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Original Wailers, Tonic, Everlast, more coming to ROC Park in Madeira Beach

So this new waterfront park in Madeira Beach really seems to be coming into its own as a concert destination, huh?

A couple of weeks ago, ROC Park ("ROC" stands for "Remember Our Children") hosted this year's Summerland Tour with Everclear, the Toadies, Fuel and more. And in August, it'll host one of the most anticipated outdoor festivals of the summer, with Culture Club, Howard Jones, C+C Music Factory and more.

In between, we've got the Rock and Reggae Beach Bash on July 24. Headlining this event are reggae greats the Original Wailers, House of Pain frontman Everlast, pop-rockers Tonic (above) and metal outfit Saliva. Tickets to this show are $27.50-$69.95, and they're on sale now via Ticketfly. Click here.

I checked out the scene during the Everclear concert. At the time, there was still quite a bit of construction going on, and parking was a bit of a nightmare -- the best option seemed to be parking at Madeira Beach for $10 and taking a shuttle. The parts of the park that were completed looked good, as did the stage itself, although there wasn't much shade anywhere. Thankfully, umbrellas will be allowed at the Beach Bash, provided they don't block anyone's view.

-- Jay Cridlin


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Vance Joy to play free concert at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Darren Anekmann

Do you love free stuff? Do you love that song Riptide? Do you love Vance Joy, but don't feel like braving the screaming throngs at this Halloween's Taylor Swift concert to see him?

This show is for you.

Joy, the Australian singer-songwriter behind the smash pop hit Riptide, will headline the latest free 97X Shindig concert on July 22 at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg. All you have to do is show up at one of the station's many ticket drops across Tampa Bay between now and the show, and entry is yours (although be forewarned, these shows tend to fill up fast, so get there early).

As a bonus, opening the show is Tennessee-via-L.A. guitar-slinger Meg Myers, whose brand of raw, angsty rock has made her a critical favorite. Top to bottom, it's one of the more interesting Shindig lineups of late.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Juicy J cancels Sunday's concert at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa

It's hard out there for a pimp. And for Juicy J fans in Tampa, it just got a whole lot harder.

The Three 6 Mafia rapper has canceled Sunday's concert at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa, according to announcements from the venue and promoters Dope Entertainment. However, his show in Orlando on June 26 is still a go.

Dope says the Tampa show was canceled "due to personal reasons beyond his control. ... We apologize, but please understand this situation was out of (our) control. Thank you for your understanding."

According to Dope, your Tampa ticket will be good at the Friday show in Orlando, if you choose to use it that way. Or you can get refunds via email if you purchased through Ticketweb. Click here for info.

-- Jay Cridlin


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Tampa music scene rallying around local producer, guitarist Steve Connelly

Sophia Nahli Allison

Steve Connelly has for decades been among the Tampa Bay music scene's most ubiquitous personalities. As a guitarist, he was signed to a national label, appeared on the Tonight Show, played a stadium with the Grateful Dead. As a producer, he's brought life to hundreds of songs at his Zen Recording in Pinellas Park by artists like Ronny Elliott, Rebekah Pulley and Have Gun, Will Travel.

This year, musicians are giving back to Connelly at a time he needs it most. He has hepatitis C, a diagnosis he chalks up to "the decadence of the punk rock era," and which resulted in cirrhosis of the liver. He's awaiting a transplant that could come as early as this summer. And in March, a ceiling collapsed at Zen, effectively halting Connelly's livelihood.

Connelly's musician friends launched a GoFundMe campaign that has raised more than $12,000 since March, much of it from other cash-strapped artists. And on Saturday, 15 bands will take the stage for a benefit concert at Skipper's Smokehouse. Click here for the details on that show.

For more of our story on Steve Connelly, click here.

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SoundBytes: The Neighbourhood, Ani DiFranco, Purity Ring, Alvin and the Chipmunks and more

The Neighbourhood

The Neighbourhood

-- Two big new rock shows coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg: Breaking Benjamin with Young Guns on Aug. 26 (click here for details); and The Neighbourhood (above) with Bad Suns and Hunny on Sept. 21 (tickets are $30 and up; click here).

-- This sounds intriguing: Promoters Dope Entertainment have announced plans for a new hip-hop festival, TAKEOFFxLANDING, that'll take over multiple venues in Ybor City on Aug. 15, including the Ritz Ybor, Orpheum, Market on 7th, Tequilas and Crowbar. Artists announced thus far include Travi$ $cott, Robb Bank$, Denzel Curry, OG Maco and Pouya. There will also be industry and producer panels and art installations curated by Robert Gallardo, A$ap Rocky's art director. Tickets are currently $40 and up. Click here.

-- Indie electronic duo Purity Ring are coming to the Ritz Ybor on Sept. 10. Tickets are $22. Click here.

-- Iconic singer-songwriter Ani DeFranco is coming to the Capitol Theatre on Oct. 7. Click here.

-- Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen is coming to the Capitol Theatre on Aug. 7. Click here.

-- Ruth Eckerd Hall's new Murray Theatre may have just booked its most interesting act yet: Singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III on Dec. 12. Click here. …

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Billy Gardell talks 'Mike & Molly,' managing his weight, Monopoly strategies and more

When Mike & Molly hit its 100th episode in January, Billy Gardell wasn’t gifted with a fancy Ferrari or a brand new beach house in Cabo.

“There wasn’t a lot of gifts,” said the CBS sitcom’s eponymous Mike. “The network sent us all really nice watches. Back in the ’80s, it was cars. But, you know. Inflation.”

All kidding aside, 100 episodes still is a massive milestone. The film success of Gardell’s onscreen wife, Melissa McCarthy, had a lot to do with that. But it took more than a breakout star for Mike & Molly to become a genuine hit, going beyond its one-note premise — two overweight lonelies meet cute and fall in love — to deliver a sitcom that resonates.

“The gift of that was being able to join that rare fraternity of syndicated shows, like Seinfeld and Cheers and Friends,” Gardell said. “To be in that routine where you’re with people when they’re coming home from work or getting ready for the night shift or dinner, that’s a big accomplishment for a sitcom.” …

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Review: Romeo Santos whips Tampa's Amale Arena into historic, bilingual frenzy

Romeo Santos performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on June 19, 2015.

Luis Santana

Romeo Santos performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on June 19, 2015.

If there were any lingering doubts about whether Tampa's a viable tour stop on the Latin pop circuit, the gale-force screams that greeted bachata star Romeo Santos on Friday at Amalie Arena blasted them all away.

“Is this building full of Latinos tonight?” the Bronx-born heartthrob yelled early in his sold-out, endlessly energetic show, eliciting deafening shrieks in the affirmative. This was their Bieber, their Usher, their Timberlake, all rolled into one and wrapped in an impeccable, form-hugging rose blazer.

Yep, this one was a pretty big deal. A-list Latin acts rarely route tours through Tampa, especially not those as big as Santos, the self-proclaimed – and globally affirmed – King of Bachata. Full Story

SoundBytes: Lucero, The Orb, Gruesome and more

-- Two Tampa Bay shows at the same venue in one year? Hey, if you're Lucero, why not? The Memphis rockers, who played the Ritz Ybor in February, have a new album, All A Man Should Do, coming out in September, and they'll support it with a tour that includes another stop at the Ritz on Dec. 5. Tickets are $20.50. Click here.

-- Veteran alt-dance outfit The Orb are coming to the State Theatre on Sept. 5. Tickets are $24. Click here.

-- Acclaimed death-metal outfit Gruesome is coming to Crowbar on Sept. 4 alongside Generichrist and Disevered. Tickets are $12-$15. Click here.

-- The Growlers are coming to Crowbar on Nov. 2, alongside Broncho and more. Tickets are $12-$15. Click here.

-- L.A. rock duo El Ten Eleven are coming to Crowbar on Sept. 16. Tickets are $13-$16. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Ticket Window: Brad Paisley, Janet Jackson, John Cleese, Eric Idle and more

Brad Paisley always brings one of the most gun-slingingly fun country concerts of the year, so pick up your tickets early to see him at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Oct. 2.

Other Tampa Bay concerts and events with tickets going on sale this week: Floetry (Aug. 5, Straz Center), The Atlas Moth (Aug. 22, Orpheum), The Orb (Sept. 5, State Theatre), Janet Jackson (Sept. 24, Amalie Arena), Brad Paisley (Oct. 2, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre), John Cleese and Eric Idle (Oct. 14-15, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Lucero (Dec. 5, Ritz Ybor), John Prine (Jan. 29, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Jackie Mason (Feb. 4, Capitol Theatre), R5 (Feb. 13, Ruth Eckerd Hall) and Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton (March 1, Capitol Theatre).

Click here for this week's edition of Ticket Window.

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The Buckinghams, Cowsills talk about bringing the Happy Together Tour back to Ruth Eckerd Hall

Saturday's Happy Together Tour at Ruth Eckerd Hall features six bands that helped to bond the peace and love generation: the Buckinghams (Kind of a Drag), the Turtles (Happy Together), the Cowsills (The Rain), the Association (Cherish), the Grass Roots (Midnight Confessions) and Mark Lindsay, the former lead singer for Paul Revere and the Raiders (Kicks).

Today, sadly, only four of the seven original Cowsills (above) are alive: Bob, Paul, Susan and John, who performs with the Beach Boys.

"I'll get to spend more time with Susan and Paul," Bob Cowsill said in a recent interview, "and I think we'll be tighter than ever before. And our other brothers will always be up there (on stage) with us."

Tickets to Saturday's show start at $40. Click here for details.

For more of Terri Bryce Reeves' story about the Happy Together Tour, click here.

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Patti LaBelle, Matisyahu, Alan Cumming, Cary Elwes, more coming to the Straz Center in Tampa

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts unveiled its full 2015-16 season on Tuesday, and among its always stellar lineup of Broadway, opera, dance and family-friendly shows are a slew of musicians and celebrities.

Among the premiere concerts: Matisyahu on Dec. 17, Will Hoge on Jan. 24, Black Violin on Feb. 3, Patti LaBelle on Feb. 21 and Itzhak Perlman on March 12. Broadway and film star Alan Cumming will perform a cabaret revue called "Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs" on Jan. 24, and The Voice finalist and Phantom of the Opera star Chris Mann will deliver an "evening with" performance on Feb. 20.

The Straz's annual Club Jaeb concert series, featuring folk and Americana artists, will include Anais Mitchell (Oct. 26), Penny & Sparrow (Nov. 16), Whitehorse (Dec. 14), Emily Hearn (Jan. 11), Birds of Chicago (Feb. 8), Antje Duvekot (March 7), Kail Baxley (April 4) and Tyrone Wells (May 23).

And then there are the celebrity speakers and comics, including humorists David Sedaris (April 22) and Garrison Keillor (April 24), as well as actor Cary Elwes for a special screening and presentation of The Princess Bride. Inconceivable! …

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Chillin' Music Fest lineup: O.A.R., Supervillians, Ballyhoo! and more

Josh Goleman

Usually St. Petersburg, not Tampa, is the epicenter of the bay area’s reggae-rock scene, with sold-out shows on at Jannus Live on the regular.

That changed last year with the Chillin’ Music Fest, a day of sweet jams and irie vibes at Curtis Hixon Park. Four thousand folks bought tickets to see artists like Michael Franti and Stephen Marley, and set the stage for the fest’s return in 2015.

Organizers have just released this year’s Chillin’ Music Fest lineup, slated for Oct. 17 at Curtis Hixon Park, and it’ll be headlined by a biggie, college quad-rocking jam-popsters O.A.R. Joining them are the Supervillians, Ballyhoo! and Headshine, along with a trio of talented Central Florida acts: locals Resinated and UNRB and Orlando’s Hor!zen. Four or five more acts are expected to be added in the coming weeks.

Tickets are on sale now for $25 GA and $90 VIP, though those prices will increase as the show grows closer. A Platinum VIP package $1,100) includes a private tent, private service and four tickets. The event will include games like cornhole, viewing areas for college football games and more.

For full details on the 2015 Chillin’ Music Fest, click here.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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2015 Ribfest lineup: Three Dog Night, America, Kip Moore, Chase Rice and more

Take a deep breath. Can you almost smell the hickory smoke wafting from Vinoy Park?

Yes, Ribfest is a solid five months away. But the organizers of the annual barbecue and music festival, Nov. 13-15 in St. Petersburg, have just unveiled a major chunk of this year's lineup, and as always, it's heavy on classic rockers and up-and-coming country stars.

Three Dog Night, America, Ratt's Stephen Pearcy and .38 Special lead the rock half of this year's initial lineup, which young country studs Kip Moore (above), Chase Rice, Michael Ray and the Cadillac Three round out Sunday's annual country day.

Rounding out the bill are a pair of tribute bands, China Grove (Doobie Brothers) and Supernatural (Santana), as well as the group Blended Brew.

There's no Lynyrd Skynyrd-level headliner on the bill just yet, but there are a few more slots left to be allotted, including a Friday night headliner. So we'll be on the lookout for more talent coming soon. …

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Review: The War on Drugs swirls through the Ritz Ybor in Tampa for nostalgic, hypnotic show

The War on Drugs performed at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa on June 15, 2015.

Jay Cridlin

The War on Drugs performed at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa on June 15, 2015.

You wouldn’t expect the band behind the most critically acclaimed album of last year, a band two days removed from the second-largest stage at Bonnaroo, would come short of filling the Ritz Ybor.

Then again, few expected the Tampa Bay Lightning to reach the Stanley Cup Finals, resulting in a Game 6 watch party that drew half the city to a party across town.

“What’s up with that hockey game?” The War on Drugs singer Adam Granduciel asked a nevertheless crowded Ritz on Monday. “You guys win?”

A smattering of indistinguishable murmurs.

“Sounds like a yes? Sounds like a ‘Who gives a s---?’”

Hey, what do you expect? Granduciel’s from Philly. He’s a Flyers fan.Full Story

Monty Python's John Cleese, Eric Idle coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

It may not be a full-on Monty Python reunion, but a third of the most influential sketch comedy troupe of all time is nothing to say "ni" at.

John Cleese and Eric Idle are coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for back-to-back performances on Oct. 14 and 15, the duo and venue announced Monday.

Billed as "John Cleese and Eric Idle: Together Again At Last...For The Very First Time," the show will feature the iconic comedians performing "unforgettable sit-down comedy, blending scripted and improvised bits with storytelling, musical numbers, exclusive footage, aquatic juggling and an extended audience Q&A to craft a unique comedic experience with every performance. No two shows will be quite the same."

That tends to be the case whenever Python folks get together. But Cleese and Idle, especially, have lived quite interesting lives post-Python, from Cleese's Fawlty Towers and A Fish Called Wanda to Idle's career as a TV presenter and composer (Spamalot!).

Tickets to both nights' shows are $59.50-$99.50, and they'll go on sale Friday via the Ruth Eckerd Hall box office and website.

For details on the shows, click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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