Brian McKnight .
Details: Saturday 8 p.m. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $39.50. (813) 229-7827.
For romance this weekend, forget the candlelit restaurant or the beach at sunset. The most smooch-worthy scene in the bay area Saturday is the Straz Center, which hosts quiet-storm R&B/soul singer Brian McKnight. His velvety croon tunes (Back at One, Anytime) caress gently, recalling the work of the late Luther Vandross. But McKnight isn't just an exemplary singer. He's also a record producer, songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist (he plays nine in all). This tour supports Just Me, a two-disc set released in July.
With Slick Rick, Orange Avenue Band, Fiyah Marshall, Mr. Pringles
Details: The party starts at 11 a.m. Sunday, but Coolio and Slick Rick will perform sometime after 8 p.m. Admission is $10 before 8 p.m., $15 after. Shephard's Beach Resort, 601 S Gulfview Blvd., No. 619, Clearwater. (727) 441-6875. Note: This is part of Shephard's Old Skool Labor Day Weekend four-day party, Friday through Monday. Prices range from free to $15. See shephards.com for details.
It's 1995 and Coolio and Michelle Pfeiffer are squaring off in an ill-lit basement. They talk inner-city schooling and pistol smoke (fool!), while a stocky, sweaty singer with Gospel chops provides an ominous hook. If you were breathing in the '90s, or better still, owned a Trapper Keeper or any of Nickelodeon's Gak products, you totally remember this scene. Coolio's Stevie Wonder-sampling anthem Gangsta's Paradise (and Dangerous Minds soundtrack standout) would go on to earn a Grammy and an Amish Paradise parody by Weird Al. The Compton, Calif., rapper has been absent from the music scene for a hot minute, but he'll bring it back to the '90s with the aforementioned mood tune, as well as lots of good-time, funk-sampled hip-hop, at Shephard's on Sunday.
Featuring Escape the Fate, Bullet For My Valentine, Seether, Three Days Grace, Avenged Sevenfold, Hell or High Water, Black Tide, Art of Dying, Sevendust
Details: Saturday 2:30 p.m. 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $32-$101.55. (813) 740-2446.
Get the blood boiling at Uproar, a metal festival that combines the unchecked energy of Identity Fest, the neck tattoos of Warped Tour and the hard-drinking of Crue Fest. Machine-gun metal specialists Avenged Sevenfold, or if you're in the know A7X, will perform inside a flame-shooting "Deathbat." Canadian representatives Three Days Grace (Never Too Late, Animal I Have Become) will offer up melody and melancholy, and Seether, an alternative metal trio from Pretoria, South Africa, will take you through highs and lows with cage-match intensity. Consult the Uproar Festival website, rockstaruproar.com/city/tampa/, for information about autograph signings on the day of the show.
Rock Allegiance Tour
Featuring Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Puddle of Mudd, P.O.D., Red, Crossfade, Drive A
Details: Monday 2 p.m. Stadium Green Iguana, 2520 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $29.50 and up. (813) 868-7600.
The Rock Allegiance Tour is running on the platform "loud riffs, cheap tickets," and it's another choice fest for bay area metal heads this holiday weekend. Buckcherry has ultimate exotic dancer anthem Crazy B----, Papa Roach has Scars and Puddle of Mudd is Psycho. May conflict with regularly scheduled Monday Night Raw programming.
Dex Romweber Duo CD Release
With the Mojo Gurus, the Lambasters
Details: Friday 8:30 p.m. Dave's Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 576-1091.
Before loud, lo-fi duos like the White Stripes and the Black Keys were on the up-and-up, Dex Romweber was hammering out stripped-down sounds in guitar-drums duo Flat Duo Jets. In the Dex Romwember Duo, Dex pairs with sister Sara to deliver more bare-bones garage-rock and hillbilly blues, this time on Is That You In The Blue.
With Alexander and the Grapes
Details: Friday 8 p.m. Creative Loafing Space, 1911 N 13th St., Ybor City. $7-$10. (813) 739-4800.
Gainesville's John Vanderslice injects scholarly subject matter into his lovely orchestral pop blend — say the poetry of William Blake and Percy Shelley. We can only conclude that this isn't a dude you'd want to face in online Scrabble.