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

Maestro Anton Coppola waves as he receives a standing ovation Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Several Coppola family members including Maestro's nephew Director Francis Ford Coppola, great-niece Sofia Coppola along with his great-nephew Nicholas Cage were in attendance for the performance.

Chris Urso

Maestro Anton Coppola waves as he receives a standing ovation Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Several Coppola family members including Maestro's nephew Director Francis Ford Coppola, great-niece Sofia Coppola along with his great-nephew Nicholas Cage were in attendance for the performance.

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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Bell Biv DeVoe, SWV, En Vogue coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

Bell Biv DeVoe

Bell Biv DeVoe

The early-'90s R&B revival just keeps on rolling in Tampa Bay.

You've got Guy, Dru Hill, 112, Tony Toni Tone, Silk and Doug E. Fresh coming to the USF Sun Dome on April 21. You've got New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men coming to Amalie Arena on July 15. You've even got New Jack Swing aficionado Bruno Mars coming to Amalie Arena in October.

And today comes word of another big show: Bell Biv DeVoe, SWV and En Vogue on May 14. Happy Mother's Day, all you fly girls!

Tickets to the show start at $49 and go on sale Friday. But you can't put a price on a playlist that includes Poison, Do Me!, My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It), Free Your Mind, Weak and Right Here/Human Nature, all in one night, can you?

Slip an MTV Party to Go album in your Discman and click here for details on the show.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Mike Posner to headline University of Tampa's 2017 Party in the Park

Mike Posner

Getty Images

Mike Posner

Plant Park isn't exactly Ibiza, but it might just feel that way April 7.

Mike Posner, the Grammy-nominated pop singer and songwriter behind hits like Cooler than Me, Please Don't Go and I Took a Pill in Ibiza, will headline the University of Tampa's annual Party in the Park concert for students, faculty and staff. Opening the show are Adam Friedman and Madnap, a UT student and producer-DJ whom Earmilk just today called "your new favorite producer."

The concert takes place at 8 p.m. and is free for Spartans with a Spartan Card, though each student can bring one guest for $30. Click here for details.

And University of South Florida students needn't worry; they've got a free concert coming April 7, too. The school's annual USF Bullstock concert will take place in the parking lot of the USF Sun Dome. The 2017 lineup hasn't been announced, but we'll keep you posted.

-- Jay Cridlin


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Jason Aldean coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

The secret's out.

The MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre has announced the final act of its 2017 Country Megaticket, and as expected, it's Nashville superstar Jason Aldean on Aug. 18. Chris Young and Kane Brown will open. 

All of this was anticipated, as Aldean had already announced a Tampa show (but no date) for this summer, and that date was suspiciously blank on the Amphitheatre's calendar.

Individual tickets to Aldean's show are not yet on sale; to get them now you'll have to buy a Megaticket for $149 and up. Doing so gets you a seat at six shows in Tampa: Brantley Gilbert (June 2), Dierks Bentley (June 16), Lady Antebellum (July 28), Aldean (Aug. 18), Brad Paisley (Sept. 16) and Florida Georgia Line (Oct. 13). Individual tickets are on sale now for Gilbert and Bentley; the rest will go on sale in the coming months.

Click here for all the details on the Country Megaticket.

-- Jay Cridlin

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SoundBytes: Jamey Johnson, Adam Ant, James Blunt, Gad Elmaleh and more

-- Outlaw country star Jamey Johnson is coming to the Mahaffey Theater on May 25. Tickets are $30 and up and they go on sale Friday. Click here.

-- If British singer-songwriters are your thing, you'll get double the pleasure this summer, as Ed Sheeran has just announced James Blunt will open his upcoming North American tour, which hits Tampa's Amalie Arena on Aug. 29. Click here.

-- New Wave icon Adam Ant is coming back to town for a concert at the Capitol Theatre on Sept. 8. Tickets are $39.50 and up. Click here.

-- Everclear is coming to the Capitol Theatre on April 30 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1997 album So Much for the Afterglow, which spawned hits like Father of Mine and I Will Buy You a New Life. Tickets are $29 and up. Click here.

-- Speaking of the Capitol Theatre and the '90s: Sister Hazel will be performing there on May 25. Tickets are $29 and up. Click here.

-- And two new Classic Albums Live concerts are coming to the Capitol Theatre: Rush's 2112 on June 16 (click here) and Led Zeppelin's IV on July 21 (click here).

-- Boyce Avenue is coming to Jannus Live on Oct. 7. Click here. …

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2017 Fun 'n Sun Clearwater country lineup: Billy Currington, Chase Rice, A Thousand Horses, more

Billy Currington

Billy Currington

Clearwater might be going all-in on a big new amphitheater for Coachman Park to host some of its annual festival-style concerts. And one that would benefit in a big way is coming up soon: Fun 'n Sun Clearwater.

The annual citywide celebration features a big country concert on April 29, and this year's headliners have just been announced: Billy Currington, Chase Rice, A Thousand Horses, Runaway June and Aubrey Wollett.

Currington is the big name here, with a stable of hits including Good Directions, Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer and People are Crazy. But Rice is a hot name too, having co-written Florida Georgia Line's Cruise, and A Thousand Horses, Runaway June and Wollett are all artists on the rise.

General admission tickets are $10 advance, $20 day of show, with VIP tickets starting at $75. Click here for details.

And don't forget, there are other concerts coming to Coachman Park this spring, too, including Kenny G and Jake Shimabukuro on April 21, John Legend on May 13 and Third Eye Blind on June 10.

-- Jay Cridlin

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