The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa has booked some big names recently, including genre-spanning musician Ben Folds and Ron White, the comedy veteran who has sold out his last several shows in the Tampa Bay area.
And shows that were postponed because of the pandemic, including Alicia Keys and metal’s In This Moment, are back on the Hard Rock calendar for 2022.
The event center that was part of the Hard Rock’s $720 million expansion is finally starting to show its promise as a place for A-list acts to perform. The hotel overhaul tripled the number of rooms and added a sprawling pool and spa and a brand-new concert venue when it reopened in October 2019. But in less than six months, the coronavirus pandemic kicked off a wave of show cancellations.
Folds is widely regarded as one of music’s major influencers. He has created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, whose biggest single Brick rose from the 1997 album Whatever and Ever Amen. He has also released multiple solo albums and numerous collaborative records. His last studio album, So There, reached No. 1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.
In 2014, he performed his hits and piano concerto with the Florida Orchestra in Tampa. He currently serves as the first ever artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
Nicknamed “Tater Salad,” the comedian first rose to fame as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. He’s been nominated for two Grammys for his comedy albums, all four of which charted No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy Charts. He has also popped up as an actor in Horrible Bosses and Sex and the City 2.
Times staff writer Jay Cridlin contributed to this report.