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Pop provides the score

By GINA VIVINETTO

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 25, 2001


If you think Tampa Bay's music scene during Super Bowl XXXV weekend is all about teen pop and classic rock -- well, you're right.

Sort of.

The biggest venues -- that is, those outside of Tampa's Raymond James Stadium -- will be filled by giants of 1970s guitar rock. But, it's the super famous, currently chart-toppin' boy band acts performing at the big game that are getting most of the buzz.

There's also a little something called Gasparilla causing even more musical mayhem in Tampa.

From hip hop to '70s rock to country, gospel and R&B, seems like you'll find it somewhere around here.

Here's what's going on:

THE BIG GAME: NFL meets MTV at Raymond James Stadium. The two biggest boy bands on the planet are in the house: Backstreet Boys perform the national anthem; 'N Sync joins forces with hard rockers -- and MTV darlings -- Aerosmith for halftime festivities, produced by MTV.

At 1 p.m. MTV's Carson Daly will host a special Total Request Live from the stadium. The network also promises three more high-profile acts will perform.

Don't have a ticket? Don't feel shut out. You and an estimated 130-millon of your buds will be tuning in from your living room or your favorite sports bar.

Before the ball is kicked, the legendary Ray Charles will sing America the Beautiful in a pregame set that also includes Sting, Styx and talent from our own neck of the woods: all-girl singing group PYT from Tampa and 13-year-old singer Kaci from Seminole.

CLEARWATER SUPER CELEBRATION: 1970s stars Three Dog Night and Atlanta Rhythm Section kick off the festivities in waterfront Coachman Park from 4 to 11 p.m. today. Tickets are $7. Baha Men, the Who Let the Dogs Out? hooligans, 1980s dance diva Taylor Dayne (Tell It To My Heart, why don'tcha?) and everybody's fave Macho Men, the Village People, perform from 4 to 11 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10 advance and $15 day of show. Boogie blues pianist Dr. John, saxophonist David Sanborn and R&B singer Roberta Flack perform from 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday. You can thank Flack for turning on both Lauryn Hill and D'Angelo enough to cover her 1970s hits Killing Me Softly and Feel Like Makin' Love. Tickets are $15 advance and $20 day of show. Coachman Park is between Drew and Cleveland streets in downtown Clearwater. (727) 562-4800.

BUD BOWL YBOR CELEBRATION: More 1970s fare with papas of power pop Cheap Trick wanting you to want them at 7 p.m. Friday. Modern rockers 3 Doors Down hit the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday. All of it happens on the famed Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. (813) 626-6176, ext. 258.

GASPARILLA: The fest features free concerts on Saturday in downtown Tampa, including gender-bendin' singer K.D. Lang at 6:30 p.m. and the far less gender-bendin' Richard Marx at 8 in Curtis Hixon Park. Baha Men perform at 7:35 and rapper Shaggy at 9:15.

B.B. KING: Make way for 75-year-old blues guitar legend B.B. King -- hold on, 75?? Shoot, he looks better than Keith Richards and Eric Clapton. 'Course a redwood tree ages better than Richards. King performs with local jazz musician Fred Johnson as opener at 8 p.m. Friday at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets are $30-$60. (813) 229-7827

REO SPEEDWAGON/STYX: Two of classic rock's biggest, REO Speedwagon and Styx, take it on the run from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday with opening act Survivor at USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $29.50-$42.50. (813) 974-3002.

LYNYRD SKYNYRD: Gimme Three Steps, pardner. Lynyrd Skynyrd performs with Sister Hazel at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Ice Palace, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets are $19-$29. (813) 223-1000. THIN LIZZY: Okay, so charismatic lead singer Phil Lynott can't make the gig, on account of he's dead, but Internet chat on this incarnation of Thin Lizzy is that the live show is great. Tunes such as The Boys Are Back in Town celebrate the working class lettin' off steam, which, I think, is what this weekend is all about. The band performs 7 p.m. Saturday at Jannus Landing, Second Street between Central Avenue and First Avenue N, St. Petersburg. tickets: $15. (727) 898-2100.

TRACY BYRD: Tracy Byrd is part of the country music movement that wants to get back to its roots, darn it. Phooey to all this twangless, Twainy country pop. Check out Byrd at 10 p.m. Saturday at the Round Up, 13918 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day of show. (813) 855-1464. SUPER MUSIC FEST: It's a rapper's delight at the Florida State Fair featuring hip hop artists Ludacris, Ja Rule and Mystikal, beginning at 8 p.m. today. Tickets are $25-$45. More hip hop in store at 8 p.m. Friday when DJ Faith and Matrix perform.

Saturday is country day, yee haw: Singer Tracy Lawrence and little boy soprano Billy Gilman perform at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $25-$45. All concerts are in the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall. (813) 287-8844 or (727) 898-2100.

THE SUPER FUNKFEST: Parliament-Funkadelic, the world's funkiest band, performs at 8 p.m. Friday with Lakeside, Zapp and others at the USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Tickets are $25-$35. (813) 287-8844 or (727) 898-2100 MUSIC BOWL 2001: Old school R&B act the Whispers, who formed in 1964, and soul singer Keith Washington perform at 7 p.m. tonight at Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St. Tickets are $36-$51. (813) 274-8982, (813) 287-8844 or (727) 898-2100.

VIBE ZONE: Top urban magazine Vibe hosts its first VIBE Zone at Club 901 in Tampa. VIBE Zone benefits the United Negro College Fund's Curtis Mayfield Foundation. The event features up-and-coming R&B singer Pru and Def Soul recording artist Musiq. BET's Laz and Doug E. Fresh host. WLLD 98.7 will broadcast live from the event. Tickets are $75 -- hey, it's a benefit -- through Ticketmaster. Club 901 is at 901 S Franklin St. (813) 287-8844 or (727) 898-2100. Ask for event code: ECBN0127.

SUPER BOWL GOSPEL EXTRAVAGANZA: Gospel singers Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin and DeLeon Sheffield perform at 7:30 tonight at Without Walls International Church as part of a weekendlong extravaganza. Tickets are $50 for all days and include church services, a meet and greet with professional athletes, a fun day festival and the World's Largest Tailgate Party on game day. Tickets for the concert only are $25. The church is at 2511 N Without Walls International Place (Grady Avenue), Tampa. (813) 879-4673, ext. 265.

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