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Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffett top list of spring, summer concerts in Tampa Bay area

In the immortal words of Liz Lemon: "I want to go to there."

When it comes to this summer's Tampa Bay concert slate, that's most definitely the case. There are dozens of worthy concerts coming to town through the end of summer, each one meriting a look. This weekend, for example, brings the Tampa Bay Blues Festival. And there are good shows coming this fall, too — Miranda Lambert, Josh Groban, Journey, Taylor Swift. But for now, here are our picks for the 25 can't-miss concerts of spring and summer. Keep tabs on the latest concert announcements at tampabay.com/blogs/soundcheck.

1 Lady Gaga

{ April 16 }

Can you believe this is the same Stefani Germanotta who once headlined G.Bar in Ybor City? Now look at her — she's the biggest star in music. Our little fashion egg has hatched, and she's all grown up. 8 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $49.50-$175. (813) 301-2500; stpetetimesforum.com.

2 Jimmy Buffett

{ April 16 }

With one false step, this became a can't-miss concert. In January, the 64-year-old Buffett fell off the stage during a concert in Australia, and he has been down for the count ever since. This show marks his return to the stage. 8 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $36-$136. (813) 740-2446; livenation.com.

3 Iron Maiden

{ April 17 }

Why Tampa was selected as one of only two American cities on the metal legends' massive world tour is still a mystery to us. But we're not complaining. Up the irons, metalheads! 8 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa. $32.25-$55. (813) 301-2500.

4 Interpol

{ April 28 }

In 2004, this would have been one of the hippest shows of the year. Seven years later, minus holster-toting bassist Carlos D, not so much. Still, if you're in the mood for gloomy anthems about angst in the big city, it gets no better than this. 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $23 and up. (813) 247-2555; ritzybor.com.

5 Sleigh Bells

{ April 29 }

Combine deafeningly distorted guitar riffs and singsong cheerleader vocals and what do you get? One of the most unexpectedly awesome new bands of 2010. Buzzsaw singles like Rill Rill, Infinity Guitars and Riot Rhythm have popped up in several commercials and TV shows. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 637 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20 and up. (727) 895-3045; statetheatreconcerts.com.

6 Tim McGraw

{ April 29 }

It's a safe bet that the country stud/supporting actor will make an annual pilgrimage to Tampa each spring. Just as reliable: that he'll pick a couple of country's top young bands for support. Last year it was Lady Antebellum; this year it's Luke Bryan and the Band Perry. 7 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, Tampa. $25-$67. (813) 740-2446; livenation.com.

7 Diddy-Dirty Money

{ April 30 }

Jannus Live continues to book some of the biggest names in hip-hop (50 Cent, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy), landing its biggest yet: Sean "Diddy" Combs and his new project with singers Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper. We do wonder how Mr. Ciroc will react to Jannus Live's Crystal Head Vodka Lounge, though. Awk-werrrd! 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $35. jannuslive.com.

8 Jeff Beck

{ May 6-7 }

One of the greatest guitarists of all time, the former Yardbird's May 7 concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall sold out so quickly that a second show was added. Both shows are at 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $41-$61 (May 6 only). (727) 791-7400; rutheckerdhall.com.

9 Kris Kristofferson

{ May 10 }

He has a role in the upcoming movie Dolphin Tale, filmed in and around Clearwater. But as a performer, the gruff-as-sandpaper Country Music Hall of Famer hasn't so much as sniffed the Tampa Bay area in years, aside from a 2007 show at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. This will be a rare opportunity to catch the Oscar-nominated singer, songwriter and actor in a truly historic setting. 8 p.m. Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin Street, Tampa. $39.50-$49.50. (813) 274-8981; tampatheatre.org.

10 Tropical Heatwave

{ May 14 }

The 30th edition of WMNF's annual festival features one of its strongest lineups in years, with alt-rockers Cracker and the Whigs joined by quirky folk groups like the Two Man Gentleman Band and Carolina Chocolate Drops. At stages around the Cuban Club, 2010 Avenida Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. $30-$40. wmnf.org.

11 GIRL TALK

{ May 18 }

What's so special about a DJ who mashes up Top 40 hits into an unholy sonic stew? Well, Greg "Girl Talk" Gillis is flat-out awesome live, so much so that his shows at Bonnaroo and Coachella are can't-miss events. When he performed at Czar in 2008, tons of fans crowded around Gillis' sweaty laptop, all thrashing around in what might serve as a convenient visual metaphor for his music. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, St. Petersburg. $25-$30.

12 Taste of Pinellas

{ May 20-22 }

Wait, is this really the Taste of Pinellas lineup? Actual hitmakers like Chris Isaak, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Colbie Caillat, Third Eye Blind and Josh Turner? But where's 38 Special? How can it be an outdoor food festival without them? Vinoy Waterfront Park, St. Petersburg. $10 advance, $15 day of; children 12 and under free. allkids.org.

13 Deftones

{ May 24 }

Deftones' 2000 album White Pony is a stone-cold new metal classic, and their concert last summer at the Ritz Ybor drew scores of wildly enthusiastic fans. But almost as exciting is the promise of an opening set by hard-core punk legends the Dillinger Escape Plan, one of the most electric headlining acts of last year's Warped Tour. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, St. Petersburg. $32.

14 Cage the Elephant/ Manchester Orchestra

{ May 24 }

One of America's most popular young alt-rock bands (Cage the Elephant) teams with one of its most critically acclaimed (Manchester Orchestra) for a co-headlining tour. We're told this is the future of American rock. Get with the program! 6:30 p.m. Ritz Ybor, Ybor City. $20. (813) 247-2555.

15 The Monkees

{ June 4 }

For the first time in a decade, three original members — Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork — are embarking on a reunion tour, marking the 45th anniversary. (Essay question: Are I'm A Believer and Daydream Believer essentially the same song?) 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $35-$75. (727) 791-7400.

16 Matt and Kim

{ June 7 }

It's always an event when the ELECTRIC! ECSTATIC! SUPER-DUPER-CHEERY-DANCEY HAPPY! real-life couple Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino come to your town. When the indie-pop duo played the State Theatre last fall, our reviewer wrote: "The crowd was drowning out the band, everyone was dancing and jumping around. It was pure bliss." 8 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20. (813) 247-2664; aestheticized.com.

17 Katy Perry

{ June 10 }

Here it is, kids, the tour both your 13-year-old daughter and 42-year-old husband have been waiting for all year. The pop starlet will bring hits like Teenage Dream and California Gurls to Tampa. Don't sleep on the opener, glammed-out Swedish disco diva Robyn. 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa. $45. (813) 301-2500.

18 Def Leppard/ Heart

{ June 17 }

Whether you want some sugar poured on you, or you want someone to go crazy on you, this double blast of '70s and '80s rock 'n' roll greatness will have you singing hit (Barracuda) after hit (Bringin' On the Heartbreak) after hit (Magic Man). 7:30 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, Tampa. $25-$125. (813) 740-2446.

19 KEITH URBAN

{ June 18 }

Mr. Nicole Kidman shirks the duties of daddyhood for a couple of months for a summer tour and brings hard-driving country anthems like Once In A Lifetime and Somebody Like You back to town. 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa. $27.25-$75. (813) 301-2500.

20 Psychedelic Furs

{ July 2 }

Brothers Richard and Tim Butler — both still as charismatic as ever — are playing their 1981 album Talk Talk Talk, including the classics Pretty in Pink and Dumb Waiters, in its entirety. And on top of that, they'll play a greatest hits set, too. 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, Clearwater. $49.50-$59.50. (727) 791-7400.

21 Motley Crue/ Poison

{ July 6 }

What year is this again? 2011 or 1988? Doesn't really matter. If the idea of Crue's Tommy Lee and Poison's Bret Michaels intimidates you, you're not alone. (And if the prospect of Mick Mars and C.C. DeVille sharing a stage frightens you, well, you're only human. They frighten us all.) And don't miss the openers, glam-punk legends the New York Dolls. 7 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa. $25-$95. (813) 301-2500.

22 MATTHEW MORRISON

{ July 10 }

It's tough to fault the Glee star for recording a solo album and going out on tour. He can sing, right? That's how he got the job in the first place, right? When McKinley High's Mr. Schue comes to the Straz for a night of original songs and fan favorites, we know a ton of Gleeks will be there screaming. 7:30 p.m. Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets start at $48.50 (on sale April 15). (813) 229-7827; strazcenter.org.

23 Jason Aldean

{ July 15 }

Aldean and opener Chris Young are two of the hottest young country stars in the game. Their songs are all over the radio, especially Aldean's duet with Kelly Clarkson, Don't You Wanna Stay, and Young's Voices and The Man I Want to Be. All have hit No. 1 on the country charts recently. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, Tampa. Individual tickets not yet on sale. (813) 740-2446; livenation.com.

24 Selena Gomez

{ July 30 }

We'll be interested to see who makes a bigger turnout for this show — Selena Gomez fans, or Justin Bieber fans. After all, the erstwhile Wizard of Waverly Place is the one who has stolen Bieber's heart (maybe), which is bad news for half of the world's female population. Either way, kids will be out screaming for/at the Disney pop princess. 7 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $39-$78. (727) 791-7400.

25 Vans Warped Tour

{ July 31 }

This year's stop in St. Petersburg brings a diverse lineup. Alternative hip-hop group Gym Class Heroes, gravel-throated Gainesville punks Against Me!, screamo quintet A Day To Remember, pop outfit the Ready Set and buzz-worthy Southern rapper Yelawolf are among the acts to watch. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Vinoy Waterfront Park, downtown St. Petersburg. About $34. warpedtour.com.

Susan Thurston and Steve Spears contributed to this report.

Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffett top list of spring, summer concerts in Tampa Bay area 04/06/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 7:22pm]
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