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Stephanie Bolling, Times Staff Writer

A fifth-generation Tampa native, Stephanie Bolling has been a reporter and editorial assistant for the Tampa Bay Times since 2008. She covers community events, concerts and the performing arts. If she's not hanging around Ybor City with the ghosts of her cigar-rolling ancestors, she'll probably be at the beach or a show trying to find the next great local vibe.

Phone: (813) 226-3408

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @StephBolling

  1. Review: St. Paul and the Broken Bones stage an impassioned soul clinic at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg


    Some people have a calling. Paul Janeway’s is to perform.

    The stage is his playground and I couldn’t imagine the frontman of St. Paul and the Broken Bones doing anything else after his theatrical performance at Jannus Live on Friday night.

    He first approached the stage shrouded in a gold cloak, arms out Evita-style, as he held a stoic, almost pastoral composure under a single beacon of light. He paused while engulfed in applause, and then slid into Crumbling Light Post Pt. 1 – his invitation to the stage, his arena, a siren song so to speak....

    St. Paul and the Broken Bones performed at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on March 24, 2017.
  2. Okeechobee Music Festival recap: Highlights, bummers and the acts who stood out in 2017


    For the second year in a row, I surived the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, held last weekend in South Florida. This time, I made my main goal discovering new music and spending as much time at the stages as possible. My ambition earned me 59 live shows, at least 10 miles traveled by foot each day and a soundtrack to last me a lifetime.


    The Lumineers performed at this year's Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival.
  3. Review: Leon Bridges stirs the soul in crisp, clean concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    Dressed in his Sunday best, Leon Bridges jived his way to the microphone at center stage. It was his first performance in Tampa Bay, and the packed house at Ruth Eckerd Hall Wednesday night was on their feet.

    Bridges, a 27-year-old musician hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, has a voice as crisp as a winter morning and a sound that makes you nostalgic for simpler times. His 2015 debut album Coming Home revived ‘50s and ‘60s soul and gospel with a long-forgotten sincerity....

    Leon Bridges performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Sept. 14, 2016.
  4. Tampa Bay's best concerts of 2015, Part 4: Death Grips, Chris Cornell, Run the Jewels and more


    (Through the end of the year on Soundcheck, our contributors are looking back at the best local concerts of 2015. Today: Soundcheck contributor Stephanie Bolling.)

    Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman (Feb. 14, Tampa Theatre): The one-night only gig dubbed “Heartbreak Hotel” featured music, readings and a Q&A with rock star Amanda Palmer and her husband, author Neil Gaiman. Together, they showcased their love, work and devotion to their fans (and disdain of Valentine’s Day). Palmer performed popular hits on the piano and Gaiman read book excerpts at the podium. The exclusive gig provided an insight into the couple’s personal life and art forms, making it memorable benchmark for adoring fans....

    Run the Jewels performed at the Big Guava Music Festival on May 9, 2015.
  5. Review: Chris Cornell covers his career in stripped-down, spellbinding set at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater


    Chris Cornell is a friendly man.

    The Grammy-winning singer of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and supergroup Audioslave showed up to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Friday night for a solo acoustic performance, and immediately began chatting up the audience after high-fiving front-row fans. The man is credited as a pioneer of the ‘90s grunge movement, has a 31-year musical career and 15 albums in his back pocket, yet he talked to the sold-out crowd like they were old friends....

    Chris Cornell performed at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Oct. 30, 2015.
  6. Review: Toro y Moi chills out a dreamy State Theatre in St. Petersburg


    The State Theatre on Friday night resembled the kind of a fogged-out, trippy vape den you’d want to walk into at a Brooklyn bar at 2 a.m.

    Chill vibes emanated from the sold-out crowd, who all came to drink in Toro y Moi, a South Carolina-bred band spearheaded by musical visionary Chaz Bundick.

    Bundick has slowly gained a chillwave cult following since his 2010 freshman release Causers of This, and has continued to garner more attention in his progressively malleable musical wizardry. With each studio album, Bundick has explored and evolved his artform across genres. Noted for his '70s soft rock vibe (minus the yacht), Bundick transcendentally fuses elements of indie electronica, psychedelia and sprinkles of rock and R&B to create an ambient sound that’s perpetually peppy....

    Toro y Moi performed at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on Oct. 9, 2015.
  7. Review: Bleachers transcend cookie-cutter pop with energy, positivity at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg


    Bleachers released their first album, Strange Desire, eight months ago, and are selling out small venues across the country. But they didn’t get to the spotlight by luck, as frontman Jack Antonoff has earned his musical clout and paid his dues as a member of Steel Train and Fun.

    I must admit that I went into Bleachers’ sold-out concert Wednesday at the State Theatre a hater. Personally, the studio cuts appeared trite, cheesy catchy and cookie-cutter, aside from Antonoff’s distinct vocals....

    Jack Antonoff and Bleachers performed at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on March 25, 2015.
  8. Review: Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer share tales of love, heartbreak at the Tampa Theatre in Tampa


    “This is very serious,” said author Neil Gaiman, before he launched into a duet of Makin’ Whoopee with his rock star wife, Amanda Palmer.

    The unlikely couple invited their crossover of fans to converge at the Tampa Theatre on Valentine’s Day for a one-night-only special occasion dubbed “Heartbreak Hotel,” where they shared their most heartbreaking stories from their repertoire, including personal anecdotes, songs, poems and book excerpts....

    Author Neil Gaiman, left, and singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer shared stories of love and heartbreak at the Tampa Theatre on Valentine's Day 2015.
  9. Tampa Bay's best concerts of 2014, Part 1: Outkast, Nine Inch Nails, Brand New and more


    (Through the end of the year on Soundcheck, our contributors will be looking back at the best local concerts of 2014. Up first: tbt*’s Stephanie Bolling.)

    The Black Angels (Feb. 26, Daddy Kool Records): The main gig at the State Theater did not disappoint, but it was the free, intimate Daddy Kool show a few hours before that makes the cut. The rareness, realness and unpretentiousness of a band posting up and playing five songs at a local record store, interact with fans within arms’ length and still sound impeccable ... bravo!...

    Outkast headlined Day 1 of the Big Guava Music Festival at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa
  10. Review / photos: Primus bring wonderfully weird 'Chocolate Factory' to life at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    What went down at Ruth Eckerd Hall Wednesday was part brilliance and part insanity. To put it simply, Primus went Willy Wonka.

    The band, known for South Park’s theme song and the 1995 hit Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver, presented “Primus and the Chocolate Factory,” a live incarnation of their latest album, Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, an homage to the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder....

    Primus brought their "Primus and the Chocolate Factory" tour, featuring a live reimagining of the Willy Wonka soundtrack, to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Nov. 12, 2014.
  11. Review: Brand New captivate a screaming, churning mass of fans at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg


    There’s no doubt Jannus Live was the beating heart of downtown St. Petersburg Sunday night, with about 2,000 fans pulsing in the city’s core as they rocked out to alternative rock outfit Brand New.

    Tickets to the much-anticipated gig sold out in less than an hour back in May, despite the band ironically not releasing anything brand new in five years.

    And fans had to wait a little longer. Just after the lights went down and the crowd grew restless, Olivia Newton-John’s Please Don’t Keep Me Waiting comically played out in its entirety. Then the smokey silhouette of frontman Jesse Lacey appeared behind a flora-wrapped mic stand....

    Brand New performed at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Oct. 26, 2014.
  12. Review / photos: Chvrches dazzle the Ritz Ybor in Tampa with striking lights, synth-pop hooks


    Electronic newcomer Chvrches (pronounced “churches”) made their inaugural appearance in the Sunshine State this week, a year after their debut album The Bones of What You Believe peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard charts.

    Their bubblegum synth-pop isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but between being featured on the FIFA '14 soundtrack, covers of songs by artists ranging from Bauhaus to Prince and their ties to the esoteric witch house crew, they’ve garnered a diverse fan base hailing from their homestead in Scotland to an almost sold-out show at the Ritz Ybor Monday night. ...

    Chvrches performed at the Ritz Ybor on Oct. 6, 2014.
  13. Local Natives performed at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on April 16, 2014.
  14. Review: Avett Brothers deliver a dynamic, harmonic set of folk and rock at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    After seeing the Avett Brothers perform at the USF Sun Dome on Saturday night, I came away convinced that they’re the kind of fellas that’d take you out to a really nice dinner … if they weren’t so famous.

    Buttoned up shirts, (mostly) neat hair, an air of southern gentlemen, these North Carolina boys knew how to shake down a room, sing a tender ballad and rock out while somehow maintaining total class....

    The Avett Brothers perform at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on March 29, 2014.
  15. Review: The Black Angels, Roky Erickson dive deep into psychedelia at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg


    Psychedelia is back. Not in the way that you feel you need magic mushrooms or LSD, but in the way guitar riffs bend and bounce back in reverb, followed by the echo of lyrics you can’t quite make out but somehow understand.

    That, my friends, is the sound of the Black Angels, who played to a nearly full house at the State Theatre Wednesday night. Swallowed in a swirl of feedback and hallucinatory inducing projections, the Austin, Texas rockers took St. Petersburg on a journey into Indigo Meadow, their fourth studio album, in the way a pop-up book comes to life....

    The Black Angels and Roky Erickson performed at the State Theatre on Feb. 26, 2014.