This weekend proves it—September is KC’s live music boom
In order to see all the shows I want to see this week I’m going to need that guy from “Baby Driver” to cart me around. Or maybe I can borrow a helicopter?
The 86th Annual Plaza Art Fair kicks off Friday and Ink is hosting free live music for three days with some of KC’s best bands onstage at the corner of Ward Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue. Also on Friday, Middle of the Map fest alum Vince Staples joins the Gorillaz at Sprint Center.
Saturday gets even sillier. Ink’s stage at the Plaza Art Fair continues, Wilco is at the Midland, Manchester Orchestra is at Crossroads KC and two of the biggest names in country music, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, are at Sprint Center. Area native Melissa Etheridge is in town for multiple shows at Kauffman Center playing with the KC Symphony, the great Kenny Rogers is at the Lied Center and, from Austin, Black Joe Lewis is at the Granada.
And here’s a great story: Tank and the Bangas, who won the 2017 Tiny Desk contest from NPR, are playing a sold-out show at recordBar. If you’re familiar with this weekly feature, you know I love Tiny Desk Concerts. Yeah, so wherever you are this weekend, just don’t be at home. Get out and go to a show, or a handful of them.
This New York-based duo played Middle of the Map Fest back in May, just after their debut album, “Young,” was released. They’re a rising act in the minds of music nerds from coast to coast, finding some notoriety from their appearance on a Tiny Desk Concert via my personal life coach, Bob Boilen. It’s indie pop with an electronic influence, but it’s really about the voices of Hana Ellon and JJ Mitchell and how they build dynamic sounds on stage. It will be great to catch a full set from them on Tuesday at recordBar.
Pop quiz: Name a musician or band that no matter what they put out, you love it. For me, it’s P.O.S., another Middle of the Map alum. Hailing from Minneapolis, P.O.S. is part of the hip hop collective Doomtree, home of Dessa and Sims. The current tour is in support of “Chill, Dummy” an album that features contributions from Justin Vernon AKA Bon Iver, Kathleen Hanna, Lizzo, Open Mike Eagle and more. It’s a great record and anytime P.O.S. is on stage he’ll bring the feels in a way you’ve never felt them before— harder and with a raised fist.
Continuing the theme of Middle of the Map Fest alumni, Manchester Orchestra returns to KC after playing the fest back in 2016. They’re a band that can get you fired up and make your heart race in one verse and then Andy Hull, the lead singer, can slow things down and make your heart break just as fast. Foxing, a band has some good buzz around them, opens the show, which winds down KC’s outdoor concert season.
09/23 Wilco at the Midland
Who remembers Jayhawk Music Fest? My first Wilco show was Sept. 12, 1998, almost 20 years ago. Since that day, when I watched a 30-year-old Jeff Tweedy take the stage out at Clinton Lake in Lawrence, I’ve caught a dozen or so of their shows from Bonnaroo (Tennessee), to Chicago to all over the KC area. They know how to put together a great show, and even better than that, these alt-rockers build an encore that will make you weak in the knees.
For the past seven years, Ink has worked with the Plaza Art Fair to host a stage of KC area bands, playing all original music at of the biggest art fairs in the country. It’s a three day marathon of music: Friday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. One sure thing: Catch Hembree on Friday at 9 p.m. The band just got picked to go on a national tour with Jr. Jr. and has a brand new EP coming out on Nov. 3. Come for the art, stay for the live music, food and drinks.
09/20 Andrew W.K./The Architects at RecordBar
09/20 Dead Cross at Liberty Hall
09/20 Joe Purdy/Amy Pachal at The Bottleneck
09/20 Thundercat at The Granada
09/21 Giants Chair at MiniBar
09/21 JJ Grey & Mofro/Ben Miller Band at Knuckleheads
09/21 P.O.S./B L A C K I E/Steddy P & DJ Mahf at Riot Room
09/21 The Yawpers/Chris Meck & The Guilty Birds/Violent Bear at RecordBar
09/22 Gorillaz/Danny Brown/Vince Staples at Sprint Center
09/22 Pink Royal album release/Hi-Lux/Evolfo at RecordBar
09/22 The Secret Sisters/Mary Bragg at Knuckleheads
09/22 The Skatalites at CrossroadsKC
09/22 to 09/24 Melissa Etheridge with KC Symphony at Kauffman Center
09/22 Wild Cub at The Riot Room
09/22 Juvenile/Mystikal at Voodoo at Harrah’s
09/23 Black Joe Lewis at The Granada
09/23 Tank and the Bangas/Sweet Crude at RecordBar
09/23 The Fremonts/Of Tree/The Kemps at miniBar
09/23 The MGDs at The Phoenix
09/24 Andy Mineo at The Truman
09/24 Jammin for Jayme/fundraiser for Jayme Bojanski at Knuckleheads
09/24 Rise Against/Pierce the Veil/White Lung at Uptown Theater
09/25 Company Of Thieves/YGodY at RecordBar
09/25 Damien Jurado at The Bottleneck
09/26 Gavin DeGraw at The Madrid
09/26 Lords of Acid/En Esch/Night Club at The Granada
09/26 Pinegrove/Florist/Lomelda at The Bottleneck
09/26 Stone Sour/Steel Panther/Cherry Bombs at The Midland
09/26 Sylvan Esso/Helado Negro at CrossroadsKC
09/26 The Weeknd/Gucci Mane/NAV at Sprint Center
Concert Chris is Ink’s resident fan boy. Want more music stuff in your in box every Tuesday? Sign up for the Side Note.