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Why is it so hard to get Beyonce tickets?

Anyone who tried this week to purchase pre-sale tickets to Beyonce's April 29 concert at Raymond James Stadium probably encountered slowdowns, glitches, overpriced tickets and all sorts of similar stress and frustration. The days of camping in line at your local record store are long gone, but buying a ticket to a hot concert doesn't feel that much easier.

While 50,000 people may pack into RayJay for Beyonce's Formation World Tour, nowhere near that many tickets will actually be made available to most of the general public. In many cases, more than half of all concert tickets are sucked up by fan clubs, pre-sales, industry insiders and other sources before the public even has a chance to buy them. And even then, you've gotta compete with the bots.

For our full story on why it's so hard to get tickets to a concert like Beyonce or Adele, click here.

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SoundBytes: Bonnie Raitt, Ana Gasteyer, Machine Gun Kelly and more

-- The one and only Bonnie Raitt is coming back to Clearwater -- but we don't know where and when. All we know is that she plans to come there on her fall tour, sometime in October or November. We'll keep you posted.

-- Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer will be in town this weekend, performing at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Club at Treasure Island. Tickets are $30-$40. Click here.

-- Troublemaking rapper Machine Gun Kelly will return to the Ritz Ybor on March 7. Tickets are $41.08. Click here.

-- Also coming to the Ritz Ybor: Finnish metal outfit Apocalyptica, on May 14. Tickets are $25-$40. Click here.

-- SeaWorld has added two more acts to its Bands, Brew & BBQ concert series: Scotty McCreery on Feb. 20 and Dennis DeYoung on Feb. 21. Click here.

-- The Big D and the Kids Table concert that was set for the State Theatre on April 23 has been moved to the Local 662. Click here.

-- Singer-songwriter Daniel Bachman is performing with Rebecca Zapen and Jeremy Douglass at the Palladium on March 24. Tickets are $7-$20. Click here. …

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Hillsong United's Jonathon Douglass talks touring the world, worship music's evolution and more

Hillsong United's Saturday show at the USF Sun Dome sold out so quickly, they added a second date, Sunday. It's proof that the Australian worship band remains a global force nearly 20 years after their first album.

"Not to sound cliche, but we are very aware it's all by the grace of God," Hillsong United drummer Jonathon Douglass said in an interview. "What we've been able to do has been a surprise to us. We are very normal people. We've been blown away that so many people show up to these nights that we do. We are just a group of guys and girls who are passionate about God and his church."

The shows are at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave. in Tampa. Tickets are $27.50 and up. Click here for details.

For more of Sarah Whitman's interview with Jonathon Douglass, click here.

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Sam Hunt, Meghan Trainor, James Bay: Which Best New Artist Grammy nominees will come to Tampa Bay?

Sam Hunt


Sam Hunt

It's a Grammy week tradition here on Soundcheck: Predicting which of this year's five nominees for Best New Artist will book a Tampa Bay concert in the next calendar year.

We started doing this in 2010, back when it felt like Tampa Bay was still too often overlooked by hot young artists just breaking into the worldwide spotlight. A Best New Artist winner (or even a nominee) touring in Tampa wasn't always a given in the months following the Grammys. But when it happened, it was big news.

Recent Best New Artist winners Zac Brown Band (2010), Esperanza Spalding (2011), Bon Iver (2012) and Sam Smith (2015) have all played Tampa Bay concerts since taking home a trophy. Fun. (2013) and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (2014), who played Tampa Bay before winning Best New Artist, haven't been back since. Of last year's nominees, Smith and Brandy Clark both ended up booking Tampa Bay shows; Bastille, Iggy Azalea and Haim did not.

This year, one Best New Artist Grammy nominee already has a concert scheduled in Tampa: Pop singer Tori Kelly, our upset pick to take home the trophy, is playing the Ritz Ybor on April 19 (click here for details). So she's off the board. …

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2016 Country Megaticket: Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert, more coming to Tampa

It’s Christmas morning for country fans in Tampa.

Live Nation on Friday announced the lineup for Tampa’s 2016 Country Megaticket, an eight-concert slate between June and September at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater. Fans can purchase one Megaticket for access to all eight shows starting Feb. 19 — or pick them up a la carte when each one goes on sale individually later this year.

This year's lineup includes headliners Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert, Chris Stapleton, Hank Williams Jr., Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Darius Rucker. Among the hot support acts: Brett Eldredge, Justin Moore, Tyler Farr, Kip Moore and Cam.

Here's the full Country Megaticket lineup:

June 3: Darius Rucker with Dan + Shay and Michael Ray

June 17: Keith Urban with Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris

July 16: Dierks Bentley with Randy Houser, Cam and Tucker Beathard

Aug. 5: Hank Williams Jr. and Chris Stapleton

Aug. 12: Brad Paisley with Tyler Farr and Maddie and Tae

Aug. 27: Brantley Gilbert with Justin Moore and Colt Ford

Sept. 9: Miranda Lambert with Kip Moore and Brothers Osborne

Sept. 23: Toby Keith with support TBA …

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This week in Tampa: Carly Rae Jepsen, Gary Clark Jr., Hillsong United, Pat Benatar and more

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo

It's Valentine's Day weekend, which means you have plenty of options for musical date-night fun. Along with tonight's Andrea Bocelli concert, you've got shows by Carly Rae Jepsen, Gary Clark Jr., Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Hillsong United, Todd Rundgren, Kinky Friedman, Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins, Anais Mitchell, Storm Large, Vinyl Theatre, Paul Thorn, Dark Star Orchestra, Robert Cray, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Winger, Firehouse, Excision and more. Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...

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Okeechobee Music Fest schedule, set times released: When to see Mumford and Sons, Kendrick Lamar and more

Fans have been chomping at the bit for a schedule and set times for the inaugural Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, March 3-6 in Okeechobee County. And with less than a month until the festival, it's all finally here.

After a buildup of an opening day on Thursday, March 3, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Daryl Hall and John Oates and Bassnectar will hold down the main stage on Friday. On Saturday, the big names are Skrillex, Kendrick Lamar and Miguel, who will also host his star-studded "PoWoW!" jam session with Win Butler and others that night. And on Sunday, it's Mumford and Sons, the Avett Brothers and Ween.

The music on the three main stages starts at around noon each day, and stretches until well after midnight. But DJs and other live performers will be spinning literally around the clock on four side stages.

You can click here for the full schedule, but for now, here's the main day-by-day lineup:

THURSDAY, MARCH 3: DJs, performances and activities on the side stages only. …

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Clearwater band dives into Deadpool soundtrack

Clearwater rockers Four Star Riot landed a song on the Deadpool movie soundtrack.

Clearwater rockers Four Star Riot landed a song on the Deadpool movie soundtrack.

Keep your ears open when watching the Marvel superhero movie Deadpool this weekend. Something may sound familiar.

Clearwater rock and roll band Four Star Riot has a song - the 2003 composition Something So Right -  making a cameo in Deadpool, according to the end credits.

"It's an old song that's been a staple of our shows for years," said Four Star Riot frontman Steve Alex in a telephone interview. "You knock on enough doors and sometimes they open."

Alex said the song was first considered for inclusion in the 2011 comedy A Good Old Fashioned Orgy starring Jason Sudeikis but the deal fell through. "Then kind of out of the blue, it happened," Alex said, adding the band's music previously crossed over to the movie Like Mike 2, ESPN and MTV.

Alex declined to say how much Four Star Riot is being paid for the Deadpool assist.

Something So Right isn't included on the movie's soundtrack album along such acts as DMX and Wham! but is listed among the action-comedy's music playlist. Listen to a recording here. …

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Hall and Oates, Trombone Shorty, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings coming to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Here's a cross-generational show that'll please all kinds of lovers of pop and soul.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Daryl Hall and John Oates are embarking on a tour that'll bring them to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on May 21, the venue announced today. Joining Hall and Oates are a couple of dynamic live performers steeped in the sounds of classic soul, jazz and rock: Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Quite a package tour, there.

Tickets to the show are $25 and up and they go on sale Feb. 12. Click here for details.

And if you can't wait that long, remember, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are headlining the Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival on Feb. 20 at Coachman Park, alongside St. Paul and the Broken Bones and more.

-- Jay Cridlin


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SoundBytes: Joel McHale, My Morning Jacket, Flogging Molly, Yelawolf and more

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-- One of TV's busiest comic presences, Joel McHale (The Soup, Community) is coming to the Straz Center on April 9. Tickets are $45.50, and they go on sale Friday. Click here.

-- Also coming to the Straz Center: Lera Lynn, the Americana singer-songwriter best known for her music from (and Black Rose bar cameos in) Season 2 of HBO's True Detective. She'll perform at the Jaeb Theater on April 11. Tickets are $25 and they go on sale Friday. Click here.

-- Ray LaMontagne announced last week that he'd be bringing his summer tour to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. What we didn't know at the time was that his backing band will consist of My Morning Jacket's Tommy Blankenship, Carl Broemel, Bo Koster and Patrick Hallahan. C'mon, Jim James, can't you fly down to Florida and make this a killer doubleheader? Tickets to the Aug. 12 show are $43 and up. Click here.

-- Celtic punk favorites Flogging Molly will return to Jannus Live on April 28. Tickets are $28.50, and they go on sale Friday. Click here.

-- Lord Huron played the Gasparilla Music Festival in 2013, and they'll be back in Tampa on June 16 for a post-Bonnaroo show at the Ritz Ybor. Tickets are $23.50. Click here. …

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'Legends of Southern Hip Hop' Juvenile, Too Short, Trick Daddy, more coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

Get ready for one of the year's biggest, most booming nights of Southern hip hop.

Tampa's USF Sun Dome on Monday announced that a new "Legends of Southern Hip Hop" concert will take place there on April 23, with a lineup that includes Juvenile (Back That Azz Up), Too Short (The Ghetto), 8Ball and MJG (Space Age Pimpin'), Trick Daddy (Let's Go), Project Pat (Chickenhead) and Pastor Troy (Vice Versa), among others.

Despite the presence of West Coast native Too Short, above, this is a lineup that represents much of the Dirty South bass, bombast and crunk sounds from cities like New Orleans, Atlanta, Memphis and Miami. And don't be surprised if one or more acts get added to the lineup down the line.

Tickets to the show are $49.75 and up, and they go on sale Feb. 12. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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SeaWorld Bands, Brew & BBQ concerts: Gladys Knight, Smash Mouth lead 2016 lineup

Gladys Knight

Jim Damaske

Gladys Knight

While SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are sister parks, they take different approaches to announcing their spring concert series.

Busch Gardens' Food & Wine Festival -- formerly known as Bands, Brew & BBQ -- announced almost all of its 2016 lineup at once. SeaWorld's concert series -- which is still known as Bands, Brew & BBQ -- announces its lineup week by week.

A lot of this has to do with Blackfish, the 2013 documentary that lambasted SeaWorld's treatment of orcas, and created a P.R. nightmare for the parks, especially as musicians tripped over themselves scrambling to back out of scheduled performances at the parks. Today, Busch Gardens' concert series has a new name, and SeaWorld takes a more cautious approach to announcing its lineup, in part so artists don't have to face so much public pressure to drop out. …

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Leon Bridges coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Leon Bridges was one of the breakout singers of 2015, a throwback soul crooner who racked up comparisons to Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, a Grammy nomination for best R&B album and an appearance on Saturday Night Live.

Now he's coming to Tampa Bay for the very first time.

Bridges will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Sept. 14, according to the venue's website. Lianne La Havas will open the show. Tickets are $38.75 and up, and they'll go on sale soon. Click here for details.

The 26-year-old singer racked up massive accolates for his impressively vintage-sounding debut album Coming Home, as well as his single So Long, from the soundtrack to Concussion. On his calendar this summer are gigs at festivals like Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, Hangout and the Roots Picnic.

In other words, if you like vintage, vinyl-sounding soul, this is a show not to miss.

-- Jay Cridlin


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Andrea Bocelli talks Valentine's Day, romantic songs, his thoughts on love and fame and more

Few artists speak the language of love like Andrea Bocelli, the renowned Italian tenor who returns to Amalie Arena on Thursday for his third Tampa concert in five years.

Unlike the last two, however, this one is tied not to Christmas, but Valentine’s Day. Perfect, we say, because who out there has melted more hearts over the years than Bocelli? What’s the over-under on the number of proposals that’ll take place before, during or after this show? How many tissues will we all need by the end of Time To Say Goodbye?

To mark the occasion, we emailed Bocelli a few questions about love, Valentine’s Day and his relationship with his wife, Veronica (he prefers to email because it gives him a better handle on the language). Here, edited slightly for clarity, is what he had to say.

This is your third Tampa concert in five years, but the last two came in December. This show is tied to Valentine’s Day. Aside from an absence of holiday music, how will your Valentine’s Day show feel different?  …

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A dozen photos from Super Bowl 50 halftime show with Beyonce, Coldplay, Bruno Mars

Beyonce performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game in Santa Clara, Calif. Beyonce is working overtime this weekend: After releasing a new song Saturday and performing at the Super Bowl on Sunday, she has announced a new stadium tour. The Grammy-winning singer announced her 2016 Formation World Tour in a commercial after she performed at the halftime show with Bruno Mars and Coldplay.

Matt Slocum | Associated Press

Beyonce performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game in Santa Clara, Calif. Beyonce is working overtime this weekend: After releasing a new song Saturday and performing at the Super Bowl on Sunday, she has announced a new stadium tour. The Grammy-winning singer announced her 2016 Formation World Tour in a commercial after she performed at the halftime show with Bruno Mars and Coldplay.

The halftime show at Super Bowl 50 opened with Coldplay doing a mashup of Yellow and Vida la Vida.

After Paradise and A Head Full of Dreams, the show got a little funkier when Bruno Mars took over with Uptown Funk.

But since the release of the video for her new single, Formation, on Saturday, Beyonce was the one many viewers were waiting for. And she didn't disappoint.

A commercial right after the halftime show announced a "Formation World Tour," which will be coming to Tampa's Raymond James Stadium.

RELATED: Four amazing things about Beyonce's new single, Formation. 

Here's a photo gallery from the performances.


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