OH, THE HORROR: Slipknot and Marilyn Manson
It's a macabre pop nightmare come to life: Slipknot , below and Marilyn Manson, right, barnstorming America in their spooky-ooky finest. This ain't 1999, though; it's 2016 — and over the years, the Iowa power-metal outfit and Antichrist Superstar have lost a bit of their ability to shock and disturb. Manson's been a living cartoon for ages (latest proof: He just signed on as a face of Marc Jacobs' fall 2016 fashion campaign, alongside Kendall Jenner and Courtney Love), while Slipknot's Corey Taylor is under doctor's orders not to headbang on this tour. Still, both remain intriguing and occasionally spectacular live acts, particularly the pyro-powered Slipknot. Look past the house-of-horror getups, and you'll be astonished by the 'Knot's killer chops, particularly Taylor's stellar vocals. Of Mice and Men open at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $23 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
FOREVER 21: Vans Warped Tour
For its 21st birthday, the Vans Warped Tour is going all out.
"You'll see a lot of bands that some people in their 20s, maybe their 30s, go, 'Oh my god, there are six bands I love on that lineup!' " said Warped founder Kevin Lyman, right. "But there's a lot of connection in the music between a lot of old pop-punk bands and young pop-punk bands now."
All-ages fun is the norm at Warped, which returns to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park on Friday. Among the dozens of acts on this year's lineup are many Warped vets: Less Than Jake, New Found Glory, Sum 41, Reel Big Fish, Sleeping With Sirens, Four Year Strong, Falling In Reverse, the Maine and Bay area faves We the Kings and Set It Off.
Warped is a rite of passage for many teens, and there's a whole culture built around it — not just music but workshops, meet-and-greets, charity drives, even free entry for parents of ticketholders under 18. And there are after-parties, too — this year's will be hosted by Sleeping With Sirens at the Local 662 (tickets are $5 and up), with a meet-and-greet at Daddy Kool Records ($50).
TAKE TWO: Culture Club
Let us now reassess the cultural influence of Culture Club, right, particularly their flamboyantly androgynous singer Boy George.
"Would we have Lady Gaga without Culture Club? Would these things be around without us sort of paving the way?" guitarist Roy Hay wondered in a recent phone interview. "I believe if you grew up with a Culture Club poster on your wall, you might be a bit more well-rounded human being."
Entirely possible. And it might make you a smarter music fan. Culture Club's songs — shameless, sun-kissed and tropical in spirit — sound surprisingly fresh in concert today, as anyone who caught the band's rain-truncated show last summer in Madeira Beach can attest.
The band's original lineup — Boy George, Hay, bassist Mikey Craig and drummer Jon Moss — are hungry to prove they're no mere nostalgia act, pumping new life into hits like Karma Chameleon, I'll Tumble 4 Ya and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me with the aid of a huge backing band of vocalists and percussionists.
They'll make up for that soggy night in Madeira Beach with what will be a colorful show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $69.50 and up. (727) 893-7832. themahaffey.com. For more with Roy Hay, see tampabay.com/soundcheck.
GET EMOTIONAL: Modern Baseball, Pinegrove
It's a glorious time to be a fan of the aching, melodic alt-rock genre known (sometimes derisively) as emo, as bands keep winning over critics with LPs that harken back to acts like Jimmy Eat World, Sunny Day Real Estate and the Promise Ring. Foremost among them: Philadelphia's Modern Baseball, whose dual-singer-songwriter approach yields huge, sing-along hooks amid clashing, crashing guitars on new album Holy Ghost. They play with Joyce Manor and Thin Lips at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20 and up. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.
Elsewhere on the emo spectrum you'll find New Jersey's Pinegrove, whose acclaimed new album Cardinal blends lo-fi indie rock (the heartfelt Cadmium) with hints of alt-country (oh, those banjos on Old Friends). Sports and Half Waif open at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600. ticketfly.com.
MELLO VIBES: Marshmello
At May's Sunset Music Festival in Tampa, no DJ had a harder, hungrier fan base than Marshmello, right, the mysterious party-starter in the Stay-Puft getup. Dozens of fans brought their own homemade Marshmello costumes and totems as he spun everything from Fetty Wap and Kendrick Lamar to Avicii and Zedd to Coldplay and Adele — and somehow all of it crushed. When he's not busy coyly beefing with Deadmau5 on Twitter, he's one of the fastest-rising club presences in America, which means his Sunday show at Beach Bar, 7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa, should be packed. Doors open at noon. $28. (813) 281-0566. beachtampa.com.