BURNIN' IT DOWN: Jason Aldean
The way he glares out from beneath his low-brimmed Resistol, you get the sense that Jason Aldean would chew you up and spit you into a Sprite can if given half a chance. He's a big ol' ball of tough country scruff, that one, and maybe he's got reason — for the second straight year, he's not in the running for Entertainer of the Year at the upcoming CMAs.
But Aldean is one of the few A-listers who can still turn Nashville upside down with a new single, whether he's shouting out Joe Diffie on 1994, howling in harmony with Kelly Clarkson on Don't You Wanna Stay, half-rapping with Ludacris on Dirt Road Anthem or sizzling through the record-breaking, sheet-steaming single Burnin' It Down. And when he hits Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday, expect WrestleMania levels of pyro. Aldean brings one of the rootin'est, tootin'est bills of the year — Cole Swindell, Tyler Farr and Dee Jay Silver — to the Amp at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $25.50 and up at livenation.com.
TYRESE TIME: 95.7 Beats By the Bay
Tampa Bay has had a banner year for festivals celebrating the old school, and with a lineup that includes 112 (Peaches and Cream), Whodini (Freaks Come Out at Night), Rob Base (It Takes Two) and Blackstreet with Teddy Riley (No Diggity), the inaugural 95.7 Beats by the Bay certainly qualifies. New-millennium soul man Anthony Hamilton (Charlene) is no slouch, either. But let's be real: This gig is all about Tyrese, right, the mononymous multihyphenate who's having a banner 2015. In April, he returned as Dom and Brian's pal Roman in Furious 7, and in July he dropped Black Rose, his first career No. 1 album. Still looking fresh at 36, dude could get by crooning the phone book, but Black Rose is a smooth collection of grownup R&B, particularly jazz-tinged hit single Shame and the Seal-like Without My Heart. Pray the bay doesn't boil over from all this heat. Doors open at 3 p.m. Saturday and the show begins at 4 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $45.50 and up. 957thebeat.com.
GET PUNKED: Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor
Can't make it to Gainesville for this year's installment of the venerable punk festival known simply as Fest? No problem. For the third time, Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor returns to clubs around Ybor City, featuring dozens of bands playing Fest as well as a few who aren't. Expect the Orpheum (1915 E Seventh Ave.) to be packed late into the night Wednesday, with emo-tinged acts like Desaparecidos (featuring Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst), the Menzingers, mewithoutYou and Into It. Over It. dominating the largest stage. But you can find quality acts at Crowbar, New World Brewery and Tequilas. Pre-Fest wraps up Oct. 29 with Lagwagon, Tim Barry, Beach Slang and many more. Two-day tickets are $70 through Saturday, $80 afterward; individual venue tickets are $10-$25. For a full schedule and details, see thefestfl.com/prefest.
BRITISH INVASION: UB40, Gang of Four
A pair of rare birds from across the pond descend on our shores this week for their first local shows in ages.
First up is UB40, the globe-conquering reggae-pop band best known in the United States for chart-topping covers of Neil Diamond's Red Red Wine and Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love. What have they been up to since then? Fighting, mostly — current and former members are engaged in legal warfare over the band's name. There are currently two UB40s out there; the version that plays St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater at 8 p.m. Friday features singer Ali Campbell, keyboardist Mickey Virtue and toaster Astro. For Florida fans starved for a taste of any UB40, it'll do. Tickets are $42.50 and up at themahaffey.com.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, English postpunk legends Gang of Four come to the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. While revered for jabbing, political '70s-'80s albums like the classic Entertainment!, younger audiences may know them best as an influence on acts like R.E.M., INXS, Franz Ferdinand and LCD Soundsystem. Guitarist Andy Gill is the sole remaining original member, but their two most recent albums, 2011's Content and this year's What Happens Next, have more sting and bite than your usual veteran comeback efforts. The show is at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $20-$25. See statetheatreconcerts.com.
COMING SOON: Taylor Swift
Can you feel the buzz? Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour is days away! Because we just can't wait, Thursday we're kicking off 10 Days of Taylor on our music blog, SoundCheck. We'll be posting new features, old concert photos and plenty of exclusive stuff about Saint Taylor each day, all leading up to her show at Raymond James Stadium on Halloween night. To check it out, head to tampabay.com/soundcheck.