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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. Why is it so hard to get Beyonce tickets?


    Anyone who tried this week to purchase pre-sale tickets to Beyonce's April 29 concert at Raymond James Stadium probably encountered slowdowns, glitches, overpriced tickets and all sorts of similar stress and frustration. The days of camping in line at your local record store are long gone, but buying a ticket to a hot concert doesn't feel that much easier.

    While 50,000 people may pack into RayJay for Beyonce's Formation World Tour, nowhere near that many tickets will actually be made available to most of the general public. In many cases, more than half of all concert tickets are sucked up by fan clubs, pre-sales, industry insiders and other sources before the public even has a chance to buy them. And even then, you've gotta compete with the bots....

  2. SoundBytes: Bonnie Raitt, Ana Gasteyer, Machine Gun Kelly and more


    -- The one and only Bonnie Raitt is coming back to Clearwater -- but we don't know where and when. All we know is that she plans to come there on her fall tour, sometime in October or November. We'll keep you posted.

    -- Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer will be in town this weekend, performing at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Club at Treasure Island. Tickets are $30-$40. Click here....

  3. Trying to buy Beyonce tickets? It's more complicated than you think

    Music & Concerts

    When Adele announced a 50-date North American tour last fall, fans were elated. The Grammy-winning, record-setting singer doesn't perform live that often. This would be a can't-miss event.

    Then tickets went on sale. Every concert sold out in under an hour, with some 10 million fans scrambling. Ticketmaster called the demand "unprecedented."

    But could it happen again Tuesday?

    That's the day public tickets go on sale for Beyonce's Formation World Tour, which includes an April 29 stop at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium. Fresh off a Super Bowl-stealing performance of her seismic new single Formation, Beyonce's tour looks like the spring and summer music event of 2016. Her last solo world tour, in 2013 and 2014, played to some 2 million fans in 126 cities, and many shows on this tour will likely sell out....

    Beyonce performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
  4. Sam Hunt, Meghan Trainor, James Bay: Which Best New Artist Grammy nominees will come to Tampa Bay?


    It's a Grammy week tradition here on Soundcheck: Predicting which of this year's five nominees for Best New Artist will book a Tampa Bay concert in the next calendar year.

    We started doing this in 2010, back when it felt like Tampa Bay was still too often overlooked by hot young artists just breaking into the worldwide spotlight. A Best New Artist winner (or even a nominee) touring in Tampa wasn't always a given in the months following the Grammys. But when it happened, it was big news....

    Sam Hunt
  5. Why Kendrick Lamar will beat Taylor Swift and other Grammy predictions

    Music & Concerts

    Taylor Swift's 1989 has sold more than five million copies, spawned five Top 10 singles (and counting), and launched the most celebrity-studded pop tour of all time. Since the day it was released in October 2014, it's been the safe bet to win Album of the Year at this year's Grammys.

    I'm here to tell you why it won't.

    No, the top honor at Monday's 58th Grammy Awards (8 p.m., CBS) will go to rapper Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly. ...

    Singer-songwriter Tori Kelly performs during the kickoff to Wild 94.1's Tampa Bay Talent Search at the Hard Rock Cafe inside Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Aug. 18, 2015.
Credit: Jay Cridlin | Times
  6. 2016 Country Megaticket: Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert, more coming to Tampa


    It’s Christmas morning for country fans in Tampa.

    Live Nation on Friday announced the lineup for Tampa’s 2016 Country Megaticket, an eight-concert slate between June and September at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater. Fans can purchase one Megaticket for access to all eight shows starting Feb. 19 — or pick them up a la carte when each one goes on sale individually later this year....

  7. Kanye West trolls Taylor Swift, the world with vulgar new song 'Famous'


    On Thursday, Kanye West made a lot of noise about the Madison Square Garden album release party for his new album The Life of Pablo and the launch of his Yeezy Season 3 fashion line. It was the talk of the music world and of New York Fashion Week, and it was live-streamed into theaters around the world. It was, without question, A Very Big Deal.

    And it took less than two seconds for the whole thing to unravel....

    Kanye West attends the Madison Square Garden release party for his album 'The Life of Pablo' and his Yeezy Season 3 fashion line.
  8. This week in Tampa: Carly Rae Jepsen, Gary Clark Jr., Hillsong United, Pat Benatar and more


    It's Valentine's Day weekend, which means you have plenty of options for musical date-night fun. Along with tonight's Andrea Bocelli concert, you've got shows by Carly Rae Jepsen, Gary Clark Jr., Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Hillsong United, Todd Rundgren, Kinky Friedman, Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins, Anais Mitchell, Storm Large, Vinyl Theatre, Paul Thorn, Dark Star Orchestra, Robert Cray, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Winger, Firehouse, Excision and more. Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa......

    Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo
  9. Music Planner: Andrea Bocelli opens up about love, plus Carly Rae Jepsen and Hillsong United

    Music & Concerts

    THAT'S AMORE: Andrea Bocelli

    Few artists speak the language of love like Andrea Bocelli, the renowned Italian tenor who returns to Amalie Arena tonight for his third Tampa concert in five years. With Valentine's Day on the horizon, we thought: Who better to advise us on matters of the heart than Bocelli? Tickets are $75 and up for his 7:30 p.m. show, which also features soprano Maria Aleida and Eugene Kohn conducting the Bella Musica Orchestra; call (813) 301-2500 or go to To prepare, we emailed Bocelli a few questions about love and Valentine's Day (he prefers to email because it gives him a better handle on the language). Here's a bit of what he had to say. For more, visit

    MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 25: Andrea Bocelli sings on stage during the MTV EMA’s 2015 at the Mediolanum Forum on October 25, 2015 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images for MTV)
  10. Okeechobee Music Fest schedule, set times released: When to see Mumford and Sons, Kendrick Lamar and more


    Fans have been chomping at the bit for a schedule and set times for the inaugural Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, March 3-6 in Okeechobee County. And with less than a month until the festival, it's all finally here.

    After a buildup of an opening day on Thursday, March 3, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Daryl Hall and John Oates and Bassnectar will hold down the main stage on Friday. On Saturday, the big names are Skrillex, Kendrick Lamar and Miguel, who will also host his star-studded "PoWoW!" jam session with Win Butler and others that night. And on Sunday, it's Mumford and Sons, the Avett Brothers and Ween....

  11. Hall and Oates, Trombone Shorty, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings coming to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


    Here's a cross-generational show that'll please all kinds of lovers of pop and soul.

    Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Daryl Hall and John Oates are embarking on a tour that'll bring them to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on May 21, the venue announced today. Joining Hall and Oates are a couple of dynamic live performers steeped in the sounds of classic soul, jazz and rock: Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Quite a package tour, there....

  12. SoundBytes: Joel McHale, My Morning Jacket, Flogging Molly, Yelawolf and more


    -- One of TV's busiest comic presences, Joel McHale (The Soup, Community) is coming to the Straz Center on April 9. Tickets are $45.50, and they go on sale Friday. Click here.

    -- Also coming to the Straz Center: Lera Lynn, the Americana singer-songwriter best known for her music from (and Black Rose bar cameos in) Season 2 of HBO's True Detective. She'll perform at the Jaeb Theater on April 11. Tickets are $25 and they go on sale Friday. Click here....

  13. 'Legends of Southern Hip Hop' Juvenile, Too Short, Trick Daddy, more coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Get ready for one of the year's biggest, most booming nights of Southern hip hop.

    Tampa's USF Sun Dome on Monday announced that a new "Legends of Southern Hip Hop" concert will take place there on April 23, with a lineup that includes Juvenile (Back That Azz Up), Too Short (The Ghetto), 8Ball and MJG (Space Age Pimpin'), Trick Daddy (Let's Go), Project Pat (Chickenhead) and Pastor Troy (Vice Versa), among others....

  14. SeaWorld Bands, Brew & BBQ concerts: Gladys Knight, Smash Mouth lead 2016 lineup


    While SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are sister parks, they take different approaches to announcing their spring concert series.

    Busch Gardens' Food & Wine Festival -- formerly known as Bands, Brew & BBQ -- announced almost all of its 2016 lineup at once. SeaWorld's concert series -- which is still known as Bands, Brew & BBQ -- announces its lineup week by week....

    Gladys Knight
  15. Leon Bridges coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    Leon Bridges was one of the breakout singers of 2015, a throwback soul crooner who racked up comparisons to Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, a Grammy nomination for best R&B album and an appearance on Saturday Night Live.

    Now he's coming to Tampa Bay for the very first time.

    Bridges will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Sept. 14, according to the venue's website. Lianne La Havas will open the show. Tickets are $38.75 and up, and they'll go on sale soon. Click here for details....