Monday, July 16, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Music Planner: Rare gigs by Van Morrison; returns of Sunshine Music Fest, Winter Jam

DEEP JAM: Sunshine Music Festival

You know your festival is doing all right when one of your performers just got back from winning a Kennedy Center Honor … and she's billed fourth. That's no disrespect to the legendary Mavis Staples — the Sunshine Music Festival is just that deep. In its fifth year, the fest co-masterminded by Live Nation and headliners Tedeschi Trucks Band is thriving in its unique groove of rock, blues, soul and jam-band merriment. Husband-and-wife guitar whizzes Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi have a lot to do with that, having curated yet another diverse bill of Hall of Fame-caliber legends (Staples, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, Dave Mason), younger jam-band disciples (Grateful Dead tribute Joe Russo's Almost Dead, Railroad Earth) and Southern rock favorites (North Mississippi Allstars, the Greyhounds). It's the rare festival that caters to a truly all-ages crowd. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg. www. sunshinemusicfestival.com.

MARVELOUS NIGHT: Van Morrison

It's hard to overstate just how much a three-night stand by Van Morrison, right, at Ruth Eckerd Hall means to local fans. His shows at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18 and Jan. 19 are his first here since a four-night run in 1997; before that, you have to go back to the '70s. At 71, the recalcitrant Irish iconoclast rarely tours anymore, and no one would be surprised if he soon retired his once-legendary roadshow. When he finally does hang up his fedora, capping more than a half-century of hits like Brown Eyed Girl and Domino and seminal albums like 1968's Astral Weeks and 1970's Moondance, the world will miss his magical mix of American soul and jazz, British mod rock and Celtic folk traditions. His songwriter's soul is intact, his influence on songwriters like Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and U2 immense. So if you're among the lucky ticketholders to one of these three sold-out shows, cherish every moment of the night. rutheckerdhall.com.

ALL ABOUT SOUL:Winter Jam, SoulFest

Got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in your heart? This weekend brings two big arena shows designed to let it all out.

Winter Jam returns to Amalie Arena at 6 p.m. Saturday with a lineup of top Christian stars like Crowder, Britt Nicole, Tenth Avenue North, Thousand Foot Krutch, NewSong and Colton Dixon, plus an appearance by Duck Dynasty's Sadie Robertson. $10 at the door only. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

Then on Sunday, get ready for soul of a different sort when Tampa Bay SoulFest returns to the USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. R&B crooner Brian McKnight (Back at One) leads this year's slate along with New Edition's Johnny Gill (My, My, My) and New Jack Swing favorite Al B. Sure (Nite and Day). $51.75 and up. (813) 974-3004. sundomearena.com.

GO, GO, LARGO: Central Park Performing Arts Center

If you've never visited Largo's Central Park Performing Arts Center — known until recently as the Largo Cultural Center — this is a pretty good week to rectify that. At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the oft-overlooked theater will host cult late-'80s/early-'90s power-pop outfit the Smithereens (A Girl Like You, Only a Memory) along with openers Four Star Riot. $24.50 and up. At 8 p.m. Friday, it's singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor, the brother of Sweet Baby James and an accomplished vocalist in his own right. $19.50 and up. Then at 8 p.m. Saturday, it's Plant City's own Pam Tillis, a stalwart presence on '80s and '90s country radio (Mi Vida Loca, Shake the Sugar Tree). $29.50 and up. And if that's not enough, come back next week for a show by premier Pink Floyd tribute act the Machine at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19 ($29.50 and up). 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727) 587-6793. largoarts.com.

STRANGER THING:Greg Billings Band

Many of you might recognize Greg Billings from his eponymous rock band's many appearances at Tampa Bay festivals and charity gigs. But those of you who were around in the '80s and '90s might remember him as the frontman for Stranger, a popular, nationally touring group whose self-titled debut came out on Epic Records. Stranger never made it as big as the bands fronted by Billings' buddies Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) and Brian Johnson (AC/DC). But local fans never forgot. When the Capitol Theatre convinced Billings to play a rare sit-down gig marking the 35th anniversary of the Stranger LP, the show sold out well in advance. It'll be a night in Tampa Bay's musical wayback machine at 8 p.m. Friday at the Cap, 405 Cleveland St. in Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.

     
Comments
Review: Sam Smith lightens the mood in joyful concert at Tampa’s Amalie Arena

Review: Sam Smith lightens the mood in joyful concert at Tampa’s Amalie Arena

We should all can the sad-boy talk. Live and in person, Sam Smith smiles a lot.He smiles before and after almost every song, waving and pointing to the crowd. He even smiles when singing all his huge, heart-filled hits – yes, even the really, r...
Published: 07/14/18
Chief Keef cancels Saturday’s concert at Ritz Ybor in Tampa

Chief Keef cancels Saturday’s concert at Ritz Ybor in Tampa

Well, who could have seen this coming?For the fifth time since 2013, Chicago rapper Chief Keef has canceled a Tampa Bay concert. This time, he was scheduled to perform at a party dubbed "Baychella" on Saturday at the Ritz Ybor.On Instagram, the venue...
Published: 07/13/18
Rascal Flatts talks longevity, the road, and picking the perfect opener

Rascal Flatts talks longevity, the road, and picking the perfect opener

There was a time, believe it or not, when Rascal Flatts was considered cutting-edge country. Okay, "cutting-edge" might be pushing it — the trio’s wholesome, harmony-laden style was never all that controversial. Still, when you survey the pop- and R&...
Published: 07/13/18
Could Rays’ new Ybor City stadium host concerts? Thoughts from Al Lang Stadium.

Could Rays’ new Ybor City stadium host concerts? Thoughts from Al Lang Stadium.

ST. PETERSBURG — With a thin mist spitting from the sky overhead, Dave Pirner sized up the baseball stadium-turned-soccer pitch before him and chuckled."Let’s get ready to rumble," said the Soul Asylum singer, kicking off a concert Wednesday night at...
Published: 07/12/18
Review: 3 Doors Down headlines, but Collective Soul steals the show at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg

Review: 3 Doors Down headlines, but Collective Soul steals the show at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg

Even before they took the stage Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, 3 Doors Down had a couple of things working against them.1. They had to follow a brilliant, 360-degree sunset that hung over Al Lang Stadium for the better part of a half-hour.2. They...
Published: 07/12/18
Glass Animals cancel sold-out Tampa concert after life-threatening crash

Glass Animals cancel sold-out Tampa concert after life-threatening crash

Glass Animals' July 24 concert at the Ritz Ybor has been sold out for weeks. But it won't be happening now — and the reason why isn't pretty.The eclectic British alt-rockers have canceled a string of upcoming tour dates, including the one in Ta...
Published: 07/12/18
Second suspect arrested in shooting death of XXXTentacion in South Florida

Second suspect arrested in shooting death of XXXTentacion in South Florida

A 22-year-old Fort Lauderdale man, alleged to be one of the gunmen in the shooting death of rapper XXXTentacion, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.Michael Boatwright was arrested on July 5 on unrelated drug charges, according to ...
Published: 07/11/18
This week’s top Tampa concerts: Sam Smith, Chief Keef, Ghastly and more

This week’s top Tampa concerts: Sam Smith, Chief Keef, Ghastly and more

TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE: Sam Smith and CamWhat’s with all the pop lads going out with country gals this year? Harry Styles is touring with Kacey Musgraves. Niall Horan is hitting the road with Maren Morris. And on Friday, Sam Smith is coming to Tamp...
Published: 07/11/18
Twenty One Pilots announce tour, coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Twenty One Pilots announce tour, coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Tampa's got a long-running love affair with Twenty One Pilots. It's about to get a little longer.The wildly popular alt-pop duo emerged from a yearlong hiatus Wednesday to announce their fall Bandito Tour, which will stop at Amalie Arena on Nov. 3. R...
Published: 07/11/18
SoundBytes: Poppy, Twiddle, Lucero, Machine Head and more

SoundBytes: Poppy, Twiddle, Lucero, Machine Head and more

— Electro-pop singer and YouTube star Poppy is coming to the Orpheum on Nov. 9, her only Florida stop on her fall tour. Kailee Morgue and Jaira Burns will open. Tickets go on sale Friday. Click here.— Crusty alt-rock cowpunks Lucero are r...
Published: 07/10/18