Believe it or not, Taylor Swift is not the only artist with a concert in Tampa Bay this fall.
Attending a university in a large city with a thriving music scene means we are spoiled every year with a huge array of concerts in our backyard. If you want a bombastic, arena-sized spectacle, you’ve got it. If you prefer to sit on a blanket in the grass with your friends to take in a show, you can do that, too. Here is a taste of some of the concerts you can catch this semester.
Ed Sheeran — Thursday, Amalie Arena
In a little over two years, Ed Sheeran has gone from Taylor Swift’s opening act to a global superstar in his own right. Despite his success, the “Thinking Out Loud” crooner has changed very little about his trademark one-man band performance style. Having already charmed audiences in stadiums across the U.S. and Europe, there is little doubt Sheeran will soon have Tampa under his spell.
5 Seconds of Summer — Sept. 21, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
The Rolling Stones to One Direction’s Beatles, the Australian pop-punk quintet is riding high after a year of successes. Their current single “She’s Kinda Hot” is sitting pretty on Billboard’s Hot 100. This will be 5SOS’s first headlining stop in Tampa, so expect large crowds of sugar-hyped fangirls and their reluctant parents who don’t want to admit that they’re actually kind of having a good time.
Kelly Clarkson — Sept.15, MidFlorida Credit Union Ampitheatre
The original American Idol is one of the most dependable live acts touring today. When you go to a Kelly Clarkson concert, you are guaranteed incredible live vocals, her biggest hits, and a stellar cover of a fan-requested song. Even more exciting to some is opening act Pentatonix, the wildly popular YouTube acapella stars. Catch them now, and a year from now tell your friends you saw Pentatonix way back when.
Luke Bryan — Sept. 18
Brad Paisley — Oct. 2
Jason Aldean — Oct. 23, all MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
Three of the hottest stars in country music will by swinging by over the next two months. Luke Bryan, the most popular of the three, is up first. His latest album, Kill the Lights, spent its first two weeks at the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 album chart. Even if you’re not a country fan, you’ve heard a Luke Bryan song (the “drunk on you and high on summertime” Instagram caption is his lyric). That’s not to say Paisley and Aldean, both past Grammy nominees, won’t also draw huge audiences. Tampa’s amphitheatre is pretty much a required stop for all big-name country artists, so fans of the genre might want to consider the Country Mega Pass offered by the venue in the spring. For one discounted price, you receive admission to a number of country shows throughout the year and parking for each. Bring a lawn chair, kick back with a beverage of your choice, and see just how much this city loves its country music.
Zedd — Oct. 17, Sun Dome
The German DJ is on a roll recently, with everything he touches turning to platinum. EDM is simultaneously the most loved and the most hated thing in music right now, but you can bet Zedd will bring the party to campus. You might only know the DJ because of his collaborations with pop stars (see: Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande), but this concert is a great excuse for digging out your most obnoxious neon clothing and getting a little wild on Judy Genshaft’s turf.
Taylor Swift — Oct. 31, Raymond James Stadium
Yep, this is it. After conquering Amalie Arena on her last tour, T-Swizzle has graduated to the Bulls’ second home on her 1989 World Tour. The Tampa show marks the end of the American leg of the tour, so we will have to see photos from the show about a million more times on Twitter before it actually gets here. Still, it’s bound to be one of the biggest and best shows in Tampa this year. Even if you’re that one person who is not obsessed with her (if you’re this person, I would like to hear from you), this show promises to live up to the hype.
The Weeknd — Dec. 17, Amalie Arena
This show barely qualifies as a fall concert, but who cares. The Weeknd is the biggest artist in music right now, and if his VMA performance is any indication, this is going to be a show to remember. He might not be able to feel his face, but he can feel his feet – Michael Jackson, arguably the greatest performer of all time, is an obvious influence on both The Weeknd’s vocals and his movements on stage. With him is another rising star, Halsey. Though she is currently one of the most well known unknowns in music, her new album, Badlands, as well as this tour, will likely change that.