This week’s best Tampa Bay concerts: 97X Next Big Thing, Charlie Daniels Band, H.E.R., more

Published November 29 2017
Updated November 29 2017

SUPER-SIZE IT: 97X Next Big Thing

Pretty soon they’ll have to start calling this the Next Ginormous Thing.

For its 2018 installment of the annual year-end bash known as Next Big Thing, alternative station 97X is going all-out with its first two-night show ever at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N in Tampa. Kicking things off on Saturday are Colorado folk revivalists the Lumineers, who transcended one-hit-wonderdom by following the inescapable Ho Hey with radio hits Ophelia and Cleopatra. They’ll be joined by X Ambassadors, Magic Giant, the Arkells and the Aces.

Sunday’s smorgasbord runs much deeper. At the top you have pop-punk heroes Paramore and radio staples Walk the Moon, Vance Joy and Portugal the Man, along with Bleachers and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. There’s also a strong slate of younger talent, including Saint Motel, Misterwives, Joywave, Mondo Cozmo, Barns Courtney and Vinyl Theatre. Tickets start at $35 per day, $50 for both days. Doors open at 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday.

COUNTRY KINDNESS: Charlie Daniels Band

At 81, Charlie Daniels isn’t as hands-on as he used to be with the Angelus, the Hudson group home for the severely disabled that he’s supported for more than a quarter-century. But when he comes to Tampa this weekend for his annual benefit golf tournament, clay shooting challenge and star-studded concert, he’ll make as much time as he can for the residents.

"I go around and visit with each and every one of them, and a lot of them have been in there ever since I’ve been doing the show," he said. "And then it comes home to you why we do this every year."

The country legend will rosin up his bow for a handful of events this weekend, none more musical than a benefit concert at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Confederate Railroad, Craig Wayne Boyd, Across the Wide and the Embry Brothers Band also perform. $20 and up. (813) 987-2855.

For a sneak peak, at 9 p.m. Thursday you can pop into the Hard Rock Cafe at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 Orient Road, for a jam session with Daniels, Boyd and Confederate Railroad. That show is a suggested donation of $10 at the door. For more on the full weekend, see

Click here for more with Charlie Daniels.


Mysterious rock ‘n’ roll mythmaking worked pretty well for Kiss, Daft Punk and the White Stripes. And it’s working pretty well for Gabi Wilson. Wilson is (or is not, depending on the myth you wish to believe) H.E.R., the enigmatic, 20-year-old R&B singer who over the past two years has seen her sultry, downbeat jams catch quite a great deal of fire, all without addressing her identity so as to let the music speak for itself. Her two albums H.E.R. Volume 1 and H.E.R. Volume 2 have received wide acclaim from fans like Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, who recently took her out on an arena tour. Even in a crowded world of young, dynamic R&B performers — Khalid, SZA, Sampha, Gallant, the list goes on — H.E.R. stands out, and her decision not to stand out is a big reason why. Anonymous she may be (for now), but just like SZA in October, H.E.R. sold out the Orpheum weeks in advance, more evidence that her still-evolving origin myth is working wonders. 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-9500.


Like mud that won’t wipe clean from your mud flaps, Clutch roars back into town on Saturday, splattering a signature blues-metal sound all over Jannus Live. The Maryland group’s core has stayed together more than a quarter century — in fact, next year marks the 25th anniversary of their debut Transnational Speedway League, which means they’ll be eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They won’t getting in, but their devoted fans will still argue their merits, especially how they not only survived the grunge era, but infused it with muscular, hot-rodding Southern blues, thrash and stoner metal. For that, bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Mastodon owe them a couple of six-packs. The Devin Townsend Project and the Obsessed open. 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $24.50 and up. (727) 565-0550.