This weekend’s best concerts in Tampa Bay: Santana, Leon Bridges, Whitesnake

Plus, RL Grime hits the club, the Church revists ‘Starfish,’ Collective Soul flex their muscles and more.
Published April 17

OH IT’S A HOT ONE: Santana

At 71, Carlos Santana has a lot to celebrate. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, where Santana’s incendiary performance of Soul Sacrifice turned them into superstars. It’s the 20th anniversary of his album Supernatural, which no human being was allowed not to own in 1999. And he’s got a new album produced by Rick Rubin, Africa Speaks, coming out this summer. Expect a taste of all of this when he brings his Global Consciousness Tour to the unusual venue of Al Lang Stadium, 230 First Ave. S in St. Petersburg. It’s a splashy booking for a space the city has hoped will become a regular destination for midsize tours. And if the sunset hits right when Santana is uncorking one of his signature spirit-stirring solos, it’ll make for a memorable moment. $56 and up. 8 p.m. Thursday. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.

NEW CLASSIC: Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges isn’t even 30, and he’s already fighting against becoming a type. Thanks to his Grammy-nominated debut album Coming Home, he became the industry’s go-to, clean-cut, buttoned-down, retro-styled soul man — an image he pushed back against with last year’s Good Thing. Working with pop producer Ricky Reed (Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor), Bridges pushed his style forward a few decades, presenting a much broader palette of R&B, funk, soul and jazz. If you think he’s still just a crooner in a letter sweater after giving Good Thing a spin, you might want to check him out. Jess Glynne, the voice behind Clean Bandit’s hit Rather Be, opens the show. $53.50 and up. 8 p.m. Thursday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

HERE THEY GO AGAIN: Whitesnake

Now that he’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the influential Deep Purple, David Coverdale is free to let loose again with the other band that made him a superstar: Whitesnake. Straddling the line between hard rock and hair metal, they’re a lot more fun, thanks to head-banging power ballads like Is This Love and Here I Go Again. Filling the shoes of onetime guitarists like Steve Vai and Vivian Campbell are former Winger axeman Reb Beach and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Joel Hoekstra. And, of course, there’s Coverdale, in all his octave-stretching glory. The Black Moods open. $38.75 and up. 8 p.m. Tuesday. Ruth Eckerd Hall.

TURN YOUR HEAD: Collective Soul

Think Collective Soul is just another ’90s nostalgia band? You didn’t catch them last summer at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, where they one-upped 3 Doors Down and Soul Asylum with a roaring set of grungy, Southern, alternative rock. “I f------ hate when they say that rock ’n’ roll is dead, because you know what? I’m still f------ breathing!” singer Ed Roland yelled as he belted out hits like Gel, Where the River Flows and Shine. Who knew the Georgia boys still had it in them? $55 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.

HEAVEN SENT: The Church

If you haven’t given it a spin in a while, you might be surprised how much the Church’s 1988 album Starfish sounds like R.E.M. or U2. The album, featuring the Top 40 hit Under the Milky Way, served as a stateside breakthrough for the Australian alt-rockers. It never quite elevated them to stadium heights like those other bands, but it remains a classic for fans of late New Wave and early, shoegazey alternative — which is why so many of the band’s recent 30th anniversary Starfish shows have sold out. They’ll play the album in full, alongside other favorites like The Unguarded Moment. $32 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.

GET GOOSEBUMPS: RL Grime

With the Sunset Music Festival coming next month, here’s your chance to catch a former headliner in close quarters. RL Grime was one of the main stage’s big names in 2017, dropping heavy trap beats all over tens of thousands of fans. His 2018 album Nova featured names like Miguel, Ty Dolla Sign and Julia Michaels, and he’s embarking on a big solo tour that hits Tampa at 10 p.m. Tuesday. EDM on a school night? Hey, whenever you can catch a festival-quality headliner in a club, you do it. $35 and up. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 390-0397. ritzybor.com.

RARE WORKS: ICU/Catherine Wheel

The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is paying tribute to a late Tampa Bay master, painter and printmaker Theo Wujcik, with its newest exhibition. It makes they’re reviving a veteran Tampa Bay band as part of the party. Guitarist Gerald Hammill, singer Jonathan Harrison, bassist Martin Conner and drummer Doug Prescott will reunite their late-’80s alt-rock bands ICU and Catherine Wheel for the first time in a quarter century to pay tribute to Wujcik, an old friend who once painted on stage during one of their shows. Keyboardist Mark Warren joins them for this special performance. $15 and up. 7 p.m. Saturday. 255 Beach Drive NE. (727) 896-2667. mfastpete.org.

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