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Review: Mike Tyson funny, compassionate in 'Undisputed Truth' at Tampa's Hard Rock Cafe

Mike Tyson performed at the Hard Rock Cafe inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa on Oct. 25, 2014.

Robbyn Mitchell

Mike Tyson performed at the Hard Rock Cafe inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa on Oct. 25, 2014.

Death becomes Mike Tyson. In moments of loss, the former heavyweight boxing champion transforms from a caricature – all speech impediments and silly facial expressions – into a recognizable man, a son, a brother and a father.

Those moments of loss were the highlights of his 45-minute show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth at Tampa’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Saturday night.

Tyson, 48, recounted his life for a room full of fans, playing up the funny parts and glossing over the more unseemly chapters of his life. Low volume on his microphone mixed with his famous lisp to make some parts of the story unintelligible, but for the important moments he took his time and made sure the crowd didn’t miss a beat.

The former champ slid onto stage 25 minutes after showtime in high Miami style, white pants and silk patterned shirt in the '90s Versace wheelhouse. Speakers blasted Jay Z’s verse from N----s in Paris, chopped down to repeat Tyson’s name like a riled-up crowd before a match.

Onstage, he pulled no punches. “I know ya’ll are wondering, ‘What’s Mike Tyson going to do out here on stage?'" he said. "I’m wondering the same thing… Man, this is some real weird s---.” …

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2014 Born to Ride Jam lineup drops Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, Lou Gramm, more

Last year’s Born to Ride Jam, which included sets from Paul Rodgers and Joan Jett, went pretty well, attracting more than 7,000 fans to England Brothers Bandshell Park in Pinellas Park. Not so much for the 2014 installment, which is coming Nov. 1.

A September lineup announcement promised appearances by Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, Billy Squier and Lou Gramm of Foreigner. Those names dropped out after the Los Angeles promoter in charge of delivering them went belly-up, said event organizer Frank Giglio.

“We tried to negotiate with the bands,” Giglio said, but no dice. Instead, the lineup has been retooled and will now feature Molly Hatchet, above, and former Journey singer Steve Augeri. The Artimus Pyle Band, Black Oak Arkansas, Swamp Da Wamp, Preacher Stone, Michael Allman Band, Redneck Messiahs are among the other acts on the bill.

In addition, one of the three Sons of Anarchy stars who were set to appear, Ryan Hurst, has dropped out. Two other SOA stars, Mark Boone Jr. and Emilio Rivera, will still be there, Giglio said, as will some stars from the Animal Planet show Gator Boys.

Tickets to the 2014 Born to Ride Jam are on sale now for $20 and up. Click here for details. …

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Photos: Ringo Starr brings his All-Starr Band to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, featuring Mr. Mister's Richard Page, right, on bass and vocals, returned to Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on Oct. 23, 2014.

Brian Mahar

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, featuring Mr. Mister's Richard Page, right, on bass and vocals, returned to Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on Oct. 23, 2014.

It's not every day a Beatle wanders into your midst, so Ringo Starr's concert Thursday at Ruth Eckerd Hall was cause for celebration. The singer and drummer brought his All-Starr Band back to Clearwater with a lineup that included Toto's Steve Lukather, Mr. Mister's Richard Page, Santana's Gregg Rolie, Todd Rundgren and more. Brian Mahar was there to capture the Funny One in person; check out a slideshow of photos by clicking the headline of this post.

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Mike Tyson talks acting, 'Mike Tyson Mysteries,' baring his soul on stage and more

Local fans waiting patiently for Monday's premiere of Adult Swim's new comedy-toon Mike Tyson Mysteries don't have to wait that long to get a dose of the man himself.

The former heavyweight boxing champ will bring his one-man show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth to the Hard Rock Cafe at Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Saturday night.

"Dynamic collections of stories that they know about but me giving them another perspective," Tyson said in a recent phone interview, describing his one-man stage show. "It has a whole life of its own. It's still on HBO, actually, and I saw it the night before last and thought, 'Wow. It's going to be exciting.'"

Tyson brings his one-man show to the Hard Rock Cafe at Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at 6 p.m. Saturday (a second show at 9 p.m. is closed to the public). The show is sold out, but if nothing else, you can watch the premiere of Mike Tyson Mysteries at 10:30 p.m. Monday on Adult Swim.

For more of Robbyn Mitchell's interview with Mike Tyson, click here.

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Tampa band Set It Off's new album 'Duality' charts on Billboard 200

It's been a banner year for Tampa-connected acts making headlines around the country, from Merchandise to Set and Setting to Selwyn Birchwood.

But headlines are one thing; actual album sales are another. And anytime a local artist pegs an album on the Billboard 200 chart, it's cause for celebration.

Theatrical Tampa pop-punk act Set It Off made just such an impression this week, when their new Equal Vision Records album Duality landed at No. 86. It's quite a step up from their last album, 2012's Cinematics, which debuted at No. 174.

It's the fourth album with strong local ties to score a Billboard 200 chart debut since this summer. Former Tampa resident Benjamin Booker's self-titled debut landed at No. 46 in August. Death metal icons Cannibal Corpse scored their highest-ever chart debut (No. 32) with September's A Skeletal Domain. That same week, Broken Compass, the debut full-length from ex-Underoath project Sleepwave, landed at No. 194.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Before Benjamin Booker plays Tampa's Coral Skies Music Festival, catch him on 'Jools Holland'

It's been a whirlwind year for Benjamin Booker, who this time last year was simply one of the Tampa music scene's brightest stars. Since moving to New Orleans, he's signed with ATO Records, played Conan and Letterman, toured with Jack White, played festivals like the ACL Music Fest and Newport Folk Fest.

If you're somehow STILL unfamiliar with Booker -- whose self-titled debut album landed at No. 46 on Billboard's Top 200 -- you finally have a chance to fix that when he performs at Saturday's Coral Skies Music Fest in Tampa. Booker will take the stage at 1:15 p.m., prior to heavyweights like Cage the Elephant, Julian Casablancas and Bleachers.

For a preview of the show, check out tonight's episode of Later...With Jools Holland, which airs at 10 p.m. on Palladia. Playing the long-running British show is a mark of musical honor; Booker's fellow guests tonight include Manic Street Preachers, Jessie Ware, Robert Randolph and Ben Howard. Click here for details on the show.

And if that's still not enough, check out Jimmy Geurts' recent profile of Booker, in which he discusses the ways Tampa shaped his musical past and present.

Get the rest of the schedule and set times for the Coral Skies Music Festival after the jump.Full Story

Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor: Tips for survival, must-see bands and more

Gainesville’s annual punk festival known only as Fest had so much fun during a side trip to Ybor City last year, they’re coming back for round two.

Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor, next Wednesday and Thursday, will feature more than 70 local, national and international punk bands at stages including Crowbar, Orpheum, New World Brewery and Tequilas. Among the countless highlights: Bands performing unique Pre-Fest sets (such as Less Than Jake performing 1996’s Losing Streak in its entirety, or A Wilhelm Scream doing an all-Twitter request set); a stand-up comedy showcase at the Market on 7th; a performance by “live monster wrestling” ensemble Kaiju Big Battel at the Orpheum; and a free stage outside Tequilas with live sets by Franz Nicolay, PJ Bond, Matt Woods and others.

For Jimmy Geurts' full Pre-Fest preview -- along with a half-dozen must-see bands, including Screaming Females, above -- click here.Full Story

This week in Tampa: Coral Skies Music Festival, Skrillex, Brand New, Pre-Fest and more

It's another festival-filled week in Tampa Bay, as the Coral Skies Music Festival (with Cage the Elephant, Julian Casablancas and Bleachers) takes over the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre and Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor (with more than 70 bands including Less Than Jake and Screaming Females) returns to the clubs of Ybor City. And if that all sounds too loud, there's Folkfest St. Pete.

Other big shows on this week's calendar include Skrillex (above), Brand New, American Authors, Smash Mouth, Trina, Brendan James, Mike Doughty, Mary Lambert, Yellowcard and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...Full Story

SoundBytes: Corey Smith, Ryan Beatty, Yoni Wolf, Astronautalis and more

-- Indie-alternative rappers Yoni Wolf of Why? (above) and Astronautalis are coming to the Orpheum in Ybor City on Dec. 20. Tickets are $13-$15. Click here.

-- There are two big park concerts in Tampa you might want to put on your radar. Coming Nov. 8, is the Tampa Pig Jig, a barbecue contest and concert featuring Corey Smith, Edwin McCain, Hootie and the Blowfish's Mark Bryan and more in Curtis Hixon Park. General admission tickets start at $15. Click here. The following week is the River Rock Craft Beer and Music Festival, Nov. 15 at Tampa's new Water Works Park, with headliner Sister Hazel. Tickets start at $20. Click here.

-- The House of Blues in Orlando is getting into the year-end radio concert game with Mix 105.1's All I Want For Christmas Show, featuring Daughtry, O.A.R. and Ingrid Michaelson on Dec. 15. Tickets are $49.50. Click here.

-- Teenage pop singer Ryan Beatty is coming to the Local 662 in St. Pete on Nov. 16. Tickets are $20. Click here.

-- Jamgrass outfit Greensky Bluegrass is coming to the State Theatre on Jan. 20; tickets are $15. Two days later, alt-country outfit Shovels & Rope will be at the State; tickets are $20. Both shows go on sale Friday. Click here. …

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Ticket Window: Alan Jackson, Ben Howard, Shovels & Rope and more

We're already looking forward to one of our most anticipated concerts of early 2015: Ben Howard at Jannus Live. The acclaimed British singer-songwriter has a cult following thanks to his earthy and soulful voice and lyrics -- think Ed Sheeran meets Ben Gibbard meets Gomez -- and he doesn't tour often in these parts, so don't sleep out.

Other Tampa Bay concerts and events with tickets going on sale this week: S.P.O.R.E. (Nov. 28, Local 662), Crowbar (Dec. 1, State Theatre), Classic Albums Live: Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here (Jan. 8, Capitol Theatre), Alan Jackson (Jan. 9, USF Sun Dome), Ben Howard (Jan. 20, Jannus Live), Shovels and Rope (Jan. 22, State Theatre), Greensky Bluegrass (Jan. 20, State Theatre) and Air Supply (May 16, Capitol Theatre).

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

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Bill Maher talks about the Florida governor's race, medical marijuana and more

Coming to a state like Florida must be irresistible for a political comic like Bill Maher. The state practically overflows with punchlines that write themselves -- and never more so than in an election year.

So when the Real Time host comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Saturday, you can expect he'll have a lot to say about Rick Scott and Charlie Crist.

"I will definitely be getting into that when I'm there," he said in a recent phone interview. "First of all, it's a very important race for the country. Obviously we see the party that controls Florida can sometimes control the election, and sometimes the national election is controlled by Florida. So, it's more than a little important who wins.

Maher performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets are $50.75-$150. Click here for details.

For more of Steve Persall's interview with Bill Maher, click here.

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Michael Francis talks about leading the Florida Orchestra, moving from England to Tampa and more

Cherie Diez

This weekend, fans of the Florida Orchestra will get a sneak peek at their next leader, as incoming music director Michael Francis leads a program that includes Ives' Centarl Park in the Dark, Barber's Violin Concerto and Elgar's Symphony No. 1.

What can Orchestra aficionadoes expect? Well, Francis, 38, doesn't believe in dumbing down music, he said. He believes in giving context.

"The art of listening in some ways is naturally dwindling because we have other forms of entertainment," he said in an interview with the Times at Bay News 9 studios Monday. "People 100 years ago would have such an understanding of the intricacies of music. They knew if a composer was doing something, he was setting up an expectation. So if he went the other way, they would get the joke. … Now, we just think it's all very elegant."

For more details about this weekend's performances, click here. And for more of Stephanie Hayes' interview with Michael Francis, click here.

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Bombay Bicycle Club's Ed Nash talks about the Mercury Prize, traveling in America, painting on tour and more

Bombay Bicycle Club

Jamie Stoker

Bombay Bicycle Club

It’s safe to say Ed Nash has never had a gig like the one he booked on Sept. 19.

That was the day after the failed Scottish referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. By sheer coincidence, the Bombay Bicycle Club bassist had been booked for a DJ gig in Glasgow.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be here,” Nash said by phone, shortly after arriving at his hotel. “I imagine people will be celebrating wildly or drinking their sorrows away. It could be quite a night.”

Such is life as a member of Bombay Bicycle Club, an increasingly in-demand band for whom wild nights are swiftly becoming the norm. Case in point: On Oct. 29, four days after they perform at Tampa’s Coral Skies Music Festival, the London alt-pop group will find out if their latest album So Long, See You Tomorrow won Britain’s prestigious Mercury Prize, an honor previously bestowed upon Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, James Blake and PJ Harvey. …

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Alan Jackson coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

If this weekend's Jason Aldean/Florida Georgia Line concert in Tampa left you with a bit of a bro-country hangover, here's a show that might serve as a remedy.

Country legend Alan Jackson has announced dates for a long-anticipated 25th anniversary tour, and they include a stop at the USF Sun Dome on Jan. 9. Tickets are $25 and up, and they go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.

As if to reinforce the notion that the thoughtful Jackson is far from today's beer-swillin', spring-breakin' country scene, he's chosen as his openers on this tour Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Brandy Clark (whom we caught opening for Jennifer Nettles at Ruth Eckerd Hall back in February) and Jon Pardi, two of the country world's brightest young throwback artists. …

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Review: Funk Fest Tampa brings a sharp Jill Scott (but no Bobby Brown) to Raymond James Stadium

Jill Scott performs at Funk Fest Tampa 2014 at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 18, 2014.

Luis Santana

Jill Scott performs at Funk Fest Tampa 2014 at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 18, 2014.

“Those off you that have true love, I hope you make that good love tonight,” Jill Scott laughed as she wound up her 90-minute set at Funk Fest Tampa just outside Raymond James Stadium Saturday night.

“Think of me once – maybe twice,” the Philadelphia soul singer encouraged the crowd of more than 10,000 as she prepared to sing her big hit, He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat).

Saturday night’s set, the finale to a day full of performances, was heavy on selections from her debut album Words and Sounds Vol. 1. Jams like It’s Love, The Way and Getting’ in The Way got huge audience responses, inspiring sing-alongs and whoops.Full Story