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Jay Cridlin, tbt* Staff Writer

Jay Cridlin

Jay Cridlin is the entertainment and features editor for 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

  1. Boy George, Culture Club tour coming to renovated Madeira Beach park


    Last week, word broke that Boy George and Culture Club were reuniting for their first tour in some 15 years, and it included three stops in Florida, starting with Aug. 14 at Bayfront Park in Miami and ending Aug. 16 at Hard Rock Live in Orlando. In between was an Aug. 15 concert at Madeira Beach Waterfront Park in Tampa....

  2. Ariana Grande coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa


    Ariana Grande's fans in Tampa have one less Problem in their lives this morning, because their ponytailed, kitty-eared princess is coming to town.

    One of 2014's breakout pop divas, Grande has announced plans for a second run of dates for her blockbuster Honeymoon Tour, and they'll kick off with a July 16 date at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Latin star Prince Royce will open the show. Tickets are $26,.25-$66.25 and they go on sale Saturday. Click here for details....

  3. Review: Sarah McLachlan's eternally ethereal voice warms Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    Sarah McLachlan's Sunday was probably a lot like yours: Breakfast at Clearwater's Tin Can Cafe ("I think I'm still full. Huge plates."), then a quick walk to Marshalls to buy a new suitcase.

    Then, Sunday night, she took the stage at Ruth Eckerd Hall and started to sing. And that’s when she left the plane of mere mortals.

    McLachlan’s heavenly, perfectly preserved voice, that ethereal mezzo-soprano, drifting along like a wisp of silk in the breeze, hasn’t aged a second since the first Lilith Fair, and every facet of her dazzling instrument was on full display at her first local show in a decade....

    Sarah McLachlan performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on March 29, 2015.
  4. Review: Eric Church, rebellious as ever, rocks through the night at Amalie Arena in Tampa


    It took six songs for an honest-to-goodness smile to form beneath Eric Church’s silvery aviators on Saturday at Amalie Arena. No surprise it came while he was singing about Merle Haggard.

    Church introduced Pledge Allegiance to the Hag with a tip of the cap to Tampa’s Dallas Bull, a club he played more than once back in the day. “Some of the best times of my life,” he said, adding, “we played this song the first time we played the Bull in 2006 or 2007.”...

    The Cadillac Three opened for Eric Church at Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 28, 2015.
  5. Review: Clean Bandit mix musicianship, disco energy at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg


    Can a band coming off a Grammy win for a gigantic pop hit truly be facing an uphill climb?

    Well, look at Clean Bandit. Six weeks after Rather Be won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording, here they are schlepping their cellos and synthesizers around the United States, trying to sell their sleek, seductive spin on deep house and U.K. garage to the American masses -- all without the help of Rather Be’s ascendant vocalist Jess Glynne....

    Clean Bandit performed at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on March 26, 2015.
  6. USF Bullstock lineup: Young the Giant, American Authors, Andy Grammer to headline free concert


    Young the Giant had to squash their last trip to Tampa Bay when February's Coastline Festival in St. Petersburg was canceled.

    But they're coming back for Bullstock.

    The University of South Florida's annual spring Bullstock concert released its lineup on Wednesday, and the California rockers behind It's About Time, My Body and Cough Syrup are its headliners. Joining them are Best Day Of My Life hitmakers American Authors and singer-songwriter Andy Grammer.The event will also feature local bands, a rock wall, bumper cars, inflatables, food trucks and more....

  7. A year after leaving 'Tonight Show,' Jay Leno brings finely tuned comedy to Tampa


    It was, Jay Leno insists, a weekend of gigs like any other.

    When he left the Tonight Show on Feb. 6, 2014, and hopped on a plane for a string of shows in Florida — including a handful in Clearwater and Sarasota — "it felt just like any other weekend. I finished the Tonight Show on Thursday, and Friday, I was in Florida.

    "The difference is, I didn't have to run back to my room and write 14 minutes' worth of jokes every single day. Because no matter what happens, you still have to write jokes."...

    Luis Santana/tbt*
  8. Sarah McLachlan hits Ruth Eckerd Hall with thoughts on motherhood, Lilith Fair and more

    Music & Concerts

    Even a singer with the voice of an angel — the voice, in fact, behind Angel — can get a little cranky when it comes to The Kids These Days.

    "I live across the street from a high school, and it drives me crazy," says singer Sarah McLachlan, calling from her home in Vancouver. "These kids all have their hoodies on, with their iPod on, and they just walk right out in the street. I don't know how many times I almost hit a kid. I honk at them and I roll down the window, and I go, 'Hey, you have to look where you're going!' You know what they do? They flip me the finger: 'F--- you!' "...

    Sarah McLachlan will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Sunday.
  9. Van Halen coming to MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa


    Are you ready to dance the night away? Do you want to run with the devil? Are you feeling kind of hot for a professional educator in your life?

    Then you might as well jump on this news: Van Halen are coming to Tampa.

    David Lee Roth and the Family Van Halen -- Eddie, Alex and Wolfie -- are apparently in one of their "everyone's getting along" phases, so they're embarking on a summer tour that'll bring them to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Sept. 13, the band announced Tuesday. Tickets are $18-$143 and they go on sale April 4. Click here for details....

  10. With 'Rather Be,' Clean Bandit leading a retro dance revolution

    Music & Concerts

    Milan Neil Amin-Smith has a thing for pop from the past.

    "I was flipping through my CD library the other day, and many of the compilations I have from the late '90s/early 2000s are R&B compilations," the violinist and pianist of British dance-pop group Clean Bandit said in a recent phone interview. "Those dance compilations, the ones I have are all, 'Very Best of Summer R&B!'"

    It's not just R&B, though. Amin-Smith loves U.K. garage, early dubstep and other forms of bygone dance music. This is all pretty clear from Clean Bandit's 2014 album New Eyes, a glistening collection of crisp, melodic dance music driven by souulful, hypnotic, diva-like vocals. ...

    Sonically, Clean Bandit are taking it back to the early ’90s.
  11. Review: John Mellencamp rouses fans his own way at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    Selling out 2,180-seat Ruth Eckerd Hall on back-to-back nights is no small feat. Still, shouldn’t things have gone differently for John Mellencamp?

    The Indiana icon has accrued enough massive hits that he could spend his 60s cruising through arenas and amphitheaters, blasting through a cavalcade of Baby Boomer belt-‘em-outs like Springsteen, Petty or Bon Jovi. Who wouldn’t raise a Tastee-Freez chili dog to that?...

    John Mellencamp performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on March 19, 2015.
  12. Grapefruit brew has made it to the big leagues

    Bars & Spirits

    Jake and Dick Leinenkugel are big baseball fans, so it's no surprise they'd plan a business trip to Florida around Spring Training.

    But the beermaking brothers have another reason to tie their trip to some Grapefruit League action: their newest brew, Leinenkugel's Grapefruit Shandy.

    A citric spin on the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company's smash, signature Summer Shandy, Grapefruit Shandy rolled out on store shelves March 1, both bottled in six-packs and canned as part of Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy Sampler....

    And here’s the Grapefruit League lineup: Illusive Traveler Grapefruit Ale, Big Squeeze UFO, Leinenhugel Grapefruit Shandy, RAD, Stiegl Radler, Abita Grapefruit Harvest IPA, Shiner Ruby Redbird and Schofferhofer.
  13. Review: Elvis Costello owns the room with compelling solo show at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    You probably don’t remember the episode of Frasier in which Café Nervosa is overtaken by a boisterous songwriter played by Elvis Costello, prompting the good doctors Crane to seek refuge and cappuccino elsewhere. But I recently caught it on cable, and after watching Costello conquer a much larger room in much the same manner, I now sympathize with Frasier and Niles. When Elvis Costello is on stage, even all by his lonesome, there’s no looking anywhere else....

    Elvis Costello performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on March 16, 2015.
  14. Interview: Elvis Costello's aim is still true

    Music & Concerts

    An Elvis Costello story, from Emmylou Harris:

    "We were doing an outdoor show, I think it was in Pittsburgh, and right in the middle of the set this train went by, making this horrendous noise that trains make," Harris said. "And Elvis is never going to be stopped by anything. He just immediately, on his own, went into (Elvis Presley's) Mystery Train. And the whole band came in with him, and I started singing with him, and after that, that became part of our set."...

    Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris perform in Central Park in New York in 2005. Harris has seen firsthand Costello’s improvisational skills.
  15. Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads, more coming to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg


    We've been saying it for months now: St. Petersburg is a major hub in America's modern reggae-rock movement. Now it appears that movement is moving out of Jannus Live and taking over Vinoy Park.

    Slightly Stoopid's new "Everything is Awesome" Tour, featuring the Dirty Heads and Stick Figure, is coming to Vinoy Park on July 26, it was announced today. Tickets are $35, and they go on sale March 20. Click here and here for details....