Make us your home page

Jay Cridlin, Pop Music/Culture Critic

Jay Cridlin

Jay Cridlin is the Pop Music/Culture Critic for the Tampa Bay Times and tbt*, and the editor of Soundcheck, a blog about music and concerts in Tampa Bay. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2002 and has been with the Times ever since.

Phone: (727) 893-8336


Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

Instagram: @cridlin

  1. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley talks family life, political songwriting and more


    Ten years after their first single, Lady Antebellum is still one of modern country's most successful crossover acts, thanks to inescapable mega-ballads Need You Now and I Run to You. All six of their studio albums have reached Billboard's Top 5, including the new Heart Break. And they're in the middle of a huge global tour that hits Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday....

    Lady Antebellum
  2. SoundBytes: Rufus Wainwright, Waxahatchee, the Zombies, Hollywood Undead and more


    -- Double the Wainwrights, double the fun! Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright is coming to Clearwater for a Valentine's Day performance at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets are $35 and up. Click here. And not to be outdone, Rufus's dad Loudon Wainwright III is also coming to Clearwater, for a show at Ruth Eckerd Hall's intimate Murray Studio Theatre on March 29. Tickets are $39.50 and up. Click here....

  3. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley talks family, songwriting and more before Tampa show

    Music & Concerts

    A while back at the Grammys, Charles Kelley found himself in the same room as Paul McCartney. The Lady Antebellum singer, a seven-time Grammy winner in his own right, couldn't work up the courage to say hello.

    "I've got 'All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise' tattooed on my arm," Kelley said, quoting the Beatles' Blackbird. "It was my first tattoo, and I'm a huge Beatles fan, and I think the song's just so beautiful. I got it in '09, when everything was really taking off in our career. I just couldn't believe it was happening. It was like: Man, my whole life was kind of leading up to this moment."...

    Lady Antebellum perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday. Credit: Eric Ray Davidson
  4. Linkin Park cancel tour, including Tampa concert, after death of singer Chester Bennington


    This news is not a surprise, but it is now official: Linkin Park has canceled their upcoming North American tour following this week's death of singer Chester Bennington.

    Bennington died by suicide Thursday in Los Angeles, about a week before Linkin Park was scheduled to begin their One More Light North American tour, which was to include an Aug. 19 stop at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. That show, and all others, has been canceled. Ticketholders will be refunded automatically, or at point of purchase. Click here for details....

    Linkin Park's Chester Bennington
  5. SoundBytes: Modest Mouse, Zakk Wylde, Baha Men and more


    -- For the third straight year, Modest Mouse is coming to Central Florida. The Portland indie rockers will play Hard Rock Live on Sept. 8. Click here.

    -- Who let the dogs out? We'll find out when the Baha Men -- yes, the Baha Men! -- come to the Summer of Rum Festival on Sept. 2 at Curtis Hixon Park. They've been added as openers for previously announced headliner Shaggy. Click here for details....

  6. A Day to Remember's Self Help Festival lineup bringing Underoath, Less Than Jake, more to Orlando


    Now that A Day to Remember are big enough to lead their own festival, they're wasting no time packing it with their fellow Floridians.

    The Ocala-born metalcore act has unveiled the lineup for the Orlando edition of their inaugural Self Help Festival, which takes place Sept. 30 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

    Tampa Bay's own Underoath and Gainesville's Less Than Jake will join ADTR at Self Help Fest, along with Streetlight Manifesto, Moose Blood, Real Friends, Dance Gavin Dance, Wage War and more....

    A Day to Remember played 98 Rockfest in Tampa in April.
  7. Cridlin: Linkin Park's Chester Bennington had a wail that stood apart

    Music & Concerts

    For all the old-timers' talk about how they don't make singers like they used to, about how rock vocalists of the 21st century can't hold a candle to the frontmen of yesteryear, here's a fact no hater could deny:

    Chester Bennington could flat-out wail.

    Didn't matter how you felt about Linkin Park, rap-rock, nu-metal or modern music in general. When Bennington sang — screamed, really, veins exploding from his neck and forehead, a look of fury in his eyes — you felt it at your core. Like Bon Scott or Kurt Cobain or Chris Cornell, Bennington had a voice that blazed through the speakers like napalm, searing everything in its path....

    Chester Bennington of Linkin Park  performs at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa for the 2014 Carnivores Tour. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  8. Chester Bennington, Linkin Park singer, dies by suicide at 41: Report


    Chester Bennington, the flame-throated singer of enormosly popular metal band Linkin Park, has died from suicide at age 41.

    According to TMZ, Bennington was found hanged at a private residence in Los Angeles Thursday morning. The singer, who has battled drug and alcohol issues throughout his career, was friends with Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, who died of suicide by hanging in May; Bennington performed Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah at Cornell's funeral....

    Chester Bennington performed with Linkin Park at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa in 2011.
  9. The Rocket Summer's Bryce Avary talks 'Do You Feel,' nostalgia, Fueled By Ramen and more


    Not long ago, Bryce Avary was flipping channels and noticed that MTV Live was playing an old special from Glastonbury 2008.

    “We played Glastonbury 2008,” said the singer and songwriter of the pop-punk band the Rocket Summer. “We played that festival on the record Do You Feel, that cycle. It is kind of a trip, because in a way, it doesn’t really seem like that long ago. But in another way, it’s like, Well, it was 10 years ago...”...

    The Rocket Summer
  10. This week's best Tampa Bay concerts: Shawn Mendes, Kehlani, Strand of Oaks and more

    Music & Concerts


    CANADIAN IDOL: Shawn Mendes

    Nature abhors a vacuum. That may explain the cometlike rise of 18-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes, who comes to Tampa on Tuesday.

    With the Jonas Brothers dissolved and Justin Bieber off clubbing, Mendes rolled off the Vine factory floor a couple of years ago ready-made to fill North America's void of fresh-faced, clean cut tween idols. He quickly notched a Top 10 single, Stitches, and a coveted slot opening Taylor Swift's 1989 World Tour, all before he was old enough to vote....

    Stic.Man of Dead Prez performing at the Local 662 in St. Petersburg on Nov. 20, 2016. They’re playing Fubar in St. Petersburg on July 22.
  11. Randy Newman coming to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater


    With all the hubbub over the weekend about Disney developing an immersive Toy Story theme park in Florida, there's no better time to celebrate the fact that Randy Newman is coming here, too.

    The legendary Oscar-, Grammy- and Emmy-winning singer-songwriter is coming back to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on Nov. 19, his first local show since 2014. Tickets are $39.25 and up. Every ticket purchased includes a physical or digital copy of his forthcoming album Dark Matter, due in August....

  12. SoundBytes: Brian Setzer Orchestra, Hundred Waters, Tim Allen, Sleeping With Sirens and more


    -- It might be hard to get too excited about a holiday show, but not every holiday show features the Brian Setzer Orchestra. The retro rockabilly and his band put on one of the most popular Christmas tours every season, and it's one the folks at Ruth Eckerd Hall have been trying to book for years. Finally, they'll get their wish, as Setzer's 14th annual holiday tour will hit Ruth Eckerd Hall on Nov. 28. Tickets are $52.75 and up, and they'll probably sell out. Click here for details....

    Brain Setzer Orchestra
  13. Ribfest 2017 lineup: ZZ Top, Charlie Daniels Band and more


    Exactly how hard is it to get barbecue sauce out of a chest-length beard?

    We don't know, and frankly, we don't want to know. But we might find out when the sharp-dressed men of ZZ Top come to St. Petersburg in November to headline Ribfest 2017.

    The Texas rockers lead the first wave of acts for this year's Ribfest lineup, coming Nov. 10-12 to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Joining them are a handful of other classic rock and pop outfits -- Styx singer Dennis DeYoung, Orleans and Ambrosia -- and country heavy hitters the Charlie Daniels Band. (Country singer Trace Adkins was initially announced as part of the lineup, but has since been removed from Ribfest's website; festival officials now say it's unclear if he'll be here.) More acts will be added in the coming weeks....

    ZZ Top
  14. Nas coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg


    Anytime one of the greatest MCs alive announces he's coming to your town, it's a good way to start the week.

    Nas is coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Sept. 21 for a long-overdue proper headlining concert. Tickets to see the Illmatic rapper are $43 and up and go on sale Friday. Click here for details.

    While Nas twice performed in Tampa in 2015, those two shows come with an asterisk -- one was a truncated late-night appearance at Club Skye, the other was part of the ill-fated HIT (History in Tampa) Music Festival at the USF Sun Dome. Before that, you have to go back years to find a full Nas concert in Tampa....

  15. Review: New Kids on the Block bring old-school fantasies to life at Tampa's Amalie Arena


    There’s a lot to unpack at a New Kids on the Block concert: Flaming pianos, rapping cartoon cats, roses hurled with abandon, at least one Christmas carol crooned in falling July snow.

    But you kind of have to start with Donnie Wahlberg’s denim romper.

    What a garment this was, unveiled halfway through the New Kids’ concert Saturday at a sold-out Amalie Arena in Tampa, just in time for the sugar-sweet teenybopper jams Stop It Girl and Popsicle. Sleeveless and saggy, emblazoned with Kiss and AC/DC patches, it sent Donnie and the crowd 30 years back in the past, unleashing screams that had waited three decades to break free....

    Paula Abdul opened for New Kids on the Block at Amalie Arena in Tampa on July 17, 2017.