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SoundCheck: Tim McGraw, Morris Day and the Time, Dave Matthews among top live music picks

Tim McGraw

With Kip Moore, Cassadee Pope

Details: Saturday 7 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $32-$70. (813) 740-2446.

Unlike a pair of party boys who have played the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre before (we're looking at you, Luke Bryan and Zac Brown), Tim McGraw has actually cut down on the boozing. "I drank, partied, and did other things too much," he recently told Men's Health. "Up until seven years ago, there were not a lot of shows that I didn't have something in my system." The newfound clarity hasn't taken away from the 47-year-old's live set, though, and look for McGraw to give a taste of hits like Live Like You Were Dying and Don't Take the Girl while also working through material from a forthcoming album, Heaven.

Ray LaMontagne

With Jenny Lewis, the Belle Brigade

Details: Tonight at 7:45. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $53.25-$63.25. (727) 791-7400.

Ray LaMontagne has spent the past 10 years (and four albums) finding himself on record. He has been the guy with "cocaine flame in my bloodstream" (Jolene), and he has been the guy whose song (You Are the Best Thing) played at every wedding you went to in the last five years. He's a gifted crooner with a sad man's thorn-pierced, broken heart, and he has always let it bleed on tape. But something happened when he asked the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach to helm a brand new LP, this year's Supernova. All of a sudden, sad Ray really cheered up and found his super-sultry (She's the One), sometimes psychedelic (Julia) and sometimes Van Morrison-channeling (Airwaves) side. You'll still probably get all facets of the 41-year-old former shoemaker at this show, but at least you'll know you're getting the whole of the man this time around.

Morris Day and the Time

Details: Friday 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $29.50-$59.50. (727) 892-5767.

Some people (or at least Jay and Silent Bob) think Jungle Love was written by God and handed to the greatest band in the world: Morris Day and the Time. And while you might not agree, it's impossible to argue the influence that Day, 56, had in using the Twin City funk sound on R&B. Day, who spent four years fronting the Time as the band flanked Prince in the Purple Rain era, tried his hand at a solo career, but he's at his best when dressed in the band's signature pimp suits and being a super-suave smooth operator who belts out hits like Don't Wait for Me and The Bird. This show will be one heck of a party.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Details: Saturday after the Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays game (first pitch at 4:10 p.m.), Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. Free with game ticket. Toll-free 1-888-326-7297.

She has spent the past four decades being a symbol of rock 'n' roll, yet despite all the '80s hits like I Love Rock 'n' Roll and I Hate Myself for Loving You, Joan Jett remains a warrior thanks to her work in the present. She recently joined the surviving members of Nirvana for the band's Rock Hall of Fame induction, and the 55-year-old frontwoman of the Blackhearts has been working with Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace on songs, too, even bringing Grace on stage for a spring 2013 performance of Soulmates to Strangers at Ocala's Silver Springs. The concert is free with a ticket and superfans can shell out an extra $10 for a wristband guaranteeing postgame on-field access so they can see their heroine while standing on the ballpark's outfield turf.

Dave Matthews Band

Details: Wednesday 7 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $32.50-$89.70. (813) 740-2446.

On this version of DMB's annual summer tour, the band has announced that all shows will find them playing two sets — one electric and one acoustic — in "numerous configurations." Matthews, 47, and crew have recently accomplished something special by finally getting a 1993 live LP (Remember Two Things) onto the Billboard 200 chart 20 years after it was released. That's all good and well, but a fantastic 2012 album, Away From the World, as well as the rest of DMB's eight-piece discography, will probably provide plenty of reasons for the band's faithful followers to keep Tripping Billies at one of the season's biggest shows.

Times correspondent Ray Roa can be reached at

Also playing

Coolio and Slick Rick: Fri. After the Clearwater Threshers vs. Palm Beach Cardinals game (first pitch at 6:30 p.m.) Bright House Field, 601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. $5-$10. (727) 467-4457.

The Dear Hunter: Fri. 6:30 p.m. With Rx Bandits, From Indian Lakes. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18-$20. (727) 895-3045.

Corin Atchinson farewell show Sat. 8 p.m. With Zulu Wave, DieAlps!, RCKLSS, Mountain Holler, Alastair St. Hill. Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free.

Michael Tolcher Fri. 6 p.m. With Kristopher James. Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 644-7895.

A.J. Vincent Fri. 9 p.m. With Michael Parallax, Glow Low. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.

Carribean Carnival Pre-Party Fri. 8 p.m. With Tony Wylie. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 565-0550.

El Gran Combo: Sat. 8:30 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. Free with park admission. Toll-free 1-888-800-5447.

Iska Dhaaf Sat. 9 p.m. With Empire Cinema, ADJY. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8-$10. (813) 248-4969.

Set It Off Sat. 4 p.m. Our Last Night, Heartist, Stages and Stereos Airsickness, Relief in Sleep. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 248-9500.

Zvuloon Dub System: Sun. 5 p.m. With Anbessa Dub Project. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.

Dub-O Sun. 7 p.m. With Tezo. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$30. (813) 248-9500.

Songs of Survival From Behind the Iron Curtain Tues. 2 p.m. With Alah Rozanovsky. Aging Well Center 1501 N Belcher Road, Clearwater. Free. (727) 724-3070.

SoundCheck: Tim McGraw, Morris Day and the Time, Dave Matthews among top live music picks 07/08/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 7:09pm]
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