SONGWRITING STARS: Counting Crows and Rob Thomas
When Counting Crows, above, released their seminal 1993 album August and Everything After, songwriters everywhere couldn't help but take notice.
"If you were a songwriter and you were in a band, there was no way that that record, at that time, wasn't going to have some sort of influence on you," said Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas, right, who this summer is touring with buddy Adam Duritz's band.
"I remember him and I were in Italy one time together," Thomas said. "He had a day off, and I was doing a day of press. He just decided to come along, just so every time I would go on the radio, he could jump over my shoulder and start telling everybody that I ripped off everything he'd ever done."
There are similarities between Counting Crows' Mr. Jones and Rain King and Matchbox Twenty's Real World and 3 A.M. But Thomas has forged a blockbuster career as a songwriter in his own right, both with Matchbox Twenty (If You're Gone, Unwell) and solo (This Is How a Heart Breaks, Santana's Smooth).
Saturday's show is a chance to hear both acts in one summer setting. The show, with opener K Phillips, is at 6:45 p.m. Saturday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $23.50 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
Read more with Rob Thomas here.
HIGH TIMES: Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa
Next week, Snoop Dogg will host a "unity party" at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Which is perfect because who out there can't rally behind the Doggfather?
A well-preserved 44, Slim with the tilted grin has enjoyed one of hip hop's most fruitful careers, from his early days rolling with Dr. Dre, sippin' on gin and juice, to his self-aware second life as the best-known stoner this side of Willie Nelson. He just dropped a loose and funky new album, Coolaid, and in two years will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his timeless debut Doggystyle.
"There's nobody else in the game like Snoop," said Wiz Khalifa, the chart-topping See You Again rapper whose summer tour with Snoop hits Tampa Thursday. "The fact that he's still going and still adding to his legacy is super dope."
The support on Snoop and Khalifa's "High Road Tour" is strong: 2 Phones rapper Kevin Gates, silky-voiced singer Jhene Aiko, Odd Future cohort Casey Veggies and mixtape maestro DJ Drama. 7 p.m. Thursday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa. $22 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
Read more with Wiz Khalifa at here.
DAVE'S NOT HERE, MAN: Dave Matthews Band
In 2017, for only the third time since 1998, the Dave Matthews Band won't be coming to Tampa. Crazy, right? How can it possibly be summer without Dave shucking and shimmying across the stage in the sweltering Florida heat? But it seems even jam-band road warriors need a year off every now and then. All the more reason to hit up Dave's 2016 tour, which stops at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at 8 p.m. Wednesday. As you probably know, the band mixes up setlists from show to show, so there's no guarantee you'll hear huge hits like Ants Marching, What Would You Say or The Space Between (although he typically feels pretty generous in Tampa; last summer, the Amp got all three). But summer Dave shows are a rite of passage, no matter what he plays. If you've never caught one, there's never been a better time. Because he won't be back until 2018. $31.50 and up at livenation.com.
RAGE ON: Awolnation
This fall, Aaron Bruno and his electronic alt-rock Awolnation will go on tour with the Prophets of Rage, a new supergroup featuring members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy's Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B-Real. That tour stops in Tampa Oct. 1, but if you can't wait that long, Awolnation will play a free show Sunday in St. Petersburg, courtesy of rock station 97X. You do need a free ticket — get a list of ticket drop times and locations at 97xonline.com — but having a ticket doesn't necessarily guarantee admission. If you want to get in, start lining up early. New Beat Fund and Airsickness open at 7 p.m. Sunday at Jannus Live, 200 First St. N.
DAMN YANKEE: Ted Nugent
A Ted Nugent concert is always a rootin', tootin' affair, replete with furious shredfests like Stranglehold and Cat Scratch Fever. But bring the Motor City Madman to town in the middle of the wildest, wackiest presidential race in history, and there's no telling what'll happen. A staunch conservative and furious supporter of the Second Amendment, he's a vocal Donald Trump backer (though his tour schedule reportedly prevented him from appearing at this week's Republican National Convention). His concerts are rife with self-righteous, jingoistic stage banter, and you can count on plenty of barbs at Hillary Clinton. But even if Uncle Ted doesn't change your mind politically, you'll probably appreciate his still-rabid chops on the axe. He performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $33.25 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.