Bucs are back: Too much rust and rest? After a shorter practice season brought on by labor issues, fans might see a little more sloppiness than usual when the team takes on the New England Patriots on Thursday night at Raymond James at 7:30. A key thing to look for: Will Patriots coach Bill Belichick wear that terrible-looking hoodie in the 88-degree heat? Tickets start at $35, but those are limited in quantity. The final home preseason game is Aug. 27 against Miami.
A twang in the air: This week's big concerts lean heavily on guitar, fiddle and dobro. Rascal Flatts drops into the Gary Amp on Friday at 7 p.m. with Sara Evans, Easton Corbin and Justin Moore in tow. (Corbin also has a solo show at Bradenton's Joyland Club on Thursday night.) On Sunday, 26-time Grammy winner Alison Krauss returns to the area for the first time since 2005 for a concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall with Union Station and renowned resonator guitarist Jerry Douglas. Roots-rock band Dawes opens the show, which, sadly for some of us slackers, is sold out.
Jeremih: With a hit song called Birthday Sex, you can see why we put the 24-year-old R&B crooner in this category. He'll play an intimate gig at the Venue in St. Petersburg on Wednesday at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.
Good Lourdes? We're not sure if local playwright Bill Leavengood's newest work is going to be a hit, but we love the premise of Lourdes of the Flies: A group of prep school girls accidentally sink their cruise ship and must struggle to survive on a desert island. It opens Friday at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.
Kids and family
Perfect beach movie: Finding Nemo! Face it, school's about to start, so this would be a fun way to finish your summer with Nemo, Dory and Crush at Pier 60's Sunset Cinema in Clearwater Beach. It's free and starts around 8:15 p.m. on Friday. If you get lost, remember that address — P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way — and just keep swimming, just keep swimming …
Say cheesy, please: The stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 riff on the 1962 fantasy epic Jack the Giant Killer, with its Vikings, giant rubber monsters and a leprechaun in a jar. It plays Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Park Place Stadium 16 in Pinellas Park, Regency 20 in Brandon, Woodland Square 20 in Oldsmar and Citrus 20 in Tampa. Tickets are $12.50.
More to explore
The countdown has started to Dolphin Tale, the new movie starring Winter of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. We have tickets to give away to attend the gala premiere Sept. 21. Enter by going to tampabay.com/things-to-do and clicking on the Contests tab.