BONE UP: RIBFEST
Three rules to keep in mind at Ribfest:
1. If you want a good view of the stage, stake out a spot early.
2. The lines get long, so choose your 'cue wisely, as you might not have time to go back for seconds.
3. It's all for a good cause, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, thanks to organizers the Northeast Exchange Club.
Got it? Then sit back and start snarfin'. This year's Ribfest once again brings three days of classic rock and country, along with more than a dozen "ribbers" from around the country smoking up a storm in Vinoy Park. Gates open at 11 a.m. daily, with loads of food, drinks, family fun and music.
Friday's lineup includes headliners Huey Lewis and the News (8:30 p.m.) alongside local rock stalwarts the Greg Billings Band, along with the Millennials, a band fronted by Cheap Trick singer Robin Zander's son Robin T. On Saturday, it's the Doobie Brothers (8:30 p.m.) with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Blackberry Smoke, Whiskey Myers, the Black Honkeys and Pat Benatar tribute act Fire and Ice. And on Sunday, it's country stud Chris Young (6:30 p.m.) with Parmalee and Clare Dunn.
Sales of advance tickets, which save you about $5-$7, end Thursday. After that it's $30 Friday, $35 Saturday and Sunday at the gate. For the full scoop and schedule, including details on parking and shuttles, see ribfest.org.
WHAT A STORYTELLER: Carrie Underwood
After years of co-hosting the Country Music Association Awards, Carrie Underwood this year finally got her due as a nominee in the top category, Entertainer of the Year. She didn't win (curse you, Garth Brooks!), but it speaks to her status as an unquestioned Nashville A-lister. Since winning American Idol in 2005, Underwood has won seven Grammys and conquered radio with singles like Before He Cheats, Good Girl and Something in the Water, but she's winning unprecedented raves for her new Storyteller Tour, in which she performs in the round and shares stories about her countless hits. The tour's a big reason for that Entertainer of the Year nomination — and it could help her bring that trophy home down the line. Easton Corbin and the Swon Brothers open at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $46.25 and up. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.
EVERYTHING IS AWESOME: Tegan and Sara
It's hard to feel down about anything at a Tegan and Sara show. The Quin twins have been indie pop favorites since the turn of the millennium, thanks to their delightfully charming personalities and earwormy pop singles. New hits like Boyfriend and Closer boast a slicker, more confectionery pop sheen than earlier, rockier singles like Walking With a Ghost and Monday Monday Monday, but that just means more dancing. Excellent singer-songwriter Torres opens the show, making their show at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., a top-to-bottom winner. $33 and up. (813) 248-4050. theritzybor.com.
ROCK STEADY: Toots and the Maytals
Anyone remember the musical guest from Donald Trump's first time hosting Saturday Night Live? It was Toots and the Maytals. Surprisingly, that historical factoid barely registers as a blip on the Jamaican reggae legends' long and influential career. How influential? Well, Toots Hibbert's 1986 song Do the Reggay was the first popular song to reference the genre by name. Hibbert, 73, left, is a living reggae history lesson, boasting some of the genre's best-known songs — Pressure Drop, Monkey Man, 54-46 (That's My Number) — and performing alongside or influencing everyone from the Skatelites and Wailers to Sublime and Amy Winehouse. After suffering an onstage injury in 2013, Hibbert swore he'd never tour again, but much like his soulful, inspirational voice, he has risen, and will take the stage at 8 Thursday at Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $22 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.
TURN DOWN SERVICE: DJ Snake
Tampa's Beach Bar keeps killing it with a monster stretch of DJ bookings: Krewella, Diplo, Steve Aoki and now DJ Snake, above. The French bass master will hit the stage formerly known as Hogan's Beach on Sunday, spinning selections of his many collaborative hits (Turn Down for What, Lean On, Let Me Love You, Middle). Doors open at 2 p.m. so you can get nice and crazy before Snake takes the stage in the evening. 7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. $21 and up. beachpartytampa.com.