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Sarah Brightman among top live music picks

Sarah Brightman

Details: Sunday 8 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $35-$250. (813) 301-2500, tampabaytimesforum.com.

The superstar soprano was scheduled to play the Times Forum in March, but postponed her tour until fall — possibly so she could better prepare for a planned 2015 flight aboard a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station, where she hopes to become the first professional musician to sing in space. She'd be a good candidate; her new album Dreamchaser has an intergalactic theme, with Brightman wielding her formidable voice like a light saber on sparse, dreamy soundscapes like Breathe Me (a cover of the hit ballad by Sia) and B612. Perhaps the album's strangest, yet most inviting, highlight is her cover of Sigur Ros' Glosoli, a song that has no lyrical translation, so she hired Squeeze's Chris Difford to write new, English lyrics. Hey, when you've sold 30 million albums and played the original Christine in the stage musical The Phantom of the Opera, you can do pretty much anything you want.

Jay Cridlin, Times staff writer

Sigur Ros

With Julianna Barwick

Details: Monday 8 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $29.50-$49.50. (813) 974-3004, sundomearena.com.

While not as accessible as singer Jonsi's 2010 solo album Go — much of which Cameron Crowe appropriated for his film We Bought a Zoo — new LP Kveikur may be Sigur Ros' stormiest album to date, a thundering cloud of bowed guitars, clattering percussion, chilling chimes and Jonsi's spine-tingling falsetto. It's a formula that's helped spur the Icelandic post-rock trio to festival-headlining heights over the past 20 years. The group, whose songs are sung largely in a made-up language they call Vonlenska, or "Hopelandic," conveys volcanoes of emotion through sheer atmospherics on near-unpronounceable songs like Saeglópur and Hoppípolla. You may not be able to sing along at this show, but you may just leave in tears of joy.

Jay Cridlin, Times staff writer

Keith Urban

With Little Big Town, Justin Lynch

Details: Friday 7 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $29.25-$73.10. (813) 740-2446.

The MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre's whirly, twirly, country music carousel of fun is set to take another spin on Friday, and this time there's an Aussie at the helm. With eight LPs plus dozens of hit singles under his belt, Keith Urban (who was born in New Zealand) can safely say he's been around the block, but a new gig as an American Idol judge seems to have breathed a little more life into an already accomplished career. His new album, Fuse, finds him taking his brand of country deeper into pop territory.

Cheap Trick

With Stormbringer, Little Z

Details: Friday 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39.50-$275. (727) 791-7400.

It's only been four months since we saw Cheap Trick during the Funshine Music Festival at the Florida State Fairgrounds, but frontman Robin Zander (who has a home in the bay area) and company obviously still want us to want them. The '70s supergroup has provided quite the incentive, too. A recent festival gig found them performing the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as well as their own At Budokan in their entirety (no telling what this Ruth Eckerd gig will bring), and other classics like Surrender, The Flame and Voices will surely be on tap.

Tim Reynolds & TR3

With Shaun Hopper

Details: Friday 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.

You've got to feel for Tim Reynolds. The 55-year-old is a virtuoso by his own right, but the German-born guitarist won't ever be able to get out of the shadow of his very famous friend Dave Matthews. Reynolds is a member of Matthews' eponymous band, plus he and Matthews teamed up on a college-rock classic double CD, 1999's Live At Luther College. He arrives sans Matthews at Skipper's, where he and an excellent band, TR3, will use the Skipperdome's beautiful oaks to set the scene for expertly picked acoustic arrangements (Che, Good Intentions), funked-out jam rock (Do You Wanna, I Must Be Going Insane) and even a bit of southern slack key (South Fork Mud).

The Isley Brothers

With Kem, Nephew Tommy

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $30-$80. (813) 974-3002.

Even with all of the Isley Brothers' tried and true hits like It's Your Thing and Twist and Shout, one of the more impressive things about founding member Ronald Isley is the way he's kept his band's name relevant in this age of Internet sensations and more ephemeral, temporary stars. The 72-year-old's shining moment in contemporary R&B came with his recurring role as villainous Mr. Biggs, where he starred opposite R. Kelly in a series of music videos (you must grab some popcorn and watch the drama unfold), and he continues his crossover tradition by welcoming another soul singer, Kem, to open the show alongside comic Nephew Tommy.

Times correspondent Ray Roa can be reached at SuburbanApologist.com.

Also playing

Fubar Four-Year Anniversary: Fri. 9 p.m. With Lonly Monster, Mosquito Teeth, Hussar, Stegosaurus, Alarayne. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 424-1809.

King Yellowman Fri. 8 p.m. With the Sagittarius Band. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15 and up. (727) 895-3045.

Therapeutic Chokehold Fri. 9 p.m. With No Loves, Pig Pen, Slade & the Wasters. Pegasus Lounge, 10008 N 30th St., Tampa. $5-$7. (813) 971-1679.

The Duppies Fri. 9 p.m. With DJ Missin Dread. Orbit 19 Lounge, 1542 U.S. 19 N, Holiday. Free. (727) 937-8330.

The Fritz Fri. 8 p.m. With Fusik. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.

The Hip Abduction Fri. 9 p.m. With Tribal Style. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.

Crystal Fighters Mon. 9 p.m. With Hunter: Gatherer. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10-$13. (813) 241-8600.

Dying Fetus Mon. 7 p.m. With Exhumed, Waking the Cadaver, Abiotic, the Hackish. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$19. (813) 248-9500 or theorpheum.com.

Sarah Brightman among top live music picks 10/01/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 4:42pm]
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