Advertisement
  1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. /
  3. Music

This week’s top Tampa Bay concerts: Tony Bennett, Bad Bunny, John Prine

Trisha Yearwood, Colter Wall, NGHTMRE, Madeon and more also perform.
John Prine will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Dec. 7. [Courtesy of Danny Clinch]
John Prine will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Dec. 7. [Courtesy of Danny Clinch]
Published Dec. 4, 2019

EVERYONE’S FAVE: JOHN PRINE

We’re deep in the Prineaissance now. John Prine may have gone 13 years between original albums — during which time he beat lung cancer and entered the Grammy Hall of Fame — but he stormed back with 2018′s The Tree of Forgiveness, featuring contributions from Dan Auerbach, Brandi Carlile and Jason Isbell, among others. The album received widespread acclaim and actually debuted at No. 5 on the album charts, right ahead of the Weeknd and Migos. That, if you can believe it, led to Prine, 73, getting his own signature festival, last month’s All the Best Fest in the Dominican Republic. Prine — who lives part of the year in Gulfport — is so beloved that the last two times he’s played Ruth Eckerd Hall, he’s brought in surprise guests like Isbell and Sturgill Simpson. This time around, his opening act is just as good a reason to come: Kentucky singer-songwriter Kelsey Waldon, the latest artist signed to Prine’s Oh Boy Records. Her new album White Noise/White Lines is one of the best country releases of the year, and if she and Prine duet, watch out. $77 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

RELATED: Tony Bennett, still touring at 91, does not need to explain himself

AGELESS: TONY BENNETT

Okay, we’re really getting into rarefied air at this point. How many performers have ever done what Tony Bennett is doing at age 93? George Burns? Bob Hope? Maybe, but once you watch Bennett perform at his still very high level, you start to think he’s a total unicorn, a once-in-a-lifetime pillar of agelessness. Nearly 70 years after his first professional recordings, Bennett is still making albums and winning over new fans. And outside of maybe Willie Nelson (who is seven years Bennett’s junior), there aren’t many artists out there within sniffing distance of Bennett’s longevity. Celebrate this man while you can, though given his energy, there’s no reason to think he won’t be back again. Antonia Bennett opens. $70 and up. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $75 and up. (727) 893-7832. themahaffey.com.

Tony Bennett will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Dec. 5. [Courtesy of Larry Busacca]

AMERICAN WOMAN: TRISHA YEARWOOD

Over the last few years, a lot of Trisha Yearwood’s concerts have been opening sets for her husband Garth Brooks. There’s nothing wrong with supporting your hubby, especially when it gives you a chance to play a sold-out arena or stadium. But it’s also good to see her back out headlining on her own. Yearwood was one of ’90s country’s most indelible stars, thanks to inescapable singles like She’s in Love With the Boy, How Do I Live and XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl). Over the last decade and a half, Yearwood has stretched her talents outside the music industry, writing bestselling cookbooks and becoming an Emmy-winning Food Network host. In August she released Every Girl, her first original country album in 12 years, and launched a long-awaited solo tour with a handful of shows backed by the Nashville Symphony. There’s a reason she’s a two-time Female Vocalist of the Year winner at the Country Music Association Awards, and we’re finally getting a full chance to remember it. Kim Richey opens. $43.25 and up. 7:30 p.m. Friday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

Trisha Yearwood will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Dec. 6. [Courtesy of Russ Harrington]

GET HOPPING: BAD BUNNY

If it feels like Bad Bunny came out of nowhere to become one of Latin pop’s biggest stars, it’s because, well, he did. The Puerto Rican singer started popping up on minor hits by major artists (Daddy Yankee, Farukko, Prince Royce) in 2016 and 2017, but things exploded once he featured on Cardi B’s 2018 Song of the Summer I Like It. His debut album X 100pre isn’t even a year old, but he’s already dropped a collaborative followup, Oasis, with J Balvin, and scored another Drake-assisted hit with Mia. His streams are in the billions at this point, yet he’s still only 25. The future is bright for Bad Bunny. $47 and up. 7 p.m. Sunday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

Bad Bunny will perform at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Dec. 8. [Courtesy of Corona]

BEAT THIS: EDM AT THE RITZ YBOR

Some weekends, the Ritz Ybor likes to go harder than others. This is one of those weekends, as the club has several big headlining shows on deck. At 10 p.m. Thursday, it’s trap and dubstep producer NGHTMRE, who lit up the main stage of the Sunset Music Festival in 2018. He performs with Say My Name, Effen and Black A.M.; tickets are $25 and up. After Calcium headlines the Ritz’s free weekly Friday show Pound, pioneering house producer Claude VonStroke, founder of Dirtybird Records, arrives at 10 p.m. Saturday. $15 and up. Finally, on Sunday, French producer Madeon, who’s worked with Lady Gaga, Coldplay and Ellie Goulding, headlines a relatively early show at 7 p.m. $25 and up. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 390-0397. ritzybor.com.

NGHTMRE performs at Tampa's Sunset Music Festival in 2018. [LUIS SANTANA | Tampa Bay Times]

PLAINS SPOKEN: COLTER WALL

Have you ever lamented that they don’t make country music like they used to? Of course you have; everyone does. Problem is, there are still artists making that kind of music. It’s just being made by folks like Colter Wall. The Canadian singer-songwriter’s 2018 album Songs of the Plains sounds like a western folk masterpiece recorded in 1960, sealed up in a time capsule and restored with 21st century clarity. One might call it a modern Americana classic, if it wasn’t so darn-tootin’ Canadian — Wall’s originals and traditional cowboy covers were designed to evoke the vastness of prairie life in his native Saskatchewan. You haven’t heard a country album like it. Or maybe you have, decades ago, when they still made country like this. $22 and up. 7 p.m. Wednesday. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $28 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.

Colter Wall will perform at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Dec. 11. [Little Jack Films]

SAY WHAT? MANNEQUIN PUSSY

Hard to blame if you if you feel awkward saying this band’s name out loud. But you really should get to know Mannequin Pussy. The Philadelphia indie group veers between seething punk; bleary, grungy emo; and some truly righteous rock melodies, all fueled by Marisa Dabice’s dynamic, throttling vocals. Their summer album Patience features some of the year’s best pure rock songs, especially Drunk II, which is bound to end up on a few year-end best-of lists. Kississippi and the Nervous Girls open. 7 p.m. Wednesday. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Tampa. (813) 241-8600. facebook.com/crowbarlive.

Mannequin Pussy will perform at Crowbar in Tampa on Dec. 11. [Epitaph Records]

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Sammy Hagar performs at his 70th birthday party, dubbed Sammy Hagar's Rock-n-Roll Birthday Party, in 2017 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. [Jill Trunnell]
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  2. Disturbed will perform at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on July 23. [TRAVIS SHINN  |  Warner Records]
    The nu-grunge giants are hitting the road to commemorate the 20th anniversary Disturbed’s debut album.
  3. Yesterday• Arts & Entertainment
    Broadway, film and TV star Bernadette Peters will perform with the Florida Orchestra at their annual fundraising gala on Feb. 1 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. [Andrew Eccles]
    Broadway’s Bernadette Peters headlines gala, Monster Jam returns and Lyle Lovett has a two-night stay in Clearwater.
  4. Billie Eilish poses in the press room with the awards for best album and best pop vocal album for "We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?", best song and record for "Bad Guy" and best new artist at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) [CHRIS PIZZELLO  |  Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]
    She is the first artist to sweep all four of the Grammy’s top awards since Christopher Cross in 1981.
  5. Kris Kristofferson performs at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on Jan. 26. [JAY CRIDLIN  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The 83-year-old songwriting legend brought his songbook to life one more time at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre. | Concert review
  6. Roger Waters will perform at Orlando's Amway Center on Aug. 13. [AEG Presents]
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  7. DJ Khaled has announced a residency at Hard Rock venues around the country, and it includes a show at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa. [Epic Records]
    The omnipresent hip-hop dealmaker kicks off his stretch of Hard Rock dates in February.
  8. YBN Cordae will perform at Wild Splash at Clearwater's Coachman Park on March 7. [Jimmy Fontaine]
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  9. Alicia Keys will perform at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa on Sept. 20. [Milan Zrnic]
    The Grammy-winning superstar is scaling down from the arenas she’s used to.
  10. Nickelback will return to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa on Aug. 16.
    Love 'em or hate 'em, they’re coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement