Last year's inaugural Funk Fest Tampa Bay drew some pretty big names to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Names like Babyface, Bell Biv DeVoe and SWV. As a result, it drew a pretty big crowd, upward of 15,000.
It also drew some pretty big controversy. Fans criticized organizers for not having enough food, water and amenities on site, not to mention problems with vendors and tickets. Organizers acknowledged there were myriad problems with the setup and have promised to do better in 2011.
Well, 2011 is here. And so far, the lineup for this year's Funk Fest, April 2 and 3 at Vinoy Park, looks pretty fun.
From the '90s, there's MC Hammer, Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat. From the '80s, there's comeback kid El DeBarge. From the old school, there's Charlie Wilson and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. And from the new school, there's soulful crooner Kem.
Through Feb. 7, two-day general admission tickets are $45; after that they go up to $50. Single-day tickets are $40. VIP tickets are $50 and up. Go to funkfesttampabay.com for more details.
Megadeth headlines Mayhem Festival
A few months after Megadeth hits the stage in Indio, Calif., for a metal festival with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, the group will head out on the road as one of the headlining acts of this year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Joining the band are two more pretty big names in modern metal: Godsmack and Disturbed.
Also on the bill are Machine Head, Trivium and In Flames, as well as Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish, Straight Line Stitch, Unearth, Kingdom of Sorrow and Red Fang. (Testament and Metalocalypse heroes Dethklok will also make Mayhem Festival tour appearances this year, but not in Tampa.)
As previously announced, the Mayhem Festival will hit Tampa's 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre on Aug. 13. Ticket info has not been announced, but keep checking rockstarmayhemfest.com for details.
• The best band in late night, the legendary Roots crew, is the latest, and final, band to be added to Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras concert series. The Roots will perform at Universal Orlando on March 19.
• The Local 662, arguably the most improved concert venue in Tampa Bay over the past year, has another national name coming in: pop singer-songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins (Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover, As I Lay Me Down) on March 18.
• Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy is coming to the State Theatre on March 25.
• Color us shocked to learn that Trans-Siberian Orchestra performs concerts outside of Christmastime, but it will be performing Beethoven's Last Night on April 23 at the Lakeland Center.