No offense to the following superstars (and, um, Peter Tork), but June is a tad thin concertwise in Tampa Bay. Maybe it's the economy; maybe it's my suspect taste in music; maybe it's that those no-goodniks in Orlando are swiping all of our hot rock action. (Seriously, O-Town gets Florence and the Machine and we get Tork?) The fall will pick up with Taylor Swift, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli. But yikes, summer is a li'l hungry. Anybody want to go see Hangover 2 again?
Top 5 June concerts in Tampa Bay
Capitol Theatre, Friday
When it comes to a sonic salve for heartache, some lonelies turn to the Smiths, some to Otis Redding. Fine choices for sure. But if you've just been dumped, I say you head straight for Waite, baby. Missing You, If Anybody Had a Heart, Tears. Oh yeah, those will fix you up right quick. At 58, the former Babys and Bad English frontman can still hit whiskey-sad notes, and his songbook is fatter than you think (When I See You Smile, Isn't It Time, Restless Heart). If you've never seen the handsome Brit — or you're down in the dumps — this intimate gig is not to be missed. (rutheckerdhall.com)
Ruth Eckerd Hall, Saturday
Okay, those Peter Tork jokes up top weren't fair. Especially since I spent considerable chunks of my preteen youth watching after-school reruns of The Monkees and concocting zany skits while I spun my vinyl copy of their Greatest Hits. Micky Dolenz was an early comedy tutor who taught me the invaluable skills of wacky facial contortions and how to run into a wall without breaking anything. Even now, if I hear Last Train to Clarksville or Pleasant Valley Sunday, no matter where I am, there's a good chance I will jump off something high or slap you in the head. (rutheckerdhall.com)
St. Pete Times Forum, June 10
Not since Dolly Parton has a female performer made her overt bosoms G-rated punchlines fun for the whole family. If Lady Gaga is the pop equivalent of a one-night stand, and Rihanna is a forbidden grind at the club, then the 26-year-old born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson to Christian pastor parents is a wink and an air kiss. Like Dolly, KP is sexy but she's ultimately safe. (sptimesforum.com)
Def Leppard and Heart
1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, June 17
The legend goes that when Def Leppard was basking in its white-hot '80s glory, a secret area below their concert stage would be ripe with frisky fans hankering for a clandestine meet-and-greet with the Brit boys. Thirty years later, I like to think that, directly below Joe Elliott & Co.'s stage, the band's wives are waiting with Bengay and nagging to-do lists. Love Bites, indeed. (livenation.com)
St. Pete Times Forum, June 18
I have a huge amount of respect for Keith Urban. Not so much for his music, although the hunky Aussie can pick a wicked guitar and his hits, especially 2010's Put You in a Song, are always welcome on my radio. No, the 43-year-old country star is to be respected because he remains married to Nicole Kidman, who — and this is strictly a critic's opinion — is really, really scary. You know that final scene in Disney's Cinderella, when the evil stepmother sees that the slipper fits and recoils in horror? That's Kidman's default face. I'm not trying to be mean; it's just that she doesn't seem to be having the best time. It's probably all Tom Cruise's fault. It usually is. (sptimesforum.com)
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life blog is at tampabay.com/blogs/poplife.