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TLC's 'I Love the '90s' concert at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg: Canceled



If you were hoping to see TLC on their first spin through Tampa Bay in about a quarter-century, you'll have to wait a little longer.

The "I Love the '90s: The Party Continues" concert scheduled for Sept. 10 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg has been canceled, according to a spokeswoman for the Mahaffey Theater next door, which was handling ticketing. TLC's Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas were to headline the show, along with Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath, Coolio and All-4-One.

Mahaffey spokeswoman Cindy Cockburn said the show would not be coming to St. Pete after all due to "unforeseen circumstances."

It's a bummer, because as Chilli told the Times in a recent phone interview, TLC's new recent tours, their first major outings since the 2002 death of bandmate Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, have been a blast.

"We're very blessed to be in the position to still have longevity, that people still want to hear your songs and are even interested in new music, and want new music from you, which is what we've given them," she said.

RELATED: Before TLC plays St. Petersburg, Chilli talks Ed Sheeran, Zora Neale Hurston and life after Left Eye …

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XXXTentacion announces free show at the Orpheum in Tampa this Saturday

Controversial South Florida rapper XXXTentacion just dropped a big Labor Day surprise on Tampa Bay.

The 19-year-old Broward County instigator, a star in the emergent "SoundCloud rap" and "emo rap" movements, announced on Instagram and Twitter that he'd be playing a free concert at the Orpheum in Ybor City this Saturday. Doors open at 7 p.m., and it's all-ages, but you better get there early -- and be prepared to stay late -- if you want a spot inside.

Why? Start with the fact that XXXTentacion has already notched a couple of hits in Look At Me and the Kodak Black collab Roll in Peace. Or the fact that he made this year's XXL Freshman Class. Or the fact that he just dropped his debut studio album, 17, which has already earned rave tweets from Kendrick Lamar, Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty, among others. (Kendrick, interestingly, is in Tampa on Friday. XXXTentacion stopped by a previous show on this tour and hopped on stage with D.R.A.M. -- might he pop into Tampa as well?) …

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SoundBytes: Ookay, Branford Marsalis, Whitechapel and more



-- DJ and producer Ookay is coming to the Ritz Ybor on Oct. 13, alongside Fox Stevenson. Click here.

-- The Mahaffey Theater has unveiled its full 2017-18 season, including such new performers as Branford Marsalis (Jan. 11, click here), Garrison Keillor (Feb. 5, click here), the Righteous Brothers (March 4, click here), Audra McDonald (March 13, click here) and and Dennis Miller (March 30, click here).

-- Metal outfit Whitechapel is coming to the State Theatre on Nov. 11. Click here.

-- Also coming to the State Theatre: Shwayze on Oct. 26. Click here.

-- Kung Fu is coming to Dunedin Brewery on Oct. 15. Click here.

-- Following his concert on Friday at Jannus Live, Lil Wayne will appear at an after party at the Kennedy in Tampa. Click here.

-- Hey, it looks like Tampa death metal pioneers Obituary are working on a beer with Cigar City Brewing! Check it out on Sept. 9 at the Brass Mug and the Cigar City taproom. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Review: Ed Sheeran gives shoes to fans, displays guitar greatness at Tampa's Amalie Arena

Ed Sheeran performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Aug. 29, 2017.

Charlie Kaijo

Ed Sheeran performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Aug. 29, 2017.

Here is what happened when Ed Sheeran took his shoes off in Tampa.

“I got given these shoes,” Sheeran told the sold-out crowd of more than 15,000 at Amalie Arena Tuesday night, “and they’re the most uncomfortable f---ing pair of shoes of I’ve ever worn in my life. So much so that … does anyone want them?”

And so, with a Henson Company grin spreading beneath his strawberry mop, Sheeran stripped off the designer clogs he’d worn two nights prior at the MTV Video Music Awards and hocked them into the crowd.

“I regularly get voted worst dressed at things,” he said, “but my answer to it is, I wear sneakers, jeans and a T-shirt all the time. And looking around, all I see in this room are sneakers, jeans and T-shirts. So either they’re right and we’re all badly dressed, or they’re wrong and we’re all actually dressed normal. I’d like to think that we’re right, Tampa. Right?”

Hey, when you’re already the world’s biggest male pop star, and you add to your repertoire the biggest hit you’ve ever written, you can wear whatever you want. The world is your oyster, and the audience is your footlocker. …

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Tiffany Haddish talks growing up in foster care, finding her comedic voice and more

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Tiffany Haddish is on a roll with a national stand-up tour coming to Clearwater's Capitol Theatre this weekend, co-starring on NBC's The Carmichael Show, having the Showtime special She Ready and being the breakout star of Girls Trip, a $100 million sleeper hit and still counting.

Her bittersweet memoir The Last Black Unicorn is due in December. The ending is much happier than Haddish's beginnings.

"Last week I was reading (galleys) and I just started crying," Haddish said in a recent phone interview. "There's some stuff in there that's kind of dark, hard to deal with. I was, like, I don't know if I should put this out. If I'm crying, I know other people are going to cry.

"Then I get to the next paragraph and I'm dying laughing because of how I process it. I guess it's a tearjerker and a knee slapper."

Click here for details on Haddish's sold-out show at the Capitol Theatre.

For more with Tiffany Haddish, click here for Steve Persall's interview.

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Photos: Social Distortion, Jade Jackson pack punks of all ages into Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Social Distortion performed at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Aug. 27, 2017.

Jay Cridlin

Social Distortion performed at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Aug. 27, 2017.

On the same night most people were at home watching the MTV Video Music Awards and the season finale of Game of Thrones, the punks of Tampa Bay were packed into Jannus Live for Social Distortion.

"I like the Sunday nighters better than the Fridays and the Saturdays," singer-guitarist Mike Ness told the crowd. Because the Sunday nighters, they don't want the party to end."

Grizzled but taut, with sweat beading down his tattooed limbs, the 55-year-old Ness led Social D through a career-spanning set of his signature rusty, crusty country-influenced punk, and got the crowd singing along by dropping one of his band's big hits, Ball and Chain, early in the set. Totally worth missing Game of Thones for that, right?

Opening the show was Jade Jackson, a 25-year-old Californian whose debut album, Gilded, Ness produced. Fitting, since as she told the crowd, her first concert, at age 13, was Social Distortion. …

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Ruff Ryders reunion tour with DMX, Eve, Fat Joe, more cancels Tampa concert


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There are limits, it seems, to the allure of the 20-year nostalgia cycle.

A Tampa stop on the Ruff Ryders' 20th anniversary tour, featuring DMX, Eve, Swizz Beatz, Fat Joe, the Lox, Drag-On and more, has been canceled. The show was to take place Sept. 8 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. Tickets will be automatically refunded, or are available at point of purchase. Click here for details.

While no reason was given for the cancellation, the tour has been plagued by problems. DMX had been ordered to house arrest while awaiting federal tax fraud charges, but this week it was reported he'd be able to move to a rehab facility. And at a recent stop in New Jersey, Drag-On reportedly collapsed during his set and was treated for dehydration.

Guess that only leaves I Love the '90s: The Party Continues, with TLC and Coolio on Sept. 10, as the big post-Labor Day retro bash in Tampa Bay. Somehow, we'll make do.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Taylor Swift drops new single, 'Look What You Made Me Do'; hints at Tampa tour date

Taylor Swift's got drama on her mind. Revenge, too. And maybe, just maybe, a tour stop in Tampa.

The pop megastar dropped her long-awaited first single from her new album Reputation late Thursday night. It's called Look What You Made Me Do, and if you have beef with anyone in your life -- and heaven knows Swift's got her share of high-profile feuds and haters -- the song's icy lyrics might resonate.

"I'm sorry, but the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now," Swift hisses in a spoken-word aside midway through. "Why? Oh... Because she's dead." 

If that seems a little on-the-nose for a songwriter who generally knows how to wield a pen with nuance, well, get used to it. Here, she's using that pen with a purpose in a seething revenge fantasy against those who've commited the "perfect crime" against her: "I got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined / I check it once and then I check it twice." …

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SoundBytes: Pauly D, Farukko, Perfume Genius and more

Pauly D

Luis Santana (2011)

Pauly D

-- With all the hubbub about MTV's Siesta Key, let's not forget that the cast of the show that inspired it, Jersey Shore, recently reunited. To celebrate, you can go check out DJ Pauly D at Shephard's Beach Resort on Sept. 2. Click here for details on Shephard's three-day Labor Day weekend party.

-- Superstar Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Farruko is the first headliner announced for this year's 92.5 Maxima Hispanic Heritage concert, Oct. 15 at Coachman Park in Clearwater. Advance tickets start at $25. Click here.

-- Legendary pop songwriter and producer David Foster (Celine Dion's The Power of Love, Chicago's Hard to Say I'm Sorry, Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing, countless others) is coming to the Capitol Theatre on April 28. Tickets are $55 and up. Click here.

-- Perfume Genius is coming to the Social in Orlando on Oct. 16. Tickets are $21. Click here.

-- Of Montreal will return to the Orpheum on Dec. 10. Tickets are $18. Click here.

-- Hatebreed is coming to the State Theatre on Nov. 29. Click here.

-- Singer-songwriter Randall Bramblett will perform at the Attic in Ybor City on Oct. 29. Tickets are $20 and up. Click here. …

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Second person dies following Florida crash that killed Adrenaline Mob bassist


More than a month after an interstate crash that killed a member of the metal band Adrenaline Mob en route to a gig in St. Petersburg, the band's tour manager has died from her injuries.

Janet "Jane Train" Rains died Wednesday, weeks after the June 14 crash on Interstate 75 near Micanopy, her mother confirmed on Facebook. She had suffered severe burns and smoke inhalation, and had been through numerous surgeries.

"Janet chose to be with Jesus," her mother, Lucille Joyner, wrote. Rains' attorney confirmed her death to her hometown newspaper, the Citizens' Voice in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Rains was in Adrenaline Mob's RV at the time of the crash. It was pulled over to the I-75 shoulder when a truck veered into it, causing several serious injuries. Bassist David Zablidowski, who also performed with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, was also killed. The band was traveling to St. Petersburg, where it had a show booked at the State Theatre that night.

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

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How 'Swag Surfin',' a song with Tampa Bay roots, still crushes clubs eight years later

Kevin Erondu

Courtesy of Kevin Erondu

Kevin Erondu

It's played at pep rallies and political protests. It soundtracks college football recruiting videos and viral clips from historically black colleges. Some Twitter users have joked it's the new black national anthem.

The song is Swag Surfin', a 2009 hit for Fast Life Youngstaz, produced by Dade City native Kevin Erondu.

"It's very weird, because we're at eight years now, fast forwarding, and they're still playing the song," said Erondu, who produces under the handle K.E. on the Track.

Erondu turned the song into a career, composing songs for Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj, working in films and video games and amassing a big social media following.

For more on Erondu and Swag Surfin', click here for Langston Taylor's story.

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Taylor Swift announces new album, 'Reputation'; new single coming Thursday


It's official: Taylor Swift is back.

After a week of social media deletions and cryptic Instagram clips, Swift announced her first album in three years, is coming Nov. 10. The title: Reputation. The first single will debut sometime Thursday night.

The title and initial artwork for Reputation suggests Swift will be taking on her portrayal in the media, whether it be her feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian or her recent sexual assault trial in Colorado. It's the long-awaited follow-up to 1989, Swift's crossover into the pop world, which won Album of the Year at the Grammys.

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There have been rumors this week that Swift might debut a single right before, or even during, Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, but it seems she won't even wait that long. All week, she's been uploading clips of a serpent on Instagram:

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on


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James Blunt talks touring with Ed Sheeran, the lasting impact of 'You're Beautiful' and more

James Blunt

Jimmy Fontaine

James Blunt

Ed Sheeran has to owe some of his success to James Blunt. The two Englishmen share a taste for acoustic balladry and rousing pop songs, and know a lot about making ladies scream with a guitar.

That may be why they've struck up such a fast and fascinating friendship in recent years, not just touring together, but giving joint interviews, attending royal parties and taking joint vacations.

"We were on skiing holiday and writing songs for my new album," said Blunt, who is opening Sheeran's North American tour, which hits Tampa's Amalie Arena on Tuesday (click here). "While were there, over a drink, he said, we should hang out more, and I believe the U.S. was the tour that made sense. For me, it's just fantastic experience. ... I get about 40 minutes a day; that means I'm off stage about two hours before him, so I've got two extra hours' drinking time compared to him. And we have a blast."

For more of our interview with James Blunt, click here.

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311 coming to the Cuban Club in Tampa


Marcello Ambriz


For the second time this year, 311 is playing a small club in Ybor City. This time, though, you might actually have a shot at getting in.

The normally amphitheater-headlining band has booked a show for Nov. 4 at the Cuban Club in Ybor City -- just a block or so from the Attic and Rock Brothers Brewing, which produces the band's signature 311 Amber Ale. Rock Brothers, which is producing this show under the moniker "Moffitt Rocks Tampa Bay"; as the band's website notes, it'll be a fundraiser for the Moffitt Cancer Center.

This is 311's second spin through Ybor in recent months. In February, the rock-reggae-punk-hip-hop group played an invite-only show for Rock Brothers at the Ritz Ybor on the eve of their annual 311 Cruise, which departed from the Port of Tampa. To get into that one, fans had to win tickets.

Tickets to the show start at $47.50. While 311 is the only band announced thus far, they promise at least one "special guest" will be added to the bill.

Click here for all the details on the show.

-- Jay Cridlin

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The Who's Roger Daltrey coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Roger Daltrey performing in Tampa in 2015.

Luis Santana

Roger Daltrey performing in Tampa in 2015.

The Who may be nearing the end of their touring days. But Roger Daltrey is not.

The Who's singer is embarking on a new solo tour this fall, and it'll stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Oct. 30. It'll be Daltrey's first gig in Tampa Bay since a Who gig in 2015, and his first solo stop since 2009, also at Ruth Eckerd.

While Pete Townshend and bassist Pino Palladino won't be on hand, plenty of other members of the modern Who will be -- guitarist Simon Townshend (Pete's brother), drummer Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr's son), bassist Jon Button and keyboardists Frank Simes, Loren Gold and John Corey. So basically every almost every member of the Who playing live shows these days.

Daltrey's solo sets are loaded with Who hits like I Can't Explain, Baba O'Riley and Who Are You, along with numerous solo tracks and covers.

Tickets to this show are $63.50 and up. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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