Weekend music picks: Kid Rock, Romeo Santos, Latin and country festivals

Across Tampa Bay, it's a big week for rock (Kid Rock, the Struts), country (Brantley Gilbert, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Scotty McCreery), Latin music (Romeo Santos, Gente de Zona) and more.
Published October 10 2018
Updated October 10 2018

MOUTHS THAT ROAR: Kid Rock and Brantley Gilbert

A double bill of Kid Rock and Brantley Gilbert sounds like the exact opposite of a safe space: two country-fried toughniks teaming up for what’s dubbed the “Red Blooded Rock ‘n’ Roll Redneck Extravaganza.” Both Rock and Gilbert present themselves as un-PC heroes, and to some degree they may be. But they also know how to censor themselves long enough to put on a show for everyone. You likely won’t hear either wax poetic about Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick or the Confederate flag. But you will hear some 20,000 people howling along to All Summer Long, Bottoms Up, Bawitdaba and One Hell of an Amen. The sing-alongs might be a little softer during outrageously profane opener Wheeler Walker Jr., but he’s definitely worth getting there early to see. 6:30 p.m. Friday. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $56 and up. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

PURE HEROINE: Mary Chapin Carpenter

When Mary Chapin Carpenter set out to re-record songs from throughout her career for new album Sometimes Just the Sky, one stood out: 1987’s Heroes and Heroines, which laments the fact that modern American heroes are “scarcer than they’ve ever been.” “To me, it’s just as eerily relevant now as some of the newer songs,” she said by phone recently. “It sort of speaks to our times.” Carpenter has always had a way with that. She may be best known for her all-time-classic 1992 album Come On Come On, featuring hits like Passionate Kisses and He Thinks He’ll Keep Her, but at 60, she can look back on a powerfully resonant catalog of thoughtful, literate, Americana-tinged country songs. She’ll revisit it all at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards open. $49 and up. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.

READ MORE: Mary Chapin Carpenter talks 30 years of songs and connecting in a digital age

VIVA MUSICA: Romeo Santos, Hispanic Heritage Festival

Navidad comes early for Latin music fans in Tampa Bay this weekend. At 8 p.m. Friday, bachata titan Romeo Santos, a heartthrob’s heartthrob who has sold out stadiums around the world both solo and with his old band Aventura, returns to Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive in Tampa. $35.75 and up. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

Friday’s party keeps rolling all weekend at 92.5 Maxima’s annual Hispanic Heritage Festival, which this year expands to two days at Clearwater’s Coachman Park. Puerto Rican merengue star Olga Tanon headlines Saturday alongside J Alvarez, El Micha and Nacho. Sunday brings Cuban reggaeton duo Gente de Zona with Hector Acosta “El Torito,” Oscar D’Leon and Ivy Queen. Gates open at noon; tickets are $25 per day or $40 for the weekend. 925maxima.com.

FIRST TRIP: Country Music on the Bay

In all his travels to military bases on USO tours at home and abroad, Jerrod Niemann has never performed at MacDill Air Force Base. But he’d like to. “We’d absolutely be there in a second,” said the country singer behind Drink to That All Night. “It’s great to be a fly on the wall. And if you can try to bring everybody home for a few minutes, it’s a tiny, tiny drop of a contribution for all they do for us.” Maybe when Niemann comes to St. Petersburg this weekend, someone will help him out with that. He’ll join Scotty McCreery and Wynonna and the Big Noise at the inaugural Country Music on the Bay festival Sunday at Vinoy Park. The day starts at noon with a hot dog-eating contest and more activities before the music starts at 3 p.m. $25 and up. cmotbstpete.com.

READ MORE: Jerrod Niemann talks ’90s country, timeless songwriting before St. Petersburg’s new country festival


In a summer stacked with A-list rap releases, Denzel Curry’s TA13OO could slip through the cracks. It shouldn’t. The Carol City native’s excellent third album feels like a missing link between South Florida’s hazy, horrorcore-laced SoundCloud scene and the woke verbosity of Kendrick Lamar or Vince Staples. His visceral flow and perspective-shifting persona on songs like Black Metal Terrorist or Sirens recall no less than Eminem. He’s only 23, still young enough to be considered a rising star. TA13OO shows he deserves it. 7 p.m. Monday. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25 and up. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.


Watching the Struts at the Orpehum on Sunday should be interesting, because singer Luke Spiller was built for stadiums. The glammed-up frontman is a big reason Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, who took them on tour in 2018, called the Struts “the best opening act we’ve ever had.” Spiller’s wild-child style — part Freddie Mercury, part Marc Bolan, part David Bowie — almost overwhelms their music, although swinging single Body Talks, from forthcoming sophomore album Young & Dangerous, has been a big rock hit. Prepare to have the roof blown off the joint at 6:30 p.m. at 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Spirit Animal opens. $25 and up. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.

SETTING A TOUR: Set and Setting

The world is calling Set and Setting: London and Brussels next week, Copenhagen and Berlin the week after. On Friday the St. Pete post-rock band will release Tabula Rasa, their fourth collection of wordless, stoned-out metal mastery. And before they embark on a world tour, they’ll play an impossibly intimate hometown release show at 8 p.m. Friday at Paper Crane, 910 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Jensen Serf Company and Pipe Dreamer open. $10. facebook.com/papercranestpete.

Contact Jay Cridlin at cridlin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.