Friday, April 20, 2018
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Tampa Bay's hottest summer concerts: Coldplay, One Direction, Jason Aldean and more

Get ready for another power-packed weekend on the local music scene, with the Tampa Bay Blues Fest and concerts by Van Halen and Newsboys, among others. As for the rest of the summer — well, let's just say the music isn't dying down anytime soon. Here are our 25 must-see concert picks for this spring and summer.


Who dares cross these Teutonic titans of pyrotechnics and industrial heavy metal? The Forum will be rocking when Rammstein, on its first U.S. tour in nearly a decade, rips into Du Hast at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on April 21. $35-$78.

Elvis Costello

The angry not-so-young man brings his wildly acclaimed "Spectacular Singing Songbook" tour to Ruth Eckerd Hall on April 24. In it, he plays Wheel of Fortune with some of his biggest hits, mixing old faves, rarities and hilarious tales from the road. $49-$89.

Rise Against / A Day To Remember

Chicago's Rise Against and Ocala's A Day To Remember are two of the most popular, energetic metal bands in the country. They've been touring mid-sized arenas together, but will bring their road show to the relatively intimate Hawaiian Village at Tampa's Stadium Green Iguana on April 30. $39.50.

A Taste of Pinellas

The second year of Bill Edwards' reimagining of A Taste of Pinellas brings an eclectic, star-packed lineup: Big and Rich with Joe Nichols on May 4, Sheryl Crow and Ziggy Marley on May 5, and the All-American Rejects and Dashboard Confessional on May 6. $15-$20 per day; $45 all weekend.

New Edition

The original boy band from the '80s has reunited all six original members: Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, Ricky Bell, Mike Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe and Ralph Tresvant. They'll play the group's hits (Candy Girl, Can You Stand The Rain), as well as songs from their solo catalog (Brown's My Prerogative, Bel Biv DeVoe's Poison). May 4 at Tampa Bay Times Forum. $52.50-$125.

The Beach Boys

Yep, the original Beach Boys — or at least as many of them are still around for this 50th anniversary. Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks have reunited and will perform hits like Good Vibrations, Wouldn't It Be Nice and Sloop John B on May 5 at the Straz Center. If only Carl Wilson were still around to sing God Only Knows. $49.50 and up.

Lady Antebellum

The coed country superstars keep winning Grammys. Smash hits like Need You Now and We Owned The Night keep ruling the coed airwaves. Is there any end in sight for the Lady A train? They perform May 11 at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre. $29.25-$54.

Chris Cornell

First Pearl Jam's Vedder plays Ruth Eckerd Hall; now Soundgarden's lead singer brings his acoustic tour to the Tampa Theatre on May 12. It's Temple of the Dog month in Tampa Bay! This gig is a makeup date for a gig in November that Cornell had to cancel due to laryngitis.

Tropical Heatwave

Soulman Chuck Prophet is a WMNF fave, but don't fret if you don't recognize many of the other bands on the May 12 bill — discovering new acts like the Growlers, the Bright Light Social Hour and He's My Brother, She's My Sister are half the fun. This year Heatwave is expanding to 13 stages, including, for the first time, the Ritz Ybor and the Bricks on Seventh Avenue. $30-$40.


Touring behind their Grammy-nominated album The Whole Love, the alternative heroes aim to make their show on May 14 at the Straz Center an interactive experience. You can request songs for the setlist via their website, and submit footage of the shows that can be projected behind the band onstage. $45.50 and up.

Jane's Addiction

Perry Farrell and company have always been one of the most energetic and visual rock bands in the alternative world, so this rare theater show at Ruth Eckerd Hall on May 19 should be a treat. $42.50.

Sunset Music Festival

Dubstep/hip-hop DJ Pretty Lights (above) will headline the festival, which returns for the first time since 2007. The all-day rave will also feature performances by Morgan Page, Alesso, Datsik, Nadastrom, Nervo and countless other DJs, with after-parties at the Stadium Green Iguana and Amphitheatre in Ybor City. Talk about the ultimate Memorial Day weekend bash. It's May 26 in the north parking lot of Raymond James Stadium. Tickets start at $35.

Kenny Chesney / Tim McGraw

Two of the most popular men in country music are teaming up for the biggest country tour of the year. Their "Brothers of the Sun" joint tour kicks off at Raymond James Stadium on June 2, with Jake Owen and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals in tow. Tickets start at $29.50 via Ticketmaster.

Neil Diamond

The legendary singer-songwriter is billing his June 3 date at the Tampa Bay Times Forum as a career-spanning tour, so you know you'll get to hear Cherry, Cherry; America; Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon; and Sweet Caroline. (But how will anyone remember the words to that last one? It so rarely gets played in public!) $52.25-$117.25.

Two Door Cinema Club

Irish indie-rock outfit Two Door Cinema Club has found stateside success thanks to catchy, danceable singles like What You Know and Do You Want It All? They'll stop by the Ritz Ybor June 6 on their way to Bonnaroo. $21.50.

Bon Iver

Justin Vernon and company have come a long way their last visit to Tampa Bay, in 2009. Last year's Hornsby/Cetera-influenced self-titled album, won Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album. After Bon Iver leave Tampa, they'll be on their way to Manchester, Tenn., for Bonnaroo, where they'll be one of this year's top-billed acts. $39.50 and up. June 7 at Carol Morsani Hall. ­


Was it really just six months ago that superstar Swedish DJ Avicii was playing The Venue in Clearwater? It's a sign of just how popular electronic dance music has gotten that he's now about to headline the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Avicii, best known for the worldwide smash Levels — the Etta James-sampling dance track that inspired for Flo Rida's Good Feeling — will be at the Forum on June 7. $46.75. ­


The British rockers ached to make listeners burst with passion on new album Mylo Xyloto, especially on anthemic singles like Every Teardrop is a Waterfall and Charlie Brown. With their deep catalog of arena-sized hits, the Tampa Bay Times Forum will be electric on June 28. $49.50-$97.50. ­

One Direction

Boy bands are back, baby. This spring, the former British X Factor contestants became the first British pop group to debut at No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts, and they performed hit What Makes You Beautiful on Saturday Night Live. This show is June 29 at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre in Tampa. $29.50-$59.50.

Barenaked Ladies

If you love the '90s, this will be like one of your favorite late-'90s mixtapes come to life. Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Cracker and Big Head Todd and the Monsters will join forces at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre on July 17.

Dave Matthews Band

They're back! After taking last summer off, the biggest jam-pop band in the biz returns to the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre on July 18. Even though they don't always play their biggest hits (What Would You Say is a rarity at this point), these shows often sell out. $40.50-$75. ­

Antiwarpt Festival

In just two short years, the Antiwarpt Festival has become St. Pete's answer to Tropical Heatwave. This year, look for dozens of local bands (and a few national ones) on 10 stages around the 'Burg on July 27-28. No artists have been announced just yet, but there will be an announcement party on May 25 at the Mirror Lake Shuffleboard Complex.

Kiss / Motley Crue

Motley Crue's first tour was opening for Kiss back in 1982, according to Billboard. Now two of the most notorious, lascivious rock 'n' roll bands of the last 40 years will team up once again for a summer megatour that'll hit Tampa's 1-800 Ask Gary Amphitheatre on July 28. $30-$157.

Jason Aldean

Don't look now, Kenny, Brad, Toby and Tim, but there's a new country stud on the block. Aldean sold out the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre last summer, and considering the Dirt Road Anthem hitmaker is bringing along Luke Bryan — whose recent show at the Florida Strawberry Festival also sold out — it's a sure bet this show on Aug. 10 will sell out, too. Ticket prices haven't been announced yet.

Big Time Rush

By the time Aug. 25 rolls around, this show at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre by this Nickelodeon-based boy band may prove a tougher ticket than the Republican National Convention, which starts the same week. $20-$65.

• 5 huge shows deserving of honorable mention: 97X Memorial Day Backyard BBQ (May 26, Vinoy Park), Il Divo (June 15-16, Straz Center), Def Leppard/Poison (June 30, Tampa Bay Times Forum), Sugarland (June 27, 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphtiheatre), Vans Warped Tour (July 29, Vinoy Park)

• 5 under-the-radar shows deserving of honorable mention: Brandi Carlile (April 21, Curtis Hixon Park), Mayer Hawthorne (May 7, State Theatre), Heartless Bastards (May 15, Orpheum), Lucero (May 25, State Theatre), Kaskade (July 13, Florida State ­Fairgrounds).

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