Weekend concert picks: Diana Ross, Winter Jam, Toots and the Maytals and more

Plus get the scoop on a long-awaited show by emo heroes Mineral, and the latest Orlando trip by Billy Joel.
Published January 9

By Jay Cridlin

Times Pop Music/Culture Critic

BRIGHT, SUNSHINEY DAY: Toots and the Maytals

You want to feel good for a night? Go see Toots and the Maytals. Reggae godfather Toots Hibbert was the first major artist to use the word “reggae” in song, in the band’s 1968 single Do the Reggay, so there’s a living history lesson for you. But more than that, Hibbert’s sunniness is infectious, whether he’s singing about prison life on 54-46 (That’s My Number) or dropping reggae and ska classics like Funky Kingston, Pressure Drop or Monkey Man. Doesn’t matter that it’s the middle of January. Hibbert is going to heat your soul up right. 7 p.m. Thursday. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $27.50 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.

ROCK SOLID: Mineral

For a band whose initial run lasted only four years, Mineral still captures the imagination 20 years later. The Houston emo band broke up in 1998, but their legend and influence lived on in albums The Power of Failing and EndSerenading, leading to a reunion tour in 2014. It went so well that they recently released a couple of new songs, including the aching single Aurora, and a hardcover book, One Day When We Are Young: Mineral At 25, and this week are launching a full national tour out of Florida. The second stop is 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Tancred and Pohgoh open. $25 and up. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.

GOOD NEWS: Winter Jam

We’re in the middle of a Christian arena-rock rush in Tampa Bay. Last month, Amalie Arena hosted For King and Country; next month it’s TobyMac. And Chris Tomlin has a two-night stand at the Yuengling Center in April. But this weekend, it’s the annual return of Winter Jam, the roving worship fest at Amalie Arena. Headlining this year’s affair is Newsboys United, a mix of past and current members presenting praise music from throughout the band’s career, including co-founding vocalist Peter Furler and current lead singer Michael Tait. Also on the bill: onetime American Idols Danny Gokey and Mandisa; NewSong, Rend Collective, Ledger, Hollyn, Audio Adrenaline’s Adam Agee; and more. Admission is $15 at the door only. 6 p.m. Saturday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

THE BOSS: Diana Ross

Say what you want about divas, but Diana Ross is still out there getting it done. She just played the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center and NBC’s New Year’s Eve. And she’s still hitting the road running this winter. After the death of Aretha Franklin, you can make a case that the former Supreme is now the planet’s Diva Supreme, a title many would argue she already had. Look for her show to hit the high notes of her Supremes catalog (Baby Love, Stop! In the Name of Love), her solo work (I’m Coming Out, The Boss) and her covers (Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I Will Survive). And based on her recent workload, don’t look for her to quit anytime soon. 8 p.m. Friday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $62.75 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

BIG SHOT: Billy Joel

Let’s see now: If it’s an odd-numbered year, that must mean Billy Joel is in Orlando. The Long Island icon and part-time Florida resident has hit the Sunshine State hard in recent years, more or less flip-flopping stops in Orlando and Tampa every other year. In 2019 it’s the City Beautiful’s turn to get him. Hopefully we’ll see you in 2020, Piano Man! If you can’t wait, head up I-4 to the Amway Center, 400 W Church St., Orlando. 8 p.m. Friday. $52.50 and up. (407) 440-7900. amwaycenter.com.

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