The 25 best spring and summer concerts in Tampa Bay

There are some great concerts in the bay area this week, including Wilco, Richard Marx and Wild Splash. Beyond that, spring and summer will heat up with these 25 must-see shows from now through July.

1. Duncan Sheik, March 26

In addition to hits like Barely Breathing, he'll play selections from his musical, Spring Awakening! Drama nerds, time to celebrate! 7:30 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets start at $25. (813) 229-7827, strazcenter.org.

2. Gretchen Wilson, March 27

Why do we care so much about this show by Wilson, the singer of Redneck Woman and Here for the Party? Because this is the first major show at the refurbished Jannus Live, formerly Jannus Landing. (Okay, fine, technically .38 Special and Molly Hatchet play there the night before, but really, is anyone counting them?) 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $40-$45. jannuslive.com.

3. Alicia Keys, March 28

That face. That voice. That smooth, sultry attitude. But enough about opener Robin Thicke. Alicia Keys isn't so bad herself. 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets are $55.25, $75.25 and $100.25. (813) 301-2500, stpetetimesforum.com.

4. Arctic Monkeys, April 2

Back in 2006, they were the second coming of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Mozart combined (at least according to British mag NME). Their star has faded just a tad since then, but we bet I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor still sounds good on the dance floor. 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $23. (813) 247-2555, ritzybor.com.

5. Copeland, April 8

Lakeland's beloved pop-rock quartet has played around the world, but they're calling it quits after this farewell tour. This is part of a four-date run of Florida shows that are scheduled to be the band's last on U.S. soil. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 637 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045, statetheatreconcerts.com.

6. Of Montreal, April 8

Of Montreal's December 2008 gig in Tampa was one of the first at the refurbished Ritz Ybor. It was also one of the craziest, with costume changes, red paint and whipped cream galore. This promises to be one of the spectacles of spring. 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $21.50. (813) 247-2555, ritzybor.com.

7. Tampa Bay Blues Fest, April 9-11

Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jimmie Vaughan, Bettye Lavette, JJ Grey and Mofro and Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm headline the 15th annual incarnation of this event. Don't forget, each night there's a party at Nova 535 featuring several of the headliners. Vinoy Waterfront Park, St. Petersburg. Single-day tickets are $30-$150, three-day tickets are $75-$325. tampabaybluesfest.com.

8. Bon Jovi, April 17

Who plays with more passion, the conquering sons of New Jersey or the emo-tastic openers, Dashboard Confessional from Boca Raton? (Okay, geez, stop shouting, Garden Staters! We heard you!) 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $26.75-$126.75. (813) 301-2500, stpetetimesforum.com.

9. Surfer Blood, April 18

This surf-pop garage band from West Palm Beach has been deemed one of 2010's buzziest acts by Rolling Stone, Spin and Pitchfork. Are they worth the hype? Here's your chance to check 'em out and decide for yourself. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $8-$10. (813) 241-8600, crowbarlive.com.

10. Jimmy Buffett, April 24

We feel sorry for all the fans who have to choose between Jimmy Buffett and Limp Bizkit on this day. It's like Sophie's Choice. 8 p.m. Ford Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $30-$130. (813) 740-2446, fordamp.com.

11. 98 Rockfest, April 24

The reunited Alice in Chains and Limp Bizkit headline this meat-rock-a-palooza, which also features Puddle of Mudd and Sevendust. 6:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets are $30-$78, with four-pack discounts available. (813) 301-2500, stpetetimesforum.com.

12. Ben Harper, May 1

So slick, so thoughtful, so unflappably sunny and mellow. The Grammy-winning singer-guitarist and his band, Relentless7, will use this date to warm up for a few major festival shows later this summer. 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $36.50. (813) 247-2555, ritzybor.com.

13. ZZ Top, May 1

Wait, how did the Rays book these guys for a postgame concert? We thought the Rays were all about mohawks, not beards. Following the Rays vs. Kansas City Royals at 6:10 p.m. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. Free with game ticket. rays.mlb.com.

14. Tim McGraw, May 7

Fresh off his role in the Oscar-worthy The Blind Side — and a few weeks after appearing at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am in Tampa — McGraw hits the road with two of the hottest young country bands around, Lady Antebellum and Love and Theft. May 7. Ford Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25-$65. (813) 740-2446, fordamp.com.

15. Tom Petty and the HEArtbreakers, May 9

For a Gainesville boy, Tom isn't showing the Sunshine State much love on his spring tour. Tampa Bay is his only stop. Joe Cocker opens the show. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500, stpetetimesforum.com.

16. Angels and Airwaves, May 13

Evidently we won't be getting another Blink-182 reunion tour this summer, as frontman Tom DeLonge will be busy on a 40-date trek for this side project. With ever-popular emo-pop-punks Say Anything opening, this show is likely to sell out. 7:30 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $30.50. (813) 247-2555, ritzybor.com.

17. Country Throwdown Tour, May 14

Country music has never had its own version of the Warped Tour . . . until now. Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Eric Church and many more (including Oscar winner Ryan Bingham) will take two stages at this fest, which was created by the folks who put on Warped. Ford Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $23-$38, but if you buy between Friday and Sunday, you can get a special deal: $9.95 for lawn tickets and $20 for reserved seats. (813) 740-2446, fordamp.com.

18. Tropical Heatwave, May 15

Headliners include Bob Schneider, Ruthie Foster and Rev. Billy C. Wirtz, but the lower-tier acts are just as intriguing: The funk-jam-electro of BoomBox, the raw, edgy punk of the Ettes, the throwback soul of Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics. Get there early. 5 p.m. At stages around the Cuban Club, 2010 Avenida Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. $32-$40. wmnf.org.

19. James Taylor and Carole King, June 6

Touring together for the first time in 50 years as part of their Troubadour Reunion Tour, two of pops greatest singer-songwriters will perform their own hits and duet. Gee, wonder if they'll sing You've Got A Friend? 8 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $32.25-$92.25. (813) 301-2500, stpetetimesforum.com.

20. Brooks and Dunn, June 11

It's the farewell tour for one of country music's most decorated duos, which means they'll probably just take a year off before their comeback tour. Be sure to hit the Dallas Bull after the show, as Kix and Ronnie have been known to stop by. Ford Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 740-2446, fordamp.com.

21. Lilith Fair 2010, no date yet

We don't know who's on the bill yet, or even when or where it's taking place (probably the Ford Amphitheatre). But rest assured, with a rotating lineup of artists including Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Loretta Lynn, Kelly Clarkson, Erykah Badu, Cat Power and Mary J. Blige, you can bet we'll be there when this show comes to Tampa. lilithfair.com.

22. Sting, July 3 Look at Sting, classin' it up! The Police frontman will perform with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in what promises to be a far cry from your usual beer-infused summer shed festival. Ford Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $21-$151. (813) 740-2446, fordamp.com.

23. Ringo Starr and HIS ALL-STARR BAND, July 13

Paul McCartney may be playing Miami's Sun Life Stadium in April, but only Ringo has the cachet to snag Edgar Winter, Gary Wright, Rick Derringer and Mr. Mister's Richard Page for his tour. Take that, Sir Paul! Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400, rutheckerdhall.com.

24. Vans Warped Tour, July 23

With all this competition from the Country Throwdown Tour, Bamboozle Roadshow and Lilith Fair, can Warped survive? This year's lineup is a tad lackluster, though Andrew W.K., Sum 41, We the Kings and Hey Monday will no doubt bring some energy to the stage. New acoustic emo-pop act Never Shout Never will be a top draw, too. Vinoy Waterfront Park, St. Petersburg. warpedtour.com.

25. Dave Matthews Band, July 28

Surprise, surprise: Dave Matthews Band is playing a summer concert at the Ford Amphitheatre. Just like they did in 2009. And 2008. And 2007. And 2006. And 2005. And 2004. (Look, why don't we just name it the Dave Matthews Amphitheatre and get it over with, okay?) With Gov't Mule as an opener, this could be a jam fan's dream. 7 p.m. Ford Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $32-$67. (813) 740-2446, fordamp.com.

The 25 best spring and summer concerts in Tampa Bay 03/17/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 1:12am]

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