she was in Orlando.

Recording in at least a dozen languages and styles from classical Indian to pop, Ghoshal is widely regarded as one of India’s top “playback” singers, or the voices that make the music heard in movies — which pretty much doubles as India’s popular music industry. Saavn, an Indian music streaming service similar to Spotify, said she was its most popular artist in 2013. She also won the IIFA Award for best female playback singer last year in Tampa, but wasn’t present to accept the award for Sunn Raha Hai from the movie Aashiqui 2. …

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'MythBusters' Adam Savage talks about bringing the show to life, improving kids' test scores and more

You'd better be ready to join in when the MythBusters duo of Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman bring their live show to Tampa on Thursday. The show promises no less than a dozen chances for audience members to swing a sledgehammer or match wits with the Discovery Channel's most popular wizards of weird science.

"Scientists are just storytellers using a methodology that is incredibly rigorous," Savage said. "The best science is an offshoot of story, finding something you want to know more about and having an opinion in the encountering. The storytelling is in how you break things down into bite-sized steps and come up with a solution."

"MythBusters: Jamie and Adam Unleashed" takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Straz Center in Tampa. Tickets are $45-$125. Click here for details.

Click here and here for more of Savage's thoughts on education, touring with Hyneman and more.

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Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor lineup: Desaparecidos, Teenage Bottlerocket and more

Desaparecidos

Desaparecidos

The local precursor to Gainesville's Fest, Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor, keeps getting bigger. Its third annual lineup was announced Monday, and it's got plenty of surprising names -- including two of Fest's main headliners.

Desaparacidos -- Conor Oberst's thrashy emo precursor to Bright Eyes -- is among nearly 80 punkish acts slated to perform at this year's Pre-Fest, Oct. 28-29 at venues around Ybor City. Also on the bill: California veterans Lagwagon, Richmond, Va. troubadour Tim Barry, Wyoming's Teenage Bottlerocket, Pennsylvania's the Menzingers, Michigan ska band Mustard Plug and Philadelphia emo outfit Modern Baseball.

Pre-Fest will also feature some of the best noisy bands from around Tampa Bay and Florida (Set and Setting, Wolf-Face, Awkward Age, the Tim Version, Wet Nurse) and a few from England, France, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. More acts will be added during the summer.

Venues and a schedule have not been announced, but last year, shows took place at the Orpheum, Crowbar, New World Brewery, Tequilas and the Market on 7th. …

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SoundBytes: Pitbull, Colbie Caillat, Umphrey's McGee, Brandon Flowers and more

John Travolta greets fans outside the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater.

Luis Santana

John Travolta greets fans outside the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater.

-- In case you missed it: John Travolta was in Clearwater over the weekend for a screening of his new movie The Forger at the Capitol Theatre. Click here for Steve Persall's report.

-- Universal Orlando has announced a blockbuster 25th Anniversary Concert Series running in May and June, with all concerts free with admission: Prince Royce (May 23), Shawn Mendes (May 24), Pitbull (May 30), Kellie Pickler (June 6), Huey Lewis and the News (June 13) and the Goo Goo Dolls (June 20). Click here for details.

-- Jam-fusion kings Umphrey's McGee are returning to Jannus Live on Aug. 23, along with J. Roddy Walston and the Business. Maybe this'll double as a local release party for their new collaboration with Rock Brothers Brewing and Cigar City Brewing, Nothing Too Fancy Pale Ale. Click here for details on the show.

-- Singer Colbie Caillat is coming to the intimate Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on Aug. 9. Tickets are $56.25-$68.25. Click here for details.

-- Killers frontman Brandon Flowers is performing at the Beacham in Orlando on Aug. 18. Tickets are $29.50-$30. Click here. …

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As Bob Dylan comes to Clearwater, here are 6 observations from his show in Orlando

A file photo of Bob Dylan from 2012. Dylan performs at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on Wednesday.

AP

A file photo of Bob Dylan from 2012. Dylan performs at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on Wednesday.

When you hack away the mythology, you get to Bob Dylan the working musician. Based on his performance Sunday at Orlando's Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and reports from other stops on the tour, here’s a practical guide to what to expect at Ruth Eckerd Hall for Wednesday’s sold-out show.

Showtime: Dylan and his band usually start on time, at 8 or a few minutes after. There’s no opening act.

The band: Bob will play grand piano and harmonica. He’ll rotate from center stage to piano and back. His drummer, George Recile, uses brushes or mallets much of the time so as not to overpower the boss’ voice. Rhythm guitar (Stu Kimball), lead guitar (Charlie Sexton), bass (Tony Garnier) and pedal steel guitar (Don Herron) round out the band. Watch for the maracas during Early Roman Kings. And there’s a silent player on stage: a bust of Beethoven. …

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