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Arts & Music

May's best concerts in the Tampa Bay area

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Published:   |   Updated: May 2, 2013 at 03:59 PM

A Day to Remember, May 2, Jannus Live – No band has been better at fusing ferocious metal with melodic pop-punk than this outfit that rose to fame out of Ocala a decade ago. Jeremy McKinnon is probably the best screamer in the business, and his ability to seamlessly switch from roaring to singing makes it all the more impressive.

Funshine Festival, May 3 to 5, Amphitheatre and Florida State Fairgrounds – More than 50 genre-spanning bands will play this inaugural three-day fest with something for almost everyone. Headliners include Train, Smashing Pumpkins, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Gary Allen, Kix Brooks, The Wallflowers, New Found Glory and lots more. Plus there's a full midway of carnival rides, games and deep-fried junk food.

The Joy Formidable, May 5, State Theatre – Anchored by singer Ritzy Bryan's impressive vocal chops, The Joy Formidable made a splash with their rock radio hit “Whirring” off of 2011's “The Big Roar,” then followed it up in January with the more experimental, better and far less successful sophomore album, “Wolf's Law.” This band has enough energy to rock an arena, (as they did opening for Muse in 2012), so they should blow the roof off the smaller State Theatre.

Crosby, Stills and Nash, May 7, Ruth Eckerd Hall – Their offstage relationships may be legendarily tumultuous, but when they come together in concert, David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash are some of the all-time greatest rock 'n' roll songwriters and vocal harmonizers to ever grace the stage. More than 40 years since they formed, the trio is touring and getting great reviews.

Rodriguez, May 9, Straz Center – You may have seen the Oscar-winning documentary “Searching For Sugarman,” about Sixto Rodriguez, a soulful, 1970s singer-songwriter who flopped in the U.S., and for decades went completely unaware he'd become a Beatles-level superstar in South Africa. Now that the 70-year-old Rodriguez has been rediscovered, he's finally getting the spotlight he long deserved.

Ghostface Killah, May 19, The Orpheum – As the most prolific member of the nine-man Wu-Tang Clan collective that ruled over hip hop for much of the '90s, Ghostface just keeps putting out new music with the energy and intensity of a newcomer. Always a theatrical stage presence, don't be surprised if he shows up in Florida wearing a giant fur coat and a gold medallion the size of a wall clock.

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, May 23, The Mahaffey Theater – Yes, that Steve Martin. The comedian, actor, author and musician will show off the serious banjo-picking skills that have earned him multiple Grammys, but that doesn't mean he won't be throwing some deadpan humor into the mix.

97x Backyard Barbecue, May 25, Vinoy Park, – Proggy rockers Coheed and Cambria headline this free, station-sponsored festival, but it will be the eclectic, genre-bending Twenty One Pilots that people will be talking about afterward. The duo, who makes a mix of indie rock, pop and electronic music for frontman Tyler Joseph to rap and sing over is poised for a major breakthrough.

Sunset Music Festival, May 25, Raymond James Stadium – Be prepared for funky costumes, neon colors and a giant, outdoor dance party that will rage into the night as some of the biggest names in electronic music, including David Guetta, Steve Aoki and Knife Party, take over the north lot at RayJay from noon to midnight.

Andrew W.K., May 31, The Orpheum – Whether you think Andrew W.K.'s body of music is an uninspired, hair-metal rip-off or a masterpiece of ironic, booze-fueled euphoria, (there's arguments for both), if you can't enjoy yourself as he bombards you with “Party Hard,” “It's Time to Party” and “Party til You Puke,” there might be something wrong.

Other notable shows this month: Boz Scaggs, May 3, Ruth Eckerd Hall; Donna the Buffalo, May 4, Jannus Live; Olly Murs, May 8, State Theatre; Tim McGraw, May 11, the Amphitheatre; WMNF Tropical Heatwave, May 10 and 11, multiple venues,Aaron Carter, Ritz Ybor, May 16; Attack Attack!, May 18, Orpheum; Daddy Yankee, May 24, Jannus Live; Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge, May 30, Mahaffey Theater.

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