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Review: At 98 Rockfest, Soundgarden returns to the road with a roar at Amalie Arena in Tampa

Soundgarden performed at 98 Rockfest at Amalie Arena in Tampa on April 28, 2017.

Jay Cridlin

Soundgarden performed at 98 Rockfest at Amalie Arena in Tampa on April 28, 2017.

The rust of two years off the road isn't showing on Soundgarden in 2017.

Well, except for maybe a little on their sense of geography.

“In our 30 years of being a band, we actually haven’t played South Florida much,” Chris Cornell told the crowd Friday at 98 Rockfest at Tampa’s Amalie Arena.

Tampa? South Florida? Um, not quite, and as a Miami transplant, Cornell ought to know.

But his point is valid: Soundgarden has played Tampa Bay but once over the last 25 or so years, and even that was without regular drummer Matt Cameron, off on his day grind in Pearl Jam. So their gig at 98 Rockfest, with Cameron joining Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Ben Shephard, was a heck of a long time coming.

Were the Seattle demigods the right choice to headline 98 Rockfest in this day and age? Debatable, considering how many of the 6,600-plus fans appeared to hit the exits after powerful sets by younger acts A Day to Remember and Pierce the Veil.

But Soundgarden does have the hits, and they all came from an era when rock still mattered to the mainstream, and so this night was theirs to close. …

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Like magic, a second Harry Potter orchestra show apparates

You'll be able to watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone while the Florida Orchestra plays the John Williams score live at the Straz Center for Performing Arts in Tampa.

You'll be able to watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone while the Florida Orchestra plays the John Williams score live at the Straz Center for Performing Arts in Tampa.

Accio wallet! Demand appears to be high for the Florida Orchestra bringing the music of Harry Potter to life because now a second show has been added.

We were already picking out our finest dress robes for the Sept. 29 performance of John Williams' score to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, accompanied by a live screening of the film.  Now a second show has been added at 2 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.

Tickets to the shows start at $45 and go on sale at 10 a.m. May 12. Click here for details.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

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Tampa's Hard Rock unveils new memorabilia by Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Jimi Hendrix, more

A dress worn by Beyonce at the launch of Tidal and an outfit worn by Nicki Minaj on her 2015 Pinkprint tour are on display at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino's expanded "Rock Walk" in Tampa.

Jay Cridlin

A dress worn by Beyonce at the launch of Tidal and an outfit worn by Nicki Minaj on her 2015 Pinkprint tour are on display at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino's expanded "Rock Walk" in Tampa.

What's in your garage? A kayak? Boxes of magazines? Some old paint cans?

Whatever it is, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino probably has you beat.

The Tampa complex's seemingly endless expansion continued this week with the official grand openings of its new 26,000-square-foot Mezzanine Level Casino and 700-space Orient Road parking garage -- and with them, the unveiling of more than 40 new pieces of memorabilia from artists like Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Nicks and Cher.

Technically, the memorabilia isn't actually in the garage, per se -- it's spread along a "Rock Walk" connecting the Orient Road and Winner's Way garages. Still, the instruments, props and clothing on display are worth a visit in and of themselves.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino president Joe Lupo said his favorite piece is a suit worn by Eric Clapton, but the casino is always rotating in new stuff.

"We're going to look at changing some of the pieces as we grow," he said.

Click the headline of this post for a look at some of the new memorabilia on display.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers bounce, thrash through age-defying show at Tampa's Amalie Arena

The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on April 27, 2017.

Luis Santana

The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on April 27, 2017.

If you squinted your eyes, you might’ve noticed Flea flicking some stiffness from his wrists. You might’ve spotted Anthony Kiedis or Chad Smith huffing a little with hands upon hips.

But that’s if you watched really closely. Otherwise, if you were among the 15,000-plus fans at Tampa’s Amalie Arena Thursday night, you’d have had a hard time telling the Red Hot Chili Peppers of 2017 from their younger, sweatier selves.

With Kiedis, Flea and Smith in their mid-50s, and whippersnapper guitarist Josh Klinghoffer pushing 40, the Chili Peppers these days are pulling back only a little from the most athletic roadshow in rock. No one’s rocking tube socks anymore, but with all the incessant thrashing, leaping, pogoing and hand-walking on stage in Tampa, the Chilis don’t look done getting funky.

Kicking things off with a wild whoop from Flea and a bass-slapping jam sesh – one of a handful on the night – the Chilis whirled into action with a wild Around the World and pounding Dani California so bouncy that Flea had to pause afterward to re-tie his sneakers. …

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Fall Out Boy coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Fall Out Boy

Pamela Littky

Fall Out Boy

Tampa's always had a lot of love for Fall Out Boy and vice versa, from their signing with formerly Tampa-based Fueled By Ramen to a host of appearances at big-time local festivals.

So it's only fitting that the band's fall tour will hit Tampa, their only stop in Florida.

Fall Out Boy will perform at Amalie Arena on November 5, the band and venue announced Thursday. Tickets start at $30.50 and go on sale May 5. Opening acts won't be announced until later. Click here for details.

The tour comes in support of Fall Out Boy's just-announced album M A   N   I     A (weird spacing theirs, and something we'll probably never repeat), featuring the strange, dubsteppy, Britney Spears-referencing single Young and Menace. Click here to check it out.

Like Uma Thurman, Young and Menace might be destined to fall into the more divisive side of Fall Out Boy's catalog. But emo nostalgia is a powerful thing, and songs like Sugar We're Goin' Down, Dance, Dance and Thnks Fr th Mmrs will get people moving either way.

-- Jay Cridlin

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SoundBytes: The Melvins, UB40, Dark Tranquility and more

-- British reggae-pop outfit UB40 (the version featuring vocalist Ali Campbell, Mickey Virtue and Astro) is coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Sept. 22. Tickets are $35 and up. Click here.

-- Punk veterans the Melvins are returning to the Orpheum on Sept. 16, alongside Spotlights. Tickets are $20 and up. Click here.

-- DJ-producer Laidback Luke is coming to Beach Bar in Tampa on May 21 alongside Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano. Tickets are $15 and up. Click here.

-- Three hard rock and metal shows of note coming to the Orpheum: September Mourning on June 3 ($15 and up, click here), Pig with Julien-K and Ghostfeeder on July 25 ($15 and up, click here) and Dark Tranquility with Warbringer and Striker on Sept. 8 ($20 and up, click here).

-- Darkest Hour is coming to Crowbar with Havok and Jesus Piece on July 21. Tickets are $18 and up. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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98 Rockfest schedule, set times: When to see Soundgarden, A Day to Remember, more at Amalie Arena

Between the Red Hot Chili Peppers on Thursday and Soundgarden, above, on Friday, Amalie Arena is turning into a 24-hour rockapalooza later this week.

That'll especially be the case on Friday, as 98 Rockfest returns for another ear-splitting year. As always, 98 Rock's annual festival will begin early in the day with free performances outside, then shift inside for a host of heavy tunes until midnight.

The softest portion of the evening will probably be a VIPs-only party in the arena's Firestick Grill. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., with a Q&A with A Day To Remember at 5:15 and an acoustic performance by Starset at 5:40. VIP tickets start at $199.

Otherwise, tickets start at $29 for the upper deck and $75 for the floor, which is general admission. Here's the rundown of the schedule and tentative set times:

INSIDE STAGE

10:40 p.m.: Soundgarden

9:15: A Day to Remember

8:20: Pierce the Veil

7:30: Highly Suspect

6:40: Nothing More

5:55: Beartooth

FREE OUTDOOR STAGE

4:15 p.m.: Starset

3:10: Dinosaur Pile-Up

2:30: Loose Talk

2: DJ Skratch 'N Sniff

Click here for more details on 98 Rockfest.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Live Nation ticket deal: $20 for Tampa Bay concerts by Pitbull, Depeche Mode, Idina Menzel, more

Pitbull

Luis Santana

Pitbull

With the summer season about to kick off at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Live Nation wants to get you out to a show.

The promotions giant next week is offering all-inclusive $20 ticket deals on nearly two dozen Central Florida concerts, including 15 at the Amp. They include boldface names like Muse, Brad Paisley, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Idina Menzel, Sam Hunt, Nickelback, Lionel Richie, Depeche Mode and many more. And again, that's $20 all-in, no added fees.

The deal takes place through LiveNation.com from May 2-9, though AT&T customers will have access to a special pre-sale on May 1. The location of each $20 seat will depend on the concert -- for outdoor shows, it could be the lawn or reserved seating; for indoor shows it will likely be in a higher level.

Click here for details -- but note that not every artist listed is participating in the deal in every market. Here's a list of all the Tampa and Orlando concerts offering $20 tickets:

May 9: Bastille, Orlando Amphitheater

May 21: Muse with 30 Seconds to Mars, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater

May 25: Idina Menzel, Ruth Eckerd Hall

May 26: Train with O.A.R., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre …

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Spoon's Rob Pope talks fan anticipation, the Get Up Kids, the 'Twin Peaks' revival and more

Spoon

Zackery Michael

Spoon

More than 20 years in, Spoon are out to prove they’re still hungry.

“I really feel like the band is playing better than it ever has; it’s sounding better than it ever has,” bassist Rob Pope said by phone before a recent gig in Mexico City. “We kind of feel like we can take over anything at this point.”

That excitement comes across on the band’s ninth album Hot Thoughts, released in March to the band’s most positive reviews since its mid-2000s blog-rock heyday. And it’s the reason they’re gearing up for an enormous spring, summer and fall tour that’ll bring them to Ritz Ybor on Monday.

For Tampa fans, it’s a long time coming. This might not be Spoon’s first-ever Tampa gig, but it’s their first as headliners, and the first since 2005’s Gimme Fiction and 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga elevated the Austin, Texas group to indie-rock superstar status. Hot Thoughts is full of catchy alterna-power-pop tracks that recall earlier hits I Turn My Camera On, The Underdog and The Way We Get By, earworms that ended up splashed all over TV, movies and commercials. That might be why the band is so eager to get back on the road. …

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Paul McCartney coming to Tampa's Amalie Arena on July 10; how to get tickets

Paul McCartney performs on day 2 of the 2016 Desert Trip music festival at Empire Polo Field on Oct. 8, 2016, in Indio, Calif.

Photo by Chris Pizzello | Invision | AP

Paul McCartney performs on day 2 of the 2016 Desert Trip music festival at Empire Polo Field on Oct. 8, 2016, in Indio, Calif.

UPDATE: The rumors are true: Paul McCartney is indeed coming to Tampa for the first time in 12 years. He'll perform at Amalie Arena on July 10, venue officials announced Tuesday. Tickets are $31.25 and up and go on sale at 10 a.m. May 1. See amaliearena.com or check back here soon for more details. Read the latest here

America is all abuzz about Paul McCartney this morning.

All around the country, word is trickling out about a possible mid-morning tour announcement, with several major cities (Detroit, Newark, Brooklyn) confirming a concert and a few more (Des Moines, Shreveport) looking possible.

Is Tampa on that list?

It sure seems that way. Amalie Arena has called a press conference to announce "some exciting event news" at 11 a.m. Tuesday, during which Lightning owner Jeff Vinik will join media for tea and biscuits. How very British Invasiony.

Given that a host of arenas in cities around the country (including Wichita and Syracuse) also have concert-related press conferences scheduled for this morning, it seems likely we're talking about one major tour, and given the dates and rumors that have already trickled out, McCartney is looking like a solid bet. …

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SoundBytes: Isley Brothers, Donald Fagen, Trombone Shorty, Post Animal and more

Post Animal, featuring Joe "Steve from 'Stranger Things' Keery on the right.

Post Animal

Post Animal, featuring Joe "Steve from 'Stranger Things' Keery on the right.

-- Here's a cool show for all you Stranger Things fans out there: Chicago psych-rock band Post Animal, which features Joe Keery, the actor who plays Nancy's smarmy boyfriend Steve on the smash Netflix series (that's him on the right, above), on guitar. They're coming to New World Brewery on June 30. Tickets are $7. Click here.

-- Shout it from the rooftops: R&B legends the Isley Brothers are coming to the Mahaffey Theater on Aug. 6. Tickets are %59.50 and up. Click here.

-- In lieu of a summer Steely Dan tour, how about a solo show by Donald Fagen and his band the Nightflyers? Fagen will perform solo and Steely Dan hits on August 9 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Tickets are $45 and up. Click here.

-- Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue have played so many festival shows around Tampa Bay over the last few years, it's hard to remember the last time they actually played a headlining gig. But that stretch will end Sept. 28 when they play Jannus Live alongside Dumpstaphunk. Tickets go on sale April 27. Click here. …

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'Harry Potter,' 'La La Land' orchestral concerts coming to Tampa Bay

A scene from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

A scene from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Accio concert tickets.

The Florida Orchestra will bring the music of Harry Potter to life with a one-night performance of John Williams' score to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, accompanied by a live screening of the film. The score and screening take place Sept. 30 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.

This is the first Tampa performance for the popular "Harry Potter Film Concert Series, which launched last year and will hit hundreds of performances in 35 countries through 2018. Tickets to the show start at $38.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. May 12. Click here for details.

In other live film score news, the Mahaffey Theater has announced plans for a one-night-only La La Land event, featuring a live performance of the film's score by a symphony orchestra while the movie plays overhead. That'll take place Aug. 18, with tickets on sale now for $45 and up. Click here for details.

Justin Hurwitz, who won an Oscar for La La Land's score, won't be in attendance, nor will John Legend, Emma Stone or Ryan Gosling. Too bad. But at least the musical will feel bigger than ever.

-- Jay Cridlin

 

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Kings of Leon coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Kings of Leon

RCA

Kings of Leon

A month and a half after headlining the Okeechobee Music Festival, Kings of Leon have announced they're coming back to Florida.

The Tennessee rockers will bring their upcoming fall tour to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Oct. 28, Live Nation announced Monday. Dawes will open the show. Tickets are $32.50 and up, and they go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Click here for details.

The family Followill has become a reliable arena-sized act over the past decade, since hit singles Sex On Fire and Use Somebody turned them from fiery, acclaimed buzz band to Grammy-winning modern rock superstars. In 2016 they released their seventh album Walls, headlining numerous festivals in the process. This summer alone, they'll headline the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Jazz Fest in New Orleans and Rock Werchter in Belgium.

And anytime you can catch Dawes, the superb Southern California alt-country-rock group led by songwriting savant Taylor Goldsmith, it's worth the price of admission.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Kenny G performs aboard flight out of Tampa, goes viral after Clearwater concert

You thought Kenny G's concert Friday at Coachman Park in Clearwater was something special? You should've been there for the after-party.

While flying home from Tampa to Los Angeles, TMZ reports, the saxophone superstar was approached by an attendant raising money for Relay For Life. Kenny said that if they could raise $2,000 from everyone on the plane, he'd perform right there on the plane. They did, and he did. The video proof is above.

"Happy to help!" he tweeted when Delta thanked him for the impromptu performance.

Check out more video of the performance below.

 

#KennyG plays impromptu show on a #delta flight from #Tampa. The passengers had to raise 1k for #RelayForLife! @Delta pic.twitter.com/0vSoOxAUhm

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Review: Neil Diamond spins 50 years of hits, memories for fans at Tampa's Amalie Arena

Neil Diamond performed on April 23, 2017 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Luis Santana

Neil Diamond performed on April 23, 2017 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

It’s a story Neil Diamond has told before, and one he’ll surely tell again. But they never tire of it in Tampa.

“We’re real happy to be here in my premiere city,” Diamond told the crowd of more than 14,500 Sunday at Amalie Arena. “I played here 50 years ago. It was my first professional performance. Some of you may have been there. Oh, I loved every minute of it, and I decided to do it again and again and again. So here we are tonight.”

Here we are indeed, with Diamond a year past his own diamond birthday, celebrating the golden anniversary of a singular lifetime in song. Fifty years after Tampa made him a star – heck yeah, we’re claiming it – Diamond, backed by a band of a baker’s dozen on a four-tiered Vegas-style bandstand, repaid the city with two career-spanning, hanky-tugging hours of his biggest hits.

Well, not all of them – there’s a reason Diamond’s latest greatest hits collection spans 50 songs on three discs. There was no room on Sunday for Red Red Wine, Song Sung Blue, Heartlight, Crunchy Granola Suite, Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon or any number of personal favorites the diehards would’ve died for. Such is life when your songbook spans a half century. …

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