Tampa Bay weekend concert picks: Hootie and the Blowfish, Barenaked Ladies, Steve Earle

And don’t sleep on a trip to Orlando to catch Florence and the Machine.
Published June 5

ONLY WANNA BE WITH THEM: Hootie and the Blowfish

Despite all his success in country music, Darius Rucker has always insisted Hootie and the Blowfish isn’t dead. And now we have a good idea why. The group’s first proper tour in many years has sold like gangbusters, proving Americans (rightly) haven’t forgotten that ‘90s singles like Hold My Hand, Time and Tucker’s Town are stone-cold classics. Snark all you want, but Tampa’s shed will be shaking when they bust out Only Wanna Be With You this weekend. The only roar louder might be when their tourmates Barenaked Ladies launch into One Week or It’s All Been Done. May the ‘90s revival never end! $29.50 and up. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 740-2446. livenation.com.

THAT’S THE GUY: Steve Earle and the Dukes

It’s hard to imagine a ragged but erudite ragamuffin like Steve Earle existing within the Nashville music machine. But check the jukebox at your favorite country bar and you might still find Earle’s line-dance classics Copperhead Road or The Galway Girl. And you’ll probably find Miranda Lambert’s Kerosene, a song so influenced by Earle’s song Feel Alright that she retroactively gave him a writing credit. Earle may be better known to younger audiences for his roles on The Wire or his political activism, but he’s a devoted country purist at heart. His latest album Guy, a tribute to outlaw great Guy Clark, is a follow-up of sorts to 2009’s Townes, a salute to the titular Van Zandt. Seems like with the rise of artists like Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers, it might be about time for a new country artist to drop a tribute to Earle himself. $34.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.

AXE ENTERTAINMENT: Yngwie Malmsteen

When the guitar-god supertour known as Generation Axe came to Ruth Eckerd Hall in December, which all-star axe man do you think got the closing set? Steve Vai? Zakk Wylde? Nuno Bettencourt? Nope, it was Yngwie Malmsteen, the 55-year-old Swedish shredsmith renowned for bringing classical chops to the world of hard rock and heavy metal. “He brings that Paganini, that classical stuff that he does with a hint of (Ritchie) Blackmore,” Bettencourt told the Times last fall. “He looks at the guitar like it’s a violin.” Malmsteen’s dense wizardry can be grating to casual listeners, but it’s hugely influential to other guitarists. Time to let him blow your hair back for a full show. $30 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. Bilheimer Capitol Theatre.

LOVE AND HIP-HOP: Mod Sun

We almost had a celebrity couple alert coming our way. Bella Thorne, the former Disney actress turned Instagram mega-influencer, dated rapper Mod Sun for more than a year before their very public relationship fell apart at Coachella in April. Mod, sort of a decaf Post Malone, still seems to be getting over it, tweeting recently that he was “completely broken” and “rebuilding myself.” At least he’s not moping around the house. He’s dropped a string of surprisingly upbeat singles in throughout 2019, including the pop-punky Tell Me All Your Secrets and summery Tipi/2005 Flex Up. And he’s back out on the road, with a stop in Tampa this week. $25 and up. 7 p.m. Thursday. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.

ONLY IF FOR A NIGHT: Florence and the Machine

It’s been 10 years since Florence and the Machine wisped into the world, a Gaelic gust of bombastic alternative harp-rock and witchy-woman energy. And we already know they’ll go down with the greats of their generation — they are, in fact, the only rock band that’s debuted within the last 10 years and gone on to headline Glastonbury. Even if rock doesn’t move the cultural needle like it once did, Florence Welch’s live performances and voice are always a wonder to behold. So much so that it’s well worth a trip to Orlando this weekend. Grace VanderWaal opens. $29 and up. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Amway Center, 400 W Church St. No. 200, Orlando. (407) 440-7900. amwaycenter.com.

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