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Review: Twenty One Pilots pull out countless tricks for delirious fans at Tampa's Amalie Arena

Twenty One Pilots perform at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Feb. 28, 2017.

CHARLIE KAIJO | Times

Twenty One Pilots perform at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Feb. 28, 2017.

Three songs into Twenty One Pilots’ concert Tuesday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Tyler Joseph decided to work a little magic.

A stagehand tossed a black sheet over the black-masked singer and his piano. A couple of minutes later, with drummer Josh Dun still pounding away, a spotlight shone in the upper deck, and there was Joseph, way up in the nosebleeds, about to rip off his balaclava and greet his people. Presto-change-o, abracadabra: Magic, right?

It must all feel that way to Twenty One Pilots, one of the unlikeliest breakout pop acts in recent memory. In the age of the solo superstar, the Ohio duo’s hotly anticipated – and very much sold-out – return to Tampa proved that against all odds, there’s still some demand for a rock(ish) group to rule the airwaves. Especially one with so many tricks up their sleeves. …

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Gabriel Iglesias cancels concert at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

One of these days, Tampa will see Gabriel Iglesias again. It just won't be for a while.

The self-proclaimed fluffy comic has canceled his upcoming spring tour, including a March 26 concert at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. The reasons why are unclear, but they don't sound good.

In a statement, promoter Icon Concerts said: "Gabriel has always been grateful of the loyalty and support from his fans and it is very important to him that he performs when he is at his best, which is why he needs some time to refocus and recharge from his intense travel and work schedules."

Iglesias himself hasn't elaborated much beyond that, though on Twitter, he added: "The problem with going down the wrong path is sometimes you take people with you. I'm not where I need to be but I'm refocused and hopeful."

This is the second time in a year that Iglesias has canceled a Tampa show, though the first had nothing to do with him. He was slated to headline last year's Oddball Comedy Festival at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, but that show was canceled the week of. Back then, Iglesias blamed the show's promoters. …

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Depeche Mode coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Depeche Mode

Anton Corbijn

Depeche Mode

Enjoy the silence while you can, Depeche Mode fans. Because your favorite group is coming back to light up Tampa this fall.

Depeche Mode has announced plans for a North American tours of arenas and amphitheaters, including Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Sept. 13. Tickets are $29.50 and up and go on sale March 10. Click here.

The British industrial-pop icons will in March release their 14th studio album, Spirit, and they'll no doubt play new material like their latest single Where's the Revolution. But any chance to hear their swaggering back catalog of hits -- Personal Jesus, Just Can't Get Enough, Police of Truth, People Are People -- is worth it.

As we wrote in our review of their last Tampa show, in 2013: "At an age when many of their peers are playing food fests and living on radio royalty checks, the British electro-pop icons are still capable of sandblasting a crowd of 14,000 with sweat, sex and swaggering energy."

Click here for details on Depeche Mode's upcoming Tampa concert.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Gasparilla Music Festival schedule, set times released: When to catch Ryan Adams, Cage the Elephant and more in Tampa

Cage the Elephant

Getty Images

Cage the Elephant

As we gear up for one of the strongest Gasparilla Music Festival lineups ever, it's time to check out the schedule.

The festival has released the schedule and set times for its sixth annual affair, featuring Cage the Elephant (above) on Saturday and Ryan Adams on Sunday. As always, Saturday is the longer, busier day, while Sunday will bring some fresh, family-friendy vibes and even an all-new stage. Here's the rundown:

SATURDAY, MARCH 11

MAIN STAGE

9 p.m.: Cage the Elephant

7:15: Los Amigos Invisibles

5:30: Moon Taxi

4: Lady Wray

2:30: Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs

1: Have Gun, Will Travel

Noon: Mt. Zion Gospel Choir

KILEY GARDENS STAGE

8 p.m.: Ghostface Killah

6:15: Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics

4:45: Dirty Dozen Brass Band

3:15: Twin Peaks

1:45: Lawrence

AMPHITHEATRE STAGE

7:30 p.m.: Rogerthomas

5:45: Queenofex

4:15: Pajamas

2:45: Ari Chai

1:15: Patel Conservatory Vocal Arts Chorale

12:15: Sugar Rush

TIBBETTS' CORNER

7:30: Bangarang

5:45: The Sh-Booms

4:15: Miroux

2:45: Parrotfish

1: Bears and Lions

11 a.m.: Dubb Tenn Yoga with Badda Skat

There will also be a noon dance party and 6 p.m. silent disco at the Kiley Gardens river overlook.

SUNDAY, MARCH 12

MAIN STAGE

6:15 p.m.: Ryan Adams …

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2017 Okeechobee Music Festival: 6 tips for survival, and 7 acts not to miss

Solange

Solange

Before last year's inaugural Okeechobee Music Festival, Florida music festival fans were wondering: Could this thing really be the Sunshine State's long-promised rival to Bonnaroo, Coachella or Lollapalooza?

After selling out in Year 1, with reviews of the festival's eye-popping setting, creative design and eclectic lineup -- including ours -- pretty spectacular across the board, Okeechobee returns this weekend with a lineup that includes Kings of Leon, Usher with the Roots, Bassnectar, Solange (above) and dozens of others. Once again, it's close to sold out, suggesting word of mouth was strong enough that people were going to return no matter who was on the bill.

If you're heading down to Okeechobee County for this year's fest, pre-game by checking out our reviews of last year's event -- Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 -- and heeding these tips and suggestions. …

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Before Twenty One Pilots hit Tampa, 97X becomes 'Blurryface Radio' for a day

Are Twenty One Pilots as big as Taylor Swift?

You'd have to ask Swifties and the Skeleton Clique about that, and lord knows those are two fan bases we don't want to mess with. But in at least one respect, Twenty One Pilots are getting the Taylor Swift treatment in Tampa.

On Tuesday, in celebration of their sold-out concert at Amalie Arena, local alt-rock station 97X is switching its them to "Blurryface Radio" in recognition of a Grammy-winning band they've supported since the beginning.

Starting at midnight Monday, the band will weave even more Twenty One Pilots into its regular rotation, including live, rare and exclusive tracks throughout the day. The station will count down Twenty One Pilots songs at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and starting at 5 p.m., they'll air a huge mix of hits and deep cuts to coincide with a "Clique pre-party" at Ferg's Live, across the street from Amalie Arena. After the show, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun will host a radio takeover to help you get through the ride home. …

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Jim Gaffigan coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Nice guy that he is, Jim Gaffigan has just made your New Year's Eve plans for you.

The family-friendly comic and actor is bringing his Noble Ape Tour to Amalie Arena in Tampa on Dec. 31, ensuring you'll be able to usher in 2018 with a laugh. Tickets are $32 and up, and go on sale Friday. Click here for details.

This show puts Gaffigan on the very short list of comics who can headline Amalie Arena with a solo show -- Amy Schumer, Kevin Hart, Dane Cook, Katt Williams. Gaffigan tends to play Ruth Eckerd Hall when he comes to town, but he hasn't been around in a few years, so this is a huge play for a bigger audience.

Not that he needs it -- he's already one of the most popular touring stand-ups in America today. He stars in the acclaimeed TV Land sitcom The Jim Gaffigan Show, he's released a pair of New York Times bestselling books, and in December he headlined Madison Square Garden for the first time.

Click here for details on Gaffigan's Tampa New Year's Eve show.

-- Jay Cridlin

 

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Lionel Richie postpones tour with Mariah Carey, including Tampa concert, due to knee surgery

You can only go All Night Long for so many years before the all those nights start catching up to you.

Lionel Richie has postponed his spring "All the Hits Tour" with Mariah Carey, including a May 26 concert at Tampa's Amalie Arena, due to recovery from knee surgery.

"When you have been performing as long as I have it takes a toll on your body," Richie said in a statement. "Unfortunately my recovery from a knee procedure will not have me 100% ready to start the tour next month. I don't want to disappoint my fans and I look forward to being back on stage so we can all be 'Dancing on the Ceiling' together again. The tour will be postponed until this summer and I'll announce new dates next week."

The 35-city tour was scheduled to start in Baltimore on March 15, with the Tampa stop falling second to last. It's not inconceivable that Richie might recover in time to keep his dates in some of the tour's later cities, like Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. In an email, his spokeswoman said only that the tour was postponed and tickets to all original shows would be honored on the new dates.

Like Richie said: We'll all find out next week. In the meantime, click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Photos: John Legend raises spirits with his music, words at the Tampa Convention Center

John Legend spoke and performed at the 11th annual Black, Brown & College Bound Summit at the Tampa Convention Center on Feb. 23.

Octavio Jones

John Legend spoke and performed at the 11th annual Black, Brown & College Bound Summit at the Tampa Convention Center on Feb. 23.

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter John Legend had a simple message Thursday for the 11th annual Black, Brown & College Bound Summit in Tampa: "Change is possible.''

Legend, the keynote speaker, also performed for the crowd of about 700 at the Tampa Convention Center, all in support of a group designed to address national student success rates for African American and Latino boys and young men. Also performing was Adan Martinez, 17, a student at Gibbs High School.

Click the headline of this post for a slideshow of Octavio Jones' photos from the event.

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John Mayer coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

It feels like John Mayer's been lost in the weeds for a while now, indulging in all kinds of musical muses (California jam-rock, singing for Dead and Company) while dealing with personal issues (controversial interviews, health scares that threatened his voice).

But maybe a new summer arena tour is just the thing to get him back on track.

The Grammy-winning, hit-making singer-songwriter will bring his "Search For Everthing World Tour" to Tampa's Amalie Arena on Aug. 13. It'll be his first Tampa concert since 2013. Tickets are $35.50 and up, and they'll go on sale March 4. Click here for details.

When Mayer promises a "search for everything," he means it. Each show on this tour will see him performing three ways: With a full band, with his John Mayer Trio and solo acoustic. It'll support his upcoming seventh album The Search for Everything, which is being released in singles and waves of EPs; the second batch of songs just dropped Friday.

Here's Mayer talking about what to expect on the tour:

-- Jay Cridlin

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Reggae Rise Up schedule, set times: When to see Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads and more at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg

In its new home of Vinoy Park, the Reggae Rise Up Festival has really found its footing. Since moving to St. Petersburg last year, it has expanded to two days for 2017, and on March 4 and 5, fans will see more than two dozen artists on two stages, including Dirty Heads (above), Slightly Stoopid, Iration, Steel Pulse and more.

The festival just announced three contest-winning additions to the lineup: Rising singer-songwriter-surfer Landon McNamara, plus Oogee Wawa and Of Good Nature. They also announced the schedule and set times for both days. Here it is:

MARCH 4

MAIN STAGE

8:30 p.m.: Slightly Stoopid

7: Iration

5:45: The Hip Abduction

4:30: Protoje

3:15: Fortunate Youth

2: The Movement

1: Oceanstone

SIDE STAGE

7:45: The Expanders

6:15: Bumpin Uglies

5:15: Landon McNamara

4: The Late Ones

2:45: Jungle Man Sam

1:30: Oogee Wawa

12:30: Of Good Nature

MARCH 5

MAIN STAGE

8:30: Dirty Heads

7: Steel Pulse

5:45: The Green

4:30: Z+G+E

3:15: Hirie

2: Through the Roots

SIDE STAGE

7:45: Passafire

6:15: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad

5:15: Leilani Wolfgramm

4: Tatanka

2:45: Sidereal

1:30: Summer Survivors …

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Long Island sounds: A guide to the many Billy Joel tribute acts coming to Tampa Bay

When Billy Joel was writing Miami 2017, maybe he should have called it Tampa 2017. Because over the next few months, this area will be overrun with Piano Man tribute bands.

Joel is one of those artists with so many indelible songs that, much like the Grateful Dead or Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, there’s a consistent demand to hear his songs live. That’s even the case in Florida, one of the few parts of America where the semi-retired Joel still tours regularly. People just can’t wait until his next show to hear The Entertainer or Only the Good Die Young, no matter who sings it.

If you can’t tell your big shots from your strangers, your entertainers from your innocent men, here's a guide.

The Stranger (Friday, Cuban Club): One of the best-known Joel tributes is the Stranger, a Long Island act led by Mike Santoro that’s performed all over the country. They’ll take the stage at 7 p.m. Friday at the Cuban Club, 2010 Avenida Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. $20 and up. Click here for details. …

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SoundBytes: Charlie Puth, Todd Rundgren, Darude, Puddle of Mudd and more

-- Good news for fans of sensitive young pop balladeers: You'll now get two for the price of one on July 25, as Shawn Mendes has tapped Charlie Puth, above, to open his North American tour, including a stop at Amalie Arena. Click here for details.

-- Speaking of hit singer-songwriters, Todd Rundgren is returning to the Mahaffey Theater on May 27. Tickets are $35 and up. Click here.

-- Let the Sandstorm commence: Darude, the Finnish DJ behind that inescapable 1999 electronic earworm, is coming to the Ritz Ybor on April 8. Click here.

-- Another big trance DJ coming to the Ritz: Andrew Rayel on April 22. Click here.

-- ZOSO: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Tribute Experience is coming to the Cuban Club on April 21. Tickets are $18 and up. Click here.

-- Another Cuban Club show: Grunge holdovers Puddle of Mudd on March 11. Tickets are $15 and up. Click here.

-- Streetlight Manifesto is returning to Jannus Live on July 16 as part of a tour marking the 10-year anniversary of their album Somewhere In The Between, where they'll be performing it in full each night. Click here.

-- Froth is coming to New World Brewery on April 21. Tickets are $10 and up. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Twenty One Pilots in Tampa Bay: From next big things to THE big things

Twenty One Pilots sold out at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg in 2013.

Brian Mahar

Twenty One Pilots sold out at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg in 2013.

Seems like only yesterday Twenty One Pilots were a barely-signed Ohio duo playing early in the afternoon at USF Bullstock and 97X Next Big Thing. Now they're the hottest alternative band in America, a Grammy-winning duo with a horde of rabid fans coast to coast.

How did it happen? More importantly, did it happen overnight?

Not in Tampa Bay it didn't. Here, we've had a front-row seat to the rise of Twenty One Pilots over the past five years, from their early days opening festivals and packing clubs to their sold-out concert Tuesday at Amalie Arena (click here for details). By several measures, this is one of the group's best markets in America.

Over the past five years, 97X has played hits like Stressed Out, Heathens and Ride some 15,000 times, said director of branding and programming Dan Connelly, making 97X "the No. 1 spinner of the band in the country." In one recent seven-day span, 97X played Twenty One Pilots 169 times — a pace of once an hour.

"Nobody ever gets tired of it," said 97X host Danielle McBroom. "I've never picked up the phone to someone who's said, 'You're playing too much Twenty One Pilots.' It's never happened." …

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Rae Sremmurd to open for the Weeknd at Amalie Arena in Tampa

Brian Mahar

The last time Rae Sremmurd came through Tampa Bay, they couldn't come close to filling Jannus Live. Here's guessing they'll do a little better on their next swing through town.

The Black Beatles upstarts will open for the Weeknd on the spring North American leg of his upcoming Starboy: Legend of the Fall 2017 Tour, which hits Tampa's Amalie Arena on May 12. Belly and 6lack will also join the show, according to the Weeknd's Instagram.

Since Rae Sremmurd and played Jannus Live with Lil Yachty last fall, the Mississippi duo's single Black Beatles went viral as the de facto soundtrack for the mannequin challenge, from the cast of Saturday Night Live to Paul McCartney himself. The song's streaming success took it to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's a bona fide cultural phenomenon. That'll take them from playing for a few hundred people last October to likely more than 10,000 this spring. Not a bad leap, huh?

Tickets to the Weeknd at Amalie Arena are $35.75 and up. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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