Monday, September 29, 2014

Train comes to St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater

    Not too many mainstream bands have maintained the level of success that Train has over the past 15 years. From its early hit singles, including "Meet Virginia" and "Drops of Jupiter," to its new top-five album "Bulletproof Picasso," Train has stayed at the top of the charts for as long as most bands have been in existence.
   Singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson hasn't had that level of chart success, but he's been
Pat Monahan of Train
releasing solid albums for two decades and seems to be getting more popular with each one.
   Train and Nathanson will be in St. Petersburg just before Christmas. They'll be at the Mahaffey Theater for Mix 100.7's annual "Mistletoe Concert" on Dec. 19. 

   Other "special guests" will be announced soon, the people at the Mahaffey tell us.
   Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Oct. 3 for $35, $45, $65 and $159. Call 727-893-7832 or go to

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rapper Wiz Khalifa schedules Tampa date

   Medical marijuana is one of the hot topics in the news these days, so it's perfect time for Wiz Khalifa, the rapper and singer/songwriter who's as well know for his openly prodigious use of cannabis as for his music, to come to the area.
   He'll be at the Sun Dome on the University of South Florida campus in Tampa on Nov. 1. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday and they'll run you $52.75, $42.75 or $32.75.
Wiz Khalifa

  The Grammy-nominated artist hit the top of the Billboard 200 just a few weeks ago  with his album "Blacc Hollywood."
   He reportedly used to spend thousands of dollars a month on pot, but now he's sponsored by The Cookie Factory, medical marijuna factory. The Cookie Factory markets Khalifa's own marijuana strain, Khalifa Kush. 
   For information and tickets, call 813-974-3004 or go to


2014 Bradenton Blues Festival tickets selling quickly

   If you're planning on going to the third annual Bradenton Blues Festival and you don't have tickets yet, you might want to get them soon.

   Johnette Isham, the executive director of Realize Bradenton, which organizes the festival, said Thursday that only 10 VIP tickets remain for the Dec. 6 festival. General admission tickets are selling about 40 percent faster than they did for last year's event, she said, and that festival sold out.
   Regular tickets are $30 ($10 for children 12 and under, $25 apiece for people in groups of 10 or more). The VIP tickets, which include premium sets, food and and bar, are $250.
    Isham made her comments at an event at Darwin Brewing Co. in Bradenton to recognize the corporate and individual sponsors of the festival.
   The centerpiece of the event was the unveiling of the limited edition poster for this year's festival (shown here), which was created by Don Brandes of the Ringling College of Art and Design. The poster will be available for $30 at Keeton's Office & Art Supply, 817 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, starting Sept. 29.
  This year's Bradenton Blues festival features Marcia Ball, Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials, Samantha Fish and many others, playing on the Bradenton Riverwalk. For information and tickets, go to,

Bob Seger announces Tampa concert

   Classic rocker Bob Seger has announced a new tour and it includes a stop in Tampa.
   The date is Feb. 5, but the venue is listed as "TBA."
Seger in '83
    The best guesses -- really the only reasonable guesses -- are the Amalie Arena (formerly known as the Tampa Bay Times Forum) and the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, since he's playing major arenas on other tour stops. (Neither venue has anything else slated for that date, so it could be either.)
   Since there's no venue announced yet, there's no ticket information. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Diana Krall cancels Sarasota concert

   Here's some bad news for music fans: The great Diana Krall has a severe case of pneumonia that has caused her to cancel her scheduled show at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. The show had been set for Dec. 13.
Diana Krall

      She's canceled her entire US tour, and she has also postponed the release of her new album, "Wallflower," until next year because of her illness. She released a statement saying that doctors have advised her to rest for a few months, and that she'll announce a new date for the album and for a new world tour "in the coming weeks."
   If you've already bought tickets for the Van Wezel show, you're asked to call the box office (941-953-3368) to get credit for tickets to another show or to get a refund.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WMNF stages Springsteen tribute show in Tampa

   Community radio station WMNF occasionally puts on these really cool tribute shows with a bunch of area bands all playing songs by some major artist. They've done Led Zeppelin, the Who, the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and a lot of others.
   This weekend, at Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa, WMNF will present a show they're calling "Bruuuuce!," in honor of Bruce Springsteen's 65th birthday earlier this week (Sept. 23, to be exact).
Bruce Sorungsteen

  Over the course of eight hours, more than 20 bands and solo acts will performed more than 50 Sprinsgteen songs, including the "Born to Run" album performed start-to-finish, and 10 singer-songrwriters performing one song each from "Nebraska."
   Bands include  Al Torchia & The Tattered Saints, Blue Dice, Glad All Over, Parson Brown, Talk to Mark, Ted Lukas & The Misled, The Hack Pack, The Irish Buskers, Troy Youngblood and The SoulFish, The Hummingbirds, Sunset Bridge Band, J.A.D.E., Wizards and Koko Ray & The Keepers.
   It runs from 4 p.m. until midnight Saturday, Sept. 27. Skippers -- which is a cool mostly-outdoor venue with a rustic Florida feel -- is at 910 Skipper Road in north Tampa. Tickets are $13 in advance and $16 at the door. Call 813-238-6001 or go to for tickets, or call 813-971-0666 for venue information.

Tedeschi Trucks headlines St. Petersburg's Sunshine Festival

  The lineup for the third annual Sunshine Music & Blues Festival has been announced, and it's a great one.
   The Tedeschi Trucks Band is headlining again -- they also headlined the first two years -- and
Los Lobos
they're joined on the bill by Los Lobos, Grace Potter, Dickey Betts, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood (Robinson is the frontman for the Black Crowes), the Both (a phenomenal new collaboration from Aimee Mann and Ted Leo), Sean Chambers, the Rebirth Brass Band and Matt Schofield.

   The festival's scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 17 at Vinoy Park, 701 Bayshore Drive N.Ein St. Petersburg. If you get tickets before 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26, they're $39.50. After that they're $49.50. Even the regularly priced tickets seem like a great deal, considering how many excellent bands are scheduled to play. You can also get reserved seats for $99.50 and there are some VIP packages.
   Call 800-745-3000 or go to

Monday, September 22, 2014

Etheridge to perform at Sarasota's Van Wezel

   The people at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall just unveiled their new season a couple of weeks ago. There were plenty of great shows on the schedule as it was announced, and one more has already been added.
   Melissa Etheridge, the powerful singer/songwriter who's won two Grammy Awards (for
Melissa Etheridge
"Ain't It Heavy" and "Come to My Window") and an Oscar (for "I Need to Wake Up," from "An Inconvenient Truth") will be at Van Wezel on Nov. 23.
   She's touring in support of her new album, "This is M.E.," which is scheduled for release next Tuesday, Sept, 20. She'll be doing a lot of her hits and stuff from the new album.
    Alexander Cardinale, an up-and-coming singer and actor, will be the opener.
  Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 26.  Call 941-953-3368, or go to Tickets prices weren't immediately available but we'll post them here as soon as we have them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sarasota Opera hosts screening of 'Mefistofele'

   The Sarasota Opera season is still seven weeks away, but you don't have to wait that long to get your opera fix.
   This season the opera is featuring a film series called "HD at the Opera House" that features great opera performances from around there world.
   Coming up this week is the San Francisco Opera production of Arrigo Boito's "Mefitstofele." before the screening is a 15-minute discussion. 
   Screenings are set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept, 11 and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept, 14. Tickets are $20 and $25. (Season subscribers get a discount.) 
   Next up in the series is the Opera de Paris's staging of Giacomo Puccini's "The Girl of the Golden West" at 7:30 Oct. 2 and 1:30 p.m. Oct. 5.
   The Sarasota Opera's 2014 fall season gets going Oct. 31 with Ruggero Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci."
   For information and tickets, call 941-328-1300 or go to

Friday, September 5, 2014

St. Petersburg's Mahaffey adds four new shows.

   If you missed the Indigo Girls when they came to Sarasota a few months  back, fret not: They're coming back to the area, with a recently announced performance at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze
   The Indigo's Feb. 27 concert is one of four shows that have just been added to the Mahaffey season schedule. The others are "Cirque Dreams Holidaze" (Nov. 28), "Girls Night: The Musical" (presented by the Mahaffey a few blocks away at the Palladium Theatre, Feb. 27) and "The Price Is Right Live" (April 26).
   The Indigo Girls will perform with an orchestra, as they did at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in March. Tickets are $45.50-$65.50.
   Tickets for "Cirque Dreams Hoildaze" is a holiday show with 20 acts from 12 countries. Previous Cirque Dreams shows have been very cool, so it's reasonable to expect this to be a lot better than the standard Christmas entertainment. Tickets are $29.50-$59.50.
   "Girls Night" is jukebox musical that revolves around  five girlfriends who re-live their past, celebrate their present and look to the future on a wild night out.
   "The Price Is Right Live" is a stage version of the TV game show, very similar in format, but with reduced prize amounts and lots of giveaways -- restaurant gift cards and the like -- for the audience. Sarasota's Jerry Springer hosts the show sometimes, but there's no word yet on whether he'll host this one.  Tickets are $38.50.
   For information and tickets, call  727-892-5767 or go to    

Thursday, September 4, 2014

'Disenchanted' heads Off-Broadway after Tampa Bay previews

Michelle Knight in "Disenchanted"
   “Disenchanted" the hilarious and whimsically subversive musical that had preview runs in Sarasota and Tampa, is going to open Off-Broadway.
   Some local people will be involved in the show. Tampa’s Alison Burns will reprise her roles as Belle, the Little Mermaid and Rapunzel, and Michael Raabe, who’s best known for his work with St. Peterburg's freeFall Theatre, will be the musical director. Both Burns and Raabe worked in the “Disenchanted” production at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts earlier this year. The show had previously played at the old Golden Apple in Sarasota. 
Also heading to New York from the Tampa cast is Lulu Picart, who has appeared in lots of shows for freeFall and American Stage in St. Petersburg, and Michelle Knight.
   “Disenchanted!” is set for a nine-week run at the Theatre at St. Clement's, on 46th Street at Eight Avenue. Previews start Nov. 6 and opening night is Dec. 4.
   The show revolves around princesses from Disney movies – women such as Pocahontas, Mulan and Cinderella – who are angry about the way they’re portrayed on screen as weaklings who need to be saved by men.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Lone Bellow adds Tampa concert

The Lone Bellow
   The Lone Bellow has only released one album, and it wasn't a huge hit. But among people who pay attention to what's going on in music, the trio is one of the most respected current bands in the country. People magazine called the band's debut record the album of the year, and Bob Boilen of NPR's "All Songs Considered" said, “The world of acoustic music is about to get a new household name. The music of the Lone Bellow is born from tragedy and told with heart and simplicity.”
   Their music is gorgeous and their live show, which lot of people caught when they toured the country opening for the Civil Wars, has been just as well-reviewed as their album.
   They're coming to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on Nov. 11. They'll be in the Jaeb Theater, which seats a little more than 250 people and should be a great venue for this kind of show.
   The Lone Bellow is based is Brooklyn, but their music has Southern roots, with jazz, folk and gospel influences.
    Foreign Fields and Kristin Diable open.
   Tickets are $24.50 plus service charge. Call 813-229-7827 or go to Handling fees will apply.

Sarasota's Asolo Rep adds two musicals

   Asolo Repertory Theatre has added has added a couple of musicals to its 2014-15 season. They both celebrate central figures of American music, but that's pretty much where the similarity ends.
   "Luck Be a Lady: The Iconic Music of Frank Loesser" is a new show about one of the best musical theater composers and lyricists. He's best known for "How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying" and "Guys and Dolls," and tons of hit songs you'd know well even if you'd never been to a musical in your life. He won several Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize.
Woody Guthrie
   The show was conceived and will be directed by Gordon Greenberg, who directed "Yentl" at Asolo a couple of years ago. It's set to run May 1-14. (It replaces "It Only Takes a Moment," which had been previously announced for that slot.)
   The final show of the season will be "Woody Sez: The Life and music of Woody Guthrie." It premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007, and has been performed all over the United States, as well as in Germany, China and New Zealand. It's directed by Nick Corley, who is one of the people who devised the show. It scheduled for May 30-June 21.
   The Asolo Rep season gets going Nov. 14 with a production of "South Pacific."
   For tickets and information, call 941-351-8000 or go to

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maroon 5 announces Tampa concert date

   Maroon 5 is everywhere. Though they're probably most widely known these days because of singer Adam Levine's regular gig as a judge on "The Voice," the band is touring steadily, making new music and doing a lot of TV. (They'll be on "The Tonight Show" tonight (Tuesday, Sept. 2), on "America's Got Talent" tomorrow and "The Ellen Degeneres Show" on Sept. 28.
Maroon 5's Adam Levine
   Today the band announced it was coming to the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The concert, in support of Maroon 5's latest album "V," is set for Feb. 25. The album was just released today.
   Tickets for the concert will go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 13. Call 813-301-2500 or go to

   A Canadian reggae fusion band called Magic! will be the "special guest" and singer-songwriter Rozzi Crane will be the opening act.