The heat will soon give way a bit to the fall weather, which means it's an ideal time to make live music plans. From rock and rap to country and blues, here are a dozen shows coming to the Tampa Bay area we think should be worth your hard-earned dollars.
-- Wade Tatangelo | Bradenton Herald
Elton John (Sept. 14)
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will be at the piano fronting a five-piece band to open the newly renovated USF Sun Dome. Publicity material promises "all the hits," which should mean performances of key tracks like "Your Song," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Rocket Man," "Tiny Dancer," and, if attendees are lucky, perhaps some less popular classics such as "Madman Across the Water" or "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters."
Details: 8 p.m. Sept. 14, USF Sun Dome, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa; $39.50-$139.50. Information: 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com.
Toby Keith (Sept. 16)
A decade after becoming a country music and conservative talk radio hero with "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," Toby Keith has concentrated on keeping his fans happy with a regular supply of fresh drinking songs.
"Beers Ago," "Red Solo Cup," "I Like Girls That Drink Beer," "Get My Drink On," "Get Drunk and Be Somebody," "I Love This Bar," "Whiskey Girl" and "Beer for My Horses" are the most popular ones.
"You Don't Know Her Like I Do" singer Brantley Gilbert opens.
Details: 7 p.m. Sept. 16, Ask Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 N. U.S. Highway 301, Tampa. Tickets: $38-$83. Information: 813-287-8844 or www.ticketmaster.com.
Brad Paisley (Sept. 28)
A gifted singer, songwriter and guitarist, Brad Paisley remains one of the most talented acts waving the mainstream country banner these days. A consistent success on the charts since 1999, he scored another huge hit last year with "Old Alabama," which featured guest vocals from members of the group Alabama.
The Band Perry ("If I Die Young," "All Your Life," "Postcards from Paris") and "American Idol" season 10 winner Scotty McCreery open.
Details: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 28, Ask Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 N. U.S. Highway 301, Tampa. Tickets: $38-$79. Information: 813-287-8844 or www.ticketmaster.com.
Sarasota Blues and Music Festival (Sept. 29)
Two-time Grammy Award winner Delbert McClinton, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Ana Popovic, Curtis Salgado, Paul Thorn and prodigy act Pett Crow make up the stylistically diverse roster scheduled to perform at Ed Smith Stadium on Sept. 29. Texas roots musician McClinton, best known for the 1981 hit "Giving it Up for Your Love" and penning "Two More Bottles of Wine," headlined the festival in 2001 and 2005.
Details: 11 a.m. Sept. 29, Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota. Tickets: $22; children under the age of 14 are free with paid adult admission; limited number of VIP tickets available for $75. Information: 855-292-5837 or sarasotabluesfest.com
WILD 94.1's Last Damn Show (Oct. 6)
The mainstream urban radio station's signature event returns to the Tampa Bay Times Forum with an all-star hip-hop and R&B lineup featuring West Coast rap icon Snoop Dogg (recently changed to Snoop Lion), Chicago-based MC Lupe Fiasco and this year's breakout star, Atlanta-based gangsta 2 Chainz. Also featured are Machine Gun Kelly, Pleasure P, Rita Ora and Kreayshawn.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets: $15-$90. Information: 813-287-8844 or www.ticketmaster.com.
John Legend (Oct. 19)
Neo-soul singer, pianist and songwriter kicks off the Van Wezel's 43rd season with a set that will likely include such hits as "Green Light," "Save Room" and his latest, "Tonight (Best You Ever Had)." The performance will mark the Sarasota debut for John Legend.
Details: 8 p.m. Oct. 19, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trial, Sarasota. Tickets: $30-$125. Information: 941-955-7676 or www.vanwezel.org.
Halloweenie Roast (Oct. 27)
Horror rocker Rob Zombie and shock rocker Marilyn Manson are the right acts to headline radio station 98Rock's Halloween bash. Although he's been busy directing fright flicks lately, the former White Zombie front man still can rock a crowd with songs like "Dragula" "Living Dead Girl" and "American Witch" while Manson keeps it creepy with material from his new album "Born Villain."
Details: 2 p.m. Oct. 27, Ask Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 N. U.S. Highway 301, Tampa. Tickets: $40-$90. Information: 813-287-8844 or www.ticketmaster.com.
Rush (Nov. 3)
Not everybody, but many people, share the view of the lead characters from the hit comedy "I Love You, Man" that Rush is the "greatest rock band of all time." The Canadian prog-metal power trio is touring in support of the new album "Clockwork Angels."
Details: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3, Ask Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 N. U.S. Highway 301, Tampa. Tickets: $60-$125. Information: 813-287-8844 or www.ticketmaster.com.
Glen Campbell (Nov. 4)
Country-pop great Glen Campbell, who has Alzheimer's disease, returns to the Van Wezel for a special performance. It's the final tour for the singer of such classic recordings as "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Southern Nights" and "Galveston."
"It was really important for us to get him," Mary Bensel, executive director of the Van Wezel, told the Herald. "His agent say he's doing brilliantly and that this is so good for him, to see his fans and play his music."
Details: 7 p.m. Nov. 4, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trial, Sarasota. Tickets: $10-$65. Information: 941-955-7676 or www.vanwezel.org.
Weezer (Nov. 9)
Reigning power-pop kings Weezer will brings their songs teeming with leader Rivers Cuomo's wonderful weirdness (and amazing catchy hooks) to St. Pete's hottest concert venue. No word if the band will be performing an album in its entirety like it has done at recent dates but here's hoping they perform their self-titled debut (the "Blue Album") and 2001's "Green Album." OK, "Pinkerton," would be cool, too.
Details: 8 p.m. Nov. 9, The Mahaffey, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets: $29.50-$99. Information 727-892-5798 or www.themahaffey.com.
Gretchen Wilson (Nov. 24)
"Redneck Woman" Gretchen Wilson has a date at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto, according to the country singer's official website. The details of this event, including other acts and ticket price, have yet to be confirmed.
Details: Nov. 24, Manatee County Fairgrounds, 1303 17th St. W., Palmetto. Information: gretchenwilson.com
Bradenton Blues Festival (Dec. 1)
The inaugural Bradenton Blues Festival will feature eight acts including Grammy Award nominee Ruthie Foster, Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee Kenny Neal and super group Southern Hospitality, which is led by Bradenton Beach resident Damon Fowler.
Dave "Biscuit" Miller, Johnny Sansone, Homemade Jamz, the Steve Arvey Horn Band with Henry Lawrence -- also a pair of local favorites -- and Ben Prestage round out the lineup.
The event will take place along the county's namesake waterway at the redesigned Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton.
Details: 11 a.m. Dec. 1, Bradenton Riverwalk, 3rd Ave. W., Bradenton. Tickets: $30 Information: 941-681-0708 or www.bradentonbluesfestival.com.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.