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Jay Cridlin, Pop Music/Culture Critic

Jay Cridlin

Jay Cridlin is the Pop Music/Culture Critic for the Tampa Bay Times and tbt*, and the editor of Soundcheck, a blog about music and concerts in Tampa Bay. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2002 and has been with the Times ever since.

Phone: (727) 893-8336


Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

Instagram: @cridlin

  1. Rapper Kevin Gates charged with battery after Lakeland fan-kicking incident

    Music & Concerts

    Less than a week after being caught on camera kicking a female fan at a concert in Lakeland, rapper Kevin Gates has been charged with battery and could face a year in a Polk County jail.

    The charge comes days before Gates is due back in Tampa to perform a Labor Day weekend concert at Whiskey North nightclub.

    According to the Lakeland Police Department, the Louisiana native — real name Kevin Gilyard, 29 — was performing at Rumors Night Club in Lakeland on Aug. 29 when 18-year-old fan Miranda Dixon reached out from the front row to grab him. Gates, according to a police report, kicked Dixon "with such force that it pushed (her) back into the crowd," causing her to lose her breath and, later, black out and seek medical treatment....

    Rapper Kevin Gates has been charged after kicking a fan during a show at Lakeland’s Rumors Night Club, according to police. He’s due to perform Sunday in Tampa.
  2. Kevin Gates, Chris Brown set late-night Tampa parties this weekend


    If you don't mind staying up past your bedtime, you can get an up-close glimpse of two of hip hop's most controversial figures this weekend in Tampa.

    Long-embattled singer Chris Brown is performing at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday night (click here for details). But if you want to keep the party going once the music stops, head to the Drynk, 302 S Howard Ave. in Tampa, home to the concert's official after party. Slated to be hosted by Breezy himself, it'll feature DJs Stevie J and Fly Guy. Tickets are $30-$50. Click here for details....

    Kevin Gates
  3. This week in Tampa: Ed Sheeran, Chris Brown, Lady Antebellum, Keith Sweat, Afrojack and more


    Labor Day weekend means it's time to party, and there's no better place to do it than the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa. On Friday it's Chris Brown with guests French Montana, Fetty Wap, Kid Ink, Migos, Omarion and Teyana Taylor. On Saturday it's Lady Antebellum with Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt. But next week, the party moves to Amalie Arena with one of the world's biggest pop stars, Ed Sheeran....

  4. St. Petersburg's Labor Day sandbar concert: Could Florida tradition be coming to an end?


    To reach one of St. Petersburg's best and quirkiest Labor Day parties, you're going to need a boat.

    Every Labor Day (and Memorial Day) weekend, a group of musicians called the Cross Creek Blues Band hauls a pontoon out into St. Petersburg’s Riviera Bay for a floating blues-rock jam in “P” Channel near Weedon Island.

    Thousands of boaters and swimmers gather at what has become the bay area’s most unusual concert venue. And while the sandbar setting is the selling point, the music’s pretty good, too — performers have shared stages with the likes of B.B. King, Ike and Tina Turner and Conway Twitty....

  5. Labor Day sandbar concerts might be nearing the end of an era

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first time Hal Hammer Jr. and his salt-washed buddies played the blues on a barge in Riviera Bay, some 40 curious neighbors floated out to watch — not many more than your average Labor Day block party.

    Flash forward 10 years to May, when thousands of boaters and swimmers filled the bay's shallow waters for Hammer's annual free concert on Memorial Day weekend. You can't get there by car. ...

    For a decade, people have gone to Hal Hammer Jr.’s sandbar show in Riviera Bay by Weedon Island.
  6. Music Planner: Chris Brown (and Fetty Wap!), Lady Antebellum (and Sam Hunt!), Labor Day on the water and more

    Music & Concerts


    Here's one way to look at the supernova career of Chris Brown, who performs at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday.

    Roughly 60 percent of his Wikipedia page is dedicated to his illustrious career as a singer, dancer and actor — his dozens of Top 10 hits, his Grammy award and nominations, his collaborations with artists like David Guetta, Pitbull and Kendrick Lamar....

    Chris Brown, shown here at a show in Champ de Mars, Haiti on June 26, comes to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday.
  7. Mary J. Blige coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    One of the greatest voices in modern soul is coming to Tampa.

    Nine-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige is coming to the USF Sun Dome on Nov. 8 for her first local concert since 2012. (We're not counting a 2013 gig at HSN to promote her holiday album A Mary Christmas.) Opening the show will be Tamar Braxton....

  8. Review: Earl Sweatshirt gets dark, fans get crazy at the Orpheum in Tampa


    Earl Sweatshirt was only a few songs into his concert Tuesday at the Orpheum when he had to plead with the crowd to stop stage-diving.

    “You get one more,” he warned the more overenthusiastic fans up front.

    Sorry, Earl, but they just couldn’t help themselves. The Tampa crowd was fully lit and rapping every word from the moment he walked onstage.

    That can happen when you’re thought of as sort of a mythological figure, as Sweatshirt is among a certain segment of rap fans....

    Rap duo NxWorries, featuring singer-rapper Anderson .Paak, opened for Earl Sweatshirt at the Orpheum in Ybor City on Sept. 1, 2015.
  9. Brian Wilson coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg


    Brian Wilson is having quite a year, with an acclaimed biopic (Love & Mercy) and a well-received new album (No Pier Pressure) under his belt. 

    Sure, he's no longer buddy-buddy with most of the Beach Boys, but he's still out on the road touring -- and his latest trek will see him stopping in St. Petersburg.

    The legendary singer-songwriter will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Nov. 17, it was announced Monday. Tickets are $49.50-$79.50, and they'll go on sale Sept. 11. Click here for details....

    Brian Wilson performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in 2011.
  10. MTV VMAs: Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Twenty One Pilots among winners, performers coming to Tampa Bay


    Shock and awe! Awe and shock! It's the MTV Video Music Awards, which this year featured more Taylor Swift than you asked for, more Miley Cyrus than we expected, and more Kanye West than even Kanye West can handle. (Nah, just kidding, there is no limit to the amount of Kanye West that Kanye West can handle.)

    For our full recap of the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, click here. But there's another aspect to the VMAs, and that is: Which winners, performers and celebrities are coming to Tampa Bay this fall?...

  11. MTV Video Music Awards: Taylor Swift reigns, Kanye West rambles and Miley Cyrus shocks (in a good way!)


    Serious question: Was what transpired on our TV sets Sunday night the MTV Video Music Awards, or a Taylor Swift concert?

    The cavalcade of celebrities, the glitztacularly glittery fashions, the endless shots of your girl interjecting herself into someone else’s dance party – this year’s VMAs had all the trappings of one of Taylor’s recent tour gigs. It was a night orchestrated to please Swift and her Swifties in all their hive-mind glory....

    Demi Lovato brought out Iggy Azalea for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.
  12. Underoath reunion tour: St. Petersburg sells out; Orlando concert added


    Let there be no doubt: The people are ready for an Underoath reunion.

    The Christian metalcore band, one of the most successful acts ever to come out of Tampa Bay, this week announced a comeback concert on March 16 at Jannus Live ... and it sold out within hours of going on sale Friday....

  13. USF's star-studded lineup: George Takei, Laverne Cox, Big Sean, Nas, RJ Mitte, more


    The University of South Florida is wasting no time when it comes to boosting school spirit.

    On the last day of the first week of fall classes, the college announced a frenzy of concerts and celebrity speakers coming to Tampa this school year.

    Heading things up is Star Trek star and prominent social activist George Takei, who will speak at the USF Sun Dome on April 18. The lecture will be part of USF's Frontier Forum, which in years past has hosted speakers like Jane Goodall and Neil deGrasse Tyson. While the first 3,000 USF students will be admitted for free, tickets will be available to the general public starting Oct. 2, at a cost to be determined. Click here for details....

  14. SoundBytes: Jennifer Nettles, French Montana, Andrew Rayel, Halsey and more


    -- Jennifer Nettles, the massively voiced singer of chart-topping country duo Sugarland, is returning to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Oct. 24 in support of her forthcoming second solo album. She'll be joined once again by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Brandy Clark, as well as Ryan Kinder. Ticket prices haven't been announced, but according to Nettles' website, they'll go on sale Sept. 4. Click here....

  15. 97X's Next Big Thing moves back to Tampa with Twenty One Pilots, Walk the Moon

    Music & Concerts

    For the third time in a decade, Next Big Thing is on the move.

    The huge year-end music festival thrown by alt-rock station 97X will shift this year from Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg back to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, its home from 2006 to 2011. Prior to that, it was held at Coachman Park in Clearwater.

    This year's 15th annual event is set for Dec. 5, the station announced Friday, with Twenty One Pilots, Of Monsters and Men and Walk the Moon headlining 13 bands across two stages. ...

    The Next Big Thing music festival thrown by alt-rock station 97X will shift this year from Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg back to Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, its home from 2006 to 2011.