THIS GUY AGAIN: CHRIS BROWN
Chris Brown is in town Friday, so it’s time to start guessing what sort of trouble he’ll get into. A scuffle with a photographer? It’s happened at least twice in Tampa Bay alone, including last April at a club near Amalie Arena. Or maybe it’ll be some other controversy involving his violent history. Just last month he was hit with another restraining order — at least his third, if you’re keeping track — by a woman who said he stalked and struck her. In the age of #TimesUp, when protesters are lining up to shut down R. Kelly concerts, it’s hard to believe Brown keeps packing venues like the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, where he’ll perform at 7 p.m. Friday. People haven’t tired of his music; he was just back in the Top 10 with Freaky Friday, on which Lil Dicky dreams of waking up in Brown’s body. But there was a sleepwalky element to his show last spring in Tampa, which is not what you want to see from one of the best singer-dancers of his generation. Honestly, no one would blame you for checking out the solid openers — 6lack, H.E.R. and Rich the Kid — and then splitting before Breezy shows up. 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $39.99 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
LONG-LASTING INK: ERASURE
All things considered, it’s a good time to be an LGBTQ pop star. Halsey, Janelle Monae, Frank Ocean, Troye Sivan and others have all achieved significant commercial and critical success. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. "I always use Adam Lambert as an example or Sam Smith — you just really see their hopefulness, that kind of wide-eyed naivete going in," said Erasure singer Andy Bell. "I don’t think people realize how tough it’s going to be. Because it’s tough enough anyway if you’re coming into the music business, whether you’re gay or not. Saying you’re gay is kind of an added pressure." Bell, who has been out for more than 30 years, has done quite well with it. He and Vince Clarke built a dedicated following in the late ’80s and early ’90s thanks to synth-pop singles like Always, Chains of Love and A Little Respect. This weekend they’ll release a new live album World Be Live, and kick off a U.S. tour in Florida — including a stop at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. Reed and Caroline open. $39.50 and up. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com. For more with Erasure’s Andy Bell, see tampabay.com/soundcheck.
EXPRESS STOP: 3 DOORS DOWN, COLLECTIVE SOUL, SOUL ASYLUM
What’s the connective thread linking, below from left, Mississippi mud-rockers 3 Doors Down, ’90s radio standbys Collective Soul and Minnesota grunge-country veterans Soul Asylum? "Two of them have the same word in them," deadpanned Soul Asylum singer Dave Pirner. But after meeting members of both bands on this summer’s Rock and Roll Express Tour, which hits St. Petersburg July 11, Pirner realized they’d get along just swell. "They couldn’t have been sweeter to me. That makes all the difference in the world to me, and that’s really all I care about: Are we going to have fun? Are we going to respect each other? Are we going to get the job done? Okay, let’s do this." Of course, the music should be good, too. Between Runaway Train and Somebody to Shove, Shine and The World I Know, Kryptonite and Here Without You, it’ll be a nonstop train of alt-rock hits. 6:30 p.m. Al Lang Stadium, 230 First St. S. $28 and up. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com. For more with Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, see tampabay.com/soundcheck.
GOOD MIX: COHEED AND CAMBRIA, TAKING BACK SUNDAY
Prog rock and emo, together at last? Sadly, this is not the Alan Parsons Project/Jawbreaker co-headlining tour you were hoping for. It’s Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday, below, a much more natural pairing that still brings in the best of both worlds. Coheed singer Claudio Sanchez will lay some gnarly space-opera storytelling atop his band’s punk music, while Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara will scream through favorites like MakeDamnSure and Sink Into Me. The Story So Far opens at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $29.50 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
DATE NIGHT: BERES HAMMOND
If your baby doesn’t mind getting his or her groove on in the balmy stank of mid July in Florida, Beres Hammond is your man. The legendary "lovers rock" star returns to the Jannus Live courtyard at 8 p.m. Thursday for an evening of reggae that’ll feel more steamy than toasty. The bill promises Hammond "and friends," so other guests might show up, too. That’ll include Jamaican OGs Third World, who’ve been blending funk, jazz and other styles into their roots sound for decades. 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $46 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.