This week’s best concerts: Ed Sheeran, Twenty One Pilots, Beats By the Bay and more

Two of the world's most popular artists, Ed Sheeran and Twenty One Pilots, lead a busy week, including Keith Sweat, Fantasia, Dustin Lynch, Jonathan Davis, Jessie Reyez, David Lee Murphy and more.
Published October 31 2018

RED ROCKET: Ed Sheeran

Anyone else here remember Ed Sheeran’s Tampa Bay debut, opening for Snow Patrol at Jannus Live? That was only six years ago. On Wednesday, he’ll headline Raymond James Stadium — and Snow Patrol is opening for him. Sheeran hasn’t changed that much since 2012 — a few more tattoos, maybe, but he’s still more or less the same ginger bloke you first saw busking out The A Team back in the day. This will be Sheeran’s sixth Tampa Bay show, and second in support of his blockbuster album Divide (remember Shape of You? How very 2017!). But it’ll be by far his biggest yet, a massive thank-you to an American market that, by this point, must feel like a second home. Lauv also opens. 7 p.m. Wednesday. Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $37 and up. (813) 350-6500. raymondjamesstadium.com.

DON’T STRESS OUT: Twenty One Pilots

Might Twenty One Pilots be the next big act to make the leap to stadiums? Anything’s possible, the way their shows these days are going.The alternative duo’s Bandito Tour is mostly sold out, with nearly every ticket to their gig Saturday at Amalie Arena gone within hours. Fans will be allowed to line up starting as early as 9 a.m. Friday in the Green Lot, at the corner of Channelside Drive and Jefferson Street. Read more here, or see amaliearena.com for details.) It doesn’t matter that their new album Trench is a bit of a slog (standout singles Jumpsuit and My Blood notwithstanding). Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun could play in the middle of the Gobi and their notoriously intense Clique would turn out in full force. Awolnation and Max Frost open. 7 p.m. Saturday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Sold out. (813) 301-2500.

KORN CANNED: Jonathan Davis

Less than a month after his estranged wife died from a drug overdose in August, Jonathan Davis was back on the road performing solo shows he has called “therapy.” It’s a dark time for the Korn frontman, but he’s getting through it with the help of a generation of fans raised on his angsty, gutteral nu-metal. He doesn’t appear to be playing Korn songs on this trek, but if you’ve ever wanted to hear him cover Neil Diamond’s Love on the Rocks, this is the show for you. The Birthday Massacre and Julien-K open. 7 p.m. Sunday. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $28 and up. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.

HER TOO: Jessie Reyez

Kesha’s Praying might be the best-known pop anthem of the #MeToo era, but don’t go sleeping on Jessie Reyez’s Gatekeeper. The searing screed against industry pervs pressuring female artists for sexual favors in exchange for a career was a highlight of her 2017 EP Kiddo. And it helped put the Colombian-Canadian songwriter on plenty of artists-to-watch lists. Check out one of her intense live performances, and you’ll see why. 8 p.m. Saturday. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20 and up. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.

SOUL SCHOOL: 95.7 Beats By the Bay

The annual 95.7 Beats By the Bay festival always keeps you guessing. One year they lean into R&B, the next vintage hip-hop or New Jack Swing, the next classic soul. This year’s lineup has a little bit of it all, with soul powerhouses Keith Sweat and Fantasia, R&B beefcakes Tank and Next, and La Di Da Di old-schoolers Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh. 3 p.m. Saturday. Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg. $49 and up. 957thebeat.com.

ROUND HERE: 99.5 QYK Guitar Pull

One of the best and most offbeat country concerts of the year is the 99.5 QYK Guitar Pull, a songwriters’ round that brings artists to town for an evening of acoustic songs and stories. Headlining this year’s affair are Dustin Lynch (Small Town Boy), left, and Dylan Scott (My Girl), but never miss a chance to sleep on Cam (Burning House), one of the brightest singer-songwriters in Nashville. Riley Green (There Was This Girl), Mitchell Tenpenny (Drunk Me) and 2016 American Idol winner Trent Harmon round out the bill. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $55 and up. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.

SWEETER WITH TIME: David Lee Murphy

There may be no surer country-bar karaoke anthem than Dust on the Bottle, David Lee Murphy’s 1994 ode to the things that get sweeter with time. Kenny Chesney knows this, which might be why he tapped Murphy to duet on this year’s No. 1 single Everything’s Gonna Be Alright. Murphy’s long list of hits as songwriter includes Chesney’s Living in Fast Forward, Jason Aldean’s Big Green Tractor and Thompson Square’s Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not, so it was nice to see Chesney give him another deserved shot at the spotlight. 7 p.m. Friday. Stockyard Live, 1916 U.S. 19 N, Holiday. $17 and up. (727) 939-9494. stockyardlive.com

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