Thursday, February 28, 2013

Beware that checkmark on the Straz site

   If you've ever bought tickets online to shows at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, there's a chance you paid $5 more than you intended.
   There's a box on the Straz site that's checked, and if you don't remove the check mark you automatically donate $5 per ticket, on top of the regular ticket price and service charge. 
   The money goes for arts education at the Straz, which is of course a great thing to donate money to. 
   There's apparently no intent to deceive. Paul Bilyeu, the director of public relations for the Straz, pointed out that the box is so prominent that "it really couldn't be more obvious." But we all overlook obvious things all the time when we're multitasking or are otherwise distracted, and no doubt many of us have unwittingly cost ourselves $5 by not noticing that box.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dan Toler memorial set for March 9

   Fans and friends of guitarist “Dangerous” Dan Toler can pay their respects and share their memories at a “celebration” of his life on March 9.
Dan Toler died of ALS March 25.
   Toler’s manager Glenn Halverson said the family is also planning a small private service, and will not release details about that one.
   But everyone who knew Toler or cared about his music is encouraged to attend the celebration at 1 p.m. March 9 at Faith Presbyterian Church, 1201 Beneva Road, Sarasota. Halverson said it will probably be a fairly traditional church memorial service; it’s not likely to include performances by Halverson’s musical celebrity friends.
   Toler was a long-time Bradenton-area resident who played with the Allman Brothers Band, the Gregg Allman Band and many other Southern rock and jazz fusion bands. He died Feb 25 after a two-year struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
   A Facebook page titled “Celebration of life for Dan Toler/ Dangerous Dan Toler." has been established. The organizers of the event have asked that people who are interested in attending inform them through the Facebook page so they know about how many people to expect.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blues guitarist Eric Gales plays Tampa tonight

   If you're a blues fan, or especially if you're a blues musician, you're going to want to head to Tampa tonight.
   Eric Gales, the fiery blues guitarist and singer, is performing at the Green Iguana Bar & Grill. His appearance hasn't been publicized, and it's free.
   He'll be there headlining the regular Monday Night Blues Jam, which has been attracting great local and national musicians for decades.
   Gales has been a major force in blues-rock since 1991, when a readers poll in "Guitar World" magazine named him "best new talent." He was only 17 at the time.
   "As a guitarist he has the energy and power of Buddy Guy," said Dean Germain, who runs the weekly jam. "But he has the vocal smoothness of a Johnny Taylor."
   The jam kicks off about 10 p.m. and runs until the bar closes at 3 a.m. Blues musicians are encouraged to get up and play with Gales and Germain and the house band. But it's a jam, not an open mic night; players who aren't good enough are asked to sit down. That's maybe not so great for the players, but it ensures great music for the audience.
   The Green Iguana is at 4029 S. Westshore Blvd., Tampa. 813-837-1234,

Southern rock guitarist "Dangerous" Dan Toler dies

It was less than two years ago that Dan Toler let the world know he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), colloquially known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

"Dangerous" Dan Toler in 2011
“I do not know how long I have and actually none of us do, but I would say my chances are slim," he told the Bradenton Herald in 2011. “Right now I still have good use of my arms and hands and hopefully will have for a few years, if I’m lucky.”

He made that comment through an email, because the disease had already made it almost impossible for him to speak.

Toler, a longtime Bradenton-area resident who became a Southern rock legend through his guitar work with the Allman Brothers Band, the Gregg Allman Band and Dickey Betts & Great Southern, passed away this morning at home.

"I spoke to Debbie, his wife," said Toler's manager, Glenn Halverson of Blue Room management. "Dan Toler passed away this morning from complications of ALS, at home. Arrangements are pending."

Toler is also survived by his daughter Danielle Franz and her husband Dan, and his mother-in-law Louise Rose. They all live in the Bradenton area.

Halverson said he expected to know about funeral or memorial arrangements by Wednesday.

Read more here:
“Right now I still have good use of my arms and hands and hopefully will have for a few years, if I’m lucky,” he continued. “To anyone else having this disease, may God bless you and continue to bless you ... He has the ultimate plan for us all.”

Read more here:

Friday, February 22, 2013

American Stage announces 2013-2014 season

   The recently announced American Stage season for 2013-14 looks to be a healthy mix of sure-fire crowd-pleasers and more substantial fare to please theater connoisseurs.
   It opens Oct. 2 with Conor McPherson’s “The Birds,” which is based on the same novel as the Hitchcock film. McPherson's best-known plays, "The Seafarer" and "Shining City," are phenomenal, so his take on the eerie thriller promises great things.
   In November, there’s “A Marvelous Party! The Noel Coward Celebration,” which culls songs and conversation from the great wit’s works.
   The seventh installment of American Stage’s August Wilson cycle is “2 Trains Running,” which opens Jan. 24.
   A non-musical version of “Around the World in 80 Days,” with five actors playing 39 characters, starts March 21. “Steel Magnolias” opens May 23 and Yasmina Reza’s wildly acclaimed comedy “God of Carnage,” which won the 2009 Tony for Best Play, finishes the mainstage season in July and August.
   The American Stage in the Park Festival show for this year is “The Wiz," April 11-May 11. That'll be at Demens Landing, on the corner of First Avenue Northeast and Bayshore Boulevard Southeast.
   All the others shows are at American Stage, at 163 Third St. S., St. Petersburg.
   Information and tickets: 727-893-7527 or

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Three-day music festival, Bruno Mars in Tampa

   A whole lot of huge stars rock, pop and country music are coming to Tampa in the next few months.
   Most of them -- more than 30, in fact -- will be at the Florida State Fairgrounds for the awkwardly titled Rockin' the Midway at the Funshine Music Festival, a three-day deal set for May 3-5. The lineup includes classic rockers (REO Speedwagon,.Styx, Ted Nugent), country acts (Kix Brooks, Gary Allan) and even some tribute bands.
   Here's the whole lineup:
Bruno Mars comes to Tampa Aug. 28
   Friday, May 3: Train, Smashing Pumpkins, Cheap Trick, Good Old War, Youngblood Hawke, Dead Confederate, Roadkill Ghost Choir and "a very special guest to be announced soon."
   Saturday, May 4: REO Speedwagon, Styx, Ted Nugent, New Found Glory, Chris Carrabba (from Dashboard Confessional), We the Kings, Bad Books (Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band, The Weeks, Pitbull Toddler, Hell’s Bells (an AC/DC tribute band), and Tallhart.
   Sunday, May 5: Gary Allan, Kix Brooks, The Wallflowers, Josh Thompson, The Lone Bellow, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Sticky Fingers (a Rolling Stones tribute band), and Yesterday (a Beatles tribute band).
   Tickets are on sale now. They're $20 now through April 26 and $25 beginning April 27. Three-day tickets are $49. Those tickets are good for general admission to all stages. You may have to sit on the grass for shows at the recently renamed Live Nation Amphitheatre with those tickets, but you you can get reserved seats for single shows in the amphitheatre for $40-$55. There's also VIP seating available for hundreds of dollars.
   Check for tickets. No doubt more details will be coming soon and we'll let you know what we know when we know it.
   Meanwhile, megastar Bruno Mars has just announced that he's coming to Tampa on his Moonshine Jungle Tour. He'll be at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Aug. 28. Fitz and the Tantrums, a pop-soul outfit that's been gathering momentum with the critics and the public, opens. There's no information about tickets yet but we'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sarasota Bradenton airport hosts orchestral flash mob

Andrew Lane led the flash mob at SRQ
  In recent weeks both Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and Tampa International Airport transformed themselves into ad hoc concert venues.
   On Jan. 21, a flash mob from the Sarasota Orchestra surprised passengers at the the Sarasota Bradenton Airport. Thirty-two musicians, plus principal pops conductor Andrew Lane, converged and performed Bizet’s "Danse Boheme." Lane was dressed as a pilot, two musicians were dressed as flight attendants and the other musicians were in street clothes so they fit in with the crowd at the airport until they started playing.
   It was, of course, all set up in advance with airport officials.
   TIA started its Friday Flight music series late last year, with local bands of all different genres performing one Friday each month, starting at 5:30 p.m., on the third floor of the main terminal between airsides A and C. Next up is a band called the Irish Buskers, along with Irish dancing demonstrations, on March 8 -- an early St. Patty's Day celebration.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sarasota Film Festival announces a few events

Actor Frank Langella (second from left)
greeted film lovers on the red carpet last year.

If you're a film buff, you probably already have know that the 15th annual Sarasota Film Festival is scheduled for April.5-14. What you may not know (because it's only recently been announced) is that the box office will open March 15. The lineup of films is going to be announced two days earlier.

A couple of events have already been announced though. There's an Opening Night Film Party set for Van Wezel Hall at 777 N. Tamiami Trail, starting with the red carpet at 6 p.m.m a film at 7 p.m. and the party itself starting at 9 p.m. Last year professional wrestlers were on the red carpet, which for some reason the film festival people thought was really cool, and the Flying Wallenda Family performed were overhead, which actually is kinda cool..Organizers have't announced what they'll have in store for this year.

Also, Cinema Tropicale, the annual island-themed party, is set for 8:30 p.m. April 12 at the Sarasota Yacht Club, 100 Ringling Blvd.

The box office will again be at the Regal Hollywood 20 Cinema at 1993 Main St. in downtown Sarasota

There's not much more information available right now, but has the latestdetails

UniverSoul Circus drops two shows near Bradenton

UniverSoul Circus has canceled the first two of its seven Tampa shows. A circus official said that Tampa is the first stop on the "Mash It Up" tour, and logistical problems involving acquiring of equipment popped up.

A fiery performance from the 2012 UniversSoul Circus
So the two shows scheduled for Thursday are off. The Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows are still on. If you have tickets for Thursday, contact Ticketmaster (800-745-3000) for a refund. 

UniverSoul Circus is a 19-year-old company based in Atlanta that tours the country with an energetic show that combines traditional circus acts, theater and all sorts of music, from pop and hip-hop to jazz and gospel. This year's edition includes ice skaters and king fu acrobats. It's all performed under a big top with lots of audience interaction. "Fun for the entire family," the company official said.

Details: Feb. 22-24 in the parking lot of Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa. 7:30 p.m. evening shows, 4 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets $16-$30.


Monday, February 18, 2013

"Sugar Man" Rodriguez comes to Straz Center

Rodriguez is back from obscurity
It was one of the most fascinating music stories ever. Sixto Rodriguez, who recorded under the name Rodriguez (and at one point even Rod Riguez) made a couple of folk-ish albums back in the ‘60s that no one paid attention to. He gave up on music and went back to blue-collar obscurity.

Decades later he found out his music was hugely popular in South Africa, and he was something of counter-culture hero there. Rumors, perhaps spawned by the apartheid-era government, led people to believe Rodriguez had killed himself.

Some documentary filmmakers found out that Rodriguez was alive in Detroit. Their  2012 film “Searching for Sugar Man” brought Rodriguez back into the music biz, and now he’s coming to West Central Florida for the first time with a just-announced May 9 concert at the Straz Center in Tampa.

His music is intelligent, very much of its era and extremely pleasing, and he has an absolutely gorgeous voice. But frankly it’s hard to see why he’s been so revered in one particular country.

Details: 8 p.m. May 9 at the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall. Tickets: $35.50 and up. Information: 813-229-7827 or Marty Clear

Friday, February 15, 2013

New director, new philosophy for Opera Tampa

     Katherine Jenkins

   For the first 17 years of its existence, Opera Tampa pretty much focused on uber-familiar operas. There were fewer than 30 productions in those years, and “Carmen,” “La Boheme,” “Tosca,” “La Traviata,” the double-feature of  “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “I Pagliacci” (which opera buffs collectively call “Cav/Pag”) were each staged twice.
   Founding artistic director Anton Coppola resigned at the end of last season, and his successor Daniel Lipton is building on that groundwork, mixing classics with rarer works. “Every season I want to do one opera that everyone knows and one that has never been performed in Tampa before,” Maestro Lipton said. He’s also switched from a year-‘round season to a festival-style season, called the Florida Opera Festival, that starts in January and runs until March. The festival opened with Verdi’s “A Masked Ball” – that was the opera that hasn’t been staged in Tampa before – and continues this weekend with “Popera,” Lipton’s anthology of operatic arias and melodies that have been translated into mainstream songs. The second grand opera of the festival is “La Boheme,” which opens March 7.
   The festival is also presenting Katherine Jenkins, the Welsh mezzo-soprano who mixes opera with popular Music, March 1, and “Bon Appetit!,” a comic opera about Julia Child, Feb. 22.
   You can see a full schedule of events here:
   Oh, by the way, next year's schedule includes "The Magic Flute." Believe it or not, that's the 
one that Tampa audiences have seen before   All the performances are at the Straz Center at 1010 N. MacInnes Place in downtown Tampa. That’s a 50-minute drive from Bradenton, but well worth it if you love quality opera.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lady Gaga cancels Tampa show

If you were planning on catching Lady Gaga's show at the Tampa Bay Times Forum March 13, we’ve got some bad news for you. She has canceled that show and all the remaining concerts on her “Born This Way Ball” tour.

The news is even worse for Gaga herself. She apparently has a labral tear of the right hip and will need surgery, according to a statement issued by the Tampa Bay Times Forum. That means the soft tissue in her hip socket is damaged. It’s bad enough that she needs surgery.

The show hasn’t been rescheduled, but if you have tickets you can get your money back. If you bought tickets by phone or online through Ticketmaster, refunds are automatic. If you bought them at a Ticketmaster outlet, you have to go to that outlet. If you bought them at the Forum box office or sales office, you can get refunds there as of today. If you bought from a third party, you’ll have to work it out with that third party.

—Marty Clear

Photo by Evan Agostini - FILE - This Dec. 15, 2012 file photo shows singer Lady Gaga performing at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Read more here:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Village People to headline Palmetto 4th of July Festival; The Guess Who to open

The Village People, a pop disco group, is shown in this 1979 photo. (Can't Stop Productions / Associated Press Photo)

Some of the most famous faces from the disco era, plus a classic rock favorite, will perform at this year's Palmetto 4th of July Festival.

The Village People, purveyors of such dance hits as "In the Navy", "Can't Stop the Music," "Macho Man" and their timeless anthem "Y.M.C.A.," are scheduled to get the crowd moving at 7 p.m.  

The Guess Who will open the free festival around 5 p.m. with songs such as "American Woman," "No Sugar Tonight" and "These Eyes."

At the end of the concert, guests are encouraged to take a short walk down to the Manatee River to enjoy a fireworks display sponsored by the City of Palmetto, Manatee County and the City of Bradenton.

The Fireworks start around 9:30 p.m.

The concert will be performed on the newly constructed Sutton Park Pavilion. The roof structure will be completed prior to this year’s event.

The Palmetto Community Redevelopment Agency, in conjunction with Oler Productions, promotes the concert as a mean to disseminate information about its area.

Information: 941-723-4988.

Three Dog Night headlined the event last year.

Katt Williams cancels in Tampa; refund details

Like I pretty much predicted on Tuesday, troubled comic Katt Williams' show scheduled for Saturday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum didn't happen.

It was "cancelled due to unforeseen travel issues incurred while the performer was in route to Tampa this evening," reads a statement issued on Saturday by the Forum. "Fans are encouraged to stay tuned for a new show date to be announced soon."

Customers will be eligible for full refunds at their point of purchase beginning today (Feb. 11).

Here are the details:

Customers who purchased through Ticketmaster:

Online purchases will automatically be refunded.

Phone purchases will automatically be refunded.

Outlet purchases will need to return to the point of purchase beginning today in order to receive refunds.

Customers who purchased through the ticket office or Times Forum sales office:

Tickets will need to be refunded through the point of purchase

Sales office customers are encouraged to contact their sales reps beginning Monday to request the refund.

Refunds will be available at the Ticket Office during normal business hours. Ticket Office hours can be found at

Customers who purchased through third parties:

Will need to contact their point of purchase for refunds. These cannot be refunded through the Ticket Office or Ticketmaster.

—Photo: Comedian Katt Williams poses for a portrait in Marina Del Rey in 2008. Credit: Anne Cusack/ Los Angeles Times

Read more here:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Manatee Players go big for 2013-14 season at Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton

The Manatee Performing Arts Center is in the final stages of construction, preparing for its opening in March and the Manatee Players' new 2013-14 season. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald

Read more here:

The Manatee Players' first full season in the multimillion dollar Manatee Performing Arts Center, scheduled to be ready for the March 28 opening of "Miss Saigon," promises to impress with an eclectic lineup featuring several large productions that wouldn't have been possible in the troupe's current Riverfront Theatre.

The 2013-14 season includes eight major musicals in its main Stone Hall and six shows in the smaller Bradenton Kiwanis Studio Theater.

The Stone Hall highlights are a trio of Broadway hits, all premieres for the Bradenton community theater company. These start with Mel Brooks' comedy "Young Frankenstein" followed by the family-friendly crowd pleaser "Shrek: The Musical" and the Gershwin showcase "My One and Only."

"We're trying to reach out to a younger audience without alienating our true patrons," said Rick Kerby, the Manatee Players' producing artistic director. "We tried hard to get new, just-released titles in the mix."

Read more.

TONIGHT: Merle Haggard at Mahaffey in St. Petersburg

Merle Haggard has been an outlaw, an inmate, the voice of the establishment and a Bush-era critic of the Iraq War.

He's also a gifted guitarist and the greatest country music singer/songwriter since Hank Williams, Sr.

Hag has written and recorded so many huge hits ("Sing Me Back Home," "Mama Tried," "Workin' Man Blues," "Today I Started Loving You Again," "Silver Wings") and lesser known gems ("Footlights," "Running Kind," "Red Banana," "Leonard," "Wishing All These Things Were Knew"), it's impossible for a serious Hag fan to hear all his favorites when the legend performs Friday at the Mahaffey in St. Petersburg.

Regardless, it will likely be a show any true country music fan won't want to miss.

Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 8, The Mahaffey, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets: $39.50-$89.50. Information 727-892-5798 or

Read more here in Weekend.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rick Derringer is 'ready to rock' Sarasota Yacht Club with help from Chris Anderson, Larry Crane

The Sarasota Yacht Club's SYC Charitable Foundation has confirmed an all-star lineup for its “Ready to Rock the House on Ringling” gala on March 2.

Grammy-winning guitarist, vocalist and producer Rick Derringer, the Bradenton area resident whose many credits include writing and recording the classic rock anthem "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" is the headliner.

He'll be joined by The Outlaws' guitarist and vocalist Chris Anderson as well as guitarist/songwriter Larry Crane, who recorded a slew of songs with John Mellencamp and toured with the star from 1975-1991.

Stormbringer, one of the most popular bands in Florida for more than two decades, will be the featured house band.

Reservations are open to the public. The $150 per person ticket price is all-inclusive including an open bar until 10:30 p.m.

The SYC Charitable Foundation is a 501 c-3 corporation that provides educational scholarships to individuals for studies in marine science, marine engineering and seamanship. For more information, visit

Details: 6:30-10:30 p.m. March 2, Sarasota Yacht Club, 1100 John Ringling Blvd.,  Sarasota. Tickets: $150. Information: 941-365-4191 or www.sarasotayacht

Tampa's Gasparilla Music Festival adds more national acts, Apple Butter Express

Best Coast at Club Nokia, New Year's Eve Dec. 31, 2011.  Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

The second annual Gasparilla Music Festival, which returns to downtown Tampa's Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on March 9, is shaping up to be a major event.

Read more here:

Read more here:
The Meter Men featuring drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, guitarist Leo Nocentelli and bassist George Porter Jr., all of the legendary New Orleans funk group The Meters, with special guest Page McConnell (keyboardist for Phish), have just been added to the roster.

Same goes for Southern California fuzzy-guitar-pop band Best Coast, which thanks their buzz-worthy 2010 release "Crazy For You" have appeared on TV with David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien plus the cover of Spin Magazine. The group, led by Bethany Cosentino, will be opening Green Day’s 2013 arena tour.

New Orleans-based The Iguanas, which do a super job of fusing blues, classic R&B, zydeco, Cajun, Tex-Mex, and roots rock are also on the lineup.

As previously reported, Grammy-Award winners Ozomatli will play an evening set along with a special family-friendly set earlier in the day, featuring selections from their hit album "Ozokidz."

Bonnaroo veterans Apple Butter Express, whose singer Shannon Biss graduated from Southeast High in Bradenton, will join other Tampa Bay area favorites Nervous Turkey, The Hip Abduction, and Damion Suomi at this year’s festival.

"This year’s lineup is very diverse and includes something for everyone," said GMF president David Cox said in a statemnt. “We’ve got New Orleans funk, California folk, and Texas soul, along with children’s programing and more.”

General admission tickets for GMF are $25 through March 8. Tickets are available now through the GMF website Tickets are $30 the day of the festival. Admission is free for children ages 12 and under.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

UPDATED 2/11: Tampa-bound comic Katt Williams a no-show in California court; cancels in Tampa

UPDATED 2/11: Katt Williams cancels in Tampa; refund details 

Troubled comedian Katt Williams, who is scheduled to perform at the Tampa Bay Times on Saturday, was a no-show for a Sacramento court date Monday, according to Bradenton Herald sister publication the Sacramento Bee.

Williams was to be arraigned at a 10:30 a.m. appearance in Sacramento Superior Court in connection with a Nov. 25 incident in which Williams was allegedly observed driving a three-wheeled motorcycle and failing to stop for police.

The incident is one of several facing the comic and actor known for his role as Money Mike in the movie “Friday After Next” and for his role in Nick Cannon’s MTV improv show “Wild n’ Out.”

On Jan. 9, the Los Angeles Times reported that Williams was arrested after he failed to show up for a court date in Sacramento. It marked his seventh arrest in the last 26 months.

Last August, Showtime aired “Katt Williams: Kattpacalypse,” which was taped New Year’s Eve 2012 in front of 7,000 attendees at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. His performance includes riffing on everything from Obama to Doomsday.

Details: 8 p.m. Feb 9, Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets: $42.25-$100. Information: 813-287-8844 or

—Photo: Comedian Katt Williams poses for a portrait in Marina Del Rey in 2008. Credit: Anne Cusack/ Los Angeles Times

Comic Daniel Tosh is returning to Straz Center in Tampa

Comic Daniel Tosh, the current king of cable television snark, will bring his "June Gloom Tour" back to the Straz Center in Tampa June 27 for performances in the Carol Morsani Hall at 7 and 9:30 p.m.

Regularly priced tickets start at $59 and go on sale at noon Friday (Feb. 8).

Jarrod Carmichael will open.

The tour kicks off on May 30 in Salt Lake City and travels to more than 25 cities across the country.

Tosh's Internet video-skewering show "Tosh.0" airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central and will consist of 30 episodes throughout 2013. The series premiered in 2009.

In 2010, the comedian's "Tosh Tour Twenty Ten" came to the Straz Center's Morsani Hall for two performances. Both the 7 and 10:30 p.m. shows were complete sell-outs with Tosh setting a new Straz Center box office record by selling all 5,220 available seats, the most tickets sold for a single-artist, single-evening engagement at the venue.

Information: 813-229-7827 or

—Publicity photo

Monday, February 4, 2013

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton Tampa bound, along with many more top country acts

Miranda Lambert with husband Blake Shelton at the 2012 Country Music Assn. Awards ceremony. Photo by Wade Payne / Associated Press.

Country's coolest couple, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, are headed to Tampa. Alas, not on the same date but both artists will be performing this year at the newly renamed Live Nation Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, formerly 1-800-ASK-GARY (yep, glad that clunker has been retired).

Lambert and Shelton are part of Live Nation Amphitheatre's Country Megaticket, an expanded eight-show “package” featuring many of the top country acts. The series starts May 11 with a performance by Tim McGraw.

Here's the complete lineup:

May 5:  Tim McGraw
w/ Brantley Gilbert, Love and Theft

June 7:  Rascal Flatts
w/ the Band Perry (read my interview)

June 22: Brad Paisley
w/ Jake Owen and Chris Young (he plays Joyland in Bradenton Feb. 8)

Aug. 30: Blake Shelton w/ Easton Corbin (read my interview) and Jana Kramer (she plays Joyland Feb. 15)

Sept. 6:  Jason Aldeanw/ Thomas Rhett

Sept. 20: Miranda Lambert
w/ Dierks Bentley

Oct. 4: Keith Urban w/ Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch

Oct. 25: Luke Bryan w/ Thompson Square & Florida Georgia Line (read my interview)

Orders for this eight-show country package, priced at $199-$998, will be accepted from the general public beginning 10 a.m.  Feb. 9, before individual show tickets are available.

Information: 800-745-3000 or