It's felt like summer for a few weeks already, but now the calendar has made it official.
If you're a fan of live music, you have a little less reason to dread sultry months than other people.
Sure, you're facing the same 100 days or so of brutal heat and occasional hurricane threats. But summer 2015 is bringing a lot of great concerts to the Bradenton area.
Some of the best are outdoors, which isn't the best news, but a lot of those are worth getting excited about even if you have to perspire a little, and maybe even if you risk getting caught in the rain.
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Here's a look at some of the best of the next three months.
Vans Warped Tour, Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg, July 3. This one's going to be uncomfortably hot. It always is. And it's always worth it. Ten music stages, a comedy tent and a great atmosphere. No really huge bands have been announced thus far, but what makes this tour so much fun is the chance to wander around the smaller stages and find great new bands you've never heard of. Tickets: $36 plus service charge. Information: 727-893-7441, vanswarpedtour.com.
Shinedown. July 9, Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg. This one officially sold out quickly, but you can probably find tickets if you're willing to search and to pay the price. Information: 727-892-5767, themahaffey.com.
Imagine Dragons/Metric, July 10, Amalie Arena, Tampa. Two great bands that should be great together. Imagine Dragons have won Grammy Awards and earned platinum records for their tasteful alt-rock. Metric is not as widely known, but they're every bit as good. They've opened for everyone from Modest Mouse to the Rolling Stones. Tickets: $26.25-$56.25. Information: 813-301-2500, amaliearena.com.
Neon Trees, July 11, State Theatre, St. Petersburg. The best Mormon rock band fronted by a gay guy ever. Seriously, Neon Trees, who are best known for their hit "Animal," are a great live band. Tickets: $23-$25. Information: 727-895-3045, statetheatreconcerts.com.
Ariana Grande, July 16, Amalie Arena, Tampa. The reigning princess of pop has extended her hugely successful U.S. tour. The second leg starts in Tampa. Latin music star Prince Royce opens. Tickets: $26.25-$66.25. Information: 813-301-2500, amaliearena.com.
Sam Smith, July 21. Amalie Arena, Tampa. British pop-soul singer Smith toured the United States earlier this year and sold out the country's biggest arenas. Now he's starting a second U.S. tour. He has an absolutely gorgeous voice. Tickets: $32.50-$96.25. Information: 813-301-2500, amaliearena.com. Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, July 25, Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg. If you have any affinity whatsoever for contemporary R&B you have to love Babyface, because he pretty much defines it. He's won 11 Grammy Awards as a singer, writer and producer and he's worked with just about everyone you've ever heard of. Tickets: $32.50-$72.50. Information: 727-892-5767, themahaffey.com
Slightly Stoopid, July 26, Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg. Slightly Stoopid plays much smarter music than their name indicates. Actually it would be hard for them not to. They play a blend of funk, rock and reggae and they're really fun. Tickets: $35. Information: 727-893-7441, stpeteparksrec.org.
Steely Dan/Elvis Costello. Aug. 11, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa. A lot of people think this is an odd concert combo. But these are two acts who helped define the music of the 1970s and still put on phenomenal concerts. Tickets: $25-$139. Information: 813-740-2446, livenation.com.
Umphrey's McGee with J. Roddy Walston & the Business. Aug. 23, Jannus Live., St. Petersburg. Umphrey's Mc
Gee may be the worst band name of all time, but it's a really great band that combines prog rock and Phish-style jamming with maybe just a touch of metal. J. Roddy Walston & the Business have a classic rock feel. Tickets: $26.50. Information: 727-565-0550, jannuslive.com.
Lady Antebellum, Sept. 5, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa. Lady Antebellum has won seven Grammy Awards since 2010, including five in 2011 for "Need You Now." They play great, polished country-pop and they're reputedly great live. Tickets: $30.75-$60.50. Information: 813-740-2446, livenation.com.
The Orb, Sept. 5, State Theatre, St. Petersburg. The ground-breaking electronic band has influenced lots of bands that are much more well-known. But they're still making great music after 27 years together. Tickets: $25. Information: 727-895-3045, statetheatreconcerts.com.
Ed Sheeran, Sept. 10, Amalie Arena, Tampa. The ginger-haired, potato-faced Brit has become one of the best-known and most influential figures in popular music in the past few years, thanks to distinctive and heartfelt lyrics, lovely melodies and a very pretty singing voice -- and despite having released only two studio albums. Tickets: $56.25-$66.25. Information: 813-301-2500, amaliearena.com.
Zappa Plays Zappa, Sept. 11, Jannus Live, St. Petersburg. Dweezil Zappa and his band pay tribute to Dweezil's daddy. Tickets: $26.50-$28. Information: 727-565-0550, jannuslive.com.
Blues Traveler, Sept. 19, Jannus Live, St. Petersburg. A jam band with a difference. The difference being the virtuosic harmonica playing of John Popper. Tickets: $25-$28. Information: 27-565-0550, jannuslive.com.
Van Halen/The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Sept. 13, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa. My goodness, some of the Van Halen guys, past and present, sure don't seem to like each other much these days, do they? But the current lineup -- the Van Halen brothers, Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass and David Lee Roth out front -- should still offer one of the best shows of the summer even if Roth can't sing. Blues-rocker Shepherd should offer able support. Tickets: $13.15-$988. Information: 813-740-2446, livenation.com.
There's plenty more, especially if you keep an eye out for who's playing in clubs and small venues. And the summer is going to drag on for three more months, so other shows are likely to be announced. But that should be enough to get you started.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.