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SoundBytes: Bill Anderson, Victor Wooten, STRFKR and more

-- Legendary country songwriter Whisperin' Bill Anderson has canceled his April 5 concert at the Palladium "due to a scheduling conflict." Refunds are available at point of purchase. Click here.

-- Bassist Victor Wooten is bringing his Victor Wooten Trio to the Capitol Theatre on May 10. Tickets are $34.50 and up, and go on sale April 1. Click here.

-- Portland indie rockers STRFKR are coming to the Orpheum on July 8. Tickets are $18 and up. Click here.

-- Hail the Sun will perform at Crowbar on May 30. Tickets are $13-$15. Click here.

-- The Birthday Massacre is performing with Army of the Universe and Ludovico Technique on June 12 at the Orpheum. Tickets are $25. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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2017 Sunset Music Festival lineup: Major Lazer, Above and Beyond, Zeds Dead and more

Major Lazer

Major Lazer

This year’s Sunset Music Festival is going hard on island vibes.

Electro-dancehall outfit Major Lazer, whose enormous, Caribbean-tinged hits include Lean On and Cold Water, tops the lineup for Sunset 2017, returning to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium May 27-28. Joining them atop the bill are British trance trio Above and Beyond, trap and bass producer RL Grime and genre-mixing Canadian DJs Zeds Dead.

Other notable DJs among the nearly four dozen on this year’s lineup: A-Trak, Cedric Gervais, Yellow Claw, Gareth Emery, Alok, Aly and Fila, Kill the Noise, Louis the Child, Getter, Ookay, Snails, Tritonal, Slushii and more. (It's the same lineup that leaked last week; Sunset officials declined comment on that.)

It’s a deep lineup that will appeal more to hardcore EDM fans and festival junkies than curious pop onlookers more interested in household-name headliners -- although the Diplo-led Major Lazer does have a ton of mainstream credibility, thanks to collaborations with Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars and Pharrell Williams. Major Lazer and RL Grime will headline Saturday night, Above and Beyond and Zeds Dead Sunday. The rest of the schedule will sort itself out in May. …

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SoundBytes: Ann Wilson, Howie Day, Alan Walker and more

Ann Wilson


Ann Wilson

-- Heart singer Ann Wilson is bringing her summer solo tour to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on June 10. Tickets are $49.50 and up. Click here.

-- Daily Show host Trevor Noah has added a second show to his sold-out appearance at Ruth Eckerd Hall on June 2. Tickets to the 10 p.m. show start at $43.25 and go on sale Friday. Click here.

-- Saliva is returning to the State Theatre on May 7. Tickets are $18. Click here.

-- Pop singer-songwriter Howie Day is coming to the Attic in Ybor City for two shows on May 12-13. Tickets are $25 and up. Click here.

-- Norwegian producer-DJ Alan Walker (Faded) is coming to Shephard's Beach Resort with Vassy on April 9. Tickets are $13 and up. Click here.

-- Universal Orlando has unveiled the lineup to its 2017 Rock the Universe Festival, Sept. 8-9: Chris Tomlin, Lecrae, Casting Crowns, For King and Country, Thousand Foot Krutch, Lauren Daigle and more. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Phoenix coming to the House of Blues in Orlando



Among the many surprise guests who popped up at Tampa concerts over the weekend -- Francis Ford Coppola, Tony Bennett, Nicolas Cage -- were writer-director Sofia Coppola and her husband, Phoenix singer Thomas Mars.

That last name was particularly notable because as Phoenix fans know, the French alt-rockers behind 1901 and Lizstomania have never played Tampa. And juding by their just-announced summer tour, it appears that'll continue for a while longer.

But here's the good news: Phoenix IS coming to the House of Blues in Orlando on May 13. Whitney will open the show. Ticket prices haven't been announced, but they'll go on sale soon. Click here.

So while Tampa may have missed out yet again on a Tampa concert, at least we can say they've been here. Sort of. Kind of? Maybe? Eh, there's always 2018.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Matchbox Twenty, Counting Crows coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa

Matchbox Twenty

Randall Slavin

Matchbox Twenty

A few months ago, Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas told the Times about his band's frequent early comparisons to Counting Crows.

"I remember there was an article somebody had written, a review of the record, and it said we sound like a band that spends all of our time standing in front of the mirror going, 'No, no, no, let me be Adam Duritz next,' " Thomas said in an interview. "At least it was clever."

There's certainly no animosity between them. Thomas toured solo with Counting Crows last summer. This summer, he's bringing the whole band.

Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows are teaming up for a summer co-headlining tour, dubbed "A Brief History of Everything Tour 2017." And it'll hit Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater on Aug. 15. Tickets are $29.50 and up and go on sale Friday. Click here for details.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Matchbox Twenty's breakthrough album Yourself or Someone Like You, and the 24th of Counting Crows' smash album August and Everything After.

"If you were a songwriter and you were in a band, there was no way that that record, at that time, wasn't going to have some sort of influence on you," Thomas said last year. 

-- Jay Cridlin

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Maestro Anton Coppola celebrates 100th birthday by conducting more original compositions

TAMPA --  Four days after his 100th birthday, Anton Coppola conducted a two-hour concert Saturday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, the much anticipated highlight of a fund-raising gala for  Opera Tampa. 

The concert (Coppola Conducts: 100 Years Young) feted  Coppola in the way he likely appreciated most -- by allowing him to honor his family, his Italian heritage and his life's work, including his 18 years as Opera Tampa's founding artistic director.  

It began with a tribute to film director  Francis Ford Coppola, the conductor's nephew. Francis Ford Coppola was in the audience, as were his  daughter, director Sofia Coppola, and nephew, actor Nicholas Cage, all Oscar winners. 

But on this night, there was only one star in the room. Coppola tottered onto the in Ferguson Hall stage to a standing ovation, acknowledging the crowd with a wave. He turned around, sat facing the orchestra and got to work.  …

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Review: St. Paul and the Broken Bones stage an impassioned soul clinic at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

St. Paul and the Broken Bones performed at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on March 24, 2017.

Stephanie Bolling

St. Paul and the Broken Bones performed at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on March 24, 2017.

Some people have a calling. Paul Janeway’s is to perform.

The stage is his playground and I couldn’t imagine the frontman of St. Paul and the Broken Bones doing anything else after his theatrical performance at Jannus Live on Friday night.

He first approached the stage shrouded in a gold cloak, arms out Evita-style, as he held a stoic, almost pastoral composure under a single beacon of light. He paused while engulfed in applause, and then slid into Crumbling Light Post Pt. 1 – his invitation to the stage, his arena, a siren song so to speak.

The band launched into Flow With It, and Janeway shed his cloak to reveal a dapper purple and teal suit jacket, dark green pants and sparkling gold dress shoes. The musical fire burned through him, from his fingertips to his feet. He was electric.

He vibed with St. Petersburg and it vibed right back.

“I went to a record store today,” Janeway said. “We really love this city. I don’t say that to everyone. ... Way to go.”Full Story

MOMIX dancers transfix and entertain at the Straz

MOMIX dancers combine personal and abstract styles to tell stories. Shown here in Caravan, part of Opus Cactus.

Charles Azzopardi

MOMIX dancers combine personal and abstract styles to tell stories. Shown here in Caravan, part of Opus Cactus.

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Stevie B, Expose, Ace of Base singer coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Stevie B

Associated Press

Stevie B

Just to clarify: This IS 2017, right?

Yet another retro-styled pop package concert is coming to Tampa Bay, and it's a doozy: Stevie B (Because I Love You (The Postman Song)), Expose (Seasons Change), Jenny Berggren of Ace of Base (The Sign), Rob Base (It Takes Two), 69 Boyz (Tootsee Roll) and Debbie Deb (When I Hear Music). The Legends of the Old School Festival, as it's called, takes place May 20 at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg.

Considering the annual Stevie B-led Super Freestyle Explosion usually headlines Amalie Arena, you can expect it to be jam-packed. Prepare to pay a princely sum for the privilege -- tickets start at $58.50, or $78.50 for VIP -- but hey, that's the price of intimacy. Click here and here for details.

This show joins a crowded lineup of '80s and '90s pop, R&B, freestyle and Miami bass in the coming months. Some other highlights:

April 21: The Spring Jam with Guy, Dru Hill, 112, Tony Toni Tone, Silk and Doug E. Fresh at the USF Sun Dome. Click here.

May 14: Bell Biv DeVoe, SWV and En Vogue at the Mahaffey Theater. Click here.

July 15: New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men at Amalie Arena. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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SoundBytes: Sugarhill Gang, Taking Back Sunday, Mushroomhead and more

-- The Tampa Bay Storm are taking it back to the oldest of old schools for their season opener. The arena football team is bringing in hip-hop pioneers the Sugarhill Gang for a free postgame concert following their kickoff against the Philadelphia Soul on April 15 at Amalie Arena. Tickets go on sale March 31 for $9.25 and up (click here), and even if you don't care about arena football, that's a pretty good price to hear Rapper's Delight live. Click here for details.

-- Here's a show that'll almost certainly sell out in advance: Emo heroes Taking Back Sunday with Every Time I Die and Modern Chemistry on July 21. Tickets are $29 and up. Click here for details.

-- Costumed nu-metal survivors Mushroomhead are coming to the State Theatre on May 11. Tickets are $20. Click here.

-- Tigers Jaw is performing with Saintseneca and Smidley on May 26 at Crowbar. Tickets are $17-$20. Click here.

-- A Lot Like Birds is coming to the Local 662 on May 6 with Household, Hearts Like Lions and Owel. Tickets are $13-$15. Click here.

-- The Dustbowl Revival is performing at Crowbar on April 6. Tickets are $8-$10. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Calvin Simon talks Parliament/Funkadelic, switching to gospel music and more

Calvin Simon

Calvin Simon

Parliament/Funkadelic founding member and vocalist Calvin Simon remembers the old days, but he doesn't refer to them as good.

He enjoyed the music and at times the success which landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But he served a year in Vietnam at age 26, and now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He spent decades enduring violent flashbacks and urges to commit murder.

It wasn't until he suffered a heart attack in 2001 that Simon found healing. He turned to Christianity before undergoing major surgery.

"I made a promise to the Lord, if I made it through my operation, I would spend the rest of my days serving him," says Simon, 74, who now lives in San Antonio in Pasco County. "That's when Jesus Christ really came into my life and I left the band I was in to do gospel music."

Simon recently released his second gospel album, It's Not Too Late. Click here for details.

For more of Sarah Whitman's interview with Simon, click here.

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2017 Vans Warped Tour lineup: Gwar, Blessthefall, Memphis May Fire, more



Bring extra earplugs to this year's Vans Warped Tour.

The tour announced its 2017 lineup Wednesday from a live event at Full Sail University near Orlando, and it's arguably heavier than ever on bands that are, well, heavy.

Among the acts who will play Warped on July 1 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg: Shock-metal icons Gwar, marking their first local show since the 2014 death of founding frontman Oderus Urungus; along with metalcore acts Blessthefall, Memphis May Fire, Hatebreed, Beartooth and the Acacia Strain.

There are, as usual, numerous punk, thrash and hardcore favorites on the bill, including Municipal Waste, Anti-Flag, Silverstein and Sick of it All; ska and pop-punk acts like the Ataris, Neck Deep, Bowling For Soup and Save Ferris; and even a few pop and hip-hop acts like American Authors, Sammy Adams and Never Shout Never.

Other notable acts among the 60-plus announced so far: Andy Black (a.k.a. Black Veil Brides' Andy Biersack), Attila, Carnifex, CKY, Dance Gavin Dance, Emmure, Hands Like Houses, Hawthorne Heights, Strung Out and Valient Thorr. Click here for a complete list of all the bands playing St. Petersburg.

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Scorpions, Megadeth coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Get ready to get rocked like a hurricane.

German hard rock titans Scorpions are coming to the States for a rare North American tour, and they'll be playing Tampa for the first time since 2011 -- a show that was originally supposed to be part of a farewell tour. Instead, the band is still at it after more than 50 years, and they'll bring their Crazy World Tour to Amalie Arena on Oct. 15.

Ticket prices and an on-sale date have not yet been announced, but the band did offer one sweetener: An opening set by Megadeth. Dave Mustaine's iconic thrash outfit is coming off its first-ever Grammy win, and plenty of folks will be there just for them, too.

Still, it's Scorpions who are the major draw, having sold more than 100 million albums worldwide thanks to hits like Rock You Like a Hurricane, Wind of Change and Still Loving You. As a bonus, longtime members Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Matthias Jabs and relative newbie Pawel Maciwoda will be joined in this incarnation by Mikkey Dee, the longtime drummer for Motorhead.

For updates on ticket availability, keep an eye out here and here.

-- Jay Cridlin


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Florida Strawberry Festival building new, bigger concert venue

Emily Topper / Plant City Times & Observer

Get ready for big changes to the concerts at the 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival.

The bleachers of Schneider Memorial Stadium on the festival fairgrounds -- home this year to concerts by Willie Nelson, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts and more -- are being torn down to make room for a much larger and more modern venue, including aluminum seating.

"We're adding an extra 2,000 sellable seats," general manager Paul Davis said. "We've been discussing this for about eight years.

"We've been playing a music venue in a football stadium," Davis added. "The bleachers are sideways. After watching a concert for an hour and a half, your neck hurts. We're going to give people a better line of sight."

The new seats will additionally be brought closer to the stage, ending where the existing bleachers begin. The new seats will have backs to them and will form a semi-circle around the stage, creating more room and, as Davis said, enhancing the experience for both concert guests and performers.

"We're also going to be adding bigger screens," Davis said. "We're trying to enhance the experience substantially."

For more on the Strawberry Festival's expansion, click here for Emily Topper's story.

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2017 Rays postgame concerts: Sabrina Carpenter, Lauren Alaina

Sabrina Carpenter

Sarah Barlow

Sabrina Carpenter

The Tampa Bay Rays' 2017 postgame concert series is taking a decidedly family-friendly turn.

Teenage pop singer and actress Sabrina Carpenter and American Idol alum Lauren Alaina will play free postgame concerts for the Rays this season, both for early afternoon games on family-friendly Sundays.

Carpenter, above, who stars on the Disney Channel's Girl Meets World and appeared at the 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball in December, will play following the Rays and Baltimore Orioles on June 25. Alaina, a rising country star who will tour this summer with Luke Bryan, will perform following the Rays and Boston Red Sox on July 9. Both games start at 1:10 p.m.

A Rays spokeswoman said more acts should be announced in the coming weeks. Click here to buy tickets to the 2017 Rays season.

-- Jay Cridlin

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