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After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar

DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.

Jay Cridlin

DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.

After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

Shortly after wrapping their concert Friday at the USF Sun Dome, half of the Grammy-winning indie rockers popped down to Crowbar for an intimate “Disco Town Hall” to raise awareness of voter reform – specifically, the restoration of voting rights to 1.5 million convicted felons in Florida

Hosted by multi-instrumentalist Will Butler, the casual, $5-a-head event featured a performance by violinist Sarah Neufeld and drummer Jeremy Gara, and a DJ set by Will’s brother, lead singer and songwriter Win Butler, under his moniker DJ Windows 98.

The couple hundred fans that came, many of them directly from the Sun Dome show, got to hang, chat and talk politics with the band – not something you see every day from your average arena headliners.

REVIEW: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa …

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Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.

Jay Cridlin

Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.

Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

And at some point they had to look up and see all the empty seats around them and wonder: What happened?

Yeah, Tampa, what happened? Why were so many seats in the USF Sun Dome unfilled Friday night? Here’s a band that’s headlined the world’s biggest festivals, that owns a Grammy for Album of the Year, that just last week filled Madison Square Garden, that’s near the top of the list of countless indie rock nerds’ concert bucket lists – and fewer than 4,000 fans turned out, a little more than a third of the venue’s capacity.

You wonder sometimes why this city can’t have nice things? This is why. But at least the Montreal indie rockers were polite about the disappointing turnout.

“We’ve been waiting to play here for a very long time,” frontman Win Butler told the passionate fans who did show up. “I’m sorry for keeping you waiting, Tampa.” …

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Ed Sheeran coming to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

Let it never be said Ed Sheeran hasn't given the people of Tampa what they want.

The blockbuster British busker will return to Tampa Bay for the sixth time in seven years in 2018, this time playing his biggest venue yet: Raymond James Stadium.

Yes: That's one guy with one guitar, headlining a 65,000-seat stadium. And you know what? Considering his August show at Amalie Arena sold out almost instantly, and his latest album ÷ (Divide) is the frontrunner for the Grammy for Album of the Year, he'll probably pack the place out.

REVIEW: Ed Sheeran gives shoes to fans, displays guitar greatness at Tampa's Amalie Arena

The concert will take place Nov. 7, 2018, part of a just-announced North American stadium tour. It's the only Florida stop. Tickets will go on sale Oct. 20 through Ticketmaster's Verified Fan program. Go here to register, and you'll be eligible for a pre-sale that starts Oct. 12. …

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New World Brewery, one of Tampa Bay's most beloved venues, closing this weekend

Luis Santana

After 22 years, New World Brewery is shutting down this weekend.

The beloved bar and live music venue on Ybor City's Eighth Avenue is closing to make way for a condo and retail development. Everything there will be packed up and moved to a new building a few miles north, just off Busch Boulevard.

For a generation of musicians, this one hurts. New World Brewery might not be the area's best live music venue — although some would argue it is — but it's probably the best local music venue, hosting more Tampa Bay artists of all stripes than just about anywhere else. It was where musicians hung out before and after gigs, commingling over craft beers or catching bands like My Morning Jacket or TV on the Radio before they hit it big.

That its intimate, tree-lined patio thrived for so long in Ybor City, a vodka-shot mecca where trends and tastes can kill clubs overnight, was a testament to the devotion of its patrons, who this week mourned its passing over Belgian beer and barbecue. …

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New World Brewery is closing. Where will all its concerts go now?

Allison Weiss performed at New World Brewery in 2015.

Jay Cridlin

Allison Weiss performed at New World Brewery in 2015.

Ever since it was announced that New World Brewery was closing its beloved Ybor City location and relocating to a spot farther north, there’s been an outpouring of nostalgia from artists, promoters and fans throughout the Tampa Bay music scene.

But from a practical standpoint, there’s another issue to consider. Best case, New World’s new, larger location won’t open until early 2018. Until then, where are all its concerts going to go?

“There’s not a comparable venue,” said Jack Spatafora of Aestheticized Presents. “I’ve got a couple of things booked at Fubar, and then the things that are going to be really small, even smaller than that, the Bends or the Hub. I’m trying to keep my ears open.”

RELATED: After 22 years, it's last call for beloved ybor venue New World Brewery

RELATED: Farewell, New World Brewery: 11 Tampa music scene regulars toast a beloved venue

New World’s official capacity was under 200, though more could and often did squeeze in. Plenty of national acts played there over the years; this year alone, the list included Mike Doughty, Allison Crutchfield and the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray. …

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Farewell, New World Brewery: 11 Tampa music scene regulars toast a beloved venue

Matt Burke and Have Gun, Will Travel, shown performing at New World Brewery in 2009. Burke credits the venue with shaping how the band wanted to develop.

Times files (2009)

Matt Burke and Have Gun, Will Travel, shown performing at New World Brewery in 2009. Burke credits the venue with shaping how the band wanted to develop.

It's hard to put into words what New World Brewery has meant to the Tampa music scene over the past 22 years.

The intimate Ybor City patio may have hosted more local bands than any other venue since 2000, from genres ranging from indie rock to punk to hip-hop to reggae. It's a real musicians' bar, the sort of spot artists migrated to before and after shows. It was a place that hosted both up-and-coming and established national acts, yet found a way to give stage time to countless local bands.

RELATED: After 22 years, it's last call for beloved ybor venue New World Brewery

RELATED: New World Brewery is closing. Where will all its concerts go now?

As New World prepares to close its Ybor location with an all-star concert on Saturday (click here for details), we reached out to a number of members of the Tampa Bay music scene for their thoughts on the passing of a legendary club. Here's what 11 of them had to say. …

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Sleeping With Sirens' Kellin Quinn talks voice care, going pop, the future of guitar rock and more

Sleeping With Sirens

Chris Sullivan

Sleeping With Sirens

It’s a full-time job, being the singer of a popular rock band with a new album dropping in the middle of the tour. But Kellin Quinn isn’t opposed to considering what comes next.

“As I get older, it would be cool to have an opportunity to do something besides this band,” the Sleeping With Sirens singer said by phone from his home in Michigan. “But it would have to be something really special, something that makes me go, like, Huh...”

Don’t think those opportunities won’t come. Like the late Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington — two other hard rock frontmen whose dynamic, malleable voices made them ideal vocalists for several varied side projects — Quinn, 31, is one of heavy music’s most gifted vocalists, a guy other bands (Good Charlotte, Pierce the Veil, Machine Gun Kelly) have already sought out for a guest spot.

Like a lot of metalcore acts, Sleeping With Sirens has roots in Central Florida. The band came together in Orlando, recruited from different parts of the country — Quinn hails from Oregon — but soon relocated to Michigan. “It’s cool to have a lot of homes,” Quinn said. …

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Florida Björkestra's Buffyfest: How to sing, dress and cosplay like a true vampire slayer

On Saturday, St. Petersburg's Palladium will host Buffyfest, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan convention and concert by the Florida Björkestra, a 20-piece alternative-classical ensemble that pays tribute to groundbreaking pop artists like Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel.

For the Björkestra, Buffyfest will be the biggest performance they've ever done. Founder Jeremy Douglass said it'll star eight vocalists for Once More with Feeling, the Season 6 musical episode of Buffy. They'll cover all the songs from the episode and even one from a flashback in Season 7.

And they want the audience to sing along and have fun.

"If everyone in the audience was louder than us, that'd be great," Douglass said.

Click here for more on Buffyfest. And for more about how to cosplay up with the best of them, click here for Ellen E. Clarke's story.

RELATED: Once a quirky idea, the Florida Björkestra stirs a minor musical sensation in St. Petersburg

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Dennis Miller talks Bill O'Reilly, journalism, funny conservatives and more

Dennis Miller wasn't aware there was a petition for Amalie Arena to cancel his show there with Bill O'Reilly on Saturday.

"Is the show still on?" he said in a recent phone interview. "Somebody please let me know if I need to be there or not."

He does -- the show is still on (click here for details). For the conservative former Saturday Night Live star, it'll be a rare chance to hang with the former Fox News personality in the real world.

"I hardly ever talk to Bill, except when we're on the road," he said. "We get along well, I think we like each other, but we don't know each other that well. We're not getting together and scrapbooking. I think what people liked about us together was that I'd call him Billy, which was taking the piss out of him and this General Patton persona he had. Occasionally, I'd get him to laugh out loud. Making him laugh was a big thing for the audience because he's gruff so much of the time."

RELATED: Petition launched to stop Bill O'Reilly's appearance at Tampa's Amalie Arena

For more of Christopher Spata's interview with Dennis Miller, click here.

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Review: Mumford and Sons shower Amalie Arena with love in euphoric Tampa debut

Mumford and Sons performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sept. 20, 2017.

Jay Cridlin

Mumford and Sons performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sept. 20, 2017.

There are releases, and then there are releases. And minutes into their concert Wednesday at Amalie Arena, Mumford and Sons gave Tampa the latter.

"Only took us 10 years, but we're here," singer Marcus Mumford told more than 12,800 fans who'd been clamoring for a show for the band's entire lifespan. "And there's nowhere else we'd rather be."

And with that, out came the banjos and stand-up bass and the joyously bellowed refrains of Little Lion Man, punctuated midway through with a powerful pop and maelstrom of white confetti.

"It's been this long," Mumford said. "We better make the most of it."

If the sepia-soaked stomp-rock the Mumfords helped popularize early this decade now feels a smidge dated -- the Avett Brothers and Lumineers have since broadened their sounds as well -- the group’s winning Tampa debut did wonders showcasing why it worked so well in the first place. …

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SoundBytes: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Living Colour, Diana Krall and more

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

-- As reported by our bretheren at Stuck in the '80s, British electronic pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are coming to the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on April 13. Tickets are $35. Click here.

-- The lineup for this year's 92.5 Maxima Hispanic Heritage concert is out: Farruko, Victor Manuelle, Jacob Forever, Nacho and Jowell y Randy. The show is Oct. 15 at Clearwater's Coachman Park. Tickets are $25 and up. Click here.

-- Also coming to the State Theatre: Living Colour on Oct. 29. Tickets are $25 and up. Click here.

-- Jazz great Diana Krall is coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Jan. 30. Tickets are $58.75 and up. Click here.

-- Thrice and Circa Survive are coming to the Ritz Ybor on Nov. 11. It's a Saturday, which means doors have to open early, at 5 p.m., to make way for the Ritz's DJs at night. Click here.

-- DJ and producer Tchami will headline Sunset Events' annual Halloween festivities in Ybor City, performing at the Ritz Ybor on Oct. 31. Click here.

-- Tampa's Conga Caliente returns to Al Lopez Park on Nov. 5 with headliners Oscar D'Leon and Andy Andy. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Clean Bandit postpones Oct. 3 concert at the State Theatre until 2018

Clean Bandit

Rita Zimmermann

Clean Bandit

Believe it or not, here's a concert postponement that DOESN'T have anything to do with Hurricane Irma.

British electro-pop outfit Clean Bandit has postponed their Oct. 3 concert at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg due to an unspecified medical issue.

"We've had to move our U.S. tour back to April 2018," the Grammy-winning Rather Be hitmakers said in a statement. "We're so sorry but we promise these shows will be worth the wait. All tickets and packages for the October tour will be honored for rescheduled dates. If you can't come anymore, you can get a refund from your ticket provider."

The new date at the State Theatre is April 26. Anne-Marie will no longer open the show, but someone else no doubt will.

Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Tampa Bay concert venues offer deals, take donations for Hurricane Irma victims

Victor Wainwright

Victor Wainwright

After a week-plus of concert cancellations brought on by Hurricane Irma, the Tampa Bay music scene is ready to get back to work. And Irma is still front and center in everyone's minds.

A handful of venues and organizations are offering deals and accepting donations for Irma victims in the coming weeks. A roundup:

-- Amalie Arena in Tampa willhost a Goodwill donation drive through this weekend, including the Mumford and Sons concert on Wednesday; the Bill O'Reilly/Dennis Miller event on Sept. 23; and Lightning games on Sept. 19, 22 and 24. There will be a collection site on Thunder Alley, where they'll be accepting shoes, clothing and household items. Cash donations can be made behind Section 101. Click here for details.

-- Madeira Beach is hosting a Hurricane Irma relief concert from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday featuring the Greg Billings Band, Stormbringer and more. The show is free, but donations will earn you a discount to a show the following week featuring Blue Oyster Cult, Starship featuring Mickey Thomas and Rick Derringer; tickets to that one are ordinarily $30 and up. Both shows take place at 565 150th Ave., Madeira Beach. Click here. …

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SoundBytes: Jeff Dunham, Bleachers, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Blue Oyster Cult and more

Jeff Dunham

Netflix

Jeff Dunham

-- Blockbuster ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is returning to Amalie Arena at 3 p.m. April 29. Yes, an afternoon show. That bodes well for a second show added later, if this one sells out. Tickets are $48.25. Click here.

-- Did you miss Bleachers at Jannus Live over the weekend? Good news: They've been added to the lineup for 97X Next Big Thing on Dec. 3 in Tampa. Click here.

-- Rodrigo y Gabriela are returning to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Nov. 24. Tickets are $38.25 and up. Click here.

-- Three new shows at the Capitol Theatre: Arlo Guthrie on Feb. 3, Jake Shimabukuro on Feb. 8 and Colin Quinn on Feb. 17. Click here.

-- Madeira Beach is planning to bring bands to Mad Beach Marina Park in a free concert series that'll kick off Sept. 30 with Blue Oyster Cult, Starship featuring Mickey Thomas and Rick Derringer. Tickets are $25 and up. Click here.

-- American Idol's Casey James is coming to the Attic in Ybor City on Oct. 27. Tickets are $25 and up. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Who's on your Tampa Bay concert bucket list? Peter Gabriel, Daft Punk, Adele or...?

Peter Gabriel

Getty Images (2014)

Peter Gabriel

It's a momentous week in Tampa Bay music, as two huge bands who have long avoided touring in this market, Mumford and Sons and Arcade Fire, finally arrive, playing concerts on Wednesday and Tampa, respectively.

That got us wondering: Who's left?

Not many big acts, it turns out. You have to go back years, sometimes decades — 2005 for Aretha Franklin, 1997 for Beck, 1990 for A Tribe Called Quest, 1988 for Philip Glass, 1985 for Madonna, 1975 for Kraftwerk, 1973 for Stevie Wonder — but eventually almost everyone makes it. Artists who’ve never played solo shows have come with old bands, like Jack White (the White Stripes, 2003), Bjork (the Sugarcubes, 1988) and Brian Eno (Roxy Music, 1972). Even Massive Attack, the British trip-hop trio whose frontman, Robert Del Naja, is the rumored real identity of notorious street artist Banksy, played the Ritz in Ybor City in 1998. And when Bansky’s played your town (maybe), you really have to stretch to find someone who hasn’t.

So we did. …

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