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This week in Tampa: Maxwell, Sugar Ray, Dirty Heads, Yes and more

The dog days of August are almost upon us, but with it comes a huge array of intriguing concerts, starting on Day 1 with Maxwell at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Beyond that, there's the Under the Sun Tour with Sugar Ray, Blues Traveler (above), Smash Mouth and Uncle Kracker; Yes; Zomboy; Dirty Heads and Pepper; Filter, Helmet and Local H; O'Brother; Curren$y; Cher Lloyd; Peter Murphy and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...Full Story

John Rhys-Davies talks 'Indiana Jones,' 'Lord of the Rings,' Tampa Bay Comic Con and more

There's a lot of star power coming to Tampa this weekend for Tampa Bay Comic Con -- everyone from American Horror Story star Evan Peters to Double Dare host Marc Summers to Game of Thrones star Richard Madden.

But for many fans, the main draw will be John Rhys-Davies, the basso profundo best known as Sallah in the Indiana Jones franchise and Gimli from the Lord of the Rings franchise.

"Sallah or Gimli: Who they like very much depends of the age composition of the audience," he said in a recent phone interview. "Although three generations of Raiders fans are now coming up to me. The other day, a dad said he saw it when he was 11. When his son was 11, they saw it together. And they both just took a grandson to see it."

For more of Sean Daly's interview with John Rhyn-Davies, click here.

And if you're looking for more information about Tampa Bay Comic Con, click here for some highlights and click here for a schedule of when to meet some of this year's celebrities.Full Story

5 Seconds of Summer coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

You're going to be hearing a lot more about 5 Seconds of Summer over the next year, so you might as well embrace them now.

The Australian boy-rockers behind summer jams She Looks So Perfect and Don't Stop just landed the No. 1 album in the country. They're performing at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 24. On Oct. 3, they'll open for One Direction at Raymond James Stadium.

And on Wednesday, they announced a global tour that'll bring them to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union on Sept. 12 ... 2015. Yes. That would be 14 months from now.

Tickets will cost $19-$69.50 and go on sale Aug. 9, but c'mon, the whole world will probably be running on Bitcoin by then, so caveat emptor. Still, we give the band credit for attempting to divine the tastes of American teenage girls more than a year in advance.

Until then, One Direction, your reign as Earth's most significant boy band may be drawing to a close. We, for one, welcome our new Australian overlords.

Click here for more on 5 Seconds of Summer's Tampa show.Full Story

Maxwell talks about keeping his music classic, taking his time between albums and more

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Five years ago, I was at Ruth Eckerd Hall for a typically incendiary concert by the magnetic, mercurial soul singer Maxwell, when an older man nearby saw me taking notes and grabbed my arm.

"He's a modern-day Sam Cooke," the man said. "A modern-day Sam Cooke." He made a point of telling me twice.

"Wow," Maxwell said last week when I shared this story by phone. "That's my idol. For me, it's probably the biggest thing I could ever hear."

It isn't just about the voice, though, and Maxwell knows it. With no further prompting, the comparison to Cooke — who in 1964 was shot to death at age 33 — spurs him to mull his own vulnerability, as both a performer and a person.

"I have so many fears about the stories that kind of surround these types of soul singers," he said. "They're pretty tragic. Their early lives were really pretty desolate and without much hope. Then they get notoriety and there's this weird frenzy around them. You just never know how it's going to end. The ride is so amazing like that — Sam Cooke had a really tragic end, and of course Marvin Gaye. It's a pretty harrowing sort of job, I feel sometimes. There are so many ways that it can end."

Maxwell's soft, introspective demeanor is in stark contrast to his larger-than-life performance persona, which will be on full display when he returns to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Friday (tickets are $41-$131; click here to get them).

For more of our interview with Maxwell, click here.Full Story

Ticket Window: Heart, Primus, Anberlin, Jenny McCarthy, American Authors, Steve Martin, Martin Short and more

With fall concert season bearing down upon us, Ticket Window is going supersized this week. In addition to a host of newly announced shows dropping tickets this week, this is also the week that 20 events at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater will go on sale to the general public. You might recall that members and partakers in the Mahaffey's new "Three For Me" package program have already been able to buy these tickets, but if you only wanted one, the time is now to act. …

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Primus bringing 'Chocolate Factory' tour to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Well, this should be one of the weirdest concerts of the year. But then again, it's Primus, so should we have expected anything else?

The cult, bass-slapping alt-funk band is coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Nov. 12 as "Primus and the Chocolate Factory," part of a tour in which they'll play songs from their reimagining of the soundtrack to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, as well as another set of classic freaky-deaky Primus. Tickets are $38.25-$120, and they'll go on sale Saturday. Click here for details.

So what can fans actually expect from this surreal journey into Les Claypool's pure imagination?

Last New Year's Eve, Primus threw a Wonka-themed party in Oakland during which they unveiled a candyland of a stage and distributed Wonka-like candy, custom made by Pennsylvania's Asher's Chocolates, to the crowd. Claypool told Rolling Stone this tour will likely be a lot like that. "The tour and the album are solely a marketing tool just so we can sell candy bars," Claypool told the magazine. …

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Artist of the day: Tommy Girvin

For more than 27 years, Tommy Girvin has served as the lead guitarist for Eddie Money and can be seen in the videos that were a hallmark of 1980s MTV. But these days, "Mr. Tommy," as he's know, is a fixture at area shopping malls, churches, hospitals and family friendly events. His mobile musical bus can often be seen parked under the garage at the Shops at Wiregrass, where he puts on monthly kiddie concerts and sing-a-longs at the Wiregrass Ranchers Kids' Club. More recently, he began teaching small groups of kids on his renovated school bus, where he introduces them to different types of music, demonstrates instruments and leads them in musical games.

On Saturday, he'll be the star of the second annual Preschool Palooza at the Jerome Brown Community Center, 99 Jerome Brown Place in Brooksville. For more info on Garvin's programs, click here.

For more on Tommy Girvin, click here for Lisa Buie's story.

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SoundBytes: Cash Cash, Laidback Luke, Big Data, Richard Marx and more

-- 97X is putting on another free show ... kind of. Electronic pop duo Big Data will play the Orpheum on Aug. 12, and the alt-rock station is giving away a limited number of free tickets. Click here for details. Or click here.

-- More just-announced Orpheum shows, all in the metal realm: Black Cobra with Lo-Pan (Sept. 6, tickets are $12-$15, click here); Alesana with Megosh, The Funeral Portrait and The Things They Carried (Sept. 20, $15, click here); After the Burial with Texas In July, I Declare War, Reflections and Come the Dawn (Oct. 1, $15-$35, click here); and Combichrist with Darksiders and Davey Suicide (Oct. 2, $20-$60, click here).

-- One of the best moments of this year's Sunset Music Festival came when New Jersey electronic act Cash Cash came onstage after the festival had just been evacuated and reopened following threats of severe weather, blaring Bruce Springsteen's Born In the U.S.A. while a rainbow formed overhead. Maybe they'll recapture some of that magic when they play Hogan's Beach in Tampa on Aug. 24. Ticketse are $15-$25. Click here. …

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Mary Lynn Rajskub talks about being Chloe from '24,' meeting Bob Odenkirk and David Cross and more

It’s not a typical career trajectory: alt-comic actress turned second lead in a political thriller television series.

But it’s the path Mary Lynn Rajskub ended up on, going from performance art-inspired comedy to the part of computer analyst Chloe on the Fox show 24. She’s still doing stand-up, however, and is performing at Side Splitters Comedy Club in Tampa Thursday through Sunday .

Rajskub first gained attention on two influential HBO shows — David Cross and Bob Odenkirk’s sketch series Mr. Show and Garry Shandling’s The Larry Sanders Show — as well as small but substantial parts in indie films like Mysterious Skin and Punch-Drunk Love.

It was the latter performance that resulted in Rajskub getting the role of Chloe on 24. The show came back for a ninth season as miniseries 24: Live Another Day, finishing its run in July.

Before her Side Splitters shows, Rajskub talked about her performance art past, her tenure on Mr. Show and The Larry Sanders Show and her current work on 24. Here are excerpts.

How would you say your stand-up’s changed from when you started to today? …

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Heart coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Heart may be the world's premiere Led Zeppelin cover band, but let's be honest, it's their own catalog that truly ignites fans', well, hearts.

Ann and Nancy Wilson have an endless catalog of scream-along hits, from Alone to These Dreams, Barracuda to Magic Man, What About Love to Will You Be There (In The Morning). The last time they came to town, last summer, they skipped a few of these in order to collaborate with Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience on a Zep tribute set.

But when they come to Clearwater this fall, they'll have the stage all to themselves.

Heart will play Ruth Eckerd Hall on Nov. 11, they announced Monday. According to the venue, tickets will cost $49.50-$99.50, and will go on sale Saturday. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*



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Anberlin bringing farewell tour to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Did you miss Central Florida alt-rock group Anberlin at the Vans Warped Tour on Friday? If so, good news: You still have one chance to catch their farewell tour.

Anberlin has announced they're calling it quits after their seventh studio album, Lowborn, and one last supporting tour. On Monday, it was announced that tour will stop at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Nov. 25. Tickets are $24, and they'll go on sale Friday. Click here for details.

This will be Anberlin's second-to-last show ever. A previously announced farewell show, Nov. 26 at the House of Blues in their hometown of Orlando, sold out almost immediately. And considering Tampa is arguably just as much of a home to the band as Orlando -- after all, their Twitter feed does rep Tampa as their hometown -- this one should sell out pretty quickly too. If you want tickets, don't sleep on 'em.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Review / photos: Fall Out Boy, Paramore roar back to life at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Paramore performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on July 26, 2014.

Jay Cridlin

Paramore performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on July 26, 2014.

To paraphrase LL Cool J: Let’s not call this a comeback. What Fall Out Boy and Paramore are going through these days is more like a rebirth.

Since 2009 – the last time either chart-topping band played a proper concert in Tampa, at least before Fall Out Boy's sold-out gig at the USF Sun Dome last fall – they both nearly imploded from infighting, disillusion, self-doubt and substance abuse, only to re-emerge last year with a pair of hit albums that cemented their places atop the ever-changing world of pop punk. It’s a genre that has swallowed many of their peers, but if Fall Out Boy and Paramore are going down, sugar, they’re going down swinging.

A day after the Vans Warped Tour hit Tampa Bay, some 16,000 fans (and, okay, more than a few parents) flooded the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Saturday to see two of its most successful alumni, back on their feet, still in the prime of their careers, and touring together for the first time.

“It’s a testament to the fans of both bands that you made this happen,” Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz told the crowd. Full Story

Artist of the day: Gino and the Goons

Gino and the Goons are a raunchy trio who focus on gritty, tribal rock ’n’ roll and good times. The primal sounds of the mysterious singer, who goes only by Gino, are rounded out by P. Allen Mandelbass on bass and Hugh T. Williams on drums.

Don’t mistake them for a garage band; these gentlemen rehearse in their St. Petersburg living room and are damn proud of it. We’ll let Gino clarify the distinctions.

Your social media indicates that there have been many past “Goons.” Is the lineup an ever-changing cast of characters?

It actually started in ’07 when I was in North Carolina. I started writing and recording then. Shortly after that in ’08, I moved to Baltimore, Md., and got a live band going. When band members couldn’t make it, I would do it anyways with other people. Sometimes it was a makeshift thing, a thrown-together thing. I come down to Florida to visit and these guys back me up, old friends of mine. When I moved back in 2010, they started playing with me full time. This has been pretty much the solid lineup.

Why the Goons? …

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This week in Tampa: Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Warped Tour, Johnnyswim and more

Hot Topic punk is front and center this weekend in Tampa Bay, with the Vans Warped Tour in St. Petersburg on Friday and Fall Out Boy and Paramore (above) in Tampa on Saturday. If you missed our preview of this year's Warped Tour, click here. And if you missed our chat with Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz and Paramore's Hayley Williams (with a cameo by Echosmith's Sydney Sierota), click here.

Here to walk you through the rest of this week's shows -- including Johnnyswim, Morbid Angel, New Politics, Zion y Lennox, Hank III, Imagination Movers, Classic Albums Live, Telekinetic Walrus and the Pride of Ions and more -- is Ray Roa...

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Review: Kiss, Def Leppard embrace rock 'n' roll excess at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Kiss performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on July 23, 2014.

Luis Santana

Kiss performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on July 23, 2014.

Say this for the Kiss Army plebes who shell out untold fortunes for the right to sit front-row-center: Those glittery, godlike gargoyles try to give 'em every penny’s worth.

Kiss plays to the front of the house like few bands before or since, mercilessly mugging for the cameras, unfurling their bloody, lascivious tongues, wiggling their sequined moneymakers and offering front-row fans tasteful glimpses of chest sweat and buttcheek.

But bands don’t make the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame merely by titillating the haves.

"Everybody here deserves a front row seat at some point during the show!” singer-guitarist Paul “Starchild” Stanley squealed during Wednesday’s explosive concert at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. And so he gave it to them, gliding out on a wire to a rotating stage in the center of the shed, where he danced beneath a disco ball to the endearingly silly Love Gun.

After 40 years, Kiss is having a moment in 2014. It’s not just that they finally made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or the cover of Rolling Stone, or this summer’s blockbuster tour with equally epic hair-bangers Def Leppard. Wednesday’s show drew a surprising number of younger fans no doubt seeing Kiss for the first time. “We've been playing here for longer than some of you have been alive here in Tampa,” Stanley reminded the house early on.

And at 62 and 64, respectively, Stanley and the Demon himself, Gene Simmons, don’t seem to care for the roles of dignified elder statesmen. Full Story