HIP HAPPENING: Wild Splash
The key to a good festival, said WLLD-94.1 FM program director Orlando Davis, is diversity. You want that big-name headliner. You want that up-and-comer. You want that one act with the serious diehard fans.
This year's 94.1 Wild Splash, which returns Saturday to Coachman Park in Clearwater, has it all.
"If you look at Lil Wayne by himself, he can garner a $35 ticket with ease," Davis said. "Lil Dicky is that one that's coming up with this great lyrical content. Throw in a Fabolous, who is just is a verse superstar. And the 'hood and the streets love Yo Gotti."
Throw in 18-year-old Florida phenom Kodak Black — who just scored a hot feature on French Montana's new mixtape Wave Gods — along with Dougie F, JR Castro and a few possible surprises, and Davis is right about that ticket price. This year's Wild Splash once again sold out in advance; the only way to win tickets is through the station.
If you can't get in to see the concert, there are always parties on the side. Club Skye (1509 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City) will host an official pre-party with Dougie F and Castro on Friday night, and an after-party with Lil Dicky on Saturday. Whiskey North (11921 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa) is slated to host an after-party with Yo Gotti, while AJA Channelside (290 S Meridien Ave., Tampa) will bring in Fabolous.
Might Weezy himself show up? It's not a bad bet — he's a fixture at the Skatepark of Tampa's Tampa Pro competition, which kicks off Friday, so you might see him around town all weekend.
Wild Splash opens its gates at 1 p.m. Saturday at Coachman Park; the show should wrap up by 7:30 p.m. For details on ticket giveaways and a list of what is and isn't allowed at Wild Splash, see wild941.com.
AGE AIN'T NOTHING BUT A NUMBER: Willie Nelson and Tony Bennett
Willie Nelson is 82. Tony Bennett is 89. You think either of those guys is slowing down? Please. Nelson is launching his own line of high-end weed, and Bennett is BFFs with Lady Gaga. They're proof that if you live long enough to see your signature hits become American standards — Crazy and I Left My Heart In San Francisco, anyone? — you can do pretty much anything you like. Coincidentally, both pay homage to the Great American Songbook on their latest albums, Nelson's Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin and Bennett's The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern. But even in their 80s, they manage to make these old chestnuts sound warm and toasty; The Silver Lining, in fact, just won Bennett his 18th Grammy. So let's raise a glass to the old guys. May we all someday have what they have in their twilight: Lady Gaga on speed-dial and a fat stash of green. (Um, money, that is.)
Bennett and daughter Antonia Bennett perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $65 and up. (727) 893-7832. themahaffey.com.
DARK STAR: Melanie Martinez
Beyond Taylor and Katy and Adele, there's a whole realm of alternative ingenues doing big things of their own. Halsey is headlining Madison Square Garden. Grimes and FKA Twigs are topping year-end lists. And Melanie Martinez is one of the most popular alumni from NBC's The Voice. The 20-year-old Season 3 finalist last fall released the chilly electro-emo album Cry Baby, which cleverly juxtaposes images of childhood innocence with the confessional anxieties of young adulthood. It's striking a nerve: Her concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave. in Tampa, sold out weeks ago. If a new generation of stars really is about to take pop's reins, Martinez will be a player to watch. theritzybor.com.
GET UP, STAND UP: Reggae Rise Up
St. Petersburg became a hub for America's reggae-rock movement thanks to a string of packed Jannus Live concerts. But the crowds have grown too big for the courtyard. Enter festivals like Reggae Rise Up, which arrives in Vinoy Park on Saturday, 18 months after it debuted in Tampa. The Dirty Heads (My Sweet Summer) top the bill, along with Tribal Seeds, Stick Figure, Fortunate Youth, Sun Dried Vibes, Tatanka, Resinated and Oceanstone. It starts at 1 p.m.; tickets are $40.05 and up at reggaeriseup.com. This is the first of two big summer reggae-rock shows in St. Pete — the other, on Aug. 14, brings Slightly Stoopid, SOJA and Fortunate Youth. Slather on sunscreen and invest in a new hemp blanket, and your sweet summer is made.