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Toby Keith to headline concert at 2017 Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor

For the third straight year, a huge country star is coming to Tampa Bay for a concert at the PGA’s Valspar Championship.

Toby Keith will follow in the footsteps of the Band Perry and Rascal Flatts as the headliner of a post-round concert on Saturday, March 11 at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor.

Admission to the show is free to tournament passholders on that day, and they start at just $39 for anyone who just wants to see a big country show. The concert will start at the conclusion of play on Saturday, approximately 6:30 p.m.

And for Toby Keith fans, it is a big show. As we noted before his concert last week in Tampa, Keith has played the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre 11 times since the venue opened in 2004. The opportunity to see him in any other setting – especially one as unique as a golf course – is pretty rare in Central Florida.

The 2017 Valspar Championship takes place March 9-12 at Innisbrook, with pre-tournament festivities starting March 6. Click here for all the details on the event.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Sum 41 to appear in St. Pete record store

AP

Before pop-punk hitmakers Sum 41 (In Too Deep) takes the stage at St. Petersburg's State Theatre on Oct. 8, you can meet the band in person at a local record store. To mark the release of Sum 41's new record 13 Voices, the band will be stopping by Daddy Kool Records from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 8 to sign before their show at State Theatre that night.

You can pre-Order 13 Voices and receive a free wristband for the signing and a free poster. A wristband is required as space is limited.

You can order the CD here or the vinyl here or in person at Daddy Kool, 666 Central Ave St.Petersburg.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

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Review: Merchandise showcases lush new music, hometown love at Crowbar in Tampa

Merchandise performed at Crowbar in Ybor City on Sept. 23, 2016.

Jay Cridlin

Merchandise performed at Crowbar in Ybor City on Sept. 23, 2016.

The unthinkable has happened: Merchandise has grown up.

Two years ago, the Tampa indie rockers dropped their album After the End with a messy, rebellious, chaotic performance at the Hub in downtown Tampa. It’s surprising we got even that. Until they signed with British label 4AD, they were all too happy to operate in the shadows of the Tampa punk scene, playing house parties and storage unit shows and shunning the local spotlight, even as tastemaking sites like Pitchfork and Stereogum came calling.

But on Friday, Merchandise celebrated their second 4AD release, A Corpse Wired For Sound, with a full-on, legitimately professional concert at Crowbar in Ybor City. No one slurred or fell over. They played like they meant it, delivering melodic and occasionally beautiful music to a crowd that appreciated the effort.

Tampa may always have a love-hate relationship with Merchandise — Crowbar was healthily packed but not full — but on this night at least, Merchandise was happy to dance with the city that brung ’em, shouting out their hometown just about every chance they got. …

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Photos: The Purple Xperience brings Prince to life at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg

Singer-guitarist Marshall Charloff played Prince in the Purple Xperience, a Prince tribute band led by the Revolution's keyboardist Matt "Doctor" Fink. They played the Coliseum in St. Petersburg on Sept. 23, 2016.

Jay Cridlin

Singer-guitarist Marshall Charloff played Prince in the Purple Xperience, a Prince tribute band led by the Revolution's keyboardist Matt "Doctor" Fink. They played the Coliseum in St. Petersburg on Sept. 23, 2016.

Dearly beloved,hundreds of fans gathered in Tampa Bay today to get through this thing called life -- and they had a little help from a member of Prince's band the Revolution.

The Purple Xperience, a band led by the Revolution's keyboardist Matt "Doctor" Fink, hit the Coliseum in St. Petersburg on Friday for the second night of a swing through Tampa Bay, following a gig at the Tampa Theatre on Thursday.

With singer-guitarist Marshall Charloff playing Prince, the band ripped through a set of funk-pop classics like 1999 and I Would Die 4 U at the Coliseum, a beautiful and underutilized venue in St. Petersburg, with strands of purple lights strung from the ceiling.

When the band drifted into a 13-plus-minute version of Purple Rain at the end, with Fink leading in and out on the keys, fans slow-danced, raised their phones and swayed arm in arm together as they sang along.

Click the headline of this post for more photos from the show.

-- Jay Cridlin

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'Comedy Get Down': Cedric the Entertainer, George Lopez, more coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Sitcom stars, talk show hosts, superstar stand-ups and one Undercover Brother.

That's who's coming to Tampa as part of the second "Comedy Get Down" at Amalie Arena.

Comics George Lopez, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin and Charlie Murphy are teaming up for a blockbuster package tour that hits Tampa on Jan 20, the venue announced Friday.

It's a ressurection of the tour formerly known as the "Black and Brown Comedy Get Down," which featured all five comics along with Mike Epps at the arena in January 2015.

As Murphy told the Times in 2015, the tour started when promoters saw some of the comics perform a benefit for a Richard Pryor memorial.

"How could we not go there to pay homage to one of the greatest to ever do this?" said the Chappelle's Show comic. "Everybody was on their game and we killed it. Promoters seen that and it started from there."

Tickets to the 2017 Comedy Get Down start at $46.50, and they go on sale Sept. 30. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Scarlett Johansson, St. Petersburg singer Kendra Morris release charity cover of New Order's 'Bizarre Love Triangle'

Scarlett Johansson

AP

Scarlett Johansson

Did you know Scarlett Johansson had a pop band? You probably did. She’s an accomplished singer who’s released several albums, including 2009’s pretty great Break Up with Pete Yorn.

But did you also know one of her bandmates has, for a while now, been St. Petersburg native Kendra Morris?

Morris, 35, and Johansson sing together in a group called Sugar for Sugar, along with singers Julia Haltigan and Holly Miranda. On Thursday they dropped one of their first releases, a cover of New Order’s Bizarre Love Triangle for the HIV/AIDS research organization amfAR. It’s part of The Time Is Now, a compilation of ’80s covers by artists like Aloe Blacc (Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean), Phantogram (Phil CollinsTake Me Home) and DNCE (Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got to Do With It).

A former University of South Florida student who now lives in New York, Morris — the daughter of Tampa Bay Times artist Don Morris — knows a thing or two about quality covers. In 2014 she released Mockingbird, a covers album featuring vintage soul versions of songs by Radiohead, Metallica, David Bowie and Soundgarden, among others. She’s also dropped several albums of her own music, including Babble, released this summer. …

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Merchandise talk about 'A Corpse Wired For Sound,' coming home to Tampa and more

Merchandise, with guitarist David Vassalotti (left) and singer Carson Cox, performed at Mojo Books and Records on Sept. 20, 2016.

Andres Leiva

Merchandise, with guitarist David Vassalotti (left) and singer Carson Cox, performed at Mojo Books and Records on Sept. 20, 2016.

On Friday, Tampa indie rockers Merchandise will release A Corpse Wired For Sound, their second album on esteemed British label 4AD. That night, the band will play a show in Ybor City (click here for details) before embarking on a three-month tour of North America and Europe.

It's a huge week for a group that occupies a spotlight rarely bestowed on artists from Tampa Bay. Over the past eight years, Merchandise has been anointed a Very Cool Band by outlets like the New York Times, Spin, Billboard, Pitchfork and NME. They're not pop-famous, but they've enjoyed real critical acclaim, and have played huge gigs around the world, representing the city of Tampa in ways few musicians ever have.

Yet Merchandise has a complicated relationship with their hometown, one that on both sides doesn't always feel like love -- especially when, two years ago, singer Carson Cox described Tampa as a "cultural wasteland" in the pages of a British magazine. …

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String trio serenades airport crowd, soothing rush hour nerves

Florida Orchestra musicians (from left) Samantha Bennett, Fred Gratta and Alison Heydt entertain passersby at Tampa International Airport.

Photo by Andrew Meacham

Florida Orchestra musicians (from left) Samantha Bennett, Fred Gratta and Alison Heydt entertain passersby at Tampa International Airport.

TAMPA -- Everywhere else, the evening rush hour was dragging everything living and breathing gradually under foot. 

But between Airsides A and C on Wednesday, the shuttle walls cut off half of that ambient noise, and several dozen people lounging or standing there weren't making any.

They were all watching a trio from the Florida Orchestra play a half-hour concert, one of several "pop-up" performances musicians have been doing this week. Alison Heydt, Fred Gratta and Samantha Bennett played classical numbers and popular favorites, including Stranger in Paradise.

"It's very relaxing," said Charles Worth, 38, of Tampa, who with this two children was on his way to board a plane to Iowa when he heard the trio playing a variation of the Flower Duet, from the opera Lakme.

"It sounded like a wedding, and I like weddings," said Kathryn Worth, 5.

Onlookers watched performances in near silence. Visitors who had just wandered by listneed while surfing their phones. Richard Ksaizek, 62, and wife Marsha, 63, halted on their way to a plane as the trio played Beethoven's Ode to Joy.to take in the musical change of pace. Both found it soothing.

"And we need that right now," she said. …

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USF Homecoming: 2 Chainz, Dreezy coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

No lie: 2 Chainz is coming to Tampa.

The blockbuster rapper (No Lie, Feds Watching, Mercy, Birthday Song) will headline the University of South Florida's annual Homecoming concert on Oct. 6 at the USF Sun Dome. He'll be joined by up-and-coming Chicago rapper Dreezy, who scored a hit this year with Body.

The concert, always one of USF's premiere Homecoming week events, will be free to USF students who register starting Sept. 27, and they can purchase one guest ticket for $10. USF faculty, staff and alumni can register for tickets starting at $15. Tickets will go on sale to the general public for $25 and up starting Sept. 30.

But the concert is only part of USF's Homecoming week festivities. Another big one is the annual Stampede Comedy Show, which this year features headliner Brent Morin (Undateable), Ted Alexandro and USF alumna Jessica Michelle Singleton. This show is free for all, and it takes place at 8 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Sun Dome. …

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Barbra Streisand coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

A Barbra Streisand concert in your back yard is an unbelievably rare thing. The Hollywood icon is a famously reticent performer, and on the few occasions she does schedule a live concert, they tend to sell out pretty quickly.

So brace yourselves for this news: Streisand has just announced her first-ever concert in Tampa.

The legendary singer/actor/director/icon will perform at Amalie Arena on Nov. 30, the venue has announced. She'll also perform at Fort Lauderdale's BB&T Center on Dec. 3 and Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena on Dec. 5.

But it's the Tampa show, obviously, we're most excited about. It comes in support of Encore, her latest chart-topping album, which sees her performing Broadway duets with Hollywood stars like Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Alec Baldwin. A short recent tour included a show at Brooklyn's Barclays Center that featured cameo appearances by Jamie Foxx and Patrick Wilson. No word on whether she'll have any guests in Tampa, but Wilson's a St. Petersburg boy; surely he might swing down to croon along on their duet Loving You? …

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The Purple Xperience's Marshall Charloff talks about playing Prince, touring with the Revolution's Matt 'Doctor' Fink and more

When he first met Prince, Marshall Charloff was just a teenager who happened to be in a band with the Purple One's cousin.

More than 30 years later, he performs as Prince in the Purple Xperience, a tribute act led by Matt "Doctor" Fink, Prince's scrubs-wearing keyboardist in the Revolution. The group hits Tampa Bay for concerts Thursday at the Tampa Theatre and Friday at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg. (A third concert originally slated for Lakeland on Saturday has been canceled.) Click here for details.

Fink has led the Purple Xperience since 2011, touring sporadically, but interest in the band has exploded since Prince's sudden death on April 21. At first, Charloff thought performing would be "inappropriate" — Prince died on a Thursday, and the Purple Xperience was booked for a concert the next night — but Fink insisted the show go on.

"We hit the stage, and all I can tell you is it was one of those moments where it felt right," he said. "If it didn't feel right, I wouldn't be doing this. It felt right, it felt cathartic, it felt purposeful — more so than it did the previous four and a half years, where we were just having fun. It felt like a calling." …

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The 1975 coming to Hard Rock Live in Orlando

Excited about the 1975 coming to headline 97X Next Big Thing in Tampa? Good news: You can now look forward to a full weekend of fandom.

A day after the 1975 plays Next Big Thing on Saturday, Dec. 3, they'll head over to Orlando for a headlining concert at Hard Rock Live. Tickets are $43 and up, and they go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Click here for details.

Given the 1975's wild popularity -- and the acclaim they've received for their new album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it -- it wouldn't be surprising to see lots of young fans make the trip from Tampa to Orlando for the show on Dec. 4, even though they'll be playing a huge festival the night before.

For those who don't feel like hiking to Orlando, 97X Next Big Thing will feature the 1975, the Head and the Heart, Phantogram, Kongos, Capital Cities and more. Click here for all the details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Kesha coming to the Ritz Ybor in Tampa

Over the past couple of years, Kesha's been all over the news for some pretty awful reasons -- particularly her lawsuit against her producer and collaborator Dr. Luke over allegations of sexual assault.

But the Tik Tok singer has also taken steps to restart her career with sporadic live performances here and there, including a heartfelt rendition of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe at the Billboard Music Awards.

Now she's out on the road again, and she's coming back to Tampa.

Kesha and her band the Creepies will perform at the Ritz Ybor on Oct. 25, according to promoters. Tickets are $25 and will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Click here for details.

As Kesha has fought to untangle her legal future with her label and Dr. Luke, she's released at least one new song (True Colors with Zedd) and taken her music to some darker, more country- and soul-tinged places. But you can likely expect to hear pop hits like We R Who We R and Timber, which put her on the map in the first place.

Either way, this'll be one newsworthy show.

-- Jay Cridlin

 

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SoundBytes: Dream Theater, Carrot Top, Jello Biafra, Steve Vai and more

Dream Theater

Roadrunner Records

Dream Theater

-- Prog-metal legends Dream Theater are coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Dec. 1. Tickets are $38.75. Click here.

-- Also coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall: Steve Lawrence singing Frank Sinatra tunes on Feb. 12. Tickets are $40 and up. Click here.

Rusted Root and the Devon Allman Band (Oct. 23, click here), Boney James (Nov. 5, click here) Marc Cohn (March 3, click here), Clint Black (March 7, click here), Carrot Top (March 22, click here) and Jim Brickman (April 1, click here).

-- Guitar god Steve Vai is coming to the Palladium in St. Petersburg on Nov. 25. Tickets are $40 and up. Click here.

-- Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall's Murray Theater on March 17. Tickets are $40. Click here.

-- Excellent year-end punk show coming to the State Theatre on Dec. 30: The Reverend Horton Heat, the Legendary Shack Shakers and former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra. Tickets are $27 and up. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Photos: Tito Puente Jr. brings the beat to Viva Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Festival in Ybor City

Tito Puente Jr. led the music at the Viva Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Festival in Ybor City on Sept. 18, 2016.

Luis Santana

Tito Puente Jr. led the music at the Viva Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Festival in Ybor City on Sept. 18, 2016.

Salsa and merengue music filled the streets of Ybor City on Sunday as Tito Puente Jr. led the Viva Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Festival in Centennial Park. The Times' Luis Santana was there snapping photos; click the headline of this post for a slideshow.

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