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Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley talks family life, political songwriting and more

Lady Antebellum

Eric Ray Davidson

Lady Antebellum

Ten years after their first single, Lady Antebellum is still one of modern country's most successful crossover acts, thanks to inescapable mega-ballads Need You Now and I Run to You. All six of their studio albums have reached Billboard's Top 5, including the new Heart Break. And they're in the middle of a huge global tour that hits Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday.

This tour, which will take Lady A as far afield as South Africa, is a complete about-face from 2016, which co-lead singers Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott and guitarist Dave Haywood spent mostly off the road. Kelley and Scott released solo albums, but all three members have young children, and needed to recharge their collective batteries.

"It was the perfect time to give ourselves a little break and push the reset button a little bit," Kelley said in a phone interview. "And an artistic break. For the past 10 years, it's just been constant — creating music, going out on tour, going right back in and creating music. It was nice to give ourselves some time to live some life and find something to write about."

Click here for more with Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley.

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SoundBytes: Rufus Wainwright, Waxahatchee, the Zombies, Hollywood Undead and more

-- Double the Wainwrights, double the fun! Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright is coming to Clearwater for a Valentine's Day performance at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets are $35 and up. Click here. And not to be outdone, Rufus's dad Loudon Wainwright III is also coming to Clearwater, for a show at Ruth Eckerd Hall's intimate Murray Studio Theatre on March 29. Tickets are $39.50 and up. Click here.

-- The Zombies are coming back to Clearwater one last time to perform their classic album Odessey and Oracle, featuring the hit Time of the Season. The show will take place Jan. 11 at the Capitol Theatre; tickets are $49.50 and up. Click here.

-- The lineup for this year's Et Cultura festival in St. Petersburg is still in the works, but this looks promising: Buzzworthy indie rockers Waxahatchee have announced they're playing the fest on Nov. 17. No venue or details yet, but click here for tour dates.

-- Death metal heroes Cannibal Corpse are coming to the Orpheum on Dec. 8. Click here.

-- Hollywood Undead and Butcher Babies are coming to the State Theatre on Oct. 5. Click here. …

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Linkin Park cancel tour, including Tampa concert, after death of singer Chester Bennington

Linkin Park's Chester Bennington

Luis Santana

Linkin Park's Chester Bennington

This news is not a surprise, but it is now official: Linkin Park has canceled their upcoming North American tour following this week's death of singer Chester Bennington.

Bennington died by suicide Thursday in Los Angeles, about a week before Linkin Park was scheduled to begin their One More Light North American tour, which was to include an Aug. 19 stop at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. That show, and all others, has been canceled. Ticketholders will be refunded automatically, or at point of purchase. Click here for details.

RELATED: Linkin Park's Chester Bennington had a wail that stood apart

Bennington did leave Tampa Bay with plenty of memories over the years, both with Linkin Park and Stone Temple Pilots. Click here for a gallery of photos of Linkin Park's performances in Tampa over the years, as well as links to some past concert reviews.

-- Jay Cridlin

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SoundBytes: Modest Mouse, Zakk Wylde, Baha Men and more

-- For the third straight year, Modest Mouse is coming to Central Florida. The Portland indie rockers will play Hard Rock Live on Sept. 8. Click here.

-- Who let the dogs out? We'll find out when the Baha Men -- yes, the Baha Men! -- come to the Summer of Rum Festival on Sept. 2 at Curtis Hixon Park. They've been added as openers for previously announced headliner Shaggy. Click here for details.

-- Guitar great Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society) is hitting the road with his Black Sabbath cover project Zakk Sabbath, featuring Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (Osbourne, Rob Zombie) and Joey Castillo (Danzig, Queens of the Stone Age). Tickets are $26. Click here.

-- Superjoint and DevilDriver are coming to the State Theatre on Oct. 19. Tickets are $28 and up. Click here.

-- Lords of Acid are bringing their "Sextreme Ball 2017" tour to the State Theatre on Oct. 20, alongside Combichrist and Christian Death. Tickets are $27.50. Click here.

-- New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook is heading back on tour with his band the Light in 2018, and he'll perform at the State Theatre on June 4, 2018. Tickets are $26.50 and up. Click here. …

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A Day to Remember's Self Help Festival lineup bringing Underoath, Less Than Jake, more to Orlando

A Day to Remember played 98 Rockfest in Tampa in April.

Jay Cridlin

A Day to Remember played 98 Rockfest in Tampa in April.

Now that A Day to Remember are big enough to lead their own festival, they're wasting no time packing it with their fellow Floridians.

The Ocala-born metalcore act has unveiled the lineup for the Orlando edition of their inaugural Self Help Festival, which takes place Sept. 30 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

Tampa Bay's own Underoath and Gainesville's Less Than Jake will join ADTR at Self Help Fest, along with Streetlight Manifesto, Moose Blood, Real Friends, Dance Gavin Dance, Wage War and more.

This is the second of ADTR's four Self Help Fests. Underoath and Falling In Reverse will join them on Sept. 10 in Philadelphia; and Rise Against, Pierce the Veil, Of Mice and Men and Underoath will join them in Detroit on Oct. 7. The lineup for a March 3 event in San Bernardino, Calif., has not yet been announced.

General admisson tickets to Orlando's Self Help Fest are $40 this weekend only, and will rise on July 24. VIP passes start at $199. Click here for all the details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Photos: Kehlani packs fans into a sold-out Orpheum in Tampa

Kehlani performed at the Orpheum in Tampa on July 20, 2017.

Aubrey Wipfli

Kehlani performed at the Orpheum in Tampa on July 20, 2017.

R&B singer Kehlani had to postpone a spring show in Tampa due to illness, but it seemed she was no worse for the wear on Thursday, when her make-up show sold out the Orpheum well in advance. Ella Mai and Jahkoy opened the show. Aubrey Wipfli was there snapping photos; click the headline of this post for a slideshow.

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Chester Bennington, Linkin Park singer, dies by suicide at 41: Report

Chester Bennington and Linkin Park performed in at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa in 2014.

Luis Santana

Chester Bennington and Linkin Park performed in at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa in 2014.

Chester Bennington, the flame-throated singer of enormosly popular metal band Linkin Park, has died from suicide at age 41.

According to TMZ, Bennington was found hanged at a private residence in Los Angeles Thursday morning. The singer, who has battled drug and alcohol issues throughout his career, was friends with Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, who died of suicide by hanging in May; Bennington performed Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah at Cornell's funeral.

Linkin Park was scheduled to perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Aug. 19. Their One More Light world tour was to begin next week.

For more on the death of a rock singer with wail few could match, click here.

Bennington and Linkin Park performed in Tampa many times over the years; click the headline of this post for a slideshow of photos from past concerts. Here are more memories:

FROM 2011: Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington talk touring, technology and 'A Thousand Suns'

FROM 2011: Review/photos/setlist: Linkin Park experiments with new sounds at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa

From 2013: Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington perform at 97X Next Big Thing in St. Petersburg …

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The Rocket Summer's Bryce Avary talks 'Do You Feel,' nostalgia, Fueled By Ramen and more

The Rocket Summer

Ben Zucker

The Rocket Summer

Not long ago, Bryce Avary was flipping channels and noticed that MTV Live was playing an old special from Glastonbury 2008.

“We played Glastonbury 2008,” said the singer and songwriter of the pop-punk band the Rocket Summer. “We played that festival on the record Do You Feel, that cycle. It is kind of a trip, because in a way, it doesn’t really seem like that long ago. But in another way, it’s like, Well, it was 10 years ago...

That, it seems, is long enough for a celebration. The Rocket Summer is hitting the road this summer for a 10-year anniversary tour of their breakthrough record Do You Feel, stopping by Crowbar in Ybor City on Wednesday (click here for details).

There has been, in the past year or so, a surge of nostalgia and popularity for the pop-punk and emo of the mid-2000s, for bands like Paramore, Panic! at the Disco and Dashboard Confessional. The Rocket Summer fit squarely into that world, touring with several of these artists and pulling multiple stints on the Warped Tour. They’ve never stopped making music — just this month, they released a new single, Gone Too Long — but to Avary, the time felt right to pay homage to an album that his fans still love deeply. …

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Randy Newman coming to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

With all the hubbub over the weekend about Disney developing an immersive Toy Story theme park in Florida, there's no better time to celebrate the fact that Randy Newman is coming here, too.

The legendary Oscar-, Grammy- and Emmy-winning singer-songwriter is coming back to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on Nov. 19, his first local show since 2014. Tickets are $39.25 and up. Every ticket purchased includes a physical or digital copy of his forthcoming album Dark Matter, due in August.

That last sold-out show in Clearwater showed a funny, insightful and poignant Newman "alone at a baby grand, showing his sweet side (Feels Like Home), his Disney-Pixar side (You've Got a Friend in Me), his scathing side (Sail Away), a cadence that kept the capacity crowd off-balance but captivated," the Times' Sean Daly wrote in his review. …

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SoundBytes: Brian Setzer Orchestra, Hundred Waters, Tim Allen, Sleeping With Sirens and more

Brain Setzer Orchestra

MSO PR

Brain Setzer Orchestra

-- It might be hard to get too excited about a holiday show, but not every holiday show features the Brian Setzer Orchestra. The retro rockabilly and his band put on one of the most popular Christmas tours every season, and it's one the folks at Ruth Eckerd Hall have been trying to book for years. Finally, they'll get their wish, as Setzer's 14th annual holiday tour will hit Ruth Eckerd Hall on Nov. 28. Tickets are $52.75 and up, and they'll probably sell out. Click here for details.

-- Alt-hardcore outfit Sleeping With Sirens have announced an intimate tour in support of their forthcoming album Gossip, and it's stopping at the Orpheum on Sept. 22. Tickets are $22 and up. Click here.

-- Hotly tipped Gainesville indie rock outfit Hundred Waters is coming to Crowbar on Aug. 24. Tickets are $13 and up. Click here.

-- Tim Allen is the latest big-name comic to book a show at Ruth Eckerd Hall, with a gig lined up there on Nov. 16. Tickets are $45 and up. Click here. …

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Ribfest 2017 lineup: ZZ Top, Charlie Daniels Band and more

ZZ Top

Getty Images

ZZ Top

Exactly how hard is it to get barbecue sauce out of a chest-length beard?

We don't know, and frankly, we don't want to know. But we might find out when the sharp-dressed men of ZZ Top come to St. Petersburg in November to headline Ribfest 2017.

The Texas rockers lead the first wave of acts for this year's Ribfest lineup, coming Nov. 10-12 to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Joining them are a handful of other classic rock and pop outfits -- Styx singer Dennis DeYoung, Orleans and Ambrosia -- and country heavy hitters the Charlie Daniels Band. (Country singer Trace Adkins was initially announced as part of the lineup, but has since been removed from Ribfest's website; festival officials now say it's unclear if he'll be here.) More acts will be added in the coming weeks.

Tickets to Ribfest, one of the largest annual music events in Tampa Bay, go on sale Oct. 5. And with ZZ Top at the top, they'll probably go fast. The group is nearly 50 years into a singular career, and their rowdy, raucous riffs are a perfect fit for the St. Pete festival.

The lineup so far:

Friday, Nov. 10: ZZ Top

Saturday, Nov. 11: Dennis DeYoung of Styx, Orleans, Ambrosia

Sunday, Nov. 12: Charlie Daniels Band …

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Nas coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Anytime one of the greatest MCs alive announces he's coming to your town, it's a good way to start the week.

Nas is coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Sept. 21 for a long-overdue proper headlining concert. Tickets to see the Illmatic rapper are $43 and up and go on sale Friday. Click here for details.

While Nas twice performed in Tampa in 2015, those two shows come with an asterisk -- one was a truncated late-night appearance at Club Skye, the other was part of the ill-fated HIT (History in Tampa) Music Festival at the USF Sun Dome. Before that, you have to go back years to find a full Nas concert in Tampa.

This headlining show is a one-night-only detour from Nas's fall tour with Lauryn Hill, which hits Miami on Sept. 22 and Jacksonville on Sept. 23.For info on those shows, click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Review: New Kids on the Block bring old-school fantasies to life at Tampa's Amalie Arena

New Kids on the Block performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on July 17, 2017.

Jay Cridlin

New Kids on the Block performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on July 17, 2017.

There’s a lot to unpack at a New Kids on the Block concert: Flaming pianos, rapping cartoon cats, roses hurled with abandon, at least one Christmas carol crooned in falling July snow.

But you kind of have to start with Donnie Wahlberg’s denim romper.

What a garment this was, unveiled halfway through the New Kids’ concert Saturday at a sold-out Amalie Arena in Tampa, just in time for the sugar-sweet teenybopper jams Stop It Girl and Popsicle. Sleeveless and saggy, emblazoned with Kiss and AC/DC patches, it sent Donnie and the crowd 30 years back in the past, unleashing screams that had waited three decades to break free.

The outfit was a perfect representation of the Package Tour, NKOTB’s summer trek with Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men. It was silly but stylized, knowingly laughable yet worn with unabashed pride – and for Donnie and the New Kids, it fit like a glove. …

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Review: Sam Hunt spins conventional country on its head at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Sam Hunt performed on July 14, 2017 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa.

Jay Cridlin

Sam Hunt performed on July 14, 2017 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa.

Conventional wisdom says you wait a few songs before charging into the crowd like a bull in Pamplona. Give yourself and the crowd a little time to work up an appetite.

Of course, when you’re Sam Hunt, conventional wisdom goes out the window. The appetite was there before you even entered the building. You might as well dive on in.

So on the second song of his sold-out concert Friday at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, the new-school country hunk jumped off stage, raced through the stands and sang House Party face to face with 19,500 delirious fans. And boy, did they dig it.

Hunt is the face and fantasy of Country 2.0, a helluva hardbody whose smoldering songs blend country, pop and R&B better than just about anyone. To win over the screaming hordes at his first Tampa concert in two years, and first local headlining show of this magnitude, all he had to do was show up.

“I want y’all to sing, dance, kick back and relax, do whatever makes you feel good,” he said. …

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Adrenaline Mob bassist killed in bus crash en route to concert in St. Petersburg

Adrenaline Mob was involved in a fatal bus accident on Interstate 75. Bassist David Zablidowsky, left, was killed.

Adrenaline Mob

Adrenaline Mob was involved in a fatal bus accident on Interstate 75. Bassist David Zablidowsky, left, was killed.

The bassist for New York metal band Adrenaline Mob was killed and other members and crew were injured when the group was involved in a major bus accident en route to a concert Friday in St. Petersburg.

David Zablidowsky, who also played for more than a dozen years in the Tampa-based Trans-Siberian Orchestra, died Friday afternoon when, according to the Gainesville Sun, a tractor trailer struck the band's RV and on Interstate 75 near Micanopy.

The band was pulled over to the shoulder of the interstate, police said, when the truck veered off the road and struck them. Nine people were involved in the crash, according to the Sun, including several band members.

Friends and former bandmates of Zablidowsky, known as David Z, confirmed the news on Twitter:

 

Crushed to have confirmed David Z of ZO2, @trans_siberian & @AdrenalineMob has died in today's accident. Friend, great guy & musician..

 

We are terribly saddened with the passing of our talented friend, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Adrenaline Mob and... https://t.co/qMdLxTqfdX

 

GOD BLESS DAVID "Z" ZABLIDOWSKY - Condolences & Prayers of STRENGTH & LIGHT To His FAMILY & Our ADRENALINE MOB BROTHERS - tBLSt SDMF pic.twitter.com/ghxrYjiPxW

 …

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