BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS: Barry Manilow
It’s hard to believe Barry Manilow never made a holiday album until 1990. “I was making pop albums and big-band albums and show tunes albums,” the legendary singer said by phone recently. “It just never came up.” Even crazier, Manilow only last year embarked on his first holiday tour, dubbed A Very Barry Christmas. This year it hits Tampa for the first time in what could be the 75-year-old Copacabana singer’s last trip to town — although he has said that before. “I have stopped touring the way I used to tour,” he said. “They’ve booked us in Florida, and I get to see my people in Tampa, Orlando and Miami, which is great. They’re a great audience for me.” 7:30 p.m. Friday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $16 and up. Donate a gently used instrument at the Amalie box office and receive two tickets to the show. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.
THERE SHE GOES: Leigh Nash
If the name Leigh Nash doesn’t ring a bell, her voice sure will. She’s the dreamy voice behind Nashville twee-pop outfit Sixpence None the Richer, famed for ’90s and 2000s earworms Kiss Me and Breathe Your Name, and covers of There She Goes and Don’t Dream It’s Over. She and Sixpence both also have robust Christmas catalogs, so it’s no surprise she’s on the road this December, stopping at 8 p.m. Friday at the Attic, 1510 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $20 and up. (813) 241-0110.
BREAK IT DOWN: St. Paul and the Broken Bones
Long one of the better retro-soul outfits on the scene, St. Paul and the Broken Bones of Birmingham, Ala., got a little weirder and funkier on their new album Young Sick Camellia, which mixes traditional influences like Al Green and Curtis Mayfield with a hint of Midnite Vultures-era Beck. Toss GotItBad or LivWithoutU onto your next party playlist and see if you don’t see some toes tapping. Seratones open at 7 p.m. Thursday. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $25 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.
SMALL SENSATION: Broncho
Broncho has been playing clubs in Ybor City for most of the decade. That’s a little surprising, since in that time, their early, fuzzy garage punk has evolved into the kind of groovy, garage-y, post-punk pop that propelled bands like Foster the People and MGMT to much bigger stages. It’s the world’s loss, especially since new album Bad Behavior might be their most accessible yet, giving off harmonic waves of California cool. Yip Deceiver and Glove open. 8 tonight. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10 and up. (813) 241-8600.
RIFF RIOT: Generation Axe
What happens when you get five of the world’s best rock guitarists on the same stage at once? “You just out-solo each other, that’s how it works,” said virtuosic Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. “You go for blood.” Well, not exactly. The Generation Axe Tour, which features Bettencourt, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde and Animals as Leaders’ Tosin Abasi, has been full of respect so far, Bettencourt said, because everyone there is a fan of everyone else. “If you’re on that stage, you don’t have to impress the other artists,” he said. “They know why you’re up there. There is none of this folded-arms, let-me-see-what-you-got stuff.” The axemen will play solo sets, team up for songs and jam out an all-star finale at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $32.75 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
SMOOTH WASSAILING: Manhattan Transfer, Herb Alpert, Peter White
Christmas smoothness is all up in the air this weekend as holiday tours by several jazz heavyweights hit the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. At 8 p.m. Saturday, vocal outfit Manhattan Transfer will jingle some bells alongside trumpeter (and the “A” in A&M Records) Herb Alpert and wife Lani Hall. $49 and up. And at 7 p.m. Sunday, it’s jazz-fusion guitarist Peter White with trumpeter Ric Braun and former Tower of Power saxman Euge Groove. A couple of songs in, you’ll feel cooler than Frosty himself. $38 and up. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.