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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


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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Wondering why your favorite artist never comes to Florida? Here's why

Richard Reed Parry has never been to Tampa. You don't need to remind him. He knows.

"We didn't start out playing in Florida at all," said the multi-instrumentalist for Montreal indie rockers Arcade Fire. "We didn't get offers down there, and the tours that we booked just didn't hit Florida. So we kind of missed it."

Fans in Tampa are well aware.

When you love a band, it can feel like a personal slight when they don't bring their tour to town. Some artists skip major American markets for decades at a time; others never visit at all. Barbra Streisand made her first trip to Tampa last fall. Queen, Peter Gabriel, Daft Punk and Adele have never come.

RELATED: As Mumford and Sons finally arrives, here are the biggest bands who've never played Tampa Bay

RELATED: Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry talks finally coming to Tampa, the band's creative process

This week, two major bands are playing Tampa Bay for the first time: Mumford and Sons on Wednesday at Amalie Arena, and Arcade Fire on Friday at the USF Sun Dome. Both share an enviable cool factor, having reaped enormous critical and commercial success and headlined every major festival in the world. Tampa, however, has eluded them.

Why? …

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Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry talks about Gulf Coast living, the band's creative process and more

Arcade Fire

Guy Aroch

Arcade Fire

For a band that's never been to Tampa, Arcade Fire has a lot of love for the Gulf Coast.

Brothers and bandmates Win and Will Butler hail from the Houston suburbs, and the Montreal band decamped to New Orleans to record its latest album, Everything Now.

"It's such a beautiful, unique culture down there, and such a vibe that's unparalleled to anywhere else in the world," multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry said in a recent phone interview. "There's so much incredible music going on all the time. It's like throwing darts at the world's biggest dartboard. Any day, any night, you can go out and there's always some very, very good, possibly really heavy, music going on. I'm a music fan as well as a musician, so for me, that's really heaven."

That could be part of why the band is finally coming to Tampa on Friday, with a show at the USF Sun Dome. After years of critical hosannas and festival-headlining performances, the group will finally show Tampa firsthand how they became alternative rock's spiritual heirs to U2. Click here for details on the show.

For more with Richard Reed Parry, click here.

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Hurricane Irma; Sammy Hagar reschedules Coachman Park concert; Bryan Adams show canceled

We have good news and bad news and a little more good news coming out of Ruth Eckerd Hall today.

First, the good: Sammy Hagar and the Circle have rescheduled their concert that was slated for this past weekend at Coachman Park in Clearwater, but postponed due to Hurricane Irma. The show, with openers Night Ranger, will now take place Nov. 14. Tickets for Sunday's show will be honored at the new one. Click here for details.

Now, the bad: Bryan Adams has canceled his planned and postponed Sept. 10 concert at Coachman Park. Adams and Ruth Eckerd Hall officials tried to come up with a date that would work, but now it won't be happening. Refunds are available at point of purchase.

Finally, one last bit of good news: Ruth Eckerd Hall suffered little damage due to Hurricane Irma, and so its next scheduled concert, Luis Fonsi on Wednesday, will go on as planned. Click here for our interview with Fonsi and more on the show.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Brad Paisley is giving free tickets to first responders for his Tampa show

Getty Images

Brad Paisley's show Saturday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre is poised to be the first major concert in Tampa Bay since Irma passed through, canceling a host of shows.

It looks like Paisley is reaching out to acknowledge the role first responders have played in helping others weather the storm.

"Thanks 1st responders for your dedicated service," he wrote in a post on his verified Facebook page. "Join me Saturday in Tampa as my guests. Show proper ID at Box Office to receive a pair of free tickets. See you Saturday!"

Click here to see the full post.

Regular tickets to the show start at $25 for lawn seats. Click here for details.

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Jerry Rivera postpones show at Ritz Ybor due to Hurricane Irma

Getty Images

Latin pop star Jerry Rivera is the latest artist to see his Tampa concert postponed in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The singer was set to play the Ritz Ybor on Sept. 21. That concert will now take place Dec. 7.

Refunds will not be offered, but tickets to Thursday's show will be honored on the new date.

For details, see

For a running list of cancellations and postponements, click here.

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One Direction's Niall Horan coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Getty Images

One Direction fans, your wait is over. One of your beloved is finally coming to Tampa.

Niall Horan will bring his 2018 tour to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Sept. 22. To clarify: That's NEXT Sept. 22, as in 2018. Go ahead and pick up a fresh Niall calendar to help you tick off the months.

It's quite a leap up in venue from the House of Blues in Orlando, which Horan will play Nov. 9. But he's had a pretty successful run so far as a solo artist, with Slow Hands, the single from his upcoming solo debut Flicker, becoming a big hit.

Tickets to Horan's Tampa show go on sale THIS Sept. 22, as in next week, and start at $29.50. See for details.

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Luis Fonsi talks Florida roots, 'Despacito,' late-career success and more

It's possible, just maybe, that without the spark of young love in Tampa, the world might not have Despacito.

"I had a girlfriend that lived in Tampa during my Orlando high school days, so I visited Tampa quite a bit," Luis Fonsi said in a recent email to the Tampa Bay Times. "My parents also had a small beach apartment in St. Pete, so I definitely know my way around the Tampa/St. Pete area. Great memories!"

It has been some 20 years since Fonsi, 39, knocked around Tampa Bay as a teenager, an experience that may or may not have helped inspire his steamy, record-breaking, song-of-summer smash. But any city's claim to a piece of Despacito, however minimal, is worth embracing.

Though Fonsi has been a major Latin pop star for years, Despacito is the reason that much of the world learned his name in 2017. The single with Daddy Yankee, and particularly its remix with Justin Bieber, became the most-streamed song and most-viewed YouTube video of all time, and tied the Billboard record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1, with 16. …

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