As you map out your fall concert calendar, let this coming week be your guide. Tampa Bay will host four major concerts in the next seven days — Miranda Lambert, Puff Daddy, Brian Wilson and Kanye West — and depending on which one you pick, you can foresee where you might be headed next. It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, but with ticket fees! Here are our most anticipated concerts between now and Christmas, starting with this week's big four.
KEEP IT COUNTRY
Miranda Lambert is lapping the field in country music. She's the Country Music Association's six-time reigning Female Vocalist of the Year — a record for either gender — and is a shoe-in for her seventh this November. She just received the Academy of Country Music's inaugural Merle Haggard Spirit Award, recognizing artists of uncompromising vision. While much of the world is still focused on her tabloid breakup from Blake Shelton, she's plowing ahead with the followup to 2014's Grammy-winning Platinum, starting with smoky new single Vice. Maybe you'll hear it when she performs with Kip Moore and Brothers Osborne at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25 and up at livenation.com.
Lambert's not the only Southern star worth checking out this fall. There's also ...
Hootie and the Blowfish, Sept. 16, Mahaffey Theater
Country star Darius Rucker returns to his rock roots to celebrate the release of Hootie's Homegrown Ale, a craft beer collaboration with Tampa's Rock Brothers Brewing, in stores like Publix. It's an invite-only gig; find out how to win tickets at hootiecontest.com.
Jason Isbell, Oct. 19, Ruth Eckerd Hall
The Americana songsmith is coming off Grammy wins for his latest album Something More Than Free and single 24 Frames. rutheckerdhall.com.
Carrie Underwood, Nov. 16, Amalie Arena
The former American Idol has won raves for her Storyteller Tour, set in the round as she opens up about hits like Jesus, Take the Wheel and Smoke Break. amaliearena.com.
Dolly Parton, Nov. 26, Amalie Arena
It's a rare, full-scale Tampa show from the 70-year-old country icon, who will mix hits like 9 to 5 and Jolene in with songs from her folksy new album Pure & Simple. amaliearena.com.
Also check out:
The Oh Hellos (Sept. 17, State Theatre), Zac Brown Band, (Sept. 18, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre), Toby Keith (Sept. 23, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre), Sarah Jarosz and Parker Millsap (Sept. 29, Skipper's Smokehouse), Needtobreathe (Oct. 12, USF Sun Dome), Mary Chapin Carpenter (Oct. 29, Capitol Theatre), Elle King (Nov. 12, Jannus Live), Drive-By Truckers (Nov. 16, Tampa Theatre).
PARTY ALL THE TIME
Puff Daddy and the Family
Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs has never been one to go small. So when he decided to get the Family back together for his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, he spared no expense. The roster reads like a Billboard chart circa 1998: Mase, Lil' Kim, Faith Evans, 112, Mario Winans, Total, Carl Thomas, the Lox and more recent Bad Boy signee French Montana. Each had hits back in the day, none bigger than when they all teamed up together: I'll Be Missing You, It's All About the Benjamins, Mo Money Mo Problems, Can't Nobody Hold Me Down, etc. If you remember the late '90s, you remember these jams, which makes this the nostalgic party of the year. 8 p.m. Sunday at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $26.25 and up. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.
Want to keep the party going? Here are four more shows to get you moving ...
Rae Sremmurd, Oct. 4, Jannus Live
This upstart Mississippi duo's first proper headlining show in Tampa Bay should be packed, thanks to hazy, glitchy-of-center singles like Black Beatles, from their new album SremmLife 2. jannuslive.com.
95.7 Beats By the Bay, Oct. 22, Vinoy Park
For sheer star magnitude, this one's hard to top: Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Fat Joe, Ginuwine, Monica, August Alsina and Joe. The crowd will go nuts for Fat Joe's All the Way Up, but Vinoy Park might just break off into the bay when Ginuwine drops Pony. 957thebeat.com.
Tegan and Sara, Nov. 15, Ritz Ybor
Everyone's favorite adorable Canadian twin folk-popsters returned this summer with the glistening synth-pop collection Love You to Death. It'll be the hipster dance party of the season. theritzybor.com.
Lauryn Hill, Dec. 6, Mahaffey Theater
A tour by Lauryn Hill is a rare and wonderful thing, as the former Fugee has an erratic history as a performer. But when she's on, few have ever been better as a singer and rapper. themahaffey.com.
Also check out:
Super Freestyle Explosion (Sept. 17, Amalie Arena), the Purple Xperience (Sept. 22, Tampa Theatre), Schoolboy Q and Joey Bada$$ (Sept. 28, Jannus Live), YG (Oct. 3, Orpheum), Alessia Cara (Oct. 27, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Fitz and the Tantrums (Nov. 3, Jannus Live), Pet Shop Boys (Nov. 15, Mahaffey Theater), 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball (Dec. 17, Amalie Arena).
LIVE ON THE EDGE
Some think Kanye West is a genius who can do no wrong. Others think he's a loudmouth with a raging God complex. Both sides are a little right and a little wrong, but here's one thing we all should acknowledge: Kanye is the most influential pop artist of the 21st century, and it isn't even close. From his party anthems (Gold Digger, Mercy, Stronger), to his genre-redefining LPs (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus), to his work molding the careers of Jay Z and John Legend, no artist this century can match his track record when it comes to reflecting and reinventing the way popular music sounds. Even when he whiffs — and this year's The Life of Pablo definitely isn't for everyone — he still seems a step or two ahead of his peers. Look at his Saint Pablo Tour, which hits Amalie Arena at 8 p.m. Wednesday — it features a sparse, floating stage that hovers above the audience. Who else has the audacity to attempt something like that? No one. That's why, love him or hate him, Kanye's in a class by himself. $25.75 and up. amaliearena.com.
If visionary rebels like 'Ye are your thing, check out these shows, too ...
Merchandise, Sept. 20, Mojo Books & Records; Sept. 23, Crowbar
As they prepare to release A Corpse Wired for Sound, their second album on legendary British label 4AD, Tampa art-punks Merchandise will show their hometown some love with a pair of intimate shows before embarking on a world tour. wmerchandise.com.
Prophets of Rage, Oct. 1, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tom Morello and Chuck D in an election year? Sold. Morello and some Rage Against the Machine bandmates teamed up with Public Enemy's Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B-Real for this supergroup that mixes old hits with politically minded new tracks. Should be electric. livenation.com.
Foals, Oct. 26, Ritz Ybor
Huge stars in their native England — they were slotted just below Adele and Coldplay on this year's Glastonbury poster — the alt-rockers are fiery performers whose 2015 album What Went Down might just blow out the intimate Ritz. theritzybor.com.
97X Next Big Thing, Dec. 3, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
A dozen acts will make their maiden appearance at the alt-rock station's year-end extravaganza, including British heartthrobs the 1975, Americana troupe the Head and the Heart and glitch-pop duo Phantogram. 97xonline.com.
Also check out:
Gojira (Sept. 27, Ritz Ybor), Dandy Warhols (Oct. 3, State Theatre), Bad Religion and Against Me! (Oct. 12, Jannus Live), Youth Code and Clipping with Daveed Diggs (Nov. 1, Local 662), Lindsey Stirling (Nov. 1, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Animal Collective (Nov. 8, Ritz Ybor), Gnash (Nov. 3, State Theatre), Puscifer (Nov. 3, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Rhye (Nov. 13, State Theatre), Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown (Dec. 9, Amalie Arena).
CATCH A LEGEND
After 50 years, Brian Wilson is saying goodbye to Pet Sounds. Can't say it hasn't had a good run. The Beach Boys' lush, imaginative 1966 opus is one of the most beautiful and influential albums ever produced. But Wilson's new tour, which hits the Mahaffey Theatre on Tuesday, is the last time he'll perform it live in its entirety, from Wouldn't It Be Nice to Caroline, No. Wilson, 74, may keep touring, but putting Pet Sounds out to pasture feels like the end of an era of pop music history. Joining him on this tour are Beach Boys bandmate Al Jardine and associate Blondie Chaplin, who will help flesh out Pet Sounds classics like Sloop John B and God Only Knows with other hits including I Get Around and Good Vibrations. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Mahaffey, 400 1st St. S, St. Petersburg. $55.50 and up. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.
Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Cheap Trick, Sept. 22, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
It's not often you see a bill with three Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, including 2016 inductees Cheap Trick. Jett, and the Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy, will make this a night to remember. livenation.com.
Chick Corea, Oct. 12, Capitol Theatre
The legendary jazz fusion pianist, a 22-time Grammy winner, will hit the intimate Capitol Theatre with his jazz-rock ensemble the Chick Corea Elektric Band. Singer Lalah Hathaway joins them. atthecap.com.
Bob Dylan, Nov. 19, Ruth Eckerd Hall
Mr. Dylan is a singer and songwriter of some renown. rutheckerdhall.com.
Donny and Marie Osmond, Dec. 6, Ruth Eckerd Hall
Donny and Marie's holiday extravaganza has more cheese than Pepperidge Farm. But the squeaky-clean sibs won't let you leave without a smile. rutheckerdhall.com.
Also check out:
Peter Frampton (Oct. 2, Capitol Theatre), Peter Cetera (Oct. 30, Mahaffey Theater), Bonnie Raitt (Nov. 2, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders (Nov. 2, Amalie Arena), ZZ Top (Nov. 4, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (Nov. 6, Capitol Theatre), Leon Russell (Nov. 17, Capitol Theatre), David Crosby (Nov. 27, Capitol Theatre), Beach Boys (Dec. 13, Ruth Eckerd Hall).
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Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Oct. 13-16, Coachman Park
Gregg Allman dropped out due to illness, but the 37th annual fest will still feature a wealth of talent, including Daryl Hall, Trombone Shorty, Grace Potter, Kool and the Gang, the Lone Bellow, the Mavericks and more. clearwaterjazz.com.
Tampa Pig Jig, Oct. 22, Curtis Hixon Park
Now in its sixth year, the fundraiser for kidney disease FSGS will bring in O.A.R., a Thousand Horses and a ton of barbecue. tampapigjig.com.
Ribfest, Nov. 11-13, Vinoy Park
'Cue up with Huey Lewis , and the News (Friday), the Doobie Brothers (Saturday) and Chris Young (Sunday), among others. ribfest.org.
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Maroon 5, Friday, Amway Center
Adam Levine. 'Nuff said.
Garth Brooks, Oct. 6-9, Amway Center
For the time being, this four-night stand in Orlando is the closest thing we'll get to a makeup gig for Garth's canceled Tampa dates in 2015.
Sia, Oct. 30, Amway Center
Adele's October concerts at Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena may be sold out, but here's a powerhouse pop vocalist making an equally rare trip to Florida — and tickets are still available.