RIDE UNTIL YOU DIE: G-Eazy and Logic
Can a song still be a Song of Summer if it debuted the previous October? Tough to say, but I do know this: At Tampa's Sunset Music Festival over Memorial Day weekend, the one song I heard more than almost any other was G-Eazy, right, and Bebe Rexha's Me, Myself & I. It was the first Top 10 hit for the dapper Oakland, Calif., rapper, and while it has trickled back down the charts since, the slick, sleek single still has an air of inescapability. That makes this summer's co-headlining tour with underground, lyrically deft Maryland rapper Logic look like a smart pairing — especially since Logic just dropped a new mixtape, Bobby Tarantino. Joining them are a couple of street-legit studs, Compton, Calif.'s YG and booming Down in the DM rapper Yo Gotti. It's a motley mix of hip-hop subgenres, but this much is certain: When G-Eazy drops Me, Myself & I, the house will come down with it at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4202 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $18 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
DOWN THE ROAD HE GOES: Dierks Bentley
To appreciate all that Dierks Bentley brings to country music, you have to dig a little deeper than Drunk on a Plane or Somewhere on a Beach.
You have to embrace the runaway-train madness of What Was I Thinkin'. You have to dive into Up on the Ridge, his 2010 bluegrass album featuring the Punch Brothers and Del McCoury. And you definitely have to check out his latest album Black, titled for his wife's maiden name.
"I feel like I'm making my best records now," Bentley said in a recent phone interview. "A lot's autobiographical. But a lot of it isn't. A lot of it's me taking some creative freedom to step into somebody else's shoes."
Bentley, 40, is sometimes an afterthought among the Lukes and Blakes of the country world, partly because he's a forward thinker, bringing a little rock edge and propulsive momentum to a genre whose biggest stars don't always push themselves outside their comfort zone.
Bentley's new tour, which hits Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Saturday, has that feel top to bottom. He's bringing Randy Houser ("one of my best friends and one of the best singers in country music"), Burning House singer-songwriter Cam and newcomer Tucker Beathard, and expects Tampa to come hard as always.
"It's usually 112 degrees and everyone's just hot and drunk and ready to rock," Bentley said. "I can't wait to get down there."
The show is at 7 p.m. Saturday, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $27 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
For more with Dierks Bentley, see tbtim.es/13ra.
HOME SWEET HOME: Polyenso
So how was Polyenso's Bonnaroo experience? Oh, you know, your typical weekend away from home, hanging with Kamasi Washington and watching LCD Soundsystem. No biggie. "Set was smooth, tons of people singing along, started with about 150 and ended with about 400 people watching," singer Alex Schultz said. "Handed music to a ton of powerful people, so hopefully they take a listen." Any way you slice it, Bonnaroo was a huge deal for the St. Pete alt-rock band, which released excellent sophomore album Pure in the Plastic this spring. More people around the country are starting to pick up on these guys — they just got off a tour with PVRIS, and their song Cherry Life was just featured in Pretty Little Liars. A proper homecoming is in order, don't you think? They'll give back to their hometown fans with a free show at 8 p.m. Saturday at Jannus Live, 200 First St. N, St. Petersburg. (For those under 21, it's $5.) (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.
GOLD STAR: A-Trak
Start listing the areas of A-Trak's influence, and you could keep going for a while. Electronic music? He's an ace turntablist, one of the best in the world, and has remixed or recorded with countless big names. Hip-hop? He has worked closely with Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco and Danny Brown, among others. He founded the powerful label Fool's Gold Records (Run the Jewels, Chromeo, Flosstradamus). And how about this: He has participated in ad campaigns for Nike, Adidas and Converse. Talk about a diverse portfolio. Add it all up, and he's way outside the box for your typical Sunday rager at Shephard's Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. But it's bound to be one of the party hub's most entertaining shows of the year, with EC Twins joining him. With tickets starting at just $7, how can you miss it? (727) 442-5107. shephards.com.
LOOK WHO THE RAYS DRAGGED IN: Bret Michaels
The Tampa Bay Rays have pulled way back when it comes to their annual summer concert series, booking only four acts (so far) this season. The Fray played a few weeks ago, and this Saturday brings Poison frontman and reality show stalwart Bret Michaels, right, ready to talk dirty to fans at the Trop. The concert follows the Rays versus Baltimore Orioles at 6:10 p.m. Saturday at Tropicana Field. It's free with a game ticket, though you can purchase a field wristband for $20. raysbaseball.com/concerts.