Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Music & Shows

Music Planner: Barry Manilow bids farewell, Diana Ross returns, Bryson Tiller's on the rise

 

LOOKS LIKE HE MADE IT: Barry Manilow

 

There's a reason Barry Manilow has released albums on which he covers the biggest hits of the '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s ... but nothing from the three decades since.

"I didn't think anybody wanted to hear my ballad version of Bootylicious," the 72-year-old singer laughed during a recent phone interview.

That may be, but the truth is Manilow's DNA is all up in the jelly of modern pop songwriting. Just listen to Adele's blockbuster album 25, with its earnest, powerful odes to the Manilovian piano pop of the '70s. (Looking at you, When We Were Young.)

"It's encouraging that there's an audience out there that is looking for a melody and a decent lyric," Manilow said.

When his farewell tour hits Tampa Thursday, Manilow will belt out all the massive, weepy hits — Mandy, Copacabana (At the Copa), I Write the Songs, Looks Like We Made It — that have earned him legions of Fanilows young (yes, they exist) and old.

"America's big, and I really want to say goodbye to a lot of the cities that have been so good to me," he said.

The show is at 7:30 p.m. at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, with saxophone star Dave Koz opening. Tickets are $19.75 and up. Donate a new or gently used musical instrument at the arena's box office and get two tickets to the show. (813) 301-2500 or amaliearena.com.

For more of our interview with Barry Manilow, click here.. And check tampabay.com/soundcheck Friday for a review of Thursday's show.

 

PRINCE OF DARKNESS: Bryson Tiller

 

The fact that Bryson Tiller's Feb. 10 concert at the Ritz Ybor sold out long ago should tell you how fast his star is rising. The Kentucky R&B singer has three simmering, sizzling singles from his debut album Trapsoul shooting up the Billboard Hot 100: Don't, Exchange and Sorry Not Sorry. Each has an edge that flirts with the darkened corners of the soul occupied by the likes of the Weeknd, Jeremih and Travis Scott. That helps explain why he has been co-signed by Drake, Timbaland and R. Kelly, and why GQ has called him "the new surprise hero of R&B." "The people, they diggin' me now," he sings on Ten Nine Fourteen. "The cool kids from high school can't sit with me now." Yeah, especially if he keeps selling out venues coast to coast. If you did score a ticket, doors open at 7 p.m. (813) 390-0397 or theritzybor.com.

 

ENDLESS LOVE: Diana Ross

 

Diana Ross is 71, but you'd never know it from her jam-packed datebook. Her concert Feb. 10 at Ruth Eckerd Hall will be her fifth local show since 2010 — and that's not counting her trips to Universal Orlando, where she'll return for the park's Mardi Gras Concert Series on Feb. 13. The Motown diva still delivers the goods each night, from her singles with the Supremes (Baby Love, You Can't Hurry Love, Stop! In the Name of Love) to her solo hits (I'm Coming Out, Ain't No Mountain High Enough) to her stint as Dorothy in The Wiz (Ease on Down the Road). At an age when many singers are hanging it up (or worse), Ross is out there proving she's as timeless as ever. 8 p.m. at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $58.75 and up. (727) 791-7400 or rutheckerdhall.com.

 

LET THE SUNSHINE IN: Sunshine City Songwriters Festival

 

The inaugural Sunshine City Songwriters Festival isn't your everyday music fest.

It's six days and nights of a la carte concerts and workshops across St. Petersburg — bars, theaters, museums, galleries — which means fans better come rested, with plenty of gas in the tank and cash in their wallets. But the payoff should be worth it for anyone eager to get inside the hearts and minds of some of America's best songsmiths.

The fest opens with two free events. First is a folk night led by Pete Gallagher and Pat Barmore at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Old Key West Bar and Grill, 2451 Central Ave. Then at 7 p.m. Feb. 10, there's an unplugged "campfire concert" at the Ale and the Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE.

Then things get even busier:

Feb. 11: Folk-fusion troubadour Zoe Lewis performs at 6:30 p.m. at the Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave.; tickets are $15-$17. Then at 8:30 p.m., it's New York folk singer Cliff Eberhardt with Louise Mosrie at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N ($28-$33).

Feb. 12: Eberhardt returns for a three-hour songwriting workshop ($60) at 2 p.m. at the Ale and the Witch, but the main event is a concert by Americana favorites Patty Griffin, above left, Sara Watkins and Anais Mitchell at 8 p.m. at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S ($39.50 and up).

Feb. 13: The festival's highlight might be a night of stories and music from iconoclastic Texas singer, author and raconteur Kinky Friedman, bottom left, at Craftsman House Gallery, 2955 Central Ave. A 6 p.m. show sold out quickly, but tickets ($30) may be available for an 8 p.m. show.

Feb. 14: Singer Nerissa Nields, who's also leading a three-day songwriting workshop ($220), performs at 3 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, 255 Beach Drive NE ($15).

For details and tickets to the festival, call (727) 323-2787 or see sunshinecitysongfest.com.

     
Comments
Review: Katy Perry brings cartoon pop to spectacular life at Tampa’s Amalie Arena

Review: Katy Perry brings cartoon pop to spectacular life at Tampa’s Amalie Arena

God bless Katy Perry.Bless her Cirque du Soleil-sized vision for her Witness: The Tour, which careened into Tampa's Amalie Arena like a phantasmagoric freakshow on Friday. Bless her 15-foot flamingo puppets, her shed-sized golden dice, her army of ey...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Inside Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas tour since founder Paul O’Neill’s death in Tampa

Inside Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas tour since founder Paul O’Neill’s death in Tampa

A half hour to curtain, Al Pitrelli unwinds on a couch in his spartan dressing quarters, fresh off a loading-dock Marlboro.He's deep inside an arena in Birmingham, Ala., about to play the 29th show in the 18th city of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's 1...
Published: 12/15/17
Big and Rich to replace the Band Perry at the 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival

Big and Rich to replace the Band Perry at the 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival

Big and Rich are comin' to Plant City.The larger-than-life country duo, along with their longtime MuzikMafia cohort Cowboy Troy, has been tapped to fill an open slot at the 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival at 7:30 p.m. March 3. They'll fill in for th...
Published: 12/15/17
Inside Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas without leader Paul O’Neill

Inside Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas without leader Paul O’Neill

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A half hour to curtain, Al Pitrelli unwinds on a couch in his spartan dressing quarters, fresh off a loading-dock Marlboro. He’s deep inside an arena, about to play the 29th show in the 18th city of the Trans-Siberian ...
Published: 12/15/17
2018 Gasparilla Music Festival lineup: The Roots, Spoon, Father John Misty and more

2018 Gasparilla Music Festival lineup: The Roots, Spoon, Father John Misty and more

Got your tickets to the Gasparilla Music Festival yet? No? You better hurry up, because after today's initial lineup announcement, they might go fast.Tonight Show house band the Roots and indie rock heroes Father John Misty and Spoon top the initial ...
Published: 12/13/17
This week’s best Tampa Bay concerts: Katy Perry, Jingle Ball, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and more

This week’s best Tampa Bay concerts: Katy Perry, Jingle Ball, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and more

WHERE’S THE PURPOSE? Katy PerryYou can pinpoint the exact moment when things started to unravel for Katy Perry’s Witness. It was 12:23 a.m. on Feb. 10, when she tweeted of her latest musical direction: "We gonna call this era Purposeful Pop." You kin...
Published: 12/13/17
Sounds of the Season opening act for Hernando Symphony Orchestra in 2017-18

Sounds of the Season opening act for Hernando Symphony Orchestra in 2017-18

BROOKSVILLE — Impressive guest performances, student nights and 25 new pieces of music are just a few of the exciting additions to the Hernando Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-18 season.And when the orchestra opens the season with the Sounds of the Season ...
Published: 12/13/17
Even post-Weinstein, 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' is extremely popular

Even post-Weinstein, 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' is extremely popular

Gifts are wrapped, halls are decked and people are on Twitter calling Baby, It’s Cold Outside a "sexual predator anthem." It’s a holiday tradition for the social media age. Pointing out the creepiness of the song — or "rapeyness," ...
Published: 12/13/17
Nina Simone, Bon Jovi, The Cars top 2018 Rock Hall of Fame inductees

Nina Simone, Bon Jovi, The Cars top 2018 Rock Hall of Fame inductees

NEW YORK — Iconic singer Nina Simone and New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi lead the 2018 class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, which includes four first-time nominees. The Cars, as well as first-time contenders Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Si...
Published: 12/13/17
Before Tampa tour stop, Katy Perry’s creative team breaks down her Witness Tour’s ‘big, bold images’

Before Tampa tour stop, Katy Perry’s creative team breaks down her Witness Tour’s ‘big, bold images’

In the ever-escalating arms race to be the most eye-popping pop star on the planet, sometimes you have to call in for backup. Even if you’re Katy Perry.When plotting her lavishly spectacular Witness Tour, which arrives in Tampa on Friday, Perry turne...
Published: 12/13/17