The top 10 Tampa music stories of 2012, No. 10: The return of arena rock
(It’s the end of the year, and just as we did in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Soundcheck is counting down the year’s top local music stories as determined by your humble Soundcheck editor. We’ll be counting down two each day through New Year’s Eve.)
In 2011, the dominance of Orlando over Tampa in the I-4 war for concert dominance ranked No. 3 on our list of local music stories — thanks in no small part to the opening of the Amway Center, arguably the finest sports arena/concert venue in America. But we also predicted the balance would swing back to Tampa in 2012 — and for the most part, we were proven right.
Symbolically, the shift began on Jan. 1, when the St. Pete Times Forum changed its name to the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Throughout the year, the venue hosted acts like Radiohead, Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Van Halen, Def Leppard, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith and Rammstein. Over at the more country-leaning 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, fans got Dave Matthews Band, Kiss, Journey, Rush, Marilyn Manson, Godsmack, Slipknot, 311 and Barenaked Ladies. Most of those acts did NOT play Orlando in 2012.
All in all, it was a huge onslaught of rock ‘n’ roll. Will it continue in 2013? So far we have concerts lined up by Muse, Bon Jovi and Fleetwood Mac at the Forum, but the rest of the bill, while impressive, is more pop-oriented (Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Pink, Rihanna). Rock fans in Tampa may look back at 2012 as the year when they never had it so good.