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U.S. 103.5 Throwdown By the Bay: Little Big Town, Chris Stapleton, more coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Last year's inaugural U.S. 103.5 Throwdown By the Bay was a welcome, country-centric addition to the crowded year-end radio festival market.

The second Throwdown won't take place until after this year's holidays. But it might be your early frontrunner for best country concert of 2016.

Grammy- and CMA-winning foursome Little Big Town (Pontoon, Day Drinking) and shaggy CMA sweeper Chris Stapleton top the bill for the second Throwdown By the Bay, coming Jan. 30 to Amalie Arena in Tampa. Joining them are Girl in a Country Song duo Maddie and Tae and at least one other act will join them.

Little Big Town in and of themselves will be a big draw, now that they're arguably the biggest pop country group in the land. But Stapleton is the real get here. He's fresh off sweeping the CMAs for Male Vocalist of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for his widely acclaimed Traveller. And that performance of Tennessee Whiskey with Justin Timberlake was one of the awards-show moments of the year.

Tickets to the Throwdown are $16.74 and up, and they go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday via Ticketmaster. Click here and here for more details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Bryan Adams coming to Coachman Park in Clearwater

This could be fun: A concert that'll bring live music to one of Tampa Bay's most scenic parks, at a time of year when it's usually pretty silent.

Ruth Eckerd Hall and the city of Clearwater are partnering to bring Canadian rock hero Bryan Adams to Coachman Park on Feb. 19, the venue announced Monday. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $60-$100 for VIP and reserved seating, and they go on sale Saturday. Click here and here for details.

The booking makes sense on at least one level: Adams, who hasn't played a show with a full band here in quite some time, is playing outdoor venues in support of his 13th album Get Up. If he wants to play outside instead of inside, why not whip up a concert venue and make it happen?

Coachman Park is no stranger to live music, hosting the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, 94.1 Wild Splash, the 92.5 Maxima Hispanic Heritage Concert and the Clearwater Fun 'n Sun each year. But it's unusual to see a single headlining show there.

Hey, any way we can hear Adams classics like Run To You, Can't Stop This Thing We Started and Somebody under the sky in our own backyard, we'll take it.

-- Jay Cridlin


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97X Next Big Thing: Schedule, set times and more for Saturday's concert

97X Next Big Thing's glorious return to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre seems to be working out just fine. The 2015 edition of the alt-rock festival, which takes place Saturday, sold out last week, which means the only way to get in at this point is to win tickets through the station.

Today, we have the schedule and set times for the 97X Next Big Thing lineup, so if you're looking to find out when to see Twenty One Pilots, Walk the Moon (above), PVRIS or anyone else, we've got you covered.

One quick note: Singer-songwriter-producer Boots has dropped off this year's 97X Next Big Thing bill. But everyone else is still ready to go, including a pair of local openers who have not yet been announced (we'll update this when they are).

Without further ado, here's the schedule and set times for 97X Next Big Thing 2015:

10 a.m.: Local opener (second stage)

10:40: Local opener (second stage)

11:20: PVRIS (second stage)

12:10 p.m.: Borns (second stage)

1: Coleman Hell (second stage)

1:30: Glass Animals (main stage)

2:10: Saint Motel (second stage)

2:50: X Ambassadors (main stage)

3:50: Robert DeLong (main stage)

4:50: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (main stage) …

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Cyber Monday ticket deals: Save at Amalie Arena, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Straz Center and more

Cyber Monday isn't just for picking up gifts at a steep discount through your favorite online retailer. Shop carefully, and you can also find some great ticket deals to hot shows at some of Tampa Bay's best venues.

This year's crop of Cyber Monday ticket deals at Ruth Eckerd Hall, the Straz Center, Amalie Arena and elsewhere includes big names like Itzhak Perlman, Jane Lynch, Alan Cumming, Sutton Foster, Clint Black, Butch Trucks, John Waters, Jersey Boys, Natalie Cole, the Harlem Globetrotters and Cirque du Soleil.

Here are some of this year's best one-day-only ticket deals in Tampa Bay.

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SoundBytes: Nelly, Graham Nash, David Cook and more

-- 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. …

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Rihanna coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

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


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Barry Manilow coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

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 Cridlin

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This week in Tampa: Mavis Staples, 50 Cent, Circa Survive, the Front Bottoms and more

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...

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Ticket Window: Justin Bieber, Dixie Chicks, Hillsong United, Pat Benatar and more

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.


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Review: WQYK Guitar Pull showcases a stripped-down Charles Kelley, Lee Brice, more at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater

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.

Jay Cridlin

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

Okeechobee Fest lineup additions: Avett Brothers, Bassnectar, Odesza and more

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 Cridlin

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George Winston talks Allen Toussaint, documenting America's musical heritage and more

George Winston

Joe del Tufo

George Winston

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.” …

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Emily Kinney talks about life after 'Walking Dead,' forging a career in music and more

Emily Kinney

Tina Turnbow, Shore Fire Media

Emily Kinney

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.

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Photos: Brian Wilson, Al Jardine bring Beach Boys classics to life at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys performed at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Nov. 17, 2015.

Dirk Shadd

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.

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Hangout Fest lineup: The Weeknd, Florence and the Machine, Alabama Shakes, Calvin Harris and more

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