Monday, July 23, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

This week's best Tampa concerts: Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Future

ENDLESS HITS: Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey

It doesn't matter if you're an all-time songwriting icon like Lionel Richie. If you can get Mariah Carey to join you out on the road, you do whatever it takes. "I'm going to give her the large dressing room," Richie told USA Today recently. "She wants to bring anything she wants, she can." Richie will deservedly headline his All the Hits Tour, which hits Tampa's Amalie Arena at 7 p.m. Friday. But teaming up with Carey was a stroke of genius — even if her glittering star has faltered a bit since that nationally televised trainwreck of a nonperformance on New Year's Eve. She's one of the best-selling singers of all time, and despite her rep as the diva to end all divas, maybe she's got something to prove after being caught lip-synching on live TV. And if not? We've still got Richie, a newly appointed Kennedy Center honoree and indefatigable spirit in his own right, who will have you dancing to All Night Long (All Night), swaying to We Are the World and dabbing tears to Hello. $36.20 and up. 401 Channelside Drive. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

SEARCHING FOR EVERYTHING: John Mayer

John Mayer has had a weird career. He's a prodigiously talented songwriter and guitarist, winning Grammys and aunts' hearts with a murderers' row of sweet pop-rock radio hits (Why Georgia, No Such Thing, Your Body Is a Wonderland). He's a disciple of the blues whose respected side project the John Mayer Trio features drummer Steve Jordan (Chuck Berry) and bassist Pino Palladino (the Who). He's a legitimately funny, charming and desirable guy — his exes include Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Jennifer Aniston — but each time he speaks in public, people find a new reason to dislike him. Oh, and since 2015, he has essentially fronted the Grateful Dead. All of the noise surrounding Mayer's varied interests has come to overshadow his music; his latest album The Search for Everything is fine but almost instantly forgettable. So perhaps it's a good thing he's splitting his summer shows into segments — a couple with a full band, one solo and acoustic, and one with the Trio. When he plays Tampa's Amalie Arena at 7 p.m. Sunday, don't go expecting to hear all your favorite hits — for every Daughters or Gravity, he'll bust out a deep cut or an odd cover like Tupac's California Love or Extreme's More Than Words. It could be a weird night, all about improvisation and divergence. But that's John Mayer for you. The Night Game opens. $45.25 and up. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

HIGH LIFE: Future

Depending on your point of view, Future deserves a lot of credit or blame for the state of hip-hop these days. The Atlanta icon's mush-mouthed, misanthropic, muddily Auto-Tuned style is so hot in 2017 that it's led old-schoolers to bemoan the death of nimble, thoughtful lyricism. But you don't score two No. 1 albums in back-to-back weeks, as Future did this spring with Future and Hndrxx, if you're not doing something right. Future's gift isn't just his talent for bouncing off Drake and the Weeknd; it's his way with slam-dunk hooks (Low Life, Jumpman, Mask Off, F--- Up Some Commas) and ability to stoke his fan base with endless mixtapes and features. He's clawed his way from clubs to his biggest Tampa gig yet, at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N. Love or hate what he's brought to the game, you can't rag him too much for that. Post Malone and Zoey Dollaz open. $18 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

LOVE THE '90S: Counting Crows, Matchbox Twenty

Last year was the 20th anniversary of Matchbox Twenty's debut Yourself or Someone Like You. Next year is the 25th of Counting Crows' August and Everything After. Split the difference, and 2017 is the perfect time to send these two '90s pop-rock holdovers on the road together. It's a redux of last year's tour pairing the Crows and Matchbox frontman Rob Thomas, only this time, you might get a little more Bent or Unwell, courtesy of the 'Box. Catch them with Rivers and Rust at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. $21.50 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

CHARMING MAN: Tribute to Morrissey and the Smiths

Considering Morrissey's unreliability as a live act, if WMNF really wanted to stage an authentic tribute show, they'd cancel it right now. Thankfully the Smiths frontman won't be anywhere near this show, so you're safe to plan your Friday around There Is a Light that Never Goes Out: The WMNF Tribute to Morrissey and the Smiths. Miami Smiths tribute the Ordinary Boys top a bill that includes the Bangovers, the Evening Committee, a Morrissey look-alike contest and more. 8 p.m. at Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10 and up. (813) 241-8600. wmnf.org.

     
   
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Twenty One Pilots sell out Tampa concert hours after tickets go on sale

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SoundBytes: The Struts, After the Burial, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and more

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The best concerts this week in Tampa Bay.
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Kim Walker-Smith talks postpartum depression, women in ministry and more

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Kim Walker-Smith, the lead singer for renowned worship band Jesus Culture, felt overwhelmed and dazed following the birth of her second son.She cried without knowing why. She mumbled her words. When her mother suggested postpartum depression as the c...
Published: 07/17/18
SoundBytes: Brian Setzer Orchestra, Behemoth, Koo Koo Kanga Roo and more

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— After avoiding this marketplace for years, the Brian Setzer Orchestra will bring their wildly popular annual Christmas tour back to Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on Dec. 5. Tickets are $52.75 and up. Click here for details. (And for a review ...
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Penn and Teller postpone Mahaffey Theater performance due to Teller’s back surgery

Penn and Teller postpone Mahaffey Theater performance due to Teller’s back surgery

Raymond Teller, half of the great magic and comedy duo Penn and Teller, tweeted last week that his recent back surgery "was an even bigger success than I'd expected."Good news for him! But it's still bad news for Tampa Bay fans.While Teller is recove...
Published: 07/16/18
Underoath coming to the Yuengling Center in Tampa

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Underoath's comeback is getting bigger than ever.The (formerly) Christian metalcore band, one of the biggest acts ever to come out of Tampa Bay, broke up in 2013, reformed in 2016, and have been touring the world and playing to huge audiences ever si...
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Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus talks vocal longevity, picking future A-listers as openers and more

Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus talks vocal longevity, picking future A-listers as openers and more

With more than a dozen No. 1 hits like Bless the Broken Road and What Hurts the Most, Rascal Flatts remain one of Nashville's most reliable headliners; their summer tour hits Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday.But two decades in, ...
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