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This week’s top Tampa Bay concerts: Chris Young, Cat Power, Freestyle Explosion

Plus, Bad Religion, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, PUP and Dominic Fike.
Chris Young will play the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Friday. [Courtesy of John Shearer]
Published Sep. 11


Chris Young may not be as famous as Chris Stapleton, but he’s not letting that slow him down. The 34-year-old country singer has racked up nine No. 1 country singles, including Think of You and I’m Comin’ Over, and he practically lives on the road. “We tour February to December,” Young said by phone recently. “Summer is the biggest time, when a lot of us are out there on the road doing amphitheaters and fairs and festivals, but on top of that, you get home and somebody’s like, ‘So, when do you go back out?’” Young doesn’t mind, especially since he’s itching to release his new album Raised on Country, which will feature collaborations with Kane Brown, Brad Paisley and Lauren Alaina. Until then, he’s still packing huge venues with openers Chris Janson and LoCash. 7:30 p.m. Friday. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 740-2446.


Despite a nearly 40-year track record of writing raging, philosophical punk songs — including this year’s fuming Age of Unreason — Greg Graffin said it’s a “misconception” to think of Bad Religion as a political band. “I think there’s a disease in this country of people who spend way too much time just getting angry about the political system,” said the singer. “That’s not to say you should be passive. But if you’re hanging out with your friends, and all you guys are doing is listening to Rush Limbaugh, there’s something wrong with you.” In other words: Get out and see a show instead of kvetching about the system on Twitter! And start with these SoCal punk legends, returning to a favorite Floridian venue next week. With Emily Davis and the Murder Police. $29.50 and up. 7 p.m. Sept. 18. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 565-0550.

Next week, Bad Religion will perform at St. Petersburg venue Jannus Live. [Courtesy of Alice Buxley]


There’s an earnest emo edge to PUP’s crunchy garage rock, but consensus seems to be that they should be classified as pop-punk. The Toronto group has a healthy sense of humor about them (their name is an acronym for Pathetic Use of Potential), which helps explain song titles like Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley and My Life Is Over and I Couldn’t Be Happier. The group’s infectious energy is all over their acclaimed new album Morbid Stuff. (All you Hold Steady fans need to download Kids right this second.) When you go see them next week in Tampa, get there early to catch openers Illuminati Hotties, whose sparse Patience was one of the best indie ballads of 2018. $20 and up. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 248-9500.

PUP will stop by the Orpheum in Tampa's Ybor City on Tuesday. [Courtesy of Vanessa Heins]


After being dubbed “intriguing” by Rolling Stone and “your next hate-listen” by Pitchfork, Naples singer-rapper Dominic Fike has caught the music world’s ear. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether his breezy, hip-pop ditties are your jam. But he’s definitely a rising star thanks to his breakthrough single 3 Nights, which has shot up the alternative charts and is up to nearly 230 million streams on Spotify. Love him or hate him, in a world where Post Malone is a star, it wouldn’t be wise to bet against him. Deb Never opens. $30-$35. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18. Orpheum.

Dominic Fike will perform at the Orpheum in Tampa's Ybor City next week. [Courtesy of Daniel Prakopcyk]


As Hot Girl Summer gives way to Sad Girl Autumn, it’s the perfect time to revisit the sparse, aching songbook of ’90s/'00s indie heroine Cat Power. The singer born Chan Marshall has produced a handful of introspective, heartbreaking albums over the years — 1998′s Moon Pix, 2006′s The Greatest — but it wasn’t until last year when she had anything remotely close to a hit. That would be Woman, a hopeful duet with sonic descendant Lana Del Rey from last year’s lovely album Wanderer. That album followed Wish I Was Here, a 2014 duet with Coldplay, so yeah, it’s safe to say Cat Power has some famous fans. She hasn’t played Tampa Bay in a dozen years, but that’ll change this weekend. Bring tissues. Arsun opens. $31 and up. 7 p.m. Friday. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. $27.50 and up. (813) 390-0397.

On Friday, Cat Power will take over Tampa's Ritz Ybor. [Courtesy of Eliot Lee Hazel]


It’s a shame WMNF-FM 88.5 ended its annual Tropical Heatwave festival, because the one they might have scheduled in this, their 40th year, surely would’ve been one to remember. Nevertheless, the eclectic community-supported radio station is still marking its big birthday in style, booking Birmingham, Ala., soul outfit St. Paul and the Broken Bones to headline a full anniversary concert. That’s pretty good, too, as you know if you’ve ever been lucky enough to watch the dynamic, possessed Paul Janeway sing live. Aaron Lee Tasjan opens. 8 p.m. Saturday. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $32 and up. (727) 892-5202.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones will perform during WMNF 88.5-FM's 40th birthday party on Saturday at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of McNair Evans]

RELATED: At 40, WMNF still stickin’ it to the man. But does it need to change?


That Stevie B’s got a juggernaut on his hands. Once again, the Because I Love You (The Postman Song) singer will bring his ’80s pop spectacular known as the Freestyle Explosion back to Tampa, with a posse of gum-snappin', scrunchie-wearin’ pals in tow. This year’s lineup includes Lisa Lisa (Head to Toe), the Original Cover Girls (Wishing On a Star), Expose (Seasons Change), Shannon (Let the Music Play), the Jets (You Got It All), Johnny O, Cynthia, Linear, Joey Restivo and Connie. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Yuengling Center, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $20 and up. (813) 974-3004.

On Saturday, Stevie B will appear at Tampa's Yuengling Center for the Freestyle Explosion. [PAUL SANCYA | AP]


  1. A man takes a picture of a sign at the Little A'Le'Inn during an event inspired by the "Storm Area 51" internet hoax, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Rachel, Nev. Hundreds have arrived in the desert after a Facebook post inviting people to "see them aliens" got widespread attention and gave rise to festivals this week. JOHN LOCHER  |  AP
    The Air Force has issued stern warnings for people not to try to enter the Nevada Test and Training Range, where Area 51 is located.
  2. Rapper NF will perform at the Yuengling Center in Tampa on May 1, 2020. John Taylor Sweet
    The two rappers have announced shows in the coming months, including one for USF’s Homecoming week.
  3. Michael Francis leads a community chorus during one of the Florida Orchestra's Sing Out Tampa Bay sing-alongs. MICHAEL FRANCIS  |  Florida Orchestra
    The music director is entering his fifth year with the orchestra, which has a Beethoven-heavy season opening Sept. 27 in Tampa.
  4. Lindsey Stirling will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Dec. 20, 2019. Shervin Lainez
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  5. Patrons hit the dance floor at Tampa venue Skipper's Smokehouse in 2015. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times (2015)
    A 12-hour party in the Skipperdome, stargazing and a family-friendly Williams Park festival provide free and cheap entertainment.
  6. Roger Daltrey, left, and Pete Townshend of the Who will play Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sunday. CHRIS URSO  |  Tampa Bay Times (2015)
    The Who, Future, Billy Ray Cyrus, Disturbed, Meek Mill, Megan Thee Stallion, Orville Peck and more.
  7. Jimmy Buffett performed at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on June 6, 2017. JAY CRIDLIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The quintessential Florida Man and his Coral Reefer Band hit town for the holidays.
  8. Buddy Guy charms the crowd in between songs at A Taste of Pinellas in 2011.
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  9. Oscar-winning pop star Sam Smith, who is non-binary, announced Friday that they now use "they/them" as their third-person pronouns. On social media, they said that "after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am ..." JOEL C RYAN  |  Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP
    The singer now uses they/them pronouns. It shouldn’t be hard for reporters to recognize — and explain — gender non-binary terms. | Ashley Dye
  10. A composite image of Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, photographed by the David Richard of the Associated Press in 2018; and Eddie Money, photographed in 2004 by Jessica Reilly of the Telegraph Herald. Money died on Sept. 13, 2019; Ocasek died on Sept. 15, 2019. Associated Press
    The Cars frontman and ‘Take Me Home Tonight’ singer voiced a generation in distinct ways.