KC concerts, March 16-22: Charlie Wilson, Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle, Matt Pryor
Thursday, March 16, at the Sprint Center
The infectious positivity that imbues the buoyant music of Charlie Wilson was hard-won. Wilson recalls a low point in his career on his new album “In It To Win It.” The soul and funk warhorse admits that “I did end up on the streets at one point in my life, doing drugs and alcohol.” The challenges he’s overcome add depth to uplifting solo hits like “There Goes My Baby” and to classic jams from the Gap Band catalog such as “Outstanding.” With Fantasia and Johnny Gill.
7 p.m. Thursday, March 16. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. sprintcenter.com. $47.50-$84 in advance.
Thursday, March 16, at the Riot Room
Power Trip, a group of no-account head-bangers, is receiving the type of rave reviews usually reserved for arty indie-rock ensembles and adventurous jazz bands. While there’s nothing particularly innovative about the Dallas-based quintet’s attack, they meld thrash and punk with more authority than most of their peers. The band’s vicious sonic assault threatened to show up the metal heavyweights Deafheaven, Anthrax and Lamb of God as part of a four-band bill at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland last year. With Iron Reagan, Hyborian and Agent.
8 p.m. Thursday, March 16. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. theriotroom.com. $15 in advance.
Thursday, March 16, at the Replay Lounge
Matt Pryor admits that he’s a homebody. As the front man of the Get Up Kids, Pryor was a leader in the emo-rock movement of the 1990s. Now based in Lawrence, he recently shared his ambivalence about kicking off the tour in support of his hushed new album “Memento Mori” at the Replay Lounge on Thursday: “I’ve re-committed myself to music, it’s what I do for a living and that means that sometimes I have to leave home.” With Dan Andriano and Lily Pryor.
6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16. Replay Lounge. 785-749-7676. replaylounge.com. The cover charge is $3.
Friday, March 17, at Muriel Kauffman Theatre
Even at 72, Patti LaBelle remains fully capable of showing up pop and R&B divas less than half her age. The beloved veteran still engages in flights of vocal pyrotechnics during her hit-laden concerts. She’ll apply the impeccable stagecraft she’s honed during a storied career to material she recorded with the Bluebelles in the 1960s, timeless funk jams she sang with LaBelle in the 1970s and more recent elegant ballads like “On My Own” at Friday’s concert.
8 p.m. Friday, March 17. Muriel Kauffman Theatre. 816-994-7200. kauffmancenter.org. $49-$129 in advance.
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Friday, March 17, at KC Live
The music of Andrew McMahon has existed in a few incarnations. The melodic rock of the Massachusetts native first made waves under the banner of Something Corporate. The pianist attracted millions of additional fans while working as Jack’s Mannequin. As Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, he crafts wordy pop. McMahon will headline Kansas City’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day party on Friday. While his songs don’t resemble traditional Irish fare, McMahon’s indie-rock anthems like “Fire Escape” are suitably celebratory. With Night Riots and Atlas Genius.
6 p.m. Friday, March 17. KC Live. 816-842-1045. powerandlightdistrict.com. Free.
Saturday, March 18, at the Sprint Center
Ariana Grande duets with John Legend on “Tale as Old As Time,” the theme song of the new Disney live-action film “Beauty and the Beast,” a romantic ballad that reflects her complex persona. She’ll act as both a beauty and a beast at the Sprint Center on Saturday. While a portion of the Florida-born pop star’s repertoire is wholesome, Grande assumes the identity of a risque siren on signature songs like “Dangerous Woman” and “Everyday.” With Little Mix and Victoria Monet.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. sprintcenter.com. $28-$128 in advance.
Saturday, March 18, at the Granada
Many aging punk rockers refuse to read the writing on the wall. Rather than acknowledging their receding hairlines and adult obligations, they continue to write songs about youthful rebellion. The self-aware members of the smart Pennsylvania band the Menzingers are different. They ask challenging questions of themselves on the opening track of their excellent new album: “Where are we gonna go now that our twenties are over? Everyone’s asking me over and over… when you gonna quit this nonsense?” With Jeff Rosenstock and Rozwell Kid.
8 p.m. Saturday, March 18. The Granada. 785-842-1390. thegranada.com. $18 in advance.
Saturday, March 18, at Kanza Hall
Even though Dylan Scott’s debut album was released by a major label last year and he possesses a lustrous voice in the vein of Josh Turner, Scott will spend much of 2017 paying his dues. Most of his forthcoming shows will transpire in taverns, college campuses and at county fairs. A rendition of Scott’s minor hit “My Girl,” an ode to a woman who “raps to an Eminem song,” is likely to be the among the highlights of Saturday’s show. With Rusty Laffoon.
8 p.m. Saturday, March 18. Kanza Hall. 913-451-0444. oneblocksouthkc.com. $10 in advance.
Monday, March 20, at the Riot Room
Eddie Argos of the snide punk band Art Brut once spat “I can’t stand the sound of the Velvet Underground, I can’t stand that sound the second time around.” Tim Darcy begs to differ. He cultivated an adoring fan base for his theatrical singing style as a member of the Velvet Underground-inspired band Ought. The striking material on the Canadian’s first solo album “Saturday Night” could easily be mistaken for an innovative Velvet Underground remix project. With Molly Burch.
8 p.m. Monday, March 20. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. theriotroom.com. $10 in advance.
Monday, March 20, at RecordBar
The members of the Orwells were born in the wrong era. Three or four decades ago, their form of guitar-based rock was a dominant form of popular music. Rather than filling sports arenas with melodic riffs, the Chicago band plays in clubs for clutches of fans who appreciate its dated but irrepressible sound. Several of the selections on the Orwells’ latest album “Terrible Human Beings” are worthy of the best work of bygone bands like Badfinger and Big Star. With the Walters.
8 p.m. Monday, March 20. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. therecordbar.com. $19 in advance.
Wednesday, March 22, at Knuckleheads
Even though she was born and raised in Canada, Whitney Rose is wholeheartedly devoted to her adopted Texas home. The traditional country artist’s new EP “South Austin Suite” contains the nostalgic “Lookin’ Back on Luckenbach” and the Patsy Cline-style ballad “Bluebonnets For My Baby.” In spite of her previous collaborations with Raul Malo of the Mavericks, Rose remains relatively unknown. Admirers of likeminded Texas crooners like Dale Watson and Kelly Willis are likely to discover their favorite new artist at Wednesday’s show.
8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. knuckleheadskc.com. $10 in advance.