ON THE COMEBACK: Scott Stapp
Scott Stapp is one of the biggest rock stars Florida has ever produced. And that makes the Creed singer's long, difficult downfall all the harder to digest. After selling millions of records and winning a Grammy for the hit With Arms Wide Open, Stapp spiraled into an abyss of addiction and mental illness. It ended in a public, viral breakdown in 2014 that led Stapp and his wife to appear on VH1's reality show Couples Therapy. "The recovery process was a little longer than I expected, and feeling grounded and clear didn't come overnight," Stapp said in a recent phone interview. "There were definitely moments of doubt as to my future." Stapp's slow and steady comeback begins in St. Petersburg, where he'll kick off a solo tour at 8 p.m. Friday at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N. He'll perform solo material as well as Creed hits like My Own Prison and Higher. "The guys in Creed definitely had a special talent, and so it's not easy to put together a band that can duplicate that," Stapp said. "But I'm really fortunate that I have." $25.50 and up. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.
For more of our interview with Scott Stapp, see tampabay.com/soundcheck.
BRIGHT FUTURE: Sunshine Music Festival
Launching an all-new music festival is no gimme these days, not in a live music landscape that seems to get more saturated by the month. But Live Nation and Tedeschi Trucks Band, pictured, teamed up for a winner with the Sunshine Music Festival, returning for a fourth year at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park. Co-organizers (and all-universe guitarists) Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi will likely preview songs from their new album, Let Me Get By, due Jan. 29. Joining them is a strong bill of blues, jam and Americana acts, including the Indigo Girls, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Jorma Kaukonen, the Revivalists and Hard Working Americans, a Southern rock supergroup led by singer-songwriter Todd Snider. $49.99 and up. sunshinemusicfestival.com.
HAVE FAITH: Winter Jam
Right on schedule, one of contemporary Christian rock's biggest tours returns to Tampa for its annual January date at Amalie Arena, 405 Channelside Drive. Smash Aussie duo For King and Country and rock and country songwriter Matthew West top the bill at Winter Jam, 5:45 p.m. Saturday, with support from RED, NewSong, Sidewalk Prophets and Crowder, among others. Tickets aren't sold for Winter Jam; admission is a suggested $10 donation at the door. amaliearena.com.
BUFFALO STANCE: Grant-Lee Phillips
Didn't feel like shelling out big bucks for a solo show by Jackson Browne at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Tuesday? Here's a solid backup plan: Grant-Lee Phillips at the much more intimate Hideaway Cafe. The 52-year-old singer-songwriter has a big, brainy catalog of alt-Americana hits, from his early days with Grant Lee Buffalo to 2004's starkly beautiful Virginia Creeper to his forthcoming The Narrows, due in March. Phillips will be joined by fellow bard Steve Poltz, who co-authored Jewel's hit You Were Meant For Me, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. The place is tiny, so arrive when doors open at 6 p.m. if you want a good seat. $15-18. (727) 644-7895. hideawaycafe.biz.
PSYCHOBILLY HEAVEN: The Reverend Horton Heat
What do a rockabilly reverend, some foul-mouthed punks, a hillbilly vampire and a horde of surf-rockin' Russians have in common? They'll all be in St. Petersburg on Saturday for what might be the most outrageous punk show of the year. The Reverend Horton Heat, pictured, Nashville Pussy, Unknown Hinson and Igor and Red Elvises are all entertaining headliners in their own right, but put them all together, and who knows how crazy things will get? Tickets are $25-$29 and worth every penny. 7 p.m. Saturday at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave. (727) 644-7895. statetheatreconcerts.com.