Saturday, August 18, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

This week's best Tampa Bay concerts: Sam Hunt, New Kids on the Block, 21 Savage, more

ROAD DOG: Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt is about to make history. Body Like a Back Road, the first single from his forthcoming sophomore album, has been the No. 1 country song in America since mid February, putting it within spitting distance of Florida Georgia Line's Cruise as the longest-running No. 1 in country history. If only it had happened to a better song. Sorry, but Body Like a Back Road is bro-by-numbers schlock, inferior not only to Cruise, but to anything from the hunky Hunt's genre-bending 2014 debut Montevallo, like the singles House Party, Leave the Night On and Break Up in a Small Town. Whatever album Body Like a Back Road ends up on will probably be a smash, but it probably won't be Montevallo. It also probably won't be Hero, the stellar debut by fellow Nashville new-schooler Maren Morris, who owns the middle slot on Hunt's stacked summer tour (Buy Me a Boat rambler Chris Janson and Ryan Follese open the show). 7 p.m. Friday. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. The show is virtually sold out; check livenation.com or call (813) 740-2446 for availability.

STILL HANGIN' TOUGH: New Kids on the Block

The youngest member of New Kids on the Block is Joey McIntyre, 44. Not to be That Twitter Guy, but: LET THAT SINK IN. We're a long way from 1990, and yet it might not feel like it at NKOTB's Total Package Tour, which hits Tampa's Amalie Arena at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. This particular package features not only Joey, Jordan, Jonathan, Donnie and Danny; but also Nathan, Wanya and Shawn, a.k.a. Boyz II Men, who also seem to be finding it pretty hard to say goodbye to yesterday. But for true connoisseurs of late-'80s/early-'90s bubblegum, the most intriguing draw on this night is Paula Abdul, right, who doesn't perform live anywhere near as much as the market for hits in the vein of Straight Up and Opposites Attract demand. It's likely we'll see more American Idol Paula than Laker Paula, but that doesn't matter; she's still forever our girl. $26.20 and up. 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

GROOVE THINGS: Washed Out, Phantogram, Tycho

If you want to dance this week but feel super cool doing it, have we got the shows for you.

First up is chillwave progenitor Ernest Greene, aka Washed Out, right, who rose to fame with the Portlandia theme Feel It All Around and is now touring behind the blissful, summery sounds of new album Mister Mellow. He'll drift into the Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., for a low-key synth party at 8 p.m. Saturday. Dega opens. $22 and up. theorpheum.com.

On Tuesday, Phantogram and Tycho team up for one of the cool-kid shows of the summer. The former is an electro-rock New York outfit whose songs When I'm Small and You Don't Get Me High Anymore have been all over TV commercials and music blogs for the past five or six years. The latter is a producer and multi-instrumentalist known for hypnotic ambient sounds and light shows, and whose latest album, Epoch, hit No. 1 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums Chart. Heathered Pearls opens for the co-headliners at 6:30 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $33 and up. jannuslive.com.

DOMO ARIGATO: Styx, REO Speedwagon

The name of Styx and REO Speedwagon's new co-headlining tour is United We Rock, which might confuse anyone who has always believed they were the same band. We kid, we kid: We'll always love Come Sail Away, Babe, Keep On Loving You, Can't Fight This Feeling and all their other radio hits. While REO Speedwagon, above, will play a hit-laden set as always, Styx at least brings a new album, The Mission, their first in a dozen years. And rounding out the bill is an all-time Florida boy, Don Felder, a rock 'n' roll Zelig best known for strumming with the Eagles. $19.50 and up. 7 p.m. Tuesday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

SAVAGE BEATS: 21 Savage

Outside of the guys in Migos, 21 Savage might be the man right now in Atlanta rap. He's got hits (X, No Heart, Gucci On My), collaborations with some seriously boldface names (Drake, Future, Travis Scott, Mike Will Made It), and he's even dating Amber Rose. From high on these enviable heights he just dropped Issa, his highly anticipated major-label debut, featuring production from DJ Mustard and Metro Boomin. Before he plays Lollapalooza later this summer, he'll play Jannus Live at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $36 and up. jannuslive.com.

     
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