LL COOL J >
With DJ Z-Trip
Details: Saturday, following Rays vs. Orioles (first pitch at 4:10 p.m.). Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. Included with game ticket. raysbaseball.com
The Rays have a weekend full of freebies planned for their series against the Baltimore Orioles. On Friday, the first 10,000 fans receive a Jeremy Hellickson figurine, and on Sunday, the first 10,000 kids age 14 and under get a Desmond Jennings bobblehead. And on Saturday, one of rap's founding loverboys (before the ladies loved Drake, they loved Cool James) will take the mike for a free concert. Is Big Ole Butt family-friendly enough to make the set list? We hope so.
Jay Cridlin, Times staff writer
< NEIL DIAMOND
Details: Sunday 8 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $32.25-$117.25. (813) 301-2500.
Long before Justin Bieber, there was Diamond — the guy whose brilliant brand of soppy pop still makes the ladies squeal. This is being promoted as a career-spanning show in support of The Very Best of Neil Diamond: The Original Studio Recordings. So we'd anticipate the Mom-approved Cherry, Cherry, Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon, Forever in Blue Jeans and Sweet Caroline, complemented by sparkly shirts, plunging necklines and a big band. For Diamond, who has sold more than 125 million albums over a 40-year span, and who wed his manager this spring, it seems the good times never seemed so good.
DOWNTOWN DIGITAL BLOCK PARTY
Featuring Ladytron (DJ set), Mustard Pimp, Sonic C, Boombox, Amtrac, Party Supplies, Subpirate, Sounduo, more. jannuslive.com for lineup
Details: Saturday noon. At these St. Petersburg locations: Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, (727) 565-0551; Vintage Ultra Lounge, 16 Second St. N, (727) 898-2222; and Bar Milo, 300 Central Ave., (727) 822-7273. $25 and up.
The beat goes on in the bay (and it sounds a lot like "innts, innts, innts"). A week after the Sunset Fest blowout at Raymond James Stadium, downtown St. Pete hosts its own, slightly more underground electronic festival. Expect 12 hours of hologram-free music from both local and national artists, including a DJ set by the dark but highly danceable New Wave riders Ladytron. Fubar's "Turbo Tuesday" residents, including Subpirate, will offer plenty of dubstep.
CITY AND COLOUR
Details: Tuesday 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25 and up. (813) 247-2555.
While taking in now-defunct hardcore band Alexisonfire and its lead screamer George Pettit at Warped Tour in 2009, we may have overlooked the band's best bespectacled asset: guitar player and singer-songwriter Dallas Green. Today, under the moniker City and Colour, Green is giving delicate acoustic music a little edge. A true testimony to his songwriter skills, the tattooed strummer manages to keep caffeinated youth spellbound with pensive, acoustic tunes. Listen for title track Little Hell, a song "that explores the little heavens and little hells that comprise a relationship," says Spin.
TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB
With Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Details: Wednesday 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $21.50 and up. (813) 247-2555.
Happiness set to music. That's the best way we can describe the buoyant sounds of Irish indie-rock outfit Two Door Cinema Club, who supported Tokyo Police Club on its last jovial Tampa trip. The band chalks up much of its stateside success to the catchy, danceable qualities of singles like What You Know and Do You Want It All?
< RICK ROSS
Details: Friday 9 p.m. The Hawaiian Village at Stadium Green Iguana, 2520 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $30 and up. (813) 868-7600.
The Boss Ricky Ross has had a whirlwind couple of months. And no, we're not talking about his performance at NBA All-Star weekend. Ross experienced an on-flight seizure, was questioned about a dead body found on his front lawn and was sued in a $10 million lawsuit for using the name of former L.A. drug kingpin "Freeway" Rick Ross. In spite of all that, Miami's big poppa still gives us all the half-bellowed raps about opulence that we've come to love.
With Onuinu, the Soft Rock Renegades, more
Details: Friday 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $11-$14. (813) 241-8600.
Bubblegum electro-pop philosophizers Yacht continually stress that they're not a cult. Super weird, yes, but not a cult. For nearly 10 years, the Portland dance duo of Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans has been delivering interactive performances, which include a barrage of multimedia, offbeat pop and slippery electronica about dystopia and utopia, respectively. Yacht's experimental and explorative qualities have led them to some memorable gigs all over the globe. That includes a show in a kid's bathroom in suburban St. Louis. Bechtolt stood on the toilet while an audience crowded in the hall.
SCION ROCK FEST
Featuring Sick of It All, Down, Sleep, Cerebral Ballzy, Sleep, Revocation, Phobia, the Atlas Moth, Flyingsnakes, Cellgraft, more
Details: Saturday 4 p.m. At these locations in Ybor city: Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., (813) 247-2555; Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, (813) 241-8600; Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., (813) 247-2664; Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave. www.theorpheum.com. Free. RSVP at www.Scionav.com/rock.
This compact car-sponsored event brings sport-utility-sized noise. About 25 metal bands will perform at four different venues throughout the course of the day. Sick of It All, one of the longest- standing hardcore bands has been grinding out unrelenting metal since 1986. Co-headliner Sleep earned the distinction "stoner-rock titans" from the Chicago Tribune. (Are their moms proud of that one?)
Details: Sunday 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35-$79.50. (727) 791-7400.
A Dennis DeYoung-less Styx returns to fill Ruth Eckerd with arena-sized melodramas like Come Sail Away, Renegade and Lady. The band, which traces its roots back to a small Chicago basement in the early '60s, has performed more live concerts since 1999 than all of the previous years of its career combined, proving our desire for classic rock radio grandiosity and soaring power ballads has only grown. Tommy Shaw, James "JY" Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips will appear.
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at email@example.com.