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Ticket Window: David Cook, the Go-Go's, Jay Mohr and more

It's a shortened edition of Ticket Window this week, highlighted by a couple of concerts by big-name comics: Jay Mohr at the Straz Center and Kathleen Madigan at the Capitol Theatre.

Tampa Bay concerts with tickets going on sale this week: Replay America featuring the Go-Go's, Cutting Crew, Naked Eyes and more (July 5, Ruth Eckerd Hall) Trapt (July 12, State Theatre), Jay Mohr (Sept. 20, Straz Center), David Cook (Nov. 8, Capitol Theatre), Salute to Vienna (Dec. 31, Ruth Eckerd Hall), and Kathleen Madigan (Jan. 24, Capitol Theatre).

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

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As Bruce Springsteen comes to Tampa, here's why he'll always be the Boss

When Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Thursday night, many of those in attendance will be seeing him for the fifth, 10th, 20th time.

Among those superfans is tbt* columnist John Romano, who is all too eager to profess his undying love for Springsteen. He flew to Nashville for a recent show and drove to Atlanta last weekend. He writes:

If you have never watched Springsteen attack a concert stage for three hours or more, then there are no words I can offer that will convince you that my lunacy is earned.

If you have never sung an a cappella version of Thunder Road with a group of drunken sportswriters in a campus bar, if you have never stayed up until dawn with a friend listening and relistening to a new release, if you have never cried while hearing the Boss' odes to the lost souls of 9/11, then I sincerely understand your skepticism.

All I can say is that I have never regretted a minute lost or a dollar spent.

For John's full column about Bruce Springsteen, click here.Full Story

Big Guava Music Festival preview: Schedules, interactive guides and more

If you want to get under the skin of any Live Nation executive this weekend, all you have to do is utter one little word:


The concert promotions giant would probably rather you forget last year’s inaugural Funshine Music Festival at the Florida State Fairgrounds. It’s not that Funshine was a terrible event — cheap tickets, big-name bands, food trucks, carnival rides; what’s not to like? — but it still fell well short of organizers’ and fans’ expectations. In the end, Funshine drew about half as many people as expected.

So in January, Live Nation unveiled plans for the revamped and renamed Big Guava Music Festival, which takes place Friday through Sunday at the Fairgrounds. (Click here for our interactive Big Guava Music Festival guide.)

The overall concept is more or less the same, but whereas Funshine was billed as a mainstream- and family-friendly weekend event, Big Guava has been called Florida’s answer of Coachella, the Southern California indie-rock spectacle held in April. Many of the same bands who played Coachella are also playing Big Guava, including reunited hip-hop duo Outkast in their only Florida concert. …

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Vampire Weekend's Chris Baio talks Big Guava, Bruce Springsteen, winning a Grammy and more

Chris Baio is hoping to brush shoulders with some of the bold-faced acts at this weekend's Big Guava Music Festival in Tampa: "I have friends in the band Sleigh Bells. I'm hoping to see OutKast."

Baio will have his shot. His band, Vampire Weekend, is headlining Day 2 of the festival on Saturday at the Florida State Fairgrounds. (Click here for details on the Festival.)

Since winning a Grammy for Best Alternative Album for Modern Vampires of the City, the group's festival-headlining status is earned.

"When I was 8, knowing that I would someday play Radio City, now that would have blown my mind. But that said, the Grammy was pretty cool," the drummer said. But the larger Grammy thrill was in all of the hobnobbing: "I'm into getting to see incredibly famous people operating in different worlds. I don't cross paths with Jay Z and Beyonce that often."

For more of Sean Daly's interview with Chris Baio, including his thoughts on covering Bruce Springsteen (who plays the same venue in Tampa just two days prior), click here.Full Story

Amy Grant talks sad songs, personal loss, life in the public eye and more

Amy Grant released her first album in 1977 at age 16 and over the next 30-odd years won six Grammys in multiple categories, scored six No. 1 hits including Baby Baby and Every Heartbeat and became the most successful artist to cross over and back again to gospel music.

She also took some backlash from sections of the Christian community after the breakup of her first marriage to Christian musician Gary Chapman in 1999, followed a year later by her marriage to country superstar Vince Gill.

"I think it's so easy to look at someone in the public eye and have a lot of commentary on what they should or shouldn't do," she said when asked about today's young pop stars like Miley Cyrus. "Life is a long journey and we all have things that make us who we are and they come to us in different forms."

Grant performs at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $55-$100. Click here for details.

For more of Sharon Kennedy Wynne's interview with Amy Grant, click here.Full Story

Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull coming to the Amway Center in Orlando

Luis Santana

Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull know a thing or two about joint tours. Iglesias played Orlando's Amway Center in 2012 with Jennifer Lopez, and Pitbull -- one of pop's most energetic collaborators -- spent last summer touring with Ke$ha.

So it's only fitting Iglesias and Pitbull are finally teaming up for a joint tour of their own.

The Latin pop icons will hit the road this fall on a handful of dates, including one at the Amway Center in Orlando on Oct. 21. Colombian reggaeton star J. Balvin will open the show. According to Ticketmaster, tickets are $27.50-$127 and they'll go on sale May 9. Click here.

Even if their music is not your cup of cafe con leche, anyone who's attended a 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball in the past five years can tell you that both Iglesias and Pitbull are, no joke, dynamic live performers, incredible balls of energy who can work a crowd like nobody's business. Snicker if you must ... but miss this party at your own risk.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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St. Vincent coming to the Beacham in Orlando

She's a devastating songwriter and electrifying guitarist! She's incredibly hilarious! She's one of the most crushable figures in indie rock!

Oh, and she's one of those artists we always sort of thought might never come to Florida.

But that's about to change, now that St. Vincent has announced a pair of tour dates in the Sunshine State, including one in Orlando. The artist born Annie Clark will play the Beacham in Orlando on Oct. 7. Tickets are $25-$40, and they'll go on sale Friday. Click here for details.

St. Vincent, whom Rolling Stone recently called "the most thrilling solo artist in indie rock right now," is having quite a 2014. Not only has she released her fourth, self-titled album, she performed with the surviving members of Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony; she had another semi-viral appearance on The Colbert Report (prompting some to suggest she might be a good fit as bandleader when Stephen Colbert moves over to host The Late Show in 2015); and on May 17 she'll perform on the season finale of Saturday Night Live.

We were lucky enough to catch her electric live show at Bonnaroo in 2012. Maybe a trek to Orlando is in order.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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B.o.B., Rixton, Hot Chelle Rae lead Memorial Day weekend at Shephard's Beach Resort in Clearwater Beach

Lest you think the Sunset Music Festival has the Memorial Day weekend 2014 party game on lock, Shephard's Beach Resort is here to remind you that not every modern party has to have an EDM soundtrack.

To that end, the beachfront party palace is bringing in rapper B.o.B., above, and pop-rock bands Rixton and Hot Chelle Rae to headline its four-day Memorial Day Weekend party.

The event actually gets started on Friday, May 23, with Ten, a Pearl Jam tribute band. B.o.B. (who was just in Clearwater for Wild Splash) headlines Saturday's party along with All the Answers and Orange Avenue; Sunday brings Hot Chelle Rae, Rixton, DJ Skribble, Goshfather & Jinco and more. Monday is a simple beach party with DJs Nova, Arock, Deville and Ku.

Single-day tickets haven't been announced, but you can buy weekend-long passes for $30 via Eventbrite right now. Click here and here for more details.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Andrew W.K. to perform following golf tournament at Quail Hollow Golf Course in Wesley Chapel

File this under Things We Can't Believe Exist But Amazingly Do And The World Is A Much More Awesome Place For It (yes, we know, our filing system is needlessly complicated):

Andrew W.K. is going to play a live concert following a golf tournament at Quail Hollow Golf Course in Wesley Chapel.

Yes. That Andrew W.K. The bloody-faced, Party Hard-ing, rocker/motivational speaker/brony. That guy.

The event is 102.5 The Bone's Real Raw Open Golf Tournament, sponsored by Michelob Ultra, and it takes place May 16. The rock station's first golf tournament also features contests ("See if you can stand the ferocity of the In Your Face Hole!"); the $125 entry also includes a golf shirt, a sleeve of custom balls, lunch and dinner. The concert by Andrew W.K. starts at around 7 p.m. by the course's pool (and here, we should tell you that Quail Hollow's pool actually is kind of a fun place to hang).  …

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Benjamin Booker talks leaving Tampa, playing 'Letterman,' touring with Jack White and more

Only about a year and half after starting to play music in Tampa, Benjamin Booker has found big success — signing with ATO Records (the home of Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket), playing with Jack White and, this wednesday, performing on The Late Show with David Letterman.

Booker, 24, grew up in Tampa, staying until he graduated from Hillsborough High School. He lived in Tampa for a while, working at Mojo Books & Music and playing with drummer Max Norton before leaving for New Orleans. When he plays Letterman this week, Norton will be behind the kit, as will another former Tampa musician, Alex Spoto.

"We're hoping that it's all right — obviously I'm really, really nervous doing it," Booker said in an interview. "I honestly can't tell you how these things happen; it's just been falling into place. Since we started playing, it's been very quickly building. I literally just get emails every couple of weeks where I'm just like, 'Oh, my God, I can't believe that we're doing this' with something new that's coming up. I don't know exactly how it happened, but I'm psyched that it's happening."

For more of Jimmy Geurts' interview with Benjamin Booker, click here.

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Photos: Zeds Dead, Hulk Hogan throw a spring beach party at Hogan's Beach in Tampa

Zeds Dead hang out with Hulk Hogan backstage at Hogan's Beach in Tampa on April 27, 2014.

Luis Santana

Zeds Dead hang out with Hulk Hogan backstage at Hogan's Beach in Tampa on April 27, 2014.

Hogan's Beach in Tampa is quickly becoming a home to some of Tampa Bay's best EDM concerts, hosting shows by artists like Dash Berlin and Cedric Gervais. On Sunday, Canadian dubsteppers Zeds Dead dropped by, and Hulk Hogan himself was there to welcome them, as was son Nick Hogan, who also hopped behind the decks. tbt*'s Luis Santana was there snapping photos; check out a slideshow by clicking the headline of this post.

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Photos: 98 Rockfest kicks off with early sets by the Pretty Reckless, Lacuna Coil, Fozzy and more

Singer Chris Jericho and Fozzy perform outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum during 98 Rockfest on April 25, 2014.

Jay Cridlin

Singer Chris Jericho and Fozzy perform outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum during 98 Rockfest on April 25, 2014.

Forget Mayhem, Uproar or the Carnival of Madness. Arguably the best hard rock festival of the year came to the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday: 98 Rockfest, featuring a dozen bands cranking up the volume for a full 10 hours on stages both inside the arena.

Led by actress-turned-singer Taylor Momsen, the Pretty Reckless opened up the main stage just after 5 p.m., a big step up for a band that recently scored a No. 1 mainstream rock hit with Heaven Knows. All of 20, the waifish Momsen barely showed her famous face, keeping it lost behind her fluffy blond locks. But she really can sing, though her vocals could have used a boost in the mix.

Due to slightly delayed set times, Orlando's Trivium didn't hit the outdoor stage until shortly before the Pretty Reckless opened the mainstage. But beforehand, Italian Goth-metal group Lacuna Coil brought a bewitching vibe and rumbling bass that could have raised the dead, as singers Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia gave it their all while wailing and hairwhipping their way through a five-song set. …

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Review: IIFA Rocks brings Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and the music of Bollywood to the Tampa Convention Center

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performs at the IIFA Rocks concert at the Tampa Convention Center on April 24, 2014.

Jay Cridlin

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performs at the IIFA Rocks concert at the Tampa Convention Center on April 24, 2014.

Despite co-host Vivek Oberoi using the adjective "rocking" at nearly every turn ("Everything's going to be a really rocking time!" he proclaimed on the green carpet beforehand), Thursday's IIFA Rocks party at the Tampa Convention Center was much more of a fashion show than a concert.

That was to be expected, as IIFA Rocks was Tampa's first true taste of Bollywood's polish, glitz and glamor on this, the weekend of the first Indian International Film Academy award on U.S. soil. (For an overview of Thursday's events, click here for Stephanie Hayes and Caitlin E. O'Conner's report from the carpet, and click here for our report from inside the ceremony.)

But in between lengthy and dramatic runway shows (featuring popular Bollywood performers like Anil Kapoor, Yami Gautam and Malaika Arora Khan; plus Miss America Nina Davuluri and Tampa notables Bob Buckhorn, Brad Culpepper and Brooke Bennett), the music and choreography that are a hallmark of Indian cinema did get several fine spotlights.

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This week in Tampa: Bruce Springsteen, R. Kelly, Santana, 98 Rockfest and more

We're just over one week away from Tampa's Big Guava Music Festival, but the next seven days are anything but quiet. We're about to see some of our most anticipated concerts of the year, including three of them next Thursday, the night before Big Guava hits town.

Here to walk you through one hell of a week -- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, R. Kelly, 98 Rockfest, Santana, M. Ward, Zeds Dead, Mogwai, Chuck Ragan and The Camaraderie, Rob Thomas, Tamar Braxton, George Clinton, Brett Eldredge, Eddie Money, the Romantics, Boz Scaggs, the Mavericks, Dance Gavin Dance, Rodney Atkins, Cole Swindell and many more -- is Ray Roa...

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Review: Cloud Nothings rip through a ferocious set at Crowbar in Ybor City

Cloud Nothings performed at Crowbar in Ybor City on April 22, 2014.

Jimmy Geurts

Cloud Nothings performed at Crowbar in Ybor City on April 22, 2014.

Slowly but surely, names are getting crossed off the “they never visit Tampa!” list of grievances. On Tuesday night at Crowbar, it was Cleveland indie group Cloud Nothings, riding the wave of critical acclaim off their last two albums.

Starting off as a lo-fi, home-recorded act, the band got clearer and louder on 2012’s Attack on Memory and their new record Here and Nowhere Else. Tuesday’s show was a stop in several months of dates spanning several countries and sets at Bonnaroo and the Pitchfork Music Festival. Full Story