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Review: Earl Sweatshirt gets dark, fans get crazy at the Orpheum in Tampa

Earl Sweatshirt performed at the Orpheum in Tampa on Sept. 1, 2015.

Jay Cridlin

Earl Sweatshirt performed at the Orpheum in Tampa on Sept. 1, 2015.

Earl Sweatshirt was only a few songs into his concert Tuesday at the Orpheum when he had to plead with the crowd to stop stage-diving.

“You get one more,” he warned the more overenthusiastic fans up front.

Sorry, Earl, but they just couldn’t help themselves. The Tampa crowd was fully lit and rapping every word from the moment he walked onstage.

That can happen when you’re thought of as sort of a mythological figure, as Sweatshirt is among a certain segment of rap fans.

Thanks in part to his unusual backstory – as a teen, he was shipped to a boys’ camp in Samoa by his hyper-literate parents, just as his alternative rap crew Odd Future was blowing up Stateside – his infrequent live performances since returning to America have felt a bit like spotting big game in the wild. (Tuesday’s concert was actually a make-up date for an April show postponed due to illness.)

But while myth and hype play large roles in the cult of Earl Sweatshirt, he’s mostly backed it up on his last albums, the darkly autobiographical Doris and I Don’t Like S---, I Don’t Go Outside, with the latter likely to end up on many a best-of-2015 list come December. Full Story

Brian Wilson coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

Brian Wilson performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in 2011.

Douglas R. Clifford (2011)

Brian Wilson performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in 2011.

Brian Wilson is having quite a year, with an acclaimed biopic (Love & Mercy) and a well-received new album (No Pier Pressure) under his belt. 

Sure, he's no longer buddy-buddy with most of the Beach Boys, but he's still out on the road touring -- and his latest trek will see him stopping in St. Petersburg.

The legendary singer-songwriter will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Nov. 17, it was announced Monday. Tickets are $49.50-$79.50, and they'll go on sale Sept. 11. Click here for details.

Wilson will be joined on this trek by Beach Boys bandmate Al Jardine, lending an added ooh-wah-ooh of authenticity to classic tracks like God Only Knows, Wouldn't It Be Nice, Good Vibrations and Don't Worry Baby. Maybe he'll even contribute a few Beach Boys tracks on which he originally sang lead, like Help Me, Rhonda and Then I Kissed Her.

Mike Love, David Marks and Bruce Johnston will no doubt be back in these parts soon enough. But trust us, Wilson is the group's quiet genius, and the one you don't want to miss anytime he hits your backyard.

-- Jay Cridlin

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MTV VMAs: Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Twenty One Pilots among winners, performers coming to Tampa Bay

Shock and awe! Awe and shock! It's the MTV Video Music Awards, which this year featured more Taylor Swift than you asked for, more Miley Cyrus than we expected, and more Kanye West than even Kanye West can handle. (Nah, just kidding, there is no limit to the amount of Kanye West that Kanye West can handle.)

For our full recap of the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, click here. But there's another aspect to the VMAs, and that is: Which winners, performers and celebrities are coming to Tampa Bay this fall?

Here's a rundown.

-- Trap Queen crooner Fetty Wap, who won the Artist to Watch Moonman, is coming to Tampa this week as part of Chris Brown's One Hell of a Nite Tour, which hits the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday. Click here.

-- Big Sean, who won Best Video with a Social Message for One Man Can Change the World, will headline the University of South Florida's 2015 Homecoming concert on Oct. 9 at the USF Sun Dome. Click here for details. …

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Underoath reunion tour: St. Petersburg sells out; Orlando concert added

Let there be no doubt: The people are ready for an Underoath reunion.

The Christian metalcore band, one of the most successful acts ever to come out of Tampa Bay, this week announced a comeback concert on March 16 at Jannus Live ... and it sold out within hours of going on sale Friday.

The good news is, Underoath has responded to that demand by adding a second reunion show in Florida.

The group will perform at Hard Rock Live in Orlando on April 24 -- the final date on their 2016 reunion tour, making this sort of a bookend to the opening St. Pete date.

General ticket prices have not been announced, but you can already purchase VIP packages starting at $40 and up through Underoath's website.

Better get 'em while they're hot. If this show sells anything like the Jannus Live show, tickets won't last long.

-- Jay Cridlin

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USF's star-studded lineup: George Takei, Laverne Cox, Big Sean, Nas, RJ Mitte, more

The University of South Florida is wasting no time when it comes to boosting school spirit.

On the last day of the first week of fall classes, the college announced a frenzy of concerts and celebrity speakers coming to Tampa this school year.

Heading things up is Star Trek star and prominent social activist George Takei, who will speak at the USF Sun Dome on April 18. The lecture will be part of USF's Frontier Forum, which in years past has hosted speakers like Jane Goodall and Neil deGrasse Tyson. While the first 3,000 USF students will be admitted for free, tickets will be available to the general public starting Oct. 2, at a cost to be determined. Click here for details.

Takei isn't the only TV star coming to USF this year. On Sept. 16, Breaking Bad star RJ Mitte, who played Walter White Jr. (a.k.a. Flynn), will speak at 7:30 p.m. at in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom as part of USF's University Lecture Series. And on March 21, Emmy-winning transgender Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox will take the podium at USF (though an exact location has yet to be announced). …

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SoundBytes: Jennifer Nettles, French Montana, Andrew Rayel, Halsey and more

-- Jennifer Nettles, the massively voiced singer of chart-topping country duo Sugarland, is returning to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Oct. 24 in support of her forthcoming second solo album. She'll be joined once again by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Brandy Clark, as well as Ryan Kinder. Ticket prices haven't been announced, but according to Nettles' website, they'll go on sale Sept. 4. Click here.

-- Rapper French Montana has been added to Chris Brown's One Hell of a Nite Tour, which hits the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Sept. 4. Also on the bill are Migos, Fetty Wap, Omarion, Kid Ink and Teyana Taylor, making this a festival-grade affair. Click here.

-- Some big-name DJs coming to the Amphitheatre this fall: Andrew Rayel (Sept. 26, tickets are $15-$20); Figure (Nov. 25) and Mija (Dec. 11, $10-$15). Click here for a full lineup.

-- DJ trio Keys N Krates are returning to Tampa for the third time this year with a concert at the Ritz Ybor on Oct. 22. Early bird tickets are on sale now for $15. Click here.

-- Leftover Crack, All Torn Up! and Days N Daze are coming to the Orpheum on Nov. 4. Tickets are $12-$15. Click here. …

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97X Next Big Thing lineup: Twenty One Pilots, Walk the Moon, Of Monsters and Men and more

Walk the Moon

Walk the Moon

Alt-rock station 97X has announced its annual 97X Next Big Thing lineup, and it's heavy on young, alt-rock powerhouses like Twenty One Pilots and Shut Up and Dance hitmakers Walk the Moon, above.

But here's the big news: Next Big Thing is moving back to Tampa.

The annual radio festival will return to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre after spending the last three years in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park. This year's 97X Next Big Thing will take place Saturday, Dec. 5, and tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. today.

Now, on to the 97X Next Big Thing lineup. It's a younger-skewing slate than in years past, topped by Twenty One Pilots, Walk the Moon and Icelandic folk-rockers Of Monsters and Men. Joining them all are Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Robert DeLong, X Ambassadors, Saint Motel, Glass Animals, Coleman Hell, Borns, Boots and Pvris. At least one more band will be added in September, as well as a local band down the line.

Click here for the full story on the 2015 97X Next Big Thing lineup.

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This week in Tampa: Earl Sweatshirt, Lita Ford, Tribal Seeds and more

We're in the dog days of August, which means a lull in the Tampa Bay concert calendar before things start back up again for Labor Day weekend in September. But there's still some good music if you know where to look: Earl Sweatshirt (above), Kip Winger, Lita Ford, Audien, Tribal Seeds, Fear Factory, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz, Layzie Bone, Jauz, Dex Romweber, Remy Banks and lots of good local acts, too. Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...Full Story

Patton Oswalt talks Twitter, obsession, comedy critiques and more

Tampa Bay comedy fans have been waiting for years for a local performance by Patton Oswalt, who finally hits the Straz Center in Tampa on Saturday (click here for details).

Oswalt is not only beloved for his stand-up, but his acting, his geekiness and his status as a renowned Twitter commentator, especially on the subject of comedy.

But that, he said in a recent email interview, does not give everyone the right to critique issues related to his chosen profession.

"The people complaining about comedy aren't funny," Oswalt said in a recent email interview. "I'm happy to take criticism from other funny people, but not from the dull and exasperated."

For more of Andrew Meacham's interview with Patton Oswalt, click here.

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Ticket Window: The Weeknd, Insane Clown Posse, Underoath, Mac Miller and more

Some big concerts got announced this week, but none are bigger than The Weeknd, one of the breakout pop/R&B acts of this year, coming to Tampa a week before Christmas.

Other Tampa Bay concerts and events with tickets going on sale this week: Lavell Crawford (Oct. 10, Capitol Theatre), Insane Clown Posse and P.O.D. (Oct. 12, Orpheum), A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (Oct. 20-25, Straz Center), U.S. Women's National Soccer Team vs. Brazil (Oct. 25, Citrus Bowl), So You Think You Can Dance? (Oct. 27, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Public Image Ltd. (Nov. 6, State Theatre), A Silent Film (Nov. 16, Crowbar), Katharine McPhee (Nov. 21, Capitol Theatre), Hate Eternal (Nov. 24, State Theatre), Mac Miller (Dec. 1, Ritz Ybor), The Mavericks (Dec. 5, Capitol Theatre), Northlane and Volumes (Dec. 9, Orpheum), Bowzer's Rock 'n' Roll Holiday Party (Dec. 11, Ruth Eckerd Hall), The Weeknd (Dec. 17, Amalie Arena), Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, Raymond James Stadium), Underoath (March 16, Jannus Live), Chris Botti (April 7, Capitol Theatre) and ABBA the Concert (April 16, Ruth Eckerd Hall).

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

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EDC Orlando lineup: Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Kaskade, DJ Snake and more

When it comes to festival branding, it doesn't get much bigger or more colorful than the Electric Daisy Carnival, an EDM bacchanal that has staged enormous concerts in Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Puerto Rico and numerous other locales around the globe.

One such hotspot: Orlando, which this week released its 2015 Electric Daisy Carnival lineup.

Calvin Harris (above), Kaskade, DJ Snake, Tiesto, Bassnectar, Eric Prydz, Ferry Corsten, Flux Pavilion and Paul van Dyk are among the biggest names on this year's EDC Orlando lineup. Joiing them are dozens of notable support acts, including Audien, Gorgon City, Carnage, Excision, Blasterjaxx, Laidback Luke, Bro Safari, Crizzly and more.

This year's event is Nov. 6 and 7 at Tinker Field, with three stages of music, interactive artwork and numerous carnival rides to keep the party vibe going all night. But with Ultra-level headliners like these, who needs add-ons?

Tickets to EDC Orlando are on sale now for $169 and up ($279 and up for VIP). Click here for all the details on EDC Orlando 2015.

-- Jay Cridlin

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SoundBytes: Mac Miller, John Hodgman, A Silent Film and more

-- With Donald Trump a major political player, isn't it about time for a Mac Miller renaissance? The Pittsburgh rapper, whose major-label debut GOOD:AM drops Sept. 18, is coming to the Ritz Ybor on Dec. 1. Ticket prices haven't been announced, but keep an eye out here for details.

-- While author, humorist and Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman is long overdue for a Tampa Bay appearance, at least we can catch him on Oct. 23 at the Plaza Live in Orlando. Tickets are $25-$36. Click here for details.

-- Better Than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin is coming to the Attic, the new brewery and performance space coming to Ybor City, on Dec. 10. Tickets are $25-$45. Click here.

-- A Silent Film is coming to Crowbar in Ybor City on Nov. 16 alongside Flagship. Tickets are $13-$15. Click here.

-- Want to take part in a Swiss music video shoot? Of course you do. Swiss model and DJ Tanja La Croix is filming a video from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Postcard Inn on the Beach in St. Pete Beach, and they're looking for extras. One catch: You have to register in advance. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Doug Benson's 'Doug Loves Movies' podcast coming to Tampa Improv

Maybe the second time's a charm.

Doug Benson has announced he's bringing his hugely popular comedy podcast Doug Loves Movies back to the Improv in Ybor City. The show is set for Oct. 31, so expect plenty of Halloween-themed games, costumes and name tags. And as a bonus, it starts at 4:20 p.m., meaning you should have plenty of time to check it out before Taylor Swift or Chvrches that night.

Hopefully, the podcast will actually record this time. Last fall, Benson's inaugural Doug Loves Movies taping in Tampa was marred by a power outage that cost the world a very funny episode featuring Owen Benjamin, Graham Elwood and Tampa's own Matt Fernandez. You can read our recap of the taping here.

For the uninitiated, Doug Loves Movies is a cross between a conversation and a quiz show, with Benson leading his panelists in various film-themed games. The centerpiece of them all is the Leonard Maltin Game, in which comics must guess a movie's title based on hints from Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide -- although he's lately been phasing that game out. So start boning up on games like Build-A-Title, Last Man Stanton and Whose Tagline Is It Anyway? …

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Geri X talks about getting off the road, escaping a dark year and more

Geri X

Brian James Gallery Photography

Geri X

Fifteen albums into her career, Geri X is finally opening up.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. The Bulgarian-born singer-songwriter is one of Tampa Bay’s most visible artist, thanks in part to her passionate, confessional music. And her packed performance schedule over the past decade means local music fans have had plenty of time to get to know her.

But her new seven-song EP The Low Road “is basically a collection of songs that are new and songs from eight to 10 years ago that have never left my bedroom,” Geri X, 26, said. “I think I’ve only played one of them live, ever. It’s sort of a passion project.”

Self-recorded at home, The Low Road chronicles one of the darker years of Geri’s life, in which she struggled with anxiety, alcohol and the pressures of the road. The resulting EP, she said, is one of the most personal things she’s done since her teenage 2006 debut Radioactive Drool. She’s hand-making a limited batch of 150 copies that’ll include artwork and a lyric “zine.” …

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Underoath reunion tour kicking off at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Last week, news broke that Christian metalcore band Underoath -- one of the most successful bands ever to come out of Tampa Bay, with multiple Grammy nominations and well over a million albums sold -- was reuniting for a performance at the Self Help Fest in San Bernardino, Calif.

Shortly thereafter came the cries from longtime fans: How about a local show, too?

Today, those prayers have been answered.

Underoath is launching a full-on reunion tour next spring, and it'll kick off with a hometown concert on March 16 at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, the site of their final concert in January 2013. On this tour, they'll be performing 2004's They're Only Chasing Safety and 2006's Define the Great Line in their entireties. Tickets are $25-$29 and up, and they'll go on sale Friday. Click here, here and here for details.

By the time this tour starts, it'll have been more than three years since Underoath's last show -- not exactly an eternity, especially considering how busy its members have been keeping themselves. …

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