Wherever you stand on the vaccination issue, and how each performance venue is handling (or not handling) it, it’s impossible not to notice that live concerts are coming back in a big way.
There are more big-name live shows in Tampa Bay during the month of October than there have been in the last 18 months combined.
Add to this the fact that our local professional theaters are back in full force this month, as are the orchestra and the opera company, and we’ve got a schedule almost as fulsome as the pre-pandemic months, in early 2020. All of which feels very much like making up for lost time.
Of course, remember to check with each venue with regard to individual vaccination, masking and admission policies.
On to the pop side:
Shows at Ruth Eckerd Hall include Little River Band (Oct. 2), Crowder (Oct. 3), Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz of the Monkees (Oct. 13), Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (Oct. 17), Buddy Guy and Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Oct. 29).
Ruth’s sister venue, the Capitol Theatre, is bringing in Spyro Gyra (Oct. 2), Everclear and Hoobastank (Oct. 5), Pablo Cruise (Oct. 9), Jim Messina (Oct. 14), the Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward (Oct. 15), Toad the Wet Sprocket (Oct. 17), Boz Scaggs (Oct. 21), the Fixx and the English Beat (Oct. 22), Todd Rundgren (Oct. 24 and 25) and the Psychedelic Furs (Oct. 29).
At the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre: Brooks & Dunn (Oct. 8); Kiss (Oct. 9); Zac Brown Band (Oct. 10); Alice Cooper w/Ace Frehley (Oct. 11); Pitbull (Oct. 13); Lil Baby (Oct. 14); Jonas Brothers (Oct. 16); Slipknot (Oct. 19); Jason Aldean (Oct. 30).
At Amalie Arena: Harry Styles (Oct. 10); Eryka Badu (Oct. 29).
At the Hard Rock Event Center: Vince Neil/Great White (Oct. 14); TLC (Oct. 21), Clint Black (Oct. 29).
At Jannus Live: Jamey Johnson (Oct. 3); Manchester Orchestra (Oct. 10); The Hives (Oct. 18); Gojira (Oct. 19); Saint JHN (Oct. 25); Angels & Airways (Oct. 26).
At the Central Park Performing Arts Center: The jazz quartet Yellowjackets, which still includes founding keyboard player Jimmy Ferrante (Oct. 2); Cracker (Oct. 15); blues guitarist Albert Cummings (Oct. 16).
And, of course, the Gasparilla Music Festival (Oct. 1-3) at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park includes appearances by headliners Sofi Tukker, Nas, Gov’t Mule and Sylvan Esso, with a smart lineup of indie bands, jam bands and hip hop artists, on four stages.
And, of course, the 42nd annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday at BayCare Ballpark is Oct. 14-17, with a few curiously non-jazz nightly headliners: Kool & the Gang, Gloria “I Will Survive” Gaynor, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the 15-member jazz/funk/fusion outfit Snarky Puppy.
AND, of course, the Rolling Stones have an Oct. 29 date at Raymond James Stadium.
Classical music etc.
St. Petersburg Opera Company is springing back to full size with a Palladium Theater production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte Oct. 15, 17 and 19, with full orchestra, big sets and all the trimmings. And Oct. 22 and 23 brings Pirates & Angels, a variety show, to Opera Central (the company’s headquarters on 1st Avenue S). It’s a combination music, dance, poetry and “other” production, including St. Pete’s Tom Sivak premiering a mini-opera, Frankie and Gianni.
The Florida Orchestra’s October concert schedule includes “Latin Fire” (featuring trumpeter Jose Sibaja (Oct. 9 and 10, at the Mahaffey Theater and Straz Center for the Performing Arts), “Pops in the Park” (at Vinoy Park Oct. 16 and 17), an Oct. 23/24 program with Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz, at the Mahaffey), and two Mahaffey concerts on Oct. 30 pairing the orchestra with the break-dancing Fly Dance Company.
On theater stages
Just in time for Halloween: Stageworks is premiering Evil Dead: The Musical Oct. 14, while Jobsite brings in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (NOT the musical) starting Oct. 20. And Dames at Sea brings freeFall Theatre back inside for a run starting Oct. 22. The new kid on the St. Pete block, the Off-Central Players at Studio Grand Central, delivers Plot Points in Our Sexual Development, opening Oct. 15.
Both American Stage and Lab Theater have new ones opening at the end of the month.
At the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, the long-awaited Warhol’s West opens Oct. 2 (read all about the special exhibition Wednesday in the Catalyst).
More Than Retro: Art Photography of the ‘70s, opening Oct. 9 at the Museum of Fine Art St. Petersburg, celebrates the sea change in photographic techniques and aesthetics brought about by that turbulent decade. It includes works by Andy Warhol, Florida’s Jerry Uelsmann, Stephen Shore and others.
October is, of course, the month for the fabulous SHINE Mural Festival, this time around bringing 19 muralists to festoon downtown walls with original art. There’s a lot more to SHINE (Oct. 15-24) than just putting paint on walls, too.
The kitchen sink
Bob Devin Jones will appear at the Dali Museum Oct. 11, presenting his “choreopoem” Until the River Never Grieves. Based on the exhibit Aimé Césaire: Poetry, Surrealism and Négritude, which Jones has co-curated, the work features three actors and three musicians.
Comedy: TV’s Chelsea Handler is at the Mahaffey Theater Oct. 27, while Tom Segura has a Straz Center date Oct. 2. And Oct. 21 brings comic Burt Kreicher to the Straz Center.
Preserve the ‘Burg continues its Movies in the Park series (at North Straub Park). Admission is free, although pre-registration (to keep the numbers at a certain level) is required (do that here). To wit: The classic Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell comedy His Girl Friday (on a Thursday – Oct. 7), Who Framed Roger Rabbit on the 14th, Field of Dreams Oct. 21, and, on the 28th, it just had to be Beetlejuice.