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  1. Arts & Entertainment
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  3. Music

This week’s best Tampa Bay concerts: Billy Joel, Lucinda Williams

Grandmaster Flash, Mark Chesnutt, Whitney and Durand Jones and the Indications also take the stage.
Billy Joel performs during his 100th lifetime performance at Madison Square Garden in 2018 in New York. [EVAN AGOSTINI  |  Invision/AP]
Billy Joel performs during his 100th lifetime performance at Madison Square Garden in 2018 in New York. [EVAN AGOSTINI | Invision/AP]


In May, Elton John will play his second farewell concert in Tampa in less than a year. And still, he’s got nothing on Billy Joel. The Piano Man has played Amalie Arena every other winter, on the dot, since 2014. It’s a far cry from the 120 or so shows he’s played at Madison Square Garden, but it’s more than a lot of other cities have gotten since his “retirement” in the ’90s. At 70, Joel should have plenty of touring years left if he wants them, which is good news for Tampa fans who’ve missed out on his biennial sellouts thus far. Bet you a bottle of red or a bottle of white he’ll be back again in 2022. $49.50 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500.


It’s been more than 40 years since Lucinda Williams’ first album, more than 30 since she wrote the future Mary Chapin Carpenter hit Passionate Kisses, and more than 20 since her own unimpeachable classic Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. And the more you look around, the more relevant she seems. Not only is she still touring strong — see her two-night stand this weekend in Clearwater — but you can hear her anguished twang in everyone from Maren Morris to Margo Price to Ashley McBryde. McBryde used to tell labels she wanted to be Williams, and now she’s a recent Grammy nominee and the Country Music Association’s reigning Best New Artist. So it’s safe to say Williams’ influence on country music isn’t over yet. Jesse Malin opens. $48.50 and up. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.

Lucinda Williams will perform at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on Feb. 7 and 8. [Courtesy of David McClister]


If you have yet to check out Durand Jones and the IndicationsAmerican Love Call, what’s wrong with you? Do you not enjoy love, or soul, or glorious, old-school R&B strings? American Love Call was one of our Top 10 albums of 2019, thanks to the Bloomington, Ind. group’s lushly vintage instrumentation and Jones’ soulful voice, which feels more than a little like John Legend. It feels like only a matter of time before they jump to larger venues, a la St. Paul and the Broken Bones or Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, so catch them in a club while you can. Y La Bamba and the Savants of Soul open. $15 and up. 9 p.m. Friday. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. (813) 241-8600.

Durand Jones and the Indications will perform at Crowbar in Ybor City on Feb. 7. [Courtesy of Rose Cohe]


On one hand, Whitney must be sick of all the comparisons to Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Dr. Dog. On the other, who would ever get sick of such comparisons? Especially when Whitney does it so well, with singer-drummer Julian Ehrlich’s avian falsetto floating like a cloud above lush beds of pianos, horns and acoustic guitars? Their tasteful indie folk-soul palette is evident from their musical output, including last year’s last year’s lovely Forever Turned Around. But they’ve got great taste in openers, too. Japanese quartet Chai is a euphoric blast of hypercolor grrl-punk; their propulsive single Fashionista was one of our favorite songs of 2019. $25 and up. 7 p.m. Thursday. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-9500.

Whitney will perform at the Orpheum in Ybor City on Feb. 6. [Courtesy of Olivia Bee]


Shut it down, people. We have a winner for the strangest concert booking of the year. That would be hip-hop godfather Grandmaster Flash at the ... Central Park Performing Arts Center in Largo? Yeah, that’s a head-scratcher. But any chance to see one of the genre’s founding fathers in your 'hood is a treat. Even without the Furious Five, Flash broke new ground in the DJ world, pioneering techniques like scratching and backspin. He’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who just last year was awarded Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, one of the industry’s most prestigious. So Mapquest the venue if you have to, but don’t miss your chance to see hip-hop history live and in person. Get The Message? $12.50 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727) 587-6793.

Grandmaster Flash will perform at the Central Park Performing Arts Center in Largo on Feb. 7. [Courtesy of Grandmaster Flash]
Related: Grandmaster Flash is playing in Largo Friday. Tickets are $12.50. Really.


He may not be Joe Diffie (who is?) but when it comes to underappreciated slingers of ’90s country, Mark Chesnutt’s up there. The 56-year-old Texan blazed through the decade with a couple of platinum albums and some 20 Top 10 singles, including tonk-honkin’ delights like Bubba Shot the Jukebox, It Sure Is Monday, It’s a Little Too Late and Goin’ Through the Big D. He even popped up alongside Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Alan Jackson on George Jones’ all-star sing-along I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair, which is basically the Avengers: Endgame of ’90s country. Show the man some respect! $20 and up. 7 p.m. Friday. Stockyard Live, 1916 U.S. 19 N, Holiday. (727) 939-9494.

Mark Chesnutt will perform at Stockyard Live in Holiday on Feb. 7. [Webster PR]


The names highest on the flyer are Wyoming pop-punks Teenage Bottlerocket, along with Tightwire and Twisty Chris and the Puddin’ Packs. But this is a good opportunity to salute long-running locals Victims of Circumstance. Fifteen years in, the Clearwater ska-punk outfit, which has toured the world playing with the likes of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, just released its fifth album, Five, which matures and diversifies their sound, incorporating elements of reggae and even pop. In lieu of a traditional release party, they’ve hopped on the bill for this stacked show, which also features fellow local punk vets Pig Pen. $18 and up. 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Brass Mug, 1450 Skipper Road, Tampa. (813) 972-8152.

Victims of Circumstance will perform at the Brass Mug in Tampa on Feb. 8. [Courtesy of Mike Plante]