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

Email: cridlin@tampabay.com

Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

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  1. Ever mysterious, Maxwell comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall prepared to shed some light

    Music & Concerts

    Five years ago, I was at Ruth Eckerd Hall for a typically incendiary concert by the magnetic, mercurial soul singer Maxwell, when an older man nearby saw me taking notes and grabbed my arm.

    "He's a modern-day Sam Cooke," the man said. "A modern-day Sam Cooke." He made a point of telling me twice.

    "Wow," Maxwell said last week when I shared this story by phone. "That's my idol. For me, it's probably the biggest thing I could ever hear."...

  2. Primus bringing 'Chocolate Factory' tour to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

    Blog

    Well, this should be one of the weirdest concerts of the year. But then again, it's Primus, so should we have expected anything else?

    The cult, bass-slapping alt-funk band is coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Nov. 12 as "Primus and the Chocolate Factory," part of a tour in which they'll play songs from their reimagining of the soundtrack to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, as well as another set of classic freaky-deaky Primus. Tickets are $38.25-$120, and they'll go on sale Saturday. Click here for details....

  3. Review / photos: Fall Out Boy, Paramore roar back to life at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blog

    To paraphrase LL Cool J: Let’s not call this a comeback. What Fall Out Boy and Paramore are going through these days is more like a rebirth.

    Since 2009 – the last time either chart-topping band played a proper concert in Tampa, at least before Fall Out Boy's sold-out gig at the USF Sun Dome last fall – they both nearly imploded from infighting, disillusion, self-doubt and substance abuse, only to re-emerge last year with a pair of hit albums that cemented their places atop the ever-changing world of pop punk. It’s a genre that has swallowed many of their peers, but if Fall Out Boy and Paramore are going down, sugar, they’re going down swinging....

    Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on July 26, 2014.
  4. Review: Kiss, Def Leppard embrace rock 'n' roll excess at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blog

    Say this for the Kiss Army plebes who shell out untold fortunes for the right to sit front-row-center: Those glittery, godlike gargoyles try to give 'em every penny’s worth.

    Kiss plays to the front of the house like few bands before or since, mercilessly mugging for the cameras, unfurling their bloody, lascivious tongues, wiggling their sequined moneymakers and offering front-row fans tasteful glimpses of chest sweat and buttcheek....

    Def Leppard performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on July 23, 2014.
  5. Not the first Warped Tour for many bands

    Music & Concerts

    For its 20th edition, the Vans Warped Tour seems to be taking a look in the rear view. Most of the big names on this year's tour, which returns to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park on Friday, are playing their third, fourth, even eighth (!) edition of Warped. While not exactly a greatest hits package, it certainly has a taste of everything that has made Warped so popular over the past two decades. Here are some of the Warped veterans (and one newbie) you can expect to see Friday. Jay Cridlin, Times staff writer...

    Anberlin: Nathan Young, Joseph Milligan, Stephen Christian, Deon Rexroat and Christian McAlhaney
  6. As they come to Tampa, Fall Out Boy, Paramore discuss the tough road for bands after Warped Tour

    Music & Concerts

    Pete Wentz learned some important life lessons during his salad days on the Vans Warped Tour.

    "I would say a big one is, you really have to maintain some state of hygiene on tour," the Fall Out Boy bassist and figurehead laughed during a recent conference call with journalists. "I came back from Warped and I was a changed man. I knew that you could exist on just baby wipes and water."

    Ah, life on Warped....

    Of all the bands on this year’s Vans Warped Tour, Echosmith may be the one most poised for pop crossover success.
  7. Trace Adkins, Kenny G, Dave Koz, Christopher Cross announce holiday concerts in Clearwater

    Blog

    Talk about celebrating Christmas in July.

    Ruth Eckerd Hall on Tuesday announced a slate of holiday concerts there and at the Capitol Theatre, putting the 2014 holiday season on track to be the most music-filled yet.

    Trace Adkins (above), Kenny G, Dave Koz, Jim Brickman, Rockapella and the Manhattan Transfer are among eight holiday concerts that'll take place between Nov. 29 and...

  8. 2014 Warped Tour preview: We the Kings, Sleeping With Sirens, Issues, Sleeper Agent and more artists to watch

    Blog

    For its 20th edition, the Vans Warped Tour seems to be taking a look in the rear view. Most of the big names on this year’s tour, which returns to St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Friday, are playing their third, fourth, even eighth (!) edition of Warped. While not exactly a greatest hits package, it’s certainly got a taste of everything that’s made Warped so popular over the past two decades. For more on the show, click here. To help get your primed, click the headline of this post to start a slideshow of some of the Warped veterans (as well as a couple of newbies) you can expect to see on Friday....

    Issues: No one was really asking for rap-metal to make a comeback, but Atlanta’s Issues are giving it their best shot, harkening back to the heyday of Limp Bizkit and Korn with their blend of metalcore shredding, hip-hop bass, DJ scratching, synthesizers and, of course, the obligatory tongue-in-cheek pop cover: Justin Bieber’s Boyfriend.
  9. Echosmith's Sydney Sierota talks Warped Tour, 'Cool Kids,' the pressures of pop stardom and more

    Blog

    Scan through past lineups for the Vans Warped Tour, and you’ll find the names of artists you can’t believe once played it.

    Katy Perry. Eminem. Pharrell Williams. The Black Eyed Peas.

    Someday in the not-too-distant future, we might be adding Echosmith to that list.

    “I would have never thought to be on Warped Tour, ever,” Echosmith singer Sydney Sierota said during a recent phone call from a Warped stop in Massachusetts. “It has had a stereotype over the past few years as (having) more screamo bands or harder bands than us, but (Warped founder Kevin Lyman) is trying to broaden the genres even more lately. I think we’re one of the bands he’s kind of experimenting on that with, because we’re definitely not the most expected type.”...

  10. For a great brunch cocktail, look beyond the Bloody Mary

    Bars & Spirits

    I hate Bloody Marys.

    These are fighting words, I know. Many swear by the Mary and its curative properties, others plot their entire weekends around some gargantuan build-your-own-Bloody Mary bar some unholy temple of tomato juice that garnishes drinks with bacon, pickled eggs, fried cheese, pig's feet, raw oysters, undercooked chicken, fermented durian or cartoon-style fish head and skeleton....

    Left: The Hemingway Daiquiri at Elevage at the Epicurean Hotel. Above: The Bourbon Milk Punch at the Brick House Tavern and Tap.
  11. At early Rays games, fans can wake up and tailgate

    Events

    People think of tailgating as inherently autumnal, as tied to the sport of football as shoulder pads and letter sweaters. True, you can tailgate a baseball game, but it's not the sort of pastime you build a day around.

    Or is it? Consider this: The Tampa Bay Rays play a number of afternoon games throughout the season, usually starting around 4 or 1 p.m. But every so often, on just a handful of occasions a year, the Rays schedule their first pitch for 12:10 p.m. On those days, the parking lots open for tailgating shortly after 8 a.m. ...

    Fill ’er up in the Trop’s party deck  before a day game and you can watch batting practice — in peace.
  12. Spice up that Starbucks order with some spirits

    Food & Dining

    Most of the time, dumping a mini bottle of Irish whiskey or vodka into your morning coffee probably isn't a the healthiest idea. But there are days when a well-crafted eye-opener may just be the thing you need to get you up and running. And in this age of adventurous craft cocktails, why not have a little fun with it? So we went down to our local package store to pick up some single-serve mini-bottles, then stopped by Starbucks for coffee and more. We're mighty pleased by the results of what we're calling the Starbucks Singles Program — so much so that we can't wait to try this again in the fall for pumpkin, peppermint and egg nog season. Here are a few of our favorite combos, but feel free to experiment on your own. Your results may vary, especially after more than one or two of these. — Jay Cridlin cridlin@tampabay.com...

  13. Review: Dave Matthews Band digs deep, goes big for career-spanning set at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blog

    You could argue the gimmick of Dave Matthews Band's 2014 summer tour -- two sets, one acoustic, one electric -- was engineered to ward off whiffs of the band becoming a legacy act.

    This has never seemed like it might be a problem. The band's catalog is deep enough, its setlists diverse enough, that they can draw 15,000 fans to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on a muggy, muddy Wednesday without batting an eye. They've played this venue 10 of the last 11 summers, and no one has ever complained. Why change?...

    Dave Matthews Band performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on July 16, 2014.
  14. Mary Chapin Carpenter coming to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

    Blog

    The music world is all abuzz about where Garth Brooks' big comeback tour will take him, so as long as we're on the subject of mid-'90s country, let's spend a couple of minutes on Mary Chapin Carpenter.

    The singer-songwriter is best known for her endlessly hit-spawning 1992 album Come On Come On -- Passionate Kisses! He Thinks He'll Keep Her! The Hard Way! I Feel Lucky! -- but her entire discography is littered with sweet, folksy songs about love and loss and hard lives. Anyone who thinks Kacey Musgraves or Brandy Clark is the be-all-end-all of authentic country folk in 2014 needs to take a deep dive into Carpenter's catalog....

  15. Steve Martin, Martin Short, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, more coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

    Blog

    Well, Happy Monday from the Mahaffey Theater! The St. Pete venue decided to brighten up your week with a massive announcement of concerts, comedy shows and stage and special events, all coming to the theater starting in September.

    Among the highlights: A joint conversation and Q&A by Steve Martin and Martin Short on Sept. 7; a motivational afternoon led by comic-turned-mogul Steve Harvey on Oct. 18; a Christmas show by Kenny Rogers on Nov. 30; a holiday spectacular featuring Peabo Bryson, Dreamgirls' Jennifer Holliday, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Dayne on Dec. 9; a concert by soul legend Smokey Robinson on April 12; and a live, interactive cooking presentation by Dinner: Impossible Chef Robert Irvine on April 19. Concerts by Patti LaBelle, Terry Fator, Ramsey Lewis and Philip Bailey and more are also in the works....