Bradenton area has some great live music this summer

June 1, 2014 

The summer has been traditionally been the time when all the biggest acts in music headed out on tour, and the time for all the best music festivals. Not so much anymore.

The music industry is changing, as everyone says anytime anyone mentions the music industry, and none of the traditional models apply.

It's looking like a relatively dry summer ahead for live for music in these parts, at least for all the big-name bands and artists, but depending on your tastes on how far you're willing to drive to see a show there should be enough to keep you going.

Here's a look at some of the biggest and best music events in the months ahead. Some aren't technically in the summer, but in Florida it'll feel like it.

• Katy Perry, June 30, Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa

Her latest album "Prism" and the single "Roar" are her most successful ever. The pop princess is touring with a high-tech stage that's supposed to be spectacular. Information: tampabaytimesforum.com.

• Vans Warped Tour, July 25, Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg

Look at the calendar and pick the absolute worst day of the year to bring an all-day festival to a shade-deprived park in central Florida. July 25 sounds like the day.

But if you've been to the Vans Warped Tour in its previous visits to St. Petersburg, chances are you remember the music and not the heat. It's a festival that's always done right, with lots of great bands that ought to appeal to just about anyone, not just young people.

This year's festival features about 100 bands. The Bradenton area's own We the Kings and the venerable bands Less than Jake and Bowling for Soup are on the tour. But the best

way to enjoy the Vans Warped Tour is to stroll around and discover acts that you might not know but who might be huge in a few years.

Among the ones worth investigating this year: Sleeper Agent, Cute Is What We Aim For, Me Like Bees, Mixtapes and the Protomen. Information: vanswarpedtour.com.

• Yes, Aug. 2, Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg

Arguably the best pog-rock band ever, Yes, with much of its classic lineup intact, plays two of its greatest albums from its heyday -- "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" -- in their entirety. Information: themahaffey.com.

• Memphis Music Fest, Aug. 9, Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg

Some of the greatest classic R&B acts ever: Booker T. Jones ("Green Onions"), William Bell ("You Don't Miss Your Water") and the Barkays ("Soul Finger"). This one should be massive amounts of fun. Information: themahaffey.com.

• Rascal Flatts with Sheryl Crow and Gloriana, Sept. 12, Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa

Tampa's Amphitheatre has some great country shows over the summer, but this one looks to be one of the best, and Sheryl Crow's presence gives it an even broader appeal. Information: livenation.com.

• Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Steve Winwood, Sept. 21, Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa

One of the biggest and best bands to ever come out of Florida, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers still rock and still do great shows. Winwood has churned out some mediocre soft-rock hits, but in his years with the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Blind Faith he made some of the most exciting music ever. Information: tampabaytimesforum.com.

• Tangerine Blues Fest, Sept. 27, Tangerine Greenway, Gulfport

A cool little blues festival, now in its seventh year, brings in some of the best local and regional blues acts, and there are lots of great ones. The lineup for this year hasn't been announced yet. Keep an eye on tangerinebluesfest.com for details.

Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.

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