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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By SEAN DALY | Times Pop Music Critic
The 2013 concert schedule is already silly with megastars — Taylor, Rihanna, Pink, — and there are still swaths of calendar yet to be filled. It’s further proof that our shores are still the ultimate, and most reliable, music destination in Florida. And to think, the summer concert slate has yet to be announced, and there’s still too much to choose from.
Tampa Bay Times Forum | Feb. 27
It was only a few short years ago that Pink was, well, Ke$ha. A hard-partying girl who either had legit talent or merely a well-connected publicist. But as it turns out, Alecia Moore, now 33 and a mommy, had the goods, and then some, to stick around. She can play a little, she can write a lot, and she can sell a thoughtful ballad (Family Portrait) as well as a hard-charging rocker (Trouble, So What). Personally, I’d prefer less of her Cirque du Soleil high-wire shtick, but hey, she’s a party-starter and a thrill-seeker. I’m a wimp and a fan. [$36.75-$96.75. (813) 301-2500]
Tampa Bay Times Forum | March 13
Gaga plans on dropping a new album, ARTPOP, sometime this year. Her Little Monsters will eat up anything she does, but it will be interesting to see if casual fans (a.k.a. the rest of us) still have a rabid interest in the Born This Way iconoclast. Same goes with a pricey concert ticket. When Gaga was last here in April 2011, her appearance made the front page of the Tampa Bay Times. (That doesn’t happen very often.) Is she still big enough, and buzzworthy enough, to score the same real estate? Gaga’s next act will be one of the more intriguing pop-culture stories of 2013. [$49.50-$175. (813) 301-2500]
AND ERIC CHURCH
Raymond James Stadium | March 16
Is there a more perfect party song than Church’s Drink in My Hand? And how loud is that sing-along going to be at RayJay?! No offense to “King of Summer” Chesney, but for the first time in his supersized summer-tour schedule, the wee troubadour is in serious trouble of being upstaged by his opening act. A genuine blue-collar bard from Granite Falls, N.C., the 35-year-old Church is the hottest thing around, and with good reason. His 2011 album Chief was a smash, with ballad Springsteen and the heavy Creepin’ supporting the life-affirming Drink in My Hand. [$25-$250. (813) 350-6500]
Tampa Bay Times Forum | April 19
When’s the last time the Tampa Bay Times Forum had a back-to-back, Friday-Saturday one-two punch like this one? You can start your weekend with Ri-Ri, who has compiled a ridiculous streak of hits (most recently, We Found Love, Where Have You Been and Diamonds) and just as much suspect press for her continued relationship with the man who once abused her, Chris Brown. Rihanna is the all-time leader in digital-singles sales, so even though we endlessly, ubiquitously get her for free on the radio, we still buy her product too. But what about when it comes to concert tickets? This can be a fickle town for R&B shows. [$36.75-$122.75. (813) 301-2500] What we are not fickle for is the next night’s performer.
Tampa Bay Times Forum | April 20
All this 23-year-old does is break records. The latest one? Album Red became the fastest-selling album in more than a decade, moving 1.2 million copies in its first week alone. With the music biz in disarray, that’s almost an impossible feat — even more so when you consider the album is a rock- and pop-infused departure from her rootsier, more country-based earlier work. But hey, Swift is as talented as she is popular. As a result, her Tampa Bay show (with Dylan-esque opening act Ed Sheeran) sold out almost instantly. But hey, there’s always a chance they could add more seats.
Sean Daly can be reached at email@example.com.
Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.