Make us your home page

Jimmy Buffett, Joe Biden headline election eve voter rally in St. Petersburg

Vice President Joe Biden and Jimmy Buffett appeared at a rally for Hillary Clinton voters at Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg on Nov. 7, 2016.

Dirk Shadd

Vice President Joe Biden and Jimmy Buffett appeared at a rally for Hillary Clinton voters at Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg on Nov. 7, 2016.

For Hillary Clinton's final major campaign rally before Election Day in Tampa Bay, she trotted out two big ol' guns: Vice President Joe Biden and Florida Superman Jimmy Buffett.

Joined by his wife Jill Biden -- along with Sen. Bill Nelson, Congressional candidate Charlie Crist, Senate candidate Patrick Murphy and others -- Biden rallied hundreds of voters at Albert Whitted Park, many of whom were just there to see Buffett.

"Is this not one of the best nights in our city's history?" said Mayor Rick Kriseman.

Buffett and songwriter Mac McAnally played a half-dozen acoustic songs: Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes; Pencil Thin Mustache; It's Five O'Clock Somewhere; Come Monday; Back Where I Come From and Margaritaville.

"Five days ago, I was in Okinawa," Buffett said. "I couldn't miss the end of the election."

For our full report on the Biden-Buffett rally -- and the final surreal week of the 2016 campaign in Florida -- click here. And click the headline of this post for a gallery of photos.

-- Jay Cridlin

Full Story

SoundBytes: Dr. John, Excision, Blood On the Dance Floor and more

-- Dr. John and the Nite Trippers will return to the Capitol Theatre on Jan. 15. Tickets are $45 and up. Click here.

-- DJs Excision, Cookie Monsta, Barely Alive and Dion Timmer are coming to the Ritz Ybor on Feb. 12. Click here.

-- Shock-popsters Blood on the Dance Floor are bringing their farewell tour to the Local 662 in St. Petersburg on Dec. 9, alongside Tear Out the Heart, Vanity Strikes and Justin Symbol. $15 and up. Click here.

-- Palisades are coming to the Local 662 on Dec. 13. Tickets are $12 and up. Click here.

-- Swedish metal outfit Sabaton is coming to the Orpheum on May 20. Tickets are $22 and up. Click here.

-- Noted Canadian folk singer-songwriter Ferron is performing at the Catherine A. Hickman Theater in Gulfport on Nov. 30. Tickets are $25 and up. Click here.

-- 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg has a fun-sounding mini-fest coming on Nov. 19. The Soul Hoppin' Music Festival will feature Ryan Montbleu, John Kelly Band, Whetherman and Oak Hay, all starting at 3 p.m. There will be food trucks and, of course, beer. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

Full Story

Photos: Stevie Wonder, President Obama campaign for Hillary Clinton in Kissimmee

Stevie Wonder performed at a voter rally for Hillary Clinton in Kissimmee on Nov. 6, 2016.

Charlie Kaijo

Stevie Wonder performed at a voter rally for Hillary Clinton in Kissimmee on Nov. 6, 2016.

Not so long ago, Stevie Wonder swore he'd boycott performing in Florida until the state's "stand your ground" gun laws were reversed.

But on Sunday, he made a rare Florida concert appearance in Kissimmee, joining President Barack Obama, Sen. Bill Nelson and Senate candidate Patrick Murphy, among others, for a "Get Out the Vote" rally at Osceola County Stadium.

Wonder played a brief set that included hits like Superstition, Higher Ground and You Are the Sunshine Of My Life.

"I was going to come up and sing with Stevie," Obama said, "but Stevie explained that this was designed to get votes not lose votes, so we decided not to do that."

Said Wonder: "Your vote does matter."

The Times' Charlie Kaijo was on hand snapping photos. Click the headline of this post for a slideshow.

-- Jay Cridlin

Full Story

Katt Williams coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

For one of the most unpredictable comics in America, Katt Williams is becoming pretty ... predictable.

For the third time since 2014, the It's Pimpin' Pimpin' stand-up has booked a gig at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, this time on Feb. 4. Given his erratic life and legal troubles, it's always a dicey proposition that he'll actually show up for the show -- he bailed on a big Tampa gig with no advance notice in 2013 -- but so far, he's delivered at the Sun Dome.

When he performed there in 2014, our reviewer wrote: "The set wasn't his funniest material, but the crowd was happy to be present for the time it actually happened. Seeing Williams in the flesh translates much better than trying to make sense of his atmospheric brand of comic in the comfort of your living room. Katt Williams is a group experience, best done in an arena with drink in hand."

Tickets to the show start at $52.75, and go on sale Friday. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

Full Story

Red Hot Chili Peppers coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Steve Keros

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Go ahead and dry-clean your finest tube sock. You're gonna need it when the Red Hot Chili Peppers come to town next spring.

The funk-punk legends will return to Tampa for the first time since 2012 when their latest tour hits Amalie Arena on April 27. Tickets start at $49 and go on sale Friday. Click here for details.

The tour comes in support of the Chili Peppers' fine new album The Getaway, but as anyone who's caught their many recent festival-headlining appearances can attest, they'll pull hits from throughout their career: Under the Bridge, Californication, Scar Tissue, Give It Away.

Hard to believe these guys once played Jannus Landing, but it actually happened back in the day. Just watch 'em go!

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will also be at Orlando's Amway Center on April 26, if you want to make a week of it. Click here for details on that show.

-- Jay Cridlin

Full Story

At Friday's Tracy Morgan concert in St. Petersburg, your phone will be locked. Here's why

Graham Dugoni, founder and CEO of Yondr.

Graham Dugoni, founder and CEO of Yondr.

When you walk into Tracy Morgan's concert Friday at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater, you'll have to hand over your cellphone. An attendant will lock it up in a little pouch, give it back to you, then unlock it at the end of the night.

It's the first appearance in Florida by the San Francisco startup Yondr, which seeks to create phone-free experiences at concerts and special events "where people can be swept into a shared mood," said founder and CEO Graham Dugoni.

Since launching in 2014, Yondr has provided pouches for concerts by artists like Guns N' Roses, the Lumineers, Alicia Keys, Louis C.K. and Dave Chappelle. But they've also found a foothold in school systems, manufacturing plants, workplaces and special events like weddings — places where cellphone use might be a security issue, not just an annoyance.

"In terms of growth, I think it's kind of unlimited," Dugoni said. "Because the concept goes far beyond artists. It's this idea in every modern city that you can step into a space that at any given time can be a device-free space."

Click here for our full interview with Yondr's Graham Dugoni.


Full Story

Photos: Jon Bon Jovi rocks out with Tim Kaine on harmonica at voter rally at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

Jon Bon Jovi and Tim Kaine jammed together on 'You Give Love a Bad Name' at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on Nov. 5, 2016.

Luis Santana

Jon Bon Jovi and Tim Kaine jammed together on 'You Give Love a Bad Name' at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on Nov. 5, 2016.

For a Jersey boy, Jon Bon Jovi has a pretty good working knowledge of Tampa Bay politics.

"Everybody in Pinellas and Hillsborough County knows that as goes Hillsborough, usually goes Florida, and in most cases the United States of America," he told the crowd at a Get Out the Vote rally at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg Saturday night.

All the more reason, Bon Jovi said, for every person in the intimate venue to vote.

"There are more people in this room than decided the election in 2000, and we all know the impact that had," he said.

Bon Jovi was joined by Hillary Clinton's vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, a noted lover of dad-rock who ended up closing out the show on harmonica with You Give Love a Bad Name.

For our full report on the event, click here. And click the headline of this post for a gallery of photos from the concert.

-- Jay Cridlin

Full Story

Review: ZZ Top revs up ageless chops, hits at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

ZZ Top performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Nov. 4, 2016.

Jay Cridlin

ZZ Top performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Nov. 4, 2016.

I’ll admit it: Part of the reason I wanted to see ZZ Top at Ruth Eckerd Hall Friday night was that I wasn’t sure how many more chances I’d get.

Three times in the last three years, the band has postponed a Tampa Bay concert due to health issues, including this one, which had been rescheduled from April. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard have played together since 1969, but they’re in their late 60s, and no one’s getting any younger. Gibbons released a solo album last year. At some point, their tireless roadshow has to come to an end, right?

Well, shame on me for doubting the rejuvenating power of the Eliminator.

Nearly five decades into a one-of-a-kind career, ZZ Top proved their mighty engines are still running smoothly, and they aren’t ready to pump the brakes on their Hall of Fame career.

“We’re just making this stuff up as we go along,” Gibbons said, though that’s clearly not the case with their well-oiled roadshow. …

Full Story

UPDATE: Jimmy Buffett, Joe Biden to appear at free 'Get Out the Vote' concert in St. Petersburg on Monday

Jon Bon Jovi is playing a Hillary Clinton-Tim Kaine campaign rally on Saturday in St. Petersburg. Stevie Wonder will hit Orlando with President Obama on Sunday.

Then come Monday, the ultimate Florida Man, Jimmy Buffett, will play his own free 'Get Out the Vote' rally in St. Petersburg.

Mayor Rick Kriseman and his chief of staff Kevin King tweeted out the news Friday evening:

Thrilled to welcome Jimmy Buffett to St. Pete for a FREE show on Monday eve to GOTV for @HillaryClinton, @PatrickMurphyFL & @CharlieCrist!


One of us is performing a free concert on Monday at 5:30 PM at Albert Whitted Park to 'Get Out The Vote' for @HillaryClinton & Dems.

The show will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Albert Whitted Park. Crist and Murphy will be in attendance, but Clinton appears to be otherwise engaged, with a big election eve event in Philadelphia.

***UPDATE*** Buffett will be joined at the rally by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, the Clinton campaign announced Sunday. Doors will open at 3 p.m., and the event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Click here for details on the event.

-- Jay Cridlin

Full Story

'The Voice' finalist Shalya Fearing, Opera Tampa singers at free Straz Live! concert Sunday

Opera Tampa singers to perform at Straz Live!

Courtesy of the Straz Center

Opera Tampa singers to perform at Straz Live!

TAMPA -- The Buccaneers have already played, and there is no remaining excuse to stay inside on what looks to be a spectacular Sunday. Straz Live! in the Park, a free outdoor concert, looks to outdo previous years with a star-studded lineup from 3 to 5 p.m. at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

Performers include singers from the Broadway production of Wicked, Opera Tampa singers and The Voice finalist Shalyah Fearing, who hails from the Patel Conservatory. Picnic lunches encouraged, food trucks will be available. Activities start at 1:30 p.m.

In celebration of National Opera Week, Straz LIVE! in the Park features a concert that includes familiar arias sung the Opera Tampa Singers, music from WICKED performed by artists from the show, The Voice finalist and longtime Patel Conservatory student Shalyah Fearing and other musical surprises. Bring picnic lunch and enjoy a delightful afternoon of beautiful music. Food trucks and local visual artists will add to the festivities.

Full Story

Stevie Wonder to join President Obama at Sunday's Hillary Clinton rally in Kissimmee

A few days before the election, Hillary Clinton is bringing in yet another big celebrity to assist her campaign in Central Florida.

Legendary singer Stevie Wonder will join President Barack Obama at a rally Sunday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, her campaign announced Friday. The free "Get Out the Vote" rally takes place at 1:30 p.m., with doors opening at noon.

Members of the public can register for tickets here and pick them up from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the following locations:

-- Celebration Coordinated Campaign Office, 3375 W Vine Street, Suite 207, Kissimmee

-- Buena Vista Lakes Staging Location, 101 Bridle Court, Kissimmee

-- Kissimmee Staging Location, 2200 E Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Suite 203, Kissimmee

Tickets are limited, and do not guarantee admission. Click here for details.

Sunday's show comes on the heels of another hot ticket, a concert by Jon Bon Jovi at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg, featuring an appearance by Tim Kaine. But despite Bon Jovi's megawatt celebrity and intimacy of that venue, Wonder's performance in support of Clinton might be more politically significant. …

Full Story

Florida Georgia Line coming to the Amway Center in Orlando

We predicted this would happen a few days ago, but now it's been confirmed: Florida Georgia Line is coming to the Amway Center in Orlando.

The new-school country duo will perform at Orlando's arena on Jan. 28 -- that's the same day as Gasparilla, for all you pirates with access to a party bus. Chris Lane will open the show. Tickets start at $50, and will go on sale Nov. 11. Click here for details.

Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard haven't performed in Tampa since spring 2015, and in that time their single H.O.L.Y. has become one of the biggest country hits in recent months. Love 'em or hate 'em, a lot of folks will make the drive up I-4 to see 'em.

-- Jay Cridlin

Full Story

Could Jannus Live close to make room for condo tower?

Over the decades, Jannus Live (or as it was known for years, Jannus Landing) has hosted some major artists: Pearl Jam, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Ramones, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, Eminem, Radiohead and countless others.

Soon, that history could be going by the wayside.

Property owners want to transform the downtown St. Petersburg block that houses Jannus Live into a 25-story condo tower, which could put the kibosh on concerts in the beloved outdoor courtyard.

Click here for Charlie Frago's story about the development.

Full Story

Review: Stevie Nicks, the Pretenders dust off 24-karat rock classics at Amalie Arena in Tampa

Stevie Nicks performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Nov. 2, 2016.

Jay Cridlin

Stevie Nicks performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Nov. 2, 2016.

Right after playing her first Fleetwood Mac song of the night, Dreams, Stevie Nicks couldn't help but pat herself on the back.

"That is the only No. 1 single that Fleetwood Mac had since 1975," the singer told a crowd of just under 10,000 at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Wednesday, "proving that it is not easy to have a hit single in 1975 -- or 2016. However, it's my single, and it hangs in my living room."

Own that gold, sister; this is your tour. After three spins through Amalie with Fleetwood Mac since 2009, Nicks, 68, finally had the big stage all to herself. And to celebrate, she threw a show aimed squarely at her superfans.

For lifelong Stevie diehards, her so-called 24 Karat Gold Tour was worth its weight in you-know-what, as she dug deep into her catalog to play songs that have missed the cut on previous solo tours. Nearly half her setlist was culled her first two albums, 1981’s Bella Donna and 1983’s The Wild Heart, including some rarely if ever played live. …

Full Story

Jon Bon Jovi to perform, Tim Kaine to appear Saturday at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

Getty Images

Tim Kaine has proven himself to be America's premiere dad-rock candidate this campaign season. So it's only fitting he'll join Jon Bon Jovi for a Get Out the Vote rally on Saturday in St. Petersburg.

Hillary Clinton's vice presidential pick will appear alongside the New Jersey rocker at the intimate State Theatre Saturday night. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but you must RSVP by clicking here and filling out a form. Tickets, one per person, will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis between noon and 2 p.m. and 5 and 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the following locations:

-- St. Petersburg Organizing Office, 1638 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg

-- South St. Petersburg Staging Location, 833 22nd Ave. S. S, St. Petersburg

-- Tequila's Mexican Grille and Cantina, 401 S Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater

Admission is also first-come, first-served, so just because you get a ticket doesn't mean you'll get inside. Expect a long line, as it's unlikely Jon Bon Jovi will ever again play a venue this intimate in Tampa Bay.

Jon Bon Jovi recently appeared alongside Bill Clinton at a concert in Pittsburgh. …

Full Story