FAMILY CARAVAN: Lady Antebellum
After spending most of 2016 at home with their young children, the trio of Lady Antebellum is ready to bring family life on tour. "Got all the kids on the road; lot of baby pools outside the tour bus," singer Charles Kelley said in a recent phone interview. "It's going to be a busy summer, but we love it." The love shines through on Lady A's new album Heart Break, parts of which were inspired by Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood's time off the road with their families. Love, community and harmony have been constant themes throughout Lady A's decadelong career, which has reaped seven Grammys for hits like Need You Now and I Run to You. It's why Kelley — who grew up on rockers like Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles — remains devoted to Nashville music, despite Lady A's crossover success. "I think we all try to root each other along," he said. "There is definitely a down-home family atmosphere to the country genre, and that's why I'm proud to be in it." Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young open at 7:30 p.m. Friday. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $26.75 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
For more with Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley, click here.
JUKE BOX HEROES: Foreigner
It finally happened: Foreigner reunited with singer Lou Gramm. And keyboardist Al Greenwood. And guitarist Ian McDonald. "The chemistry between everybody was insane," said Foreigner founder and guitarist Mick Jones, days after the four performed together July 20 for the first time since 1980. "Everybody just meshed together, and it was just a great moment, a very emotional moment for me when I brought Lou onto the stage." While it's unlikely that foursome will reunite again when Foreigner plays Tampa, Jones did say original drummer Dennis Elliott might make an appearance. Even if not, 2017 is still a good time to celebrate an underrated band. It's the 40th anniversary of Foreigner's self-titled debut, featuring Cold as Ice and Feels Like the First Time, and even with Jones as the sole original member, even with new frontman Kelly Hansen filling in for Gramm, every Foreigner show is still a night of wall-to-wall hits. Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience open at 7 p.m. Aug. 2. $21.95 and up. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
SPARE CHANGE: Nickelback
The Chainsmokers may be hot on their heels as North America's most sneered-at act, but no one seems ready to call a moratorium on Nickelback jokes just yet. When's the last time you actually listened to a Nickelback album? Their ninth LP Feed the Machine is bloated with the same chuggy rock that's made them a joke for some 20 years, but it also gets weird and proggy in places. Love them or hate them, you have to appreciate Nickelback's dedication to sticking it out in a world that's dying to see them fail. Daughtry and Shaman's Harvest open at 6 p.m. Tuesday. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $17 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.
HERE COMES DAT BOI: Playboi Carti
How many rappers get a co-sign from XXL and Lana Del Rey in the same year? Say hi to 20-year-old Atlanta rapper Playboi Carti, a member of this year's XXL Freshman Class who is featured alongside A$AP Rocky on Del Rey's Summer Bummer. Carti yips and yaps in peripatetic fashion on his self-titled debut LP, hazy single Magnolia racking up streams all summer. Young Nudy and Pierre Bourne open at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $50 and up. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.
TEEN SPIRIT: Hillsong Young and Free
Like fellow Christian music sensations Hillsong United and Hillsong Worship, Hillsong Young and Free is less a band than a global movement. "It's the most humbling thing to realize our songs and the music we create is being used all over the world," said Alexander Pappas, one of the singers and songwriters for the youth-pop arm of Australian megachurch Hillsong Church. Grammy-nominated for 2016 album Youth Revival, Young and Free has a sound similar to some of Hillsong's many celebrity followers, including Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. "The biggest thing we want to do with Young and Free is providing and equipping worship music that (young fans) enjoy, worship music that they would actually want to listen to, stuff that they can bring to school and show their friends," Pappas said. It's working: Their show at 7 p.m. Saturday at Jannus Live is sold out. jannuslive.com.
For more with Hillsong Young and Free's Alexander Pappas, click here.
BOYD'S BOYS: Crystal Garden
What do you do when you get a rare summer off from one of America's busiest touring bands? Easy: You get back out on the road. That's what Boyd Tinsley, violinist for the dormant Dave Matthews Band, is doing this summer with Crystal Garden, a jam-rock outfit he created that has sold-out shows Thursday and Friday at the Attic, 1510 E Eighth Ave. in Ybor City. "They're just one of the tightest bands I've heard in quite some time, spectacular musicians, and they've got the songs," said Tinsley, who produced Crystal Garden's new album Let the Rocks Cry Out. "People are really digging it." Tinsley will play a few songs with the band at the beginning and end of each show, which starts at 7 p.m. both nights. (813) 241-0110.
For more with Boyd Tinsley, click here.