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At USF, iPad quintet Touch looks to create an interactive concert experience

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Touch is one band that's proud to be playing flat.

As in, the flat screens of iPads, which the quintet from USF's school of music will use as musical instruments in concert Friday at the USF Concert Hall, thanks to musical apps from the Apple Store. But don't think this will be another laid-back, head-nodding DJ set or electronica show — we're talking a full-blown rock concert, with laser lights, video screens, interpretive dance and moments of bona fide audience participation.

Touch member David Williams, associate professor of music education, said redefining the classic concert hall experience — a recital on traditional instruments — is the object here, in part to show learning to play can be accessible to small groups with new methods. But it will still be familiar to the audience, and not just because it will feature music ranging from the Troggs to Norah Jones.

For more on Touch, click here for Joshua Gillin's story.

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This week in Tampa: Willie Nelson, The xx, The Used, Infected Mushroom and more

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Last week brought one of the most anticipated shows of the early year, Underoath at Jannus Live. This week brings another: Uber-hip trio The xx at the Ritz Ybor. Other artists coming to Tampa Bay this week: Willie Nelson, The Used, Gojira, G. Love and Speical Sauce, Infected Mushroom, Ballyhoo!, Arlo Guthrie, The English Beat, Joe Budden, G-Eazy, Chubby Checker and more. Get the details after the jump...

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Ticket Window: Steve Martin, Slightly Stoopid, Foam N' Glow and more

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We missed this concert when it was announced last week: Slightly Stoopid are returning to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on May 3. Tickets to that show and these go onsale this week: Foam N' Glow (April 11, Club Underground), Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers (May 23, Mahaffey Theater). Click here for this week's edition of Ticket Window.

While we're on the topic, it's been a few weeks since we've rounded up all the concert tickets that have recently gone on sale in Tampa Bay. So let's recount. Tickets to the following shows are now all on sale:

Katt Williams (Feb. 9, Tampa Bay Times Forum), Led Zeppelin 2 (Feb. 16, State Theatre), Mushroomhead (March 2, State Theatre), Disney Live! Mickey's Music Festival (March 2, Tampa Bay Times Forum), Mod Sun (March 3, Local 662), Hunter Hayes (March 10, Florida Strawberry Festival), Sleeping with Sirens (March 16, State Theatre), Bad Religion and Against Me! (March 16, Ritz Ybor), Leonard Cohen (March 18, Straz Center), One Night of Queen performed by Gary Mullen and the Works (March 23, Capitol Theatre), Alicia Keys (March 24, Tampa Bay Times Forum), Circa Survive and Minus the Bear (March 27, Ritz Ybor), Dennis Miller (March 30, Mahaffey Theater), Senses Fail (April 9, State Theatre), Chicago (April 10, Ruth Eckerd Hall), All Time Low and Pierce the Veil (April 16, Jannus Live), Wanee Music Festival (April 18-20, Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, Live Oak), Brit Floyd (April 22, Ruth Eckerd Hall), The Black Crowes (April 30, Mahaffey Theater), The Airborne Toxic Event (May 1, State Theatre), A Day to Remember (May 2, Jannus Live), Donna the Buffalo (May 4, Jannus Live) and Crosby Stills and Nash (May 7, Ruth Eckerd Hall).

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Want to play ping-pong with Muse at the Tampa Bay Times Forum?

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Not since the days of Cobra Starship performing in the 2001 Odyssey Starship have we been this intrigued by a local radio meet-and-greet.

Alt-rock station 97X is offering Tampa Bay fans the chance to play ping-pong against the guys from Muse when the band comes to town Feb. 23. Yes, you read that correctly: The bombastic Brits want to kick your butt at table tennis.

"The band members are killer ping-pong players and they want to compete against Tampa’s finest while in town," the station's website states. Fair enough. To enter the contest, you'll need to upload a video of yourself pleading your case -- and perhaps showing off a few ping-pong skills of your own.

Click here for all the details.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Video Games Live's Tommy Tallarico talks about going from 8 bits to symphonies and more

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Tommy Tallarico remembers the skepticism that greeted his idea to put on a concert of video game music.

"Everyone thought I was insane," said Tallarico, who has been composing for video games for more than 23 years. "I was told that people who go to the symphony don't play video games, and people who play video games don't go to the symphony. So who the hell would ever come to such a thing?"

In 2005, Tallarico debuted his production of Video Games Live at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. "11,000 people showed up for that first show," he said. "All of a sudden I wasn't so crazy."

Today, Video Games Live is a flourishing touring production that performs up to 50 shows a year. With Tallarico as host and guitarist, it comes to St. Petersburg on Friday for a concert with the Florida Orchestra and the USF Chamber Singers. The set list changes from concert to concert, but it always includes music from popular series such as Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Halo and Warcraft. Friday's concert will also include music from games like Kingdom Hearts, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokeyman, Tetris, Skyrim and Super Smash Bros, "a very big game that people will be psyched to hear about," Tallarico said.

Click here for more on the concert. And click here for more of John Fleming's interview with Tommy Tallarico.

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SoundBytes: The Cave Singers, Orgy, Olly Murs and more

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-- Who's ready for some Orgy? No wait that's not what we meant dear god please put your clothes back on. We're talking about the synth-metal band Orgy, famous for their 1998 hit Blue Monday. They've announced a tour date at the State Theatre on March 10, alongside Vampires Everywhere and Davey Suicide. There's no ticket info, but click here for details.

-- Seattle indie rockers The Cave Singers are coming to Crowbar on April 14. Tickets are $12. Click here.

-- Want to win tickets to an intimate acoustic performance and meet-and-greet with British pop star Olly Murs on Feb. 5 in Tampa, courtesy of 93.3-FLZ? Click here.

-- Deathcore band Chelsea Grin will be at the Orpheum on March 20 with Attila, Betraying the Martyrs, Within the Ruins and Buried in Verona. Tickets are $15-$17. Click here.

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Ultra Music Festival lineup: Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, Avicii, deadmau5, Fatboy Slim, more coming to Miami

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Hey, do you like electronic music? You do? Cool, because this year's Ultra Music Festival decided to book all of it.

Seriously: You'd be hard-pressed to name a major name in EDM that ISN'T spinning at this year's Ultra, which is spread out over two weekends, March 15-17 and March 22-24 in Miami.

The festival's biggest get is a farewell performance from Swedish House Mafia, but honestly, every other DJ you've ever heard of will be there: Skrillex, David Guetta, Avicii, deadmau5, Fatboy Slim, Bassnectar, Steve Aoki, Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Carl Cox, Pretty Lights, Kaskade, Major Lazer, Boyz Noize, Zedd ... there is simply no stopping this lineup, and it's not even complete -- a third phase has yet to be announced. Maybe they can go ahead and book Daft Punk and that will be the end of all electronic music forever.

(Almost as if to rub it in, organziers also pulled in a festival-worthy lineup of non-EDM acts, including Snoop Dogg, Sleigh Bells, Azealia Banks, The Weeknd, Yeasayer, Thievery Corporation, Matt and Kim and Hot Chip. Pretty crazy.)

Ultra tickets are notoriously tough to get -- it sells out every year -- but there are apparently still passes available right now, starting at $299.99 per weekend. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Review: Underoath goes out with a blast at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

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Is Underoath the biggest band ever to come out of Tampa?

If there is a shortlist – and it would be a short list – they’d have to be on it. Two top-10 albums, more than a million records sold, a pair of Grammy nominations, multiple Warped Tours, gigs on six continents.

That said, Christian metalcore is still a niche market. No one would blame you for not knowing Underoath. Genre bands are like genre movies: Often beloved, but rarely respected by outsiders.

Besides, Underoath is a very different band than the one founded in 1997. By the time they announced last fall that they were breaking up, zero original members remained. The new Underoath was still popular around the world, but its members realized the band fans were coming to see in 2012 was not the same band they felt they now were.

“You have this name, this reputation, this stat page,” guitarist Tim McTague told Alternative Press. “You have accredited statuses, and whether you’re relevant or not, whether you believe in what you’re doing or not, whether you have the time to believe in what you’re doing or not, that name alone can fetch money. ... Which is very much something I hate, personally.”

That, McTague said, isn’t how any of them wanted to end things. So they decided to go out on their own terms: With one final farewell tour, capped with a hometown show at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg. Saturday’s concert became one of Tampa Bay’s hottest small-venue tickets in recent memory, selling out months in advance, with fans traveling from all over North America for an emotional goodbye.

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Wild Splash lineup: Meek Mill, Juvenile, Juicy J. among first acts announced for festival at Clearwater's Coachman Park

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Local hip-hop powerhouse station Wild 94.1 announced the initial acts on its 2013 Wild Splash lineup on Friday, and we have to say, the lineup's a little thin on A-list headliners ... so far.

Meek Mill, Juvenile and Three 6 Mafia's Juicy J are the biggest acts announced so far for this year's Wild Splash, to be held March 9 at Clearwater's Coachman Park. John Hart, Mr. Vegas, RaVaughn and B. Smith round out the bill.

Now, there are some who are calling Meek Mill, above, "America's most wanted MC," but still, does this strike any of you as a complete lineup? No way. We guarantee at least one more big name will come down the pike. Considering Mill is a Rick Ross protege, could the Bawse himself be on deck?

For now, tickets to Wild Splash 2013 are $25, with limited VIP tickets available for $100. Click here for all the details on Wild Splash 2013.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Coachella lineup: The xx, Dropkick Murphys, Excision, Dawes among artists coming to Tampa Bay this spring

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The2013 Coachella Music and Arts Festival announced its full lineup late Thursday night, and because it's one of the biggest music festivals in the country, of course we care.

However, why fly all the way to Indio, Calif., in April when so many of the bands on this year's bill are coming to Tampa Bay in the next few weeks? Here's a look at some Coachella artists with local shows in the near future. Click each artist's name for more details on each show.

-- Throwback rock 'n' soul outfit Vintage Trouble will be here this very weekend, playing a free show Sunday afternoon outside the Mahaffey Theatre. Click here for info.

-- DJ duo Infected Mushroom will be at the Amphitheatre in Ybor City on Feb. 1.

-- Minimalist electro-pop trio The xx (above) have a sold-out show at the Ritz Ybor on Feb. 7.

-- Celtic punks Dropkick Murphys will be at Jannus Live on March 3. 

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This weekin Tampa: Underoath, Candlebox, Chris Webby, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and more

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Welcome back! After a few-week hiatus, This Week In Tampa returns on Soundcheck with one of the hottest shows of the young year: Underoath's farewell show at Jannus Live in St. Pete. Also on the calendar: Candlebox, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Vince Gill, Chris Webby, Allen Stone, Churchill, Kool DJ Red Alert, Marshall Crenshaw, Jackyl, Marty Balin, Gino Vannelli, Pasadena, Kristy Lee and more. Here to walk you through it all is Carole Liparoto...

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Mahaffey Theater cancels Friday's Allen Stone concert, adds free Vintage Trouble show on Sunday

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Allen Stone is an unlikely soul hero, and the 2,000-seat Mahaffey Theatre is an unlikely venue for him. So maybe his show there on Friday simply was never meant to be.

According to the Mahaffey's website, Stone's show at the Mahaffey has been canceled. No single reason was immediately offered from the venue or the performer. Refunds are available at point of purchase.

The good news is the Mahaffey has just added a new, free show this weekend. Rock 'n' soul outfit Vintage Trouble, who have blown up in Europe and toured with the likes of Bon Jovi and The Who, will headline a free Bud Light Kick-Off to Super Bowl Week. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday outside the Mahaffey. The Black Honkeys and Malaya will also perform, and there will be food and drink vendors. It's free and open to all ages. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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SoundBytes: Rush, New Kids on the Block, Neil Hamburger and more

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-- Prog-rock titans Rush are returning to Florida, but this time, if you want to see them, you'll have to drive to Orlando. They'll perform at the Amway Center on April 28. Tickets start at $46 and they go onsale Monday. Click here.

-- Speaking of the Amway Center: Of COURSE this year's biggest boy-band tour is coming to Orlando. New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees are teaming up for The Package Tour, hitting the Amway Center on June 21. Tickets start at $27.50 and go onsale Feb. 2. Click here.

-- The Airborne Toxic Event will perform at the State Theatre on May 1. Tickets start at $18. Click here.

-- Rapper Joe Budden will perform at the Amphitheatre in Ybor City on Feb. 2, though ticket info is hard to come by. Click here.

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Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers coming to the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg

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Steve Martin needs no introduction as a comic, actor and writer. But these days, he'd prefer to be known as a bluegrass star.

Martin has won multiple Grammy Awards for his bluegrass recordings, including 2009's The Crow: Songs for the 5-String Banjo. He's graced the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. And he's championed the art form almost as much as he changed comedy in the 1970s.

So when Martin and his band, the Steep Canyon Rangers, come to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, you can bet it'll be packed. Martin will perform at the Mahaffey on May 23, according to his website. Bonus: They'll be joined by Edie Brickell, a popular singer-songwriter in her own right. Martin and Brickell are teaming up for a new album, Love Will Come For You, which comes out in April.

Tickets will be priced at $59.50-$139. They're on sale now for Mahaffey members, and will go onsale to the public on Feb. 1, according to Martin's website. Click here and here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Bad Religion, Against Me!, A Day To Remember, more book spring concerts in Tampa Bay

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As you may have noticed, posting has been a little light around these parts over the past month. We've tried to keep you updated on the biggest shows, but a handful of excellent punk and metal shows have managed to fall thruogh the cracks. So let's round them up here:

-- Punk icons Bad Religion and Gainesville agit-rockers Against Me! are teaming up for a tour that'll hit the Ritz Ybor on March 16. Polar Bear Club will open. In addition to a long-overdue set by Bad Religion, this'll be Tampa Bay's first look at Against Me!, above, since singer Tom Gabel announced he'd be transitioning to a new life as Laura Jane Grace. Tickets are $26; click here.

-- Ocala hardcore group A Day To Remember will return to Jannus Live on May 2 with opening act Of Mice and Men. Jannus Live, of course, was where A Day To Remember played one of our favorite shows of 2011, so this should be a great one. Tickets go onsale at 10 a.m. Friday. Click here.

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