TO BEY OR NOT TO BEY: Friday free-for-all
So, you couldn't swing $45 cheap seats for Beyoncé at Raymond James Stadium. No biggie. Friday brings a remarkable confluence of concert options all across the bay. Here are four of the best beyond the BeyHive.
98 Rockfest: It's a killer lineup for modern metal station 98 Rock's annual shredfest at Amalie Arena: Disturbed, above, Shinedown, Chevelle, Ghost, Pop Evil, Sick Puppies, Red Sun Rising and Stitched Up Heart. And as a result, many ticket price points have been sold out for a while, though you might find some $25 seats the day of. If not, there'll be a free pre-show headlined by Pop Evil outside the arena at 2 p.m. Get details at amaliearena.com or 98rock.com.
Alabama Shakes: Another show so popular it's already sold out. The Shakes are riding high on their excellent, Grammy-winning LP Sound & Color, and this promises to be one of the coolest shows of the year. If you didn't grab tickets, here's a suggestion: Show up at the Cuban Club, 2010 N Avenida Republica de Cuba in Ybor City, sometime mid-afternoon and try to peek through the gates during soundcheck. It's better than nothing. Dylan LeBlanc opens at 8 p.m. axs.com.
Tokyo Police Club: Feeling nostalgic for the mid 2000s heyday of blog rock? Toronto's Tokyo Police Club is back with more poppy post-punk on its latest EP, the excellently titled Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Part 1), but when the club revisits songs like Tessellate and Your English Is Good, you'll feel like it's 2008 all over again. From Indian Lakes open at 8 p.m. at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18 and up. statetheatreconcerts.com.
Celtic Woman: For those who'd rather be at home watching a PBS pledge drive, we have Celtic Woman, left, the eternally ethereal vocal-and-fiddle quartet who will bring the music of the Emerald Isle to life at 8 p.m. at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. Also appearing are Irish singers Glenn Murphy and Ronan Scolard, whose vocal medley of Adele hits recently went viral. $52.50 and up. themahaffey.com.
CUBAN EMBARGO: Tropical Heatwave
Will it still feel like Tropical Heatwave without the Cuban Club? We'll find out Saturday, as WMNF-88.5 moves its long-running festival from the historic complex to venues around Ybor City. While we'll all miss the Cuban Club's courtyard and historic feel, this might actually work out in the short term, as it'll mean a slightly shorter walk between venues, from New World Brewery (1313 E Eighth Ave.) to the Italian Club (1731 E Seventh Ave.). On the outdoor main stage, at Seventh Avenue and 14th Street, you'll find New York indie pop quintet Ra Ra Riot, right, Americana singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet and Texas psych-freaks the Bright Light Social Hour, but in all, more than 40 artists will perform on 10 stages up, down and all around Seventh. The only strategy you need for Heatwave is to try and take in as much music as possible, especially local acts because those are the ones you'll want to catch around town the rest of the year. The music begins at 5 p.m.; tickets are $35 online (will call is at Cigar City Cider and Mead, 1812 N 15th St.) or the Ritz box office, 1503 E Seventh Ave. Get a schedule at tropicalheatwave.org.
PURE JOY: The Joy Formidable
There are a ton of lively, lovable rock shows around St. Pete this week — Flogging Molly, Cypress Hill, Steel Panther, Coleman Hell, the Gipsy Kings — but for my money, none will be as much pure fun as the Joy Formidable, left, at 7 p.m. Thursday at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave. Few recent bands play with as much unbridled glee as this Welsh alternative trio, with singer-guitarist Ritzy Bryan kicking and mugging around the stage like she just discovered the power of rock 'n' roll only yesterday. Their new LP Hitch slightly scales back the tyrannical ambition of earlier Zeppelinesque singles This Ladder Is Ours and Whirring, but it might be even more enjoyable. The video to juicy, butt-rockin' lead single The Last Thing on My Mind opens with a quote from Salvador Dalí, then launches into a montage of male dancers from throughout history, many of them scantily clad. Further proof that the Joy Formidable may rock, but deep down, all they wanna do is have fun. $16-$18 at statetheatreconcerts.com.
MUSIC CITY MAGIC: 'Nashville' live
As fans patiently wait to see if ABC's primetime drama about the crazy world of country music will be renewed for a fifth season, the Nashville cast brings its third U.S. tour to Clearwater — its first ever stop in Florida. Actors Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne), right, Clare Bowen (Scarlett O'Connor), Chris Carmack (Will Lexington) and Aubrey Peeples (Layla Grant) will perform popular songs from the show. "We have such a devoted fan base. … This is really a 'thank you' to the fans," Esten told the Times. But even "if you're not a fan, come along. It turns into kind of a party." There will also be some original country tunes on the set list as Esten and Carmack are both working on debut solo albums. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road. $43.25 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
Read more of our interview with Charles Esten at tbtim.es/zql.
Brittany Volk, Times staff writer