NOT YET: Bon Jovi
Another year has come and gone, and with it, another chance for Bon Jovi to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"I guess when the train goes around and goes around, you eventually get in there," said drummer Tico Torres. "There are a lot of great artists that deserve to be in there that are not in there, either. I guess you can only fit so much each year."
Yeah, but there's no room for the hair metal kings of New Jersey? There's no room for Livin' on a Prayer, You Give Love a Bad Name, Bad Medicine, Bed of Roses and Wanted Dead or Alive? There's no room for those hundreds of sold-out arenas and 130-million-plus albums sold?
"We're actually one of America's great exports," said keyboardist David Bryan. "We can go around to 50 countries around the world for the last 33 years, bringing the message of American rock and roll. And still doing it."
Bon Jovi's concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Amalie Arena will be their first in town without guitarist Richie Sambora, who left in 2013 amid personal issues and a desire to rekindle his solo career. But the band has a new album, This House is Not For Sale, which debuted at No. 1, and is ready to get back in the swing of things, playing new songs and old hits live.
"We just do what we do, and we've always been a band of the people," Bryan said. "We will always remain a band of the people."
You listening, Hall of Fame voters?
$19.75 and up, with a special Valentine's Day package including food, preferred parking and more for $400. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.
Unlike Bon Jovi, Yes actually did get into to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, so prog-rock fans can exhale. They'll be inducted in April for pushing "the boundaries of rock, expanding the musical experience — on record and in concert," the Hall stated in December. Be that as it may, it's hard not to wish this could've happened a couple of years ago, so founding bassist Chris Squire, the band's only constant member until his death in 2015, could have been there to celebrate. As it is, we do have the chance of seeing formative members Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman — who have been touring as ARW — reunite with longtime members Steve Howe and Alan White, who lead the version currently touring as Yes. Those are the guys you'll see performing two sides of their 1973 album Tales from Topographic Oceans and all of 1980's Drama, plus a few greatest hits, at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $49.50 and up. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.
THROWBACK TREATS: Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick
Scour a Billboard pop chart from 1967, and two songs you might see way up high are Smokey Robinson's I Second That Emotion and Dionne Warwick's I Say a Little Prayer. Fifty years later, both will be in St. Petersburg for concerts at the Mahaffey Theater. Funny how time flies like that, huh?
Robinson is up first, playing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in a set that'll be jam-packed with hits like The Tears of a Clown and You've Really Got a Hold on Me. It's a songbook that any singer or songwriter would envy, and Robinson still delivers each one in his timeless falsetto. $59.50 and up.
Then at 3 p.m. Sunday it's Warwick's turn. Thanks to her prolific collaborations with Burt Bacharach (Walk On By, Do You Know the Way to San Jose, Wishin' and Hopin', That's What Friends Are For), she remains one of the biggest female hitmakers of all time, in addition to being a mainstay of film, TV and pop culture. $52.50. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.
LIVING PROOF: Death
Death is hard to Google. Even searching for "death + band" might lead you to the influential Orlando death metal group, not the proto-punk trio from Detroit. But make no mistake, it's the latter delivering a rare performance at the Local 662 in St. Petersburg on Friday. Brothers Bobby, David and Dannis Hackney began playing raucous, fast-paced garage rock in the early '70s, around the time fellow Michiganders Iggy and the Stooges were making waves around the country. But they never broke big, and eventually faded into obscurity. David died in 2000, but the band was rediscovered shortly thereafter, winning new fans who saw them as seminal figures in punk and African-American rock and roll. The 2012 documentary A Band Called Death basically relaunched their career. That brings us to Friday, when they'll perform at 8 p.m. at the Local, 662 Central Ave. No need to Google it. $16 and up via Ticketmaster. (727) 895-3045.