THIS GUY AGAIN: CHRIS BROWN
Chris Brown is in town Friday, so itís time to start guessing what sort of trouble heíll get into. A scuffle with a photographer? Itís happened at least twice in Tampa Bay alone, including last April at a club near Amalie Arena. Or maybe itíll be some other controversy involving his violent history. Just last month he was hit with another restraining order ó at least his third, if youíre keeping track ó 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, itís hard to believe Brown keeps packing venues like the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, where heíll perform at 7 p.m. Friday. People havenít tired of his music; he was just back in the Top 10 with Freaky Friday, on which Lil Dicky dreams of waking up in Brownís 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 ó 6lack, H.E.R. and Rich the Kid ó 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, itís 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 doesnít mean itís always easy. "I always use Adam Lambert as an example or Sam Smith ó you just really see their hopefulness, that kind of wide-eyed naivete going in," said Erasure singer Andy Bell. "I donít think people realize how tough itís going to be. Because itís tough enough anyway if youíre coming into the music business, whether youíre gay or not. Saying youíre 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 í80s and early í90s thanks to synth-pop singles like Always, Chains of Love and A Little Respect. This weekend theyíll release a new live album World Be Live, and kick off a U.S. tour in Florida ó 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 Erasureís Andy Bell, see tampabay.com/soundcheck.
EXPRESS STOP: 3 DOORS DOWN, COLLECTIVE SOUL, SOUL ASYLUM
Whatís the connective thread linking, below from left, Mississippi mud-rockers 3 Doors Down, í90s 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 summerís Rock and Roll Express Tour, which hits St. Petersburg July 11, Pirner realized theyíd get along just swell. "They couldnít have been sweeter to me. That makes all the difference in the world to me, and thatís 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, letís 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, itíll 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 Asylumís 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. Itís 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 bandís punk music, while Taking Back Sundayís 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 doesnít 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 thatíll feel more steamy than toasty. The bill promises Hammond "and friends," so other guests might show up, too. Thatíll include Jamaican OGs Third World, whoíve 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.