Advertisement
  1. Music

Music Planner: Keith Urban, Chris Cornell, Fantasia and Anthony Hamilton

Chris Cornell, who performs at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
Published Jun. 15, 2016

I'll confess: Keith Urban had me worried. John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16, released last summer as the first single from his long-in-the-works album Ripcord, was way too glib and goofy for a man who does pedal-to-the-metal country as well as anyone. Color me pleasantly surprised, then, that Ripcord's actually decent. Sure, Urban goes out on a stylistic limb or two, heartily embracing synth-pop and dance rock on tracks like Wasted Time and Sun Don't Let Me Down, featuring Florida's own Pitbull. But these tracks hold Ripcord together with an inspired, focused energy that just wasn't there with John Cougar. Now I'm amped for his new tour, which hits Tampa on Friday. Some of that has to do with his openers — soulful stud Brett Eldredge and new-school ingenue Maren Morris, whose new album Hero I've had on repeat — but I also want to hear what Urban's up to these days. Modern Nashville is pushing boundaries left and right in 2016, and Urban's a big part of that. No need to worry about him anymore. 7:30 p.m. Friday, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

Not long ago, Jimmy Page came to see Chris Cornell in concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. "It was a little intimidating," Cornell confessed in a recent phone interview.

Really? I mean, sure, it's Jimmy Page, but this is Chris Cornell we're talking about, a man blessed with one of the all-time-great rock wails. As the frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave and a renowned solo artist in his own right, he can sing anything for anyone he chooses.

For the last few years, he's been doing just that on his engaging solo acoustic tours, one of which hits Ruth Eckerd Hall Thursday. He'll mix in hits from all of those projects plus several covers, like his slow-burning takes on Michael Jackson's Billie Jean or Prince's Nothing Compares 2 U.

Cornell's stylistic diversity and willingness to attempt any cover has made him a premiere free agent for rock bands looking for an A-list singer. So you have to wonder: If Page called him up and said he felt like hitting the road with John Paul Jones, would Cornell entertain the offer?

"He never did that," he said, "but if he did, yeah, I would have to entertain it."

Start the petition Thursday!

Cornell performs at 8 p.m. Thursday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $54.75 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

Talk about a fiery way to jolt the USF Sun Dome out of its summer slumber. Grammy winners Anthony Hamilton and Fantasia (nee Barrino) are gearing up for a co-headlining tour that'll serve up enough soul to last you to Labor Day, and it'll hit the Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Hamilton's gospel-flavored new album What I'm Feelin' is brimming with exciting, impassioned musicality, a hallmark of his since his early 2000s Charlene days. Fantasia, meanwhile, will release her fifth album, The Definition Of ..., later this summer, and its first singles — the sleek, poppy No Time for It and noirish, retro-soul slow-burner Sleeping With the One I Love, are pretty fantastic. Tickets are $49.50 and up, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a better weeknight date night. (813) 974-3004. sundomearena.com.

Maybe you heard the Weepies' All That I Want in a touching holiday ad for J.C. Penney or Stars in one for Old Navy. Maybe you've heard their songs on shows like Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother or Sex and the City. Or maybe you've never heard the Weepies at all, in which case you really need to get to Ruth Eckerd Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday. Husband and wife Steve Tannen and Deb Talan write twee folk-pop songs so gentle and affecting they've spawned a cult of Weepies lovers worldwide. Open your heart to songs like World Spins Madly On, Gotta Have You and Can't Go Back Now and you won't regret it. The Weepies rarely tour — they have young kids, and a few years ago Talan battled and beat breast cancer — so enjoy this sold-out show at Ruth Eckerd's intimate Murray Studio Theatre, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. rutheckerdhall.com.

St. Pete lost a good one in Buster Cooper, the globe-trotting trombonist who died May 13 at age 87. Cooper traveled the word performing with artists like Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker and Ella Fitzgerald, before returning to his hometown in the '90s, where he became a local favorite on Friday nights at downtown's Garden restaurant. The jazz community has celebrated Cooper since his death, and will reconvene from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday for "A Tribute to Buster Cooper" at the Palladium, 525 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Former WUSF host and Tampa Jazz Club president Bob Seymour will host the festivities, including jam sessions for any musician interested in participating. The show is free, but seating is first come, first served. (727) 822-3590.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Left: Janis Joplin performs (AP Photo). Right: Joplin's booking photo (Courtesy of Tampa History Center). Tampa Bay Times
    Police let Joplin finish her set at Curtis Hixon Hall before arresting the singer in her dressing room.
  2. Reba McEntire performs "Fancy" during the 53rd annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Nov. 13. MARK J. TERRILL                       |  AP
    Rascal Flatts, Charlie Wilson, 98 Degrees, Patti LaBelle and more lead the lineup.
  3. Camila Cabello performs at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium during Taylor Swift's Reputation Tour on Aug. 14, 2018. TAILYR IRVINE  | TIMES
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  4. FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2017 file photo, Kodak Black arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in Inglewood, Calif. The rapper has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to weapons charges stemming from his arrest just before a scheduled concert performance in May. The 22-year-old admitted in August that he falsified information on federal forms to buy four firearms from a Miami-area gun shop on two separate occasions. JORDAN STRAUSS  |  Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
    The sentence was far less than the maximum 10-year sentence he could have received.
  5. Lady Gaga arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "A Star Is Born" in 2018 at the Shrine Auditorium. JORDAN STRAUSS  |  Invision/AP
    Despite the singer’s tweet, this album is not that terrible and this is why.
  6. David Harbour hosts NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' on Oct. 12. Will Heath/NBC
    The actor is a late replacement for Laverne Cox, who had been scheduled to appear next week.
  7. Harry Styles will bring his next world tour to Amalie Arena in Tampa on Aug. 3, 2020. Sony Music
    The One Direction heartthrob sets his solo Tampa debut for next summer.
  8. Elton John brought his farewell tour to Amalie Arena in Tampa on Nov. 4, 2019. JAY CRIDLIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    If you missed him a week ago, you have one last chance to say goodbye.
  9. Dwight Yoakam will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Nov. 15. Courtesy of Emily Joyce
    Third Eye Blind, Blue Oyster Cult, Cursive, Girlpool and the 99.5 QYK Guitar Pull perform as well.
  10. Whitney will perform at the Orpheum in Tampa on Feb. 6. Olivia Bee
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement