DOUBLE SHOT: Throwdown by the Bay
An overdue arena show by chart-topping, Grammy-winning country quartet Little Big Town, above, (Girl Crush, Day Drinking) would ordinarily be Tampa's Nashville news of the weekend. But it's the middle act at Saturday's U.S. 103.5 Throwdown by the Bay who has everyone talking. That'd be Chris Stapleton, right, the shaggy-dog songwriter who shot practically out of nowhere to sweep last year's Country Music Association Awards, winning Male Vocalist and New Artist of the year along with Album of the Year for his confessional Traveller. He also got instant pop culture cred when he performed on the show live with Justin Timberlake. He's since played Saturday Night Live, joined the lineup for Bonnaroo and been nominated for Album of the Year at this year's Grammys. Stapleton and Little Big Town — along with openers Maddie and Tae (Girl in a Country Song) — might constitute the best local country lineup of the year. The show at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive., kicks off at 4 p.m. with free outdoor performances by American Young and Ashley Campbell. The indoor action starts at 7:30. Because it's Gasparilla day, expect traffic delays, parking issues and road closures; check amaliearena.com for updates. $16.74 and up via Ticketmaster or (813) 301-2500.
DEATH BECOMES US: Florida Metal Fest
Just look at that logo. Isn't it gorgeous? Don't you just want to wear it on a T-shirt morning, noon and night? Created by German artist Andreas Marschall, that headbanging, riff-shredding gator is the logo for Saturday's inaugural Florida Metal Fest, a daylong event spotlighting Tampa's enduring influence in the world of death metal. It's fitting, because Marschall does all the album covers for Obituary, the Tampa band organizing and headlining the event. "We just want Tampa to have a great festival because we deserve it," said Obituary drummer Donald Tardy. "We are Florida boys, and we're music fans and metalheads. I'm pushing hard to just make this thing a reality." Joining Obituary are Deicide, Corrosion of Conformity, Malevolent Creation, Madball, Trouble and more. Doors open at 3 p.m. at the Cuban Club, 2010 Avenida Republica de Cuba, Ybor City; the show runs until 12:30 a.m. outside with an after-party until 2:30. $40-$95. floridametalfest.com.
For more with Obituary's Donald Tardy, click here..
RATHER BE DANCING: Jess Glynne
Jess Glynne owns a Grammy, several hit singles and a massive following in her native United Kingdom. So why isn't she a bigger pop star here? The 26-year-old singer has been on the verge of an American breakout for a couple of years now, ever since her vocal starring role on Clean Bandit's disco-tastic Rather Be propelled her onto playlists around the globe. Their second collaboration, Real Love, was almost as big a hit overseas — as were peppy, early '90s dance throwbacks Hold My Hand and Don't Be So Hard on Yourself, both from her 2015 album I Cry When I Laugh. While she's touring smaller venues, her soulful voice should showcase why she's become way more than a nameless, faceless discotheque diva. Joining her at 7 p.m. Saturday at the State Theatre (687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg) is Conrad Sewell, the well-coiffed Aussie pop pinup who roused the crowd at December's 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball with his hit single Start Again. $16-$20. (727) 895-3045. statetheatreconcerts.com.
DOORS OPEN: Robby Krieger
Jim Morrison is long gone, and Ray Manzarek died in 2013. But Doors guitarist Robby Krieger is still lighting fires around the world at clubs and festivals that'll have him. Krieger, who just turned 70, wrote or co-wrote many of the band's biggest hits (Light My Fire, Touch Me, Love Her Madly, Love Me Two Times, People Are Strange), and that roaring riff from Roadhouse Blues can still knock your socks off. On Friday he'll play the new Tamiami Club (6800 Sunset Way, St. Pete Beach), a club that only holds a few hundred, so get there when doors open at 7 p.m. if you want to stake out a space close to rock history. $29.99 and up via ticketfly.com. (727) 688-2025.
CSN-WHO?: Graham Nash
Even Graham Nash was shocked to learn of the death of his old friend Glenn Frey, singer and guitarist from the Eagles. "The last time I saw him was on the golf course, and he was healthy and fit and funny and calm," the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young singer said by phone from Manhattan Beach, Calif. "It's just all the more reason we have to take every second that we have and try to make the best of it." Nash is trying to do just that on his new tour, which hits Clearwater's Capitol Theatre on Tuesday — his 74th birthday. Accompanied only by guitarist and songwriter Shane Fontayne, the Woodstock veteran will play a stripped-down mix of songs from CSN and CSNY; his other band, the Hollies; and his solo catalog, including a few from This Path Tonight, his first album in 14 years, due April 15. "People that come and see me are going to see an individual who is a human being, just the same as they are," Nash said. "Maybe for a couple of hours a night, we can escape from the chaotic life that is life right now." The show is 7:30 p.m. at the Cap, 405 Cleveland St. $52.50 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
For more with Graham Nash, click here.