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Two dead, 57 hospitalized during 2016 Sunset Music Festival in Tampa

Luis Santana

Two people died after attending the Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium over the Memorial Day weekend, according to Tampa police.

A 22-year-old man was hospitalized Saturday and died Sunday, Tampa police spokesman Steve Hegarty said, and a 21-year-old woman was taken to a hospital Sunday and died Monday. In all, Tampa police said 57 people attending the event were taken to local hospitals.

"Obviously, that type of music tends to attract a certain type of fan that engages in certain types of drugs," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Tuesday.

Click here for Ariana Figueroa's full story.

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SoundBytes: Ja Rule, Ashanti, Pouya, Adventure Club and more

-- The late-'90s/early-2000s pop and hip-hop revival continues! In addition to tours featuring 98 Degrees and O-Town and Puff Daddy, Mase and Lil Kim, we've got Ja Rule and Ashanti coming to the Ritz Ybor on Sept. 8. No doubt they'll perform their own hits (Ja Rule's Put It On Me, I'm Real and Ain't It Funny; Ashanti's Foolish, Rock wit U, Rain On Me), as well as their collaborative smashes (Mesmerize, Always On Time, Wonderful). Tickets are $35 and up. Click here.

-- Ruth Eckerd Hall has confirmed that the Beach Boys, featuring Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, will bring their hugely popular holiday show back to Clearwater on Dec. 13. Tickets are $40 and up. Click here.

-- Speaking of classic rock groups that have evolved in different ways: Several core members of Yes, singer Jon Anderson, guitarist Trevor Rabin and keyboardist Rick Wakeman -- are touring together under the name ARW, and they're performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Oct. 7. Tickets are $73.75 and up. Click here.

-- DJ duo Adventure Club is coming to Beach Bar in Tampa on June 26. Tickets are $20. Click here. …

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Rock that beat: Why DJs love spinning Coldplay, Van Halen and other rock bands

During their set at the 2016 Sunset Music Festival, the Chainsmokers played snippets of songs by Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand and Third Eye Blind, among other rock acts.

Luis Santana

During their set at the 2016 Sunset Music Festival, the Chainsmokers played snippets of songs by Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand and Third Eye Blind, among other rock acts.

You should’ve heard all the hits at this amazing music festival I attended the other day. Coldplay. The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Killers. Fall Out Boy. Blink-182. Van Halen. The White Stripes. Jefferson Airplane.

Wait a second, you might be wondering. All these rock giants appeared at the same music festival? In 2016? Even the ones who broke up years ago?

Nope. This was the Sunset Music Festival, a sprawling electronic music carnival at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. None of the bands in question were actually on hand, nor did they have any idea their biggest hits were rocking upwards of 30,000 bodies per day.

But it was a curious thing: During the 20 or so hours of nonstop party music cranked out by nearly 60 DJs on three stages Saturday and Sunday, I kept hearing familiar rock hooks and choruses sprinkled in among all the club bangers, pop chart-toppers and mind-melting remixes.

More than once, I heard DJs spin Coldplay’s Adventure of a Lifetime, the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army and Bastille’s Pompeii. Audien, a DJ and producer who’s worked with country trio Lady Antebellum, mixed Van Halen’s Jump into Twenty One Pilots’ groovy hit Stressed Out. Miami DJ Borgeous dropped the Chili Peppers’ Under the Bridge and Jefferson Airplane’s Somebody to Love. 3LAU spun the Killers’ When You Were Young and Fall Out Boy’s The Take Over, the Breaks Over. NGHTMRE played Blink-182’s silly pop-punk jam What’s My Age Again.

Even the headliners rocked out. On Saturday, Dutch A-lister Hardwell, who’s not known for crossing into mainstream pop waters, dropped Linkin Park’s tense, melancholic In the End to huge screams. And in one of the weirdest drops of the weekend, near the end of their eclectic closing set Sunday, Skrillex and Diplo, a.k.a. Jack U, sprinkled in the bright piano intro lick to Bruce Hornsby’s The Way It Is.Full Story

The Tubes' Fee Waybill talks early MTV, Scientology, meeting Jennifer Aniston and more

Fee Waybill may not be a household name, but his band the Tubes have developed a cult following thanks to their early-'80s MTV hits She's a Beauty and Talk To Ya Later, not to mention their outrageous, costume-heavy live shows.

Longtime fans will pack the Capitol Theatre on Friday for an exceedingly rare Tampa Bay concert by the band. John Waite opens the show; tickets are $55 and up. Click here for details.

"If we ever played Tampa Bay it would have been in the '80s when we had those big tours," Waybill said in an interview.

For more of Steve Spears' interview with Fee Waybill -- which touches on his friendship with Richard Marx and the time he met Jennifer Aniston -- click here.

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'Weird Al' Yankovic talks 'Comedy Bang! Bang!,' moving past the accordion and more

"Weird Al" Yankovic on the set of IFC's "Comedy Bang! Bang!"

Roger Snider/IFC

"Weird Al" Yankovic on the set of IFC's "Comedy Bang! Bang!"

Friday will be a busy night in the life of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

At 8 p.m., the iconic song parodist will take the stage at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, kicking off the second leg of his gargantuan Mandatory World Tour. Then around 11 p.m., he’ll make his debut as the new bandleader and co-host of IFC’s faux talk show Comedy Bang! Bang!, filling the shoes of Kid Cudi and, before him, Reggie Watts.

“After you see the show ,you’ll have to run home and watch it on TV,” Yankovic said in a recent phone interview.

Talking to Yankovic was a lot of fun, and he had some interesting things to say about his future, his eternal relevancy and the fact that he never got around to parodying David Bowie or Prince. Click here to read our interview.

But because we here at Soundcheck are huge fans of Comedy Bang! Bang! — both the show and the podcast that spawned it, both hosted by Emmy-winning writer-actor Scott Aukerman — we couldn’t resist diving into the Vicar of Yanks’ new gig. So here’s a B-B-B-BONUS-S-S-S-S outtake Q&A that’s all about Comedy Bang! Bang!. Enjoy. …

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Review: Jack U, the Chainsmokers bring 2016 Sunset Music Festival to an epic finish

Skrillex performs with Jack U at the Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium on May 29, 2016.

Luis Santana

Skrillex performs with Jack U at the Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium on May 29, 2016.

Thirty thousand costumed ravers going nuts outside an NFL stadium sounds like more than just a warmup party.

But in effect, that's how you could look at Day 1 of the 2016 Sunset Music Featival in Tampa. No disrespect to Hardwell, Galantis or the rest of Saturday's DJs, but Sunday's closing day was overloaded with EDM talent on all three stages outside Raymond James Stadium, giving SMF perhaps its most epic closing day yet.

Headlining the main stage were two of America's most influential electronic producers, with a slew of Grammys and Top 10 singles between them: Skrillex and Diplo, performing collaboratively as Jack U.

“Florida, are you ready to party with Jack U?” Diplo asked the overheated, over-amped masses sprawling out from the main stage.

Were they ever. Skrillex and Diplo both have Florida roots, and both have played Tampa on their own – Skrillex even headlined SMF ’15 – but this was their Tampa debut of Jack U, giving the city a primo look at the super-producers’ Mad Hatter chemistry and acid-fried bass madness.Full Story

Review: Sunset Music Festival brings Hardwell, Galantis and a sea of candy-colored ravers to Tampa's Raymond James Stadium

Borgeous performed at the Sunset Music Festival on May 28, 2016.

Luis Santana

Borgeous performed at the Sunset Music Festival on May 28, 2016.

You really hope Unicorn Girl caught up with Leprechaun Boy.

Deadpool, Harley Quinn and every last Wonder Woman, too.

And we can only pray the bro in the "Feel the Bern" tee at some point locked eyes with the dude repping "Reagan/Bush '84."

They all had so much in common, these motley costumed characters dotting the grounds of Raymond James Stadium like squiggles of neon confetti. More than anything, every last one of them was out to go harder than a mother on Day 1 of the fifth annual Sunset Music Festival.

It’s become a ritual for ravers in the Sunshine State and far beyond, this weekend of freak-flag festoonery soundtracked by some of the world's top DJs, and with an estimated 30,000 fans in attendance on Day 1, it shows no sign of slowing down. Full Story

Review: R. Kelly revels in his strange, silly, sexy genius at Amalie Arena in Tampa

R. Kelly performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on May 27, 2016.

Jay Cridlin

R. Kelly performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on May 27, 2016.

The R. Kellyest moment of R. Kelly’s concert Friday in Tampa might’ve come during The Zoo, when the singer, perched in a white throne, draped in dancers and a white silken robe, warbled the lyric, “I’m your sexasaurus, baby,” with a completely straight face.

Or perhaps it was when he acted out a live, voiced-over skit with a blinking robotic blimp named R-Bot that puttered around Amalie Arena with little evident purpose beyond delighting its master.

Or it could've been when he shot up via trampoline onto a second stage to belt out a few of his most heartfelt and inspirational bars, from Bump N’ Grind to I Believe I Can Fly, a cappella.

All of these moments screamed R. Kelly – silly, sexy, soulful and at times very, very strange. Over the course of his two-hour concert, these moments kept right on coming, one after the next, eventually sketching out a portrait of one of R&B’s greatest and most mystifying performers, in all his freaktacular glory.Full Story

This week in Tampa: Sunset Music Festival, 97X BBQ, Ellie Goulding, R. Kelly and more

It's Memorial Day weekend, which means it's time for the biggest EDM event of the year in Tampa Bay: The Sunset Music Festival, with Hardwell, the Chainsmokers, Galantis and Jack U, a.k.a. Skrillex and Diplo, above.

But that also means a crazy week of concerts all over the place. You've also got the 97X BBQ with Young the Giant, Bear Hands, the Strumbellas and more. And then there are shows by Ellie Goulding, R. Kelly, Joe Walsh, Bad Company, Blues Traveler, Brandy Clark, Kirk Franklin, Magic!, Matt and Kim, Eve 6, Drag the River, Passafire, Riddle of Steel, Prince Paul, State Champion, Here Come the Mummies and more. Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...Full Story

R. Kelly talks about his legacy, his family, his penchant for mystery and more

R. Kelly

Getty Images

R. Kelly

Legacy is a complicated word when it comes to R. Kelly.

On one hand, he’s one of the most popular and influential R&B artists of the past 30 years, a compulsively prolific singer-songwriter-producer who’s given the world generation-defining slow jams like I Believe I Can Fly, Bump N’ Grind and Ignition (Remix).

On the other are allegations of unsavory sexual behavior that have dogged his entire career — charges of child pornography, out-of-court settlements with underage accusers, even a marriage to a teenage Aaliyah. The marriage was annulled, and Kelly’s never been convicted of a sex crime, but his mottled reputation has proven difficult to purify.

But ask Robert Sylvester Kelly himself what he thinks of his legacy, and he goes off in a third, more personal direction. …

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SoundBytes: LCD Soundsystem, Kill the Noise, Never Shout Never, Magic! and more

-- LCD Soundsystem's reunion tour is coming to Florida. James Murphy and company will headline Miami's III Points Festival, Oct. 7-9, alongside M83, Thievery Corporation, Flying Lotus, Dixon, Method Man and Redman, DIIV, Earl Sweatshirt and many more. Click here for all the details on the fest.

-- The annual Summer Slaughter tour is returning to Tampa, once again with Tampa death metal legends Cannibal Corpse as headliners. Joining them on the bill are Nile, After the Burial, Suffocation, Carnifex, Revocation, Krisiun, Slaughter to Prevail and Ingested. Tickets will go on sale Friday. Click here for details.

-- Shephard's Beach Resort in Clearwater Beach has set its entertainment for the upcoming three-day Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, it's Rude hitmakers Magic! alongside DJ Skribble, #NOFILTER and Dosage. Ticktes are $10; click here. On Sunday it's DJs R3hab, Elephante, Bright Lights, Two Friends and Dean Mason. Tickets are $15 and up; click here. And on Monday, it's Soul Circus Cowboys with Category Three, Dosage and DJ Ray, all for free. Click here.

-- New York DJ Kill the Noise is coming to the Ritz Ybor on June 11, alongside Wuki. Tickets are $15 and up. Click here. …

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Memorials, tribute concerts set for St. Petersburg trombonist Buster Cooper

Buster Cooper

Chris Zuppa

Buster Cooper

Buster Cooper is getting a farewell fit for a jazz hero.

The celebrated jazz trombonist, a former bandmate of Duke Ellington who died May 13 at age 87, will receive not one but two memorial celebrations in his hometown of St. Petersburg, where he spent his final decades entertaining fans at the Garden restaurant and elsewhere.

The family will host a public viewing from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at Lawson Funeral Home, 4535 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. On Saturday, following a private family service, there will be a memorial celebration and jazz jam starting at 5 p.m. at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S, St. Petersburg. The service is open to all, and musicians are encouraged to attend.

Then on June 20, the community will gather for a larger jazz jam dubbed "A Tribute to Buster Cooper" from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Palladium, 525 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Tampa Jazz Club president and former WUSF host Bob Seymour will serve as the host. Jazz musicians are encouraged to participate; the jam will be organized into groups. For more information, contact the Palladium at (727) 822-3590. …

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Memorial Day blues bash for charities at LP's Pub in Clearwater

LP's Pub is Clearwater hosts a Memorial Day fundraising blues concert for three worthy causes.

Special to the Times

LP's Pub is Clearwater hosts a Memorial Day fundraising blues concert for three worthy causes.

What could be better than a Memorial Day pastime for a good cause?

Try one raising money for two worthy causes.

LP's Pub in Clearwater is hosting a 12-hour blues festival and fundraiser on Memorial Day, May 30. The musical lineup reads like a who's who of Tampa Bay blues, with 21 acts (so far) slated to perform on two stages. Games, a silent auction, face painting, balloon artists and giveaways are part of the family-friendly environment.

The events will benefit two causes including Livvy's Lullaby, supporting 1-year-old Olivia "Livvy" Reitmeyer of Clearwater, who suffers from Epidermolysis Bullosa, a blistering skin condition. Another portions of the profits will benefit the family of Jackson Griffith, age 6 of Clearwater, whose wheelchair access van was stolen and destroyed last week. Jackson lives with cerebral palsy, and his father John Griffith is an active member of the U.S. Coast Guard Clearwater station.

Music begins at 1 p.m., continuing until 1 a.m. Admission is free. In addition to a craft beers and a grill menu, LP's Pub owner Phil Cross will roast a 100 lb. pig, first come, first served at 5 p.m. …

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The Chainsmokers' Alex Pall talks 'Don't Let Me Down,' Coachella guests, Sunset Music Festival and more

The Chainsmokers: Drew Taggart, left, and Alex Pall.

Frank Apollonio

The Chainsmokers: Drew Taggart, left, and Alex Pall.

For a superstar DJ, Alex Pall didn’t do much to celebrate his birthday.

“Just low-key dinner with friends and family, nothing exciting,” the elder half of the Chainsmokers said by phone the day after turning 31.

What he really sounds amped about is his trip this weekend to Tampa, where his band will join Jack U atop Sunday’s lineup for the fifth annual Sunset Music Festival.

“Tampa goes super hard,” he gushed. “This’ll be our third year, so it’s a special festival for us. You can see the progress. We can feel it ourselves, which is really exciting.”

The Chainsmokers have a lot to do with that. A couple of years ago, Pall and cohort Drew Taggart were best known for their viral, semi-novelty single Selfie, a jab at digital narcissism that struck a nerve with the festival set. Then last summer came Roses, a much more textured and emotive EDM anthem that became a huge crossover hit. In January they released Don’t Let Me Down, which is poised to be even bigger — it’s the biggest electronic hit of 2016, and a top early contender for this year’s Song of the Summer. …

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Tracy Morgan coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

Here's a show that's been a long time coming.

Two years after a horrific accident that nearly cost Tracy Morgan his life, his comeback tour will come to Tampa Bay, with a stand-up performance at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Nov. 11.

The Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star hasn't performed in Tampa Bay since a gig at the Hard Rock Cafe in 2013 -- but that was before the crash that left fans wondering if he'd ever perform again. This show is billed as a performance of a one-man show, "Picking Up the Pieces," so it's likely to touch on the tragedy and its after-effects.

Tickets to the show are $35 and up, and they go on sale June 3. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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