Tampa Bay’s best concerts: Mary J. Blige, Nas, New Found Glory, Yes

Plus, Dave Koz returns to Clearwater, Have Gun, Will Travel readies a new album and Audien stops by Ybor City.
Published July 10

NEW YORK RHYMES: Mary J. Blige and Nas

Brooklyn and the Bronx, represent. You can’t tell the story of ’90s hip-hop without Mary J. Blige and Nas, so it’s only fitting that they’re heading out on tour together. Blige, who has become a much bigger player in Hollywood of late (see her Oscar nominations for Mudbound and her role on Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy), is still a powerhouse live performer who can bring down the house on a single like Real Love, Not Gon’ Cry or No More Drama. Nas remains rightly hailed for the brilliance of his 1994 debut Illmatic, and last year was pushed back into the studio with his Kanye-produced album Nasir. They’ve recorded a few songs together over the years, including the 1997 single Love Is All We Need, so this tour might provide a rare chance to see them together. $30.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

LOW-DOUGH SHOW: New Found Glory

It wasn’t even a year ago that New Found Glory was rocking the main stage of the dearly departed Vans Warped Tour, pouncing around on songs like My Friends Over You and All Downhill From Here. If you missed the veteran Florida pop-punks then, here’s a great opportunity for a make-good. They’re headlining a free concert for 97X at 7 p.m. Monday at Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N in St. Petersburg, with the Early November opening. You do need a ticket for entry, and it’s first-come, first-served. See 97xonline.com for ticket drop locations.

HORNS UP: Dave Koz and Friends

Dave Koz isn’t just a familiar face in Clearwater. He’s practically family. The superstar saxman, one of Ruth Eckerd Hall’s most frequent headliners ever, made news recently when he officiated the wedding of St. Petersburg-born sax star (and frequent tourmate) Mindi Abair. She won’t be with him on this next run of "Dave Koz and Friends" tour dates, but fans will see Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Kenny Lattimore and Aubrey Logan. $37 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

FRIENDLY FIRE: Audien

At May’s Sunset Music Festival in Tampa, few DJs seemed to be having more fun than Audien, who brought out surprise guests like 3LAU and Phantoms to pass around a bottle of vodka and help him spin eclectic selections like Van Halen’s Jump and Coldplay’s Adventure of a Lifetime. But then, he’s an eclectic guy, recording songs with decidedly non-EDM artists like Lady Antebellum (Something Better) and Echosmith (Favorite Sound). Festivals are one thing, but can he replicate that same sense of pop- and rock-inspired fun in a club? Find out at 10 p.m. Saturday at the Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $15 and up. (813) 390-0397. ritzybor.com.

ALL GOOD PEOPLE: Yes and Asia

Prog rock is complicated. So is the lineup for this summer’s Royal Affair Tour featuring Yes and Asia. Yes has splintered into a couple of different factions over the years, with the current version featuring singer Jon Davison, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes and bassist Billy Sherwood. Downes, Sherwood and occasionally Howe also play in Asia, alongside Carl Palmer (from Emerson, Lake and Palmer) and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (formerly of Guns N’ Roses). Palmer now tours as Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy, which will open for Yes and Asia with the Moody Blues’ John Lodge and freak pioneer Arthur Brown. That’s a lot of names to keep straight — and we haven’t even gotten to artist Roger Dean, creator of the Yes logo, who’s also coming out on this tour. All you really need to know is you’ll hear Yes play I’ve Seen All Good People and Roundabout, Asia play Heat of the Moment, Palmer play Fanfare for the Common Man, Lodge play I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band) and Brown sing Fire. It’s a one-stop history lesson in British prog. $63.25 and up. 7 p.m. Friday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: Have Gun, Will Travel

Every now and then you’ll still hear Have Gun, Will Travel’s 2008 song Blessing and a Curse pop up on TV, in a commercial or a show on streaming or deep cable. It’s the gift that keeps on giving — much like the Bradenton group themselves. On Friday they’ll release their sixth album (and first in four years) Strange Chemistry, featuring the propulsive lead single Against the Grain. Sounds like they’re still pushing their music forward all these years later. $10. 8 p.m. Saturday. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. (813) 241-8600.

GRRLS RIOT: Girl Power Fest

Are your kids already sick of summer camp? Let them blow off steam at the all-ages Girl Power Fest, benefiting Girls Rock Camp St. Pete. The organization encourages women 17 and under to become musically and creatively active. Those kids should feel inspired by a lineup of women-led bands from around Florida, including Wet Nurse, Reality Asylum, Bitemarks, Lasermouth, Piss Test, Thorn and more. $12. 7 p.m. Saturday. VFW Post 39, 2599 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. girlsrockstpete.org.

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