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Review: Pitbull, Ke$ha deliver pop power, spectacle and excess at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Pitbull performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on June 28, 2013.

Luis Santana

Pitbull performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on June 28, 2013.

You hear the name Pitbull and sometimes forget how truly dominant a force he's been on Top 40 radio for the past five years.

But at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater Friday night it became abundantly clear. He and Ke$ha, as co-headliners of a world tour, drew two very different but no less fervent crowds to Tampa to gyrate and jump like they were at a rave for three hours.

When Pitbull came out to close the show, there were no costume changes, huge props or any other razzle dazzle that fills in the gaps of the other artists' shows.

For 90 minutes, the Miami rapper stood center stage and cranked out 26, count 'em, 26 top 40 hits.

A classic big-band set with a full slate of musicians, including a saxophonist, began to play as a black-suited Pitbull appeared on the stage to perform his opener Hey Baby featuring T-Pain. It would be a running theme of the evening that Pitbull would perform a song featuring the voice of another artist who was not present. His stage show deftly dealt with that deficit by playing video clips of the missing artists and letting the crowd sing the choruses to their hearts content. …

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Artist of the day: Paul Guy Bovee

Brendan Fitterer

(Quick programming note: Soundcheck is relaunching "Artist of the Day" as a not-quite-everyday feature. Instead, we'll spotlight an artist or three every week. If you're an artist and you'd like to be considered, drop us an email.)

Zephyrhills musician Paul Guy Bovee has been playing in bands since his teenage years. But he found his calling as an artist in 2008, when his father was living in a North Carolina nursing home. Bovee began making regular trips there to perform for him, and found that other patients enjoyed the music, too.

"When you sing to someone in a nursing home, you see the light come on in their eyes," he said. "They remember. They're alive again."

Bovee began to offer his services at other nursing homes across the country. H now plays as many as 10 shows a month, many of them at local sites such as Heritage Park Nursing Home in Dade City, the Commons on Pretty Pond in Zephyrhills, the Zephyrhills Rehabilitation Center and the Edwinola in Dade City.

"These people are part of my family," he said. "I have 500 new moms and thousands of uncles. They care about me because I make them laugh and I make them cry." …

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Review: Bob Dylan, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Bob Weir converge for the Americanarama Festival at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

The five-hour-plus Americanarama Festival, which hit Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Thursday night, was the puckish brainchild of 72-year-old headliner Bob Dylan, who filled out the mighty bill with Chicago's Wilco, Louisville's My Morning Jacket and outer space's Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, whose short acoustic set opened the sprawling gig.

Weir delighted the crowd of 8,100 by sitting in with MMJ for an elongated and gorgeous rendition of the Beatles' Dear Prudence, and with Wilco on the Rolling Stones' Dead Flowers and the Dead's Friend of the Devil.

But as Sean Daly writes, the iconic Dylan was the star of the show:

Electrocuted-bullfrog croak, ragged phrasing before and after the beat. Yep, that's Bob alright. ... Opening song Things Have Changed, normally a midtempo roll, was given a Wild West gallop, making it near-unrecognizable for the first minute. But the followup, the haunted Love Sick, remained a wicked dirge, with Dylan, no need for a guitar, exhaling a sinister harmonica solo. Except for a few turns at a black piano, the legend was happy as a moody, slightly creepy frontman, striking all manner of geriatric Elvis poses. …

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Czar nightclub merging with the Ritz Ybor

It's a bombshell of an announcement in Ybor City's music scene: Czar, the hipster nightclub, vodka bar and concert venue that has hosted everyone from Girl Talk to the Hold Steady, is closing and merging with pne of Tampa Bay's top concert venue, the Ritz Ybor, across the street. The Of Montreal show on July 6 is the venue's final live concert, though DJs will continue spinning there for the next few weeks.

The Ritz will undergo renovations all summer, and the two clubs will operate side by side starting in late July or August, with the nightclub half adopting a new name: Czar at the Ritz. (Catchy!)

For the full story, click here for Robbyn Mitchell's report.

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This week in Tampa: Ke$ha, Pitbull, Juanes, Felice Brothers and more

Luis Santana

There's bound to be plenty of snickering at tonight's Americanarama Festival (featuring Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Bob Weir) over the fact that tomorrow's headliners are Pitbull and Ke$ha. But you won't hear us laughing. Pitbull is a dynamic, energetic performer, and Ke$ha has released some of the catchiest pop songs of the past half-decade.

Pitbull and Ke$ha's joint tour tops this week's concert listings, but there's also Juanes, Tate Stevens, the Felice Brothers, Uh Huh Her, Valient Thorr, Ace Hood, the Guess Who, the Village People, the annual Hot Dog Show and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...

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Ticket Window: The Eagles, Miranda Lambert, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and more

It's a busy week for concert tickets going on sale, including shows at Tampa Bay's biggest venues -- such as the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, which will host Miranda Lambert, above, and Dierks Bentley on Sept. 20.

Concerts with tickets going on sale this week include: Bruce Bruce, DeRay Davis and Hannibal Buress (Aug. 16, Mahaffey Theater), Eddie Money (Sept. 1, Hard Rock Cafe), Zedd (Sept. 7, Ritz Ybor), Goodie Mob with Cee Lo Green, Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo (Sept. 7, State Theatre), Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley (Sept. 20, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre), Jessie Ware (Oct. 23, Ritz Ybor), Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang (Nov. 19, Ruth Eckerd Hall), The Eagles (Nov. 20, Tampa Bay Times Forum), Kenny Vance and the Planotones (Nov. 23, Palladium) and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with Talib Kweli and Big K.R.I.T. (Nov. 23, USF Sun Dome).

Click here for this week's edition of Ticket Window.

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20 best Bob Dylan covers of all time, from Jimi Hendrix to Miley Cyrus

Trying to make a definitive list of the greatest Bob Dylan cover songs is a hair-pulling task; it's also a good way to get yourself disinvited from the annual music critics' potluck dinner. After all, Dylan is the most covered solo act ever.

But with Dylan coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Thursday alongside Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Bob Weir (click here for details), Sean Daly decided to give it a whirl. There were some obvious choices -- Jimi Hendrix's All Along The Watchtower, Guns N' Roses' Knockin' on Heaven's Door, the Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man -- but he also found some out-there choices, including the White Stripes' One More Cup of Coffee and Miley Cyrus's You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. Yes, really.

For Sean's full list of the 20 greatest Dylan covers of all time, click here.

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My Morning Jacket's Patrick Hallahan talks Bob Dylan, the shape-shifting 'Circuital' and more

Louisville psycho-rock crew My Morning Jacket is famous for shaggy, anything-goes gigs. But business will be unusual Thursday when the Kentucky scruffs light up the Americanarama Festival at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre.

"If we had our druthers, we'd play a 13-hour show," laughs awesomely hirsute MMJ drummer Patrick Hallahan, chatting with me on the phone. "But we have to make way for Mr. Dylan."

MMJ will share a downright epic summer bill not just with Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, but with Chicago iconoclasts Wilco as well. The inspired fest commences at 5:30 p.m.; how they'll fit everyone in is another story.

"I figure we'll play between 60 and 90 minutes," says Hallahan, allowing that their performance will be abbreviated yet power-packed. "We're in a holding pattern now. We're just waiting for Bob Dylan to tell us what to do."

For tickets to the Americanarama Festival on Thursday, click here. And for more with Hallahan, click here for Sean Daly's full interview.

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Artist of the day: Fowler's Bluff

(Quick programming note: Soundcheck is relaunching "Artist of the Day" as a not-quite-everyday feature. Instead, we'll spotlight an artist or three every week. If you're an artist and you'd like to be considered, drop us an email.)

Fowler's Bluff are the true definition of a Florida band. They're as Southern as Lynyrd Skynyrd, sans the accents and twin lead guitars. Their songs' soundscapes are as expansive as the surrounding gulf, leaning heavily on atmosphere and emotion.

Bassist/vocalist Todd McBride and guitarist George Eckerle have been collaborating since the early '90s on projects like the Boats and Real Shoals. In 2011 they joined with Mike Todd, (keyboards/vocals) and Chad Marin (drums) to form Fowler's Bluff. Their name stems from a town on the Suwannee River that the band visits to recharge their musical batteries.

"We go there to reset ourselves, and remind ourselves what the project is," McBride says. "Then bring it back here and fine-tune, sharpen the edges, rehearse, then share it with the audience."

For more on Fowler's Bluff, click here for Aaron Lepley's profile.


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SoundBytes: Soul Asylum, Gucci Mane, Rusko, Roni Size and more

-- Hulk Hogan is pulling out all the stops for the inaugural July Fourth weekend at his restaurant and party venue, Hogan’s Beach. On July 3, ’80s cover band the Spazmatics will take the stage. Hogan himself will host a party with fireworks and DJs on July 4. On July 5, ’90s grunge-rockers Soul Asylum (Runaway Train), above, will take the stage, followed by Young MC (Bust a Move) on July 6. Tickets vary by event; click here for details.

-- Spring Breakers comes out on DVD July 9, but first, you can party with one of the stars. Gucci Mane will perform there on July 6, along with DJ Shurefire, T-Mann, Young Gunnaz and Fresh. Tickets are $40 and up. Click here.

-- Dubstep DJ Rusko is coming to the Ritz Ybor on Oct. 7, and he's bringing four fellow British beat-droppers: Roni Size, Tonn Piper and Dynamite MC. Tickets are $25-$30; click here.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Goodie Mob (with Cee Lo Green) coming to the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

Want to see Cee Lo Green at an intimate venue in Tampa Bay? Pretty soon you can -- but there's a catch.

Green's hip-hop group Goodie Mob, which brought him to national prominence before Gnarls Barkley's Crazy and his solo hit F--- You made him a pop star, is coming to the State Theatre on Sept. 7. Drop City Yacht Club will open. Tickets are $22-$24. Click here.

Don't expect to hear much from Green's solo and Gnarls Barkley catalog at this show, though. Instead, he, Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo will perform some of their '90s hits (Soul Food, Cell Therapy) with their signature ATL swagger -- as well as music from their forthcoming reunion album Age Against the Machine, due Aug. 27.

But of course, "reunion" may not be entirely the right word here. Goodie Mob has been back in various incarnations for a few years now. They headlined Wild 94.1's Last Damn Show in 2009, and Green performed several Goodie Mob hits during his late 2011 concert at the Mahaffey Theater.

Either way, this'll be one of the most anticipated hip-hop shows of the fall.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Zedd coming to the Ritz Ybor in Tampa

As a DJ, Zedd is in demand around the globe, from Ibiza to Miami. As a producer and pop hitmaker, he's big enough to command a spot opening for Lady Gaga on tour -- and perhaps you saw him as the only EDM act at last December's 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball. That'll happen when you've produced some of the biggest pop-EDM crossover hits of the past year, including Spectrum with Matthew Koma and Clarity with Foxes.

So you can expect this to be one of the hottest EDM shows of the fall: Zedd is coming to the Ritz Ybor on Sept. 7. Tickets are $25, and they'll go onsale Friday. Click here.

What can you expect from this show? Frankly, we're ready for anything. Last week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Zedd and Foxes teamed up with the Roots for a live, stripped-down rendition of Clarity, before Zedd hopped behind a riser and blasted out the chiptune-heavy The Legend of Zelda, a tribute to the Nintendo game of the same name. Click here to check out the performance.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*





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SoundBytes: Buddy Guy, Hannibal Buress, Mayday Parade and more

-- Blues greats Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang are coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Nov. 18. Tickets are $45-$75. Click here.

-- Mayday Parade is coming to the Orpheum on Nov. 27 (the day before Thanksgiving), with Man Overboard opening. Tickets are $20-$24.

-- Kenny Vance and the Planotones are coming to the Palladium in St. Petersburg on Nov. 23. Tickets are $45-$75. Click here.

-- California reggae rockers Pepper are returning to Jannus Live on Sept. 11. Tickets will go onsale Friday at

-- Wild 94.1 has an intriguingly diversel ineup in the works for its second annual Shut Up & Laugh event on Aug. 16 at the Mahaffey Theater, including Bruce Bruce, DeRay Davis and hipster favorite Hannibal Buress. Tickets are $29.50-$65, and they go onsale Friday at noon, but you can win them now. Click here for details.

-- Maino and the Mafia will be at the Kennedy on July 3. Click here.

-- Plies will be the big name at the annual star-studded DJ Christion Birthday Bash at Club Skye on July 3, but expect plenty of rappers and DJs from around Tampa Bay and Florida as a whole to pop in. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Macklemore and Ryan Lewis coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

Hands down, the USF Sun Dome is winning our year. Already this fall, they've got concerts coming up by Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, the Lumineers and Sigur Ros. Now they've just added the biggest pop hitmakers of the year: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

The rapper and DJ/producer behind Thrift Shop and Can't Hold Us will perform in Tampa on Nov. 23, according to the venue. And lest you think this is purely a pop show, respected rappers Talib Kweli and Big K.R.I.T. will open the show. Tickets are $35-$45 and they'll go onsale Friday. Click here.

You'd best get to Goodwill and start poppin' tags -- every cold-ass honkey in Tampa Bay is gonna be rocking their best leopard minks, flannel zebra jammies and Pro Wing Velcros at this one.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Jessie Ware coming to the Ritz Ybor in Tampa

It may be premature to slot Jessie Ware in for a Best New Artist Grammy nomination, but as a young, British pop singer who mixes soulful, old-school R&B with forward-thinking trip-hop beats, she certainly fits the profile.

Along with artists like Emeli Sande, Willy Moon, Olly Murs and The Heavy, Ware is leading a new class of U.K. soul-pop artists picking up where Adele and Amy Winehouse left off. Ware is already playing a slew of festivals this year, including Glastonbury and Lollapalooza, in support of her acclaimed new album Devotion.

And now she's coming to Tampa.

Ware will perform at the Ritz Ybor on Oct. 23, it was announced Monday. Tickets are $19.50-$22, and they'll go onsale Friday. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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