Frank Ocean, The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes: Which Best New Artist Grammy nominees are coming to Tampa Bay?
It's a Grammy-week tradition here on Soundcheck: Predicting which of the year's crop of Best New Artist nominees might soon perform in Tampa Bay.
In 2011, Drake headlined Last Damn Show, but we never saw Mumford and Sons, Florence and the Machine or winner Esperanza Spalding. (Justin Bieber played the Forum in December 2010, shortly after the nominatinos were announced.)
Why do we keep tabs on such things? Well, as screwed-up as the Grammys' Best New Artist category can be, it's still a decent measure of young, hot acts -- certainly, that's the case this year. And all too often, young, hot acts skip Tampa Bay on their first few tours around the country, which can be frustrating. (Just ask all the Mumford and Sons fans in Tampa Bay. You can't skip Florida forever, guys!) So whenever a Best New Artist comes to town, it feels like kind of a big deal.
So here's a look at this year's Best New Artist nominees, along with our completely unscientific odds on whether they'll book a show here in 2013. As always, these odds are for entertainment purposes only.
Frank Ocean (25-1): We'd like to be wrong on this one. But Ocean's not exactly a road dog, and even when he books shows, he's been known to cancel them. While he'll no doubt play plenty of festivals this summer, he's not an ideal fit at local fests like Last Damn Show or the Jingle Ball. He's too hip for venues like Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Straz, and too big for venues like the Ritz Ybor or Jannus Live. A show at Orlando's House of Blues or Hard Rock Live seems more likely. We'd be pretty shocked to see him here.
Alabama Shakes (10-1): For a blues-rock band from Alabama, it's kind of surprising they haven't played a show here already -- but not too surprising, considering their worldwide appeal. The most obvious venue to host them would have to be the Ritz -- but with a Saturday Night Live performance looming, are they already too big?
Fun. (8-1): A tricky one. These multiple nominees have already played here three times since December 2013 -- including last year's 97X Next Big Thing, days before the Grammy nominations were announced -- and they just announced at Orlando's UCF Arena in September. But they've promised more tour dates are coming, and we know they have mad love for 97X. It's a gamble, but we'd say they'll pop in at some point.
The Lumineers (above) (4-1): Just a hunch. These Colorado newbies have been getting heavy radio airplay with Ho Hey, so if nothing else, a slot at 97X Next Big Thing seems like a smart bet. Plus, it may be time for them to get back out on the road to drum up support for another single. Those old-timey clogs and suspenders aren't going to pay for themselves, you know.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*