This week's must-see shows: Anna Wise, Cudo, Lucero, K.D. Lang & Wyclef Jean
The SXSW Ripple, it’s real.
Every March thousands of bands from around the world turn their band vans and tour buses toward Austin, Texas, and make the journey to the largest music fest in the world, South by Southwest.
Kansas City is about 11 hours from Austin and we’re treated to a vibrant late-winter, pre-spring concert calendar as bands commute to and from the big Austin fest. This week’s musical highlights features three Grammy winners, a band from Memphis that I own more T-shirts of than any other band, and a great showcase of KC bands at one of our newest venues just north of the river, The Rino.
Have a look below and we’ll see you out at a show.
03/09 Anna Wise/Madison McFerrin/Zenizen/Mae C./Sinple at The Riot Room
Click HERE to watch a very colorful song from Anna Wise, turn the volume down if you’re at work.
We were lucky to have Anna Wise perform at Middle of the Map Fest in 2017 and now she’s headed back to KC. Anna Wise’s biggest moment in the spotlight was for winning a Grammy for her work with Kendrick Lamar on the song, "These Walls." Her music ranges from harsh, in-your-face indie pop to beautifully produced melodic songs with gentle hooks. Rounding out the bill are two KC acts: Mae C and Sinple.
Mae C. recently won me over with her performance at Voodoo Lounge, opening up for the Beastie Boys tribute show. And Sinple is the moniker of Jesse Bartmess, who produced one of my favorite songs of 2016.
03/10 Cudo, Rubeo, and Violent Bear at The Rino
Click HERE to listen to a recent interview with Rubeo on the Eight One Sixty on 90.9 The Bridge
I love when a great bill comes together. This three-band lineup of KC acts should make for a great Saturday night at one of KC’s newest and most comfortable venues.
The Rino stands for River North, and it’s on Armour Road right next to Screenland Armour. It’s a great space -- it’s a coffeeshop, a brewery, a restaurant and, of course, a venue. Cudo and Violent Bear will fill you with indie rock vibes and Rubeo will perform his brand of electro-pop, with keys and a vocoder. I recently sat down with Rubeo for an episode of my radio show. I really like what he’s doing in the genre of electronic music in KC.
03/10 Lucero/Jake La Botz at The Granada
Click HERE to watch Lucero slow things down a bit with Nights Like These
Sometimes it just happens. You hear a voice and it sticks with you forever.
Lucero frontman Ben Nichols has one of my favorite voices. It's tossed in gravel, whiskey-soaked with a two-pack-a-day habit and I love it. Fortunately these loud, alt-country, indie rockers are from Memphis and we get to see them once a year or so. They were recently in KC opening for the sold-out Turnpike Troubadours and won over some new fans -- hopefully some of those folks make it to The Granada for this show. Also, if you’re a fan of "The Walking Dead" you may recognize Ben Nichols’ voice -- one of his songs played on the show a few years ago and blew up on Spotify.
03/11 Wyclef Jean w/ Culture Crew in Emporia at The Granada Theatre
Click HERE to watch an amazingly intimate Tiny Desk Concert from Wyclef
I know this isn’t exactly in Kansas City. It’s 96 minutes from The Uptown to The Granada Theatre in Emporia, not the one in Lawrence. But how often do you get to see Wyclef in an amazingly intimate theater that was built in 1929? Also, did you watch the video above of his recent Tiny Desk Concert? Also, how much do you love the album, "The Score" by The Fugees? Yeah, so 96 minutes is nothing.
I’ve been wanting to check out this theater for a long time. The place is beautifully restored and it’s run by one of the nicest guys in the business. I have no idea what Wyclef will play to fill his set but for some, this is a bucket list show.
03/13 K.D. Lang/Grigoryan Brothers at The Uptown
Click HERE to watch K.D. Lang’s performance at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics
At a time when the #metoomovement and “Time’s Up” are ringing through the music and entertainment industry, I can’t imagine the stories that K.D. Lang could share with us. Think of the things she’s persisted through to build an amazing career filled with great music.
I was lucky to see her on a brisk night at Starlight Theater several years ago alongside Tony Bennett. It was a special night; she’s a force with an incomparable voice. I’m looking forward to her jaw-dropping vocals in a couple weeks at The Uptown.
She’s on tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of her "Ingenue" album. That being said, I’m guessing she’ll play that entire record, take an intermission to grab a drink and then come back with set of the hits. It should be a night to remember from a voice you’ll never forget.