Welcome to a slightly revamped version of This Week In Tampa! From this week forward, Times Pop Music/Culture Critic Jay Cridlin and tbt* music contributor Ray Roa will collaborate on the week's top music picks around Tampa Bay. And there are a lot of 'em!
This week, Jay and Ray delve into American Idol Live!, Shinedown (above), Shaggy, The Fixx, mewithoutYou, Caked Up, Superheaven, Paul Oakenfold and more. We also dig into St. Pete's Vans Warped Tour and Ybor City's annual Hot Dog Party on Friday, both of which will feature lupine St. Pete punks Wolf-Face. Click here for Jay's preview of those shows....
ORLANDO — Snipping a ribbon of uncut yellow crayon wrappers, Crayola executives on Wednesday officially opened the Crayola Experience, a wildly colorful celebration of artistic creativity at Orlando's Florida Mall.
In the works for a year, the 70,000-square-foot attraction features an assortment of some 25 interactive art activities, ranging from simple coloring sheets and clay-modeling stations to one-of-a-kind experiences not seen anywhere else. ...
If you spent time at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort in the late ’80s or early ’90s, you may have bumped into a future American Idol.
“My family stayed in St. Pete every single summer of my life, from when I was I don’t know how old,” said Nick Fradiani, whose father, a professional musician, used to take summer gigs playing piano at the resort. “There are videos of me singing at the TradeWinds when I was like 4 years old.”...
06/30/15 Human Interest
TAMPA — Minutes after midnight, Uncle John's Band closes another sprawling set at Skipper's Smokehouse with the Grateful Dead's U.S. Blues, drawing cheers from the tie-dyed faithful.
Bassist Mike Edwards deflates into a stoop at stage right, wincing, rubbing his hip and his head. He fingers a cigarette as giddy fans share kudos.
"That was a long four hours," he says, limping off stage....
06/30/15 Music & Concerts
CLOSER, MORE PERSONAL: AMERICAN IDOL LIVE!
Life immediately after winning American Idol isn't the gravy train you might think. "The first couple of weeks have been total chaos — long, long days, a lot of travel, haven't slept much," said Nick Fradiani, who in May was crowned champion of American Idol's 14th season. Fradiani has been so busy pushing his single Beautiful Life to radio stations all over the country — "Boston, Providence, Minnesota, Arkansas, all over the place" — that it wasn't until recently he finally had time to sit down and think about, y'know, making new music. But he doesn't mind. "The more you can put yourself out there, the better," he said. "They're putting me to work, for sure."...
So this new waterfront park in Madeira Beach really seems to be coming into its own as a concert destination, huh?
A couple of weeks ago, ROC Park ("ROC" stands for "Remember Our Children") hosted this year's Summerland Tour with Everclear, the Toadies, Fuel and more. And in August, it'll host one of the most anticipated outdoor festivals of the summer, with Culture Club, Howard Jones, C+C Music Factory and more....
Do you love free stuff? Do you love that song Riptide? Do you love Vance Joy, but don't feel like braving the screaming throngs at this Halloween's Taylor Swift concert to see him?
This show is for you.
Joy, the Australian singer-songwriter behind the smash pop hit Riptide, will headline the latest free 97X Shindig concert on July 22 at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg. All you have to do is show up at one of the station's many ticket drops across Tampa Bay between now and the show, and entry is yours (although be forewarned, these shows tend to fill up fast, so get there early)....
It's hard out there for a pimp. And for Juicy J fans in Tampa, it just got a whole lot harder.
The Three 6 Mafia rapper has canceled Sunday's concert at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa, according to announcements from the venue and promoters Dope Entertainment. However, his show in Orlando on June 26 is still a go.
Dope says the Tampa show was canceled "due to personal reasons beyond his control. ... We apologize, but please understand this situation was out of (our) control. Thank you for your understanding."...
Steve Connelly has for decades been among the Tampa Bay music scene's most ubiquitous personalities. As a guitarist, he was signed to a national label, appeared on the Tonight Show, played a stadium with the Grateful Dead. As a producer, he's brought life to hundreds of songs at his Zen Recording in Pinellas Park by artists like Ronny Elliott, Rebekah Pulley and Have Gun, Will Travel....
06/24/15 Music & Concerts
Musicians struggle to put the Steve Connelly touch into words.
"He records bands in this almost supernatural way," Robert Vessenmeyer said.
"Steve," Natty Moss Bond said, "goes somewhere the rest of us don't go."
Ask almost any local artist about Connelly, and you'll hear more of the same. Connelly, who turns 62 on Tuesday, has for decades been among the Tampa Bay music scene's most ubiquitous personalities. As a guitarist, he was signed to a national label, appeared on the Tonight Show and played a stadium with the Grateful Dead. As a producer, he's brought life to hundreds of songs at his Zen Recording in Pinellas Park, each bearing that hard-to-define Connelly touch....
06/24/15 Music & Concerts
Here, this is always a fun one: Who's the greatest American rock band of all time?
You've got your Beach Boys, your Eagles, your R.E.M.s, your Nirvanas. The Grateful Dead and the Band have their backers. Some progressive thinkers might toss out the E Street Band or the Heartbreakers.
At the heart of the question, though, is another that requires deeper consideration: What, exactly, makes an American band a great American band?...
-- Two big new rock shows coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg: Breaking Benjamin with Young Guns on Aug. 26 (click here for details); and The Neighbourhood (above) with Bad Suns and Hunny on Sept. 21 (tickets are $30 and up; click here)....
When Mike & Molly hit its 100th episode in January, Billy Gardell wasn't gifted with a fancy Ferrari or a brand new beach house in Cabo.
"There wasn't a lot of gifts," said the CBS sitcom's eponymous Mike. "The network sent us all really nice watches. Back in the '80s, it was cars. But, you know. Inflation."
All kidding aside, 100 episodes still is a massive milestone. The film success of Gardell's on-screen wife, Melissa McCarthy, had a lot to do with that. But it took more than a breakout star for Mike & Molly to become a genuine hit, going beyond its one-note premise — two overweight lonelies meet cute and fall in love — to deliver a sitcom that resonates....
When Mike & Molly hit its 100th episode in January, Billy Gardell wasn’t gifted with a fancy Ferrari or a brand new beach house in Cabo.
“There wasn’t a lot of gifts,” said the CBS sitcom’s eponymous Mike. “The network sent us all really nice watches. Back in the ’80s, it was cars. But, you know. Inflation.”
All kidding aside, 100 episodes still is a massive milestone. The film success of Gardell’s onscreen wife, Melissa McCarthy, had a lot to do with that. But it took more than a breakout star for Mike & Molly to become a genuine hit, going beyond its one-note premise — two overweight lonelies meet cute and fall in love — to deliver a sitcom that resonates....
If there were any lingering doubts about whether Tampa's a viable tour stop on the Latin pop circuit, the gale-force screams that greeted bachata star Romeo Santos on Friday at Amalie Arena blasted them all away.
“Is this building full of Latinos tonight?” the Bronx-born heartthrob yelled early in his sold-out, endlessly energetic show, eliciting deafening shrieks in the affirmative. This was their Bieber, their Usher, their Timberlake, all rolled into one and wrapped in an impeccable, form-hugging rose blazer....