12 concerts to see in Jacksonville, St. Augustine this summer – The Florida Times-Union

Fans have been sitting on tickets for Jacksonville-area concerts by Def Leppard and Motley Crue, Ringo Starr, New Kids on the Block and the Doobie Brothers for years, and they’ll finally get their chance to see those acts over the next three months. There are plenty of new shows coming as well, making for a crowded concert calendar for July, August and September.
Here are a dozen live shows coming to Jacksonville-area concert venues that are worth checking out. 
4:30 p.m. Saturday at TIAA Bank Field. $29-$750.
Rock fans were excited when they first heard news that Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Joan Jett and Poison were coming to Jacksonville for a stadium show. But that was more than two years ago and now those same fans are holding their breath, hoping the bands can keep it together long enough to play the show. Will Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars’ health hold out? Can Crue singer Vince Neil still carry a tune? Will Poison guitarist C.C. Deville implode again? Will egos shut the whole thing down before it ever gets started? We’ll know by the Fourth of July, one way or the other.
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6:45 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. $34.50-$54.50.
The last time Blackberry Smoke came through Northeast Florida, they never got to play a note. At an August 2021 show at Daily’s Place (which had already been delayed by a year), opening acts the Wild Feathers and the Allman Betts Band played their sets, but a Blackberry Smoke band member tested positive for COVID backstage and the band’s performance was canceled. So now the Southern rock standard-bearers, one of the hardest-touring bands in the business, are back, marking their 20th anniversary with the Rasslin’ is Real Tour. 
8 p.m. Friday, July 8, at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. $30-$195.
Way back in the dark ages of the late ’80s and early ’90s, long before you could carry a few thousand songs in your pocket, you could take a dozen or so tunes you loved, put them on a “mixtape” and give it to your friends. Songs by acts like New Kids on the Block, Rick Astley, Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue. Those four are teaming up for a tour that takes “Hangin’ Tough,” “Never Gonna Give You Up,” “Free Your Mind” and “Whatta Man” straight off of those old mixtapes and on to the stage.
8 p.m. Friday, July 15, at the Florida Theatre. $49-$125.
A lot of American music fans have never heard of El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, and that’s a shame. The group has been together since 1962, won a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, released more than 60 albums and earned the nickname “The University of Salsa” for the more than 40 former members who went on to become stars on their own. The 14-piece group mixes salsa, bomba, guaracha, merengue, boogaloo, jala-jala, bolero and tango into a powerful brew that will have fans dancing in the aisles.
7:30 p.m. Monday, July 18, at Daily’s Place. $59.50-$149.50
The Doobie Brothers brought back an old friend, singer/keyboardist Michael McDonald, to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Now, if they could just play the show, all would be good. It was originally scheduled for June 12, 2020, but was postponed by the pandemic. It was moved to July 21, 2021, but got put off once again by COVID. June 5, 2022? Almost, but the tour was postponed again when crew members came down with the virus. Reviews of the tour have been good, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band opens the show.
7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, and Friday, Aug. 5, at Daily’s Place. $60-$90.
Keith Urban is an unlikely country star. He’s Australian, for one thing, and you could make a fair argument that he doesn’t really play country music. But, labels aside, the guy is a much better guitar player than he generally gets credit for, he’s won four Grammy awards and he’s got enough star power to book two nights at Daily’s Place, the other side of the wall from TIAA Bank Field, where he played his last Jacksonville show, in 2015. 
8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Times-Union Center. $62.50-$150.
They’re calling it the Last Stop on the Love Train Tour, bringing to an end more than six decades on the road for two legendary vocal groups. Expect a night filled with great songs you know by heart, from both the O’Jays (“Back Stabbers,” “Use ta Be My Girl,” “Lovin’ You,” “Love Train”) and the Spinners (“One of a Kind (Love Affair),” “Games People Play,” “Then Came You,” “Rubberband Man”).
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. $39.50-$97.50.
You can’t really call yourself a rock ‘n’ roll fan if you haven’t caught the ageless Buddy Guy banging away on his polka-dot guitar at least once. Guy will turn 86 a week before this show, but don’t expect to see a doddering old man on stage; he’s a ball of fire and can play just about any style you can think of. John Hiatt & the Goners, with slide guitar wiz Sonny Landreth, open the show.  
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, at the Thrasher-Horne Center. $39-$89.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was playing Americana music before they even knew what to call the curious mix of country, bluegrass, folk and rock. Even if they hadn’t gone on to have big hits (“Fishin’ in the Dark,” “Modern Day Romance,” “An American Dream”) the band would go down in history for its groundbreaking 1972 triple album “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” a stone-cold classic. A new album, “Dirt Does Dylan,” comes out this summer.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. $52-$154.
You don’t get to be as big a star as Ringo by disappointing your fans. This is the fourth date for this show, originally scheduled for 2020, and the former Beatle isn’t planning on moving it again. “We are so sorry to let the fans down. It’s been wonderful to be back out on the road and we have been having such a great time playing for you all,” Starr said when announcing the most recent postponement. “But as we all know, COVID is still here and despite being careful these things happen. I want to thank the fans for their patience, I send you all peace and love.” He’s got Edgar Winter and former members of Toto and Men at Work in his band for this tour.
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at the Florida Theatre. $45-$59.50.
The songstress is a favorite at the Florida Theatre, where she previously performed in 1994, ’99, ’01 and ’18. She’s been a star since “Both Sides Now” was a huge hit in 1967 and she’s put out an astonishing 55 albums in her career. She’s in her 80s now, but that golden voice can still bring a tear to your eye.
8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. $35-$75.
When Jack White played a 2014 concert in Jacksonville, an announcer came out before the show and more-or-less embarrassed people out of videotaping the show, telling them they paid good money for the show and should watch it with their eyes instead of through a cellphone screen. They’re not getting that chance this time around; this is a “phone-free” show and fans won’t be able to post to social media, text friends or take video while White’s onstage. “We believe this creates a better experience for everyone & yes, it’s non-negotiable,” reads an explanation on the venue’s website. That frees fans up to actually watch White, a dynamic guitar player and master showman, do his thing.

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