KC concerts June 29-July 3: Ed Sheeran, Bruce Hornsby, Katy Guillen & the Girls, Train
Thursday, June 29, at the Sprint Center
The popularity of Ed Sheeran is awe-inspiring. One indication of the ingratiating singer/songwriter’s stupendous fame is his domination of the pop charts in his native Great Britain. In the two weeks following the release of Sheeran’s third album in March, selections including the jaunty “Galway Girl” and the flirty “Shape of You” were among nine of the 10 top-selling songs. Another sign of Sheeran’s renown: Thursday’s concert at the Sprint Center is sold out. With James Blunt.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 29. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. sprintcenter.com. The face value of tickets to Sunday’s sold-out concert range from $39.50 to $99.50.
Thursday, June 29, at the Lawrence Arts Center
Chicano Batman’s jubilant bilingual interpretation of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” is one of the most powerful political statements of 2017. “Freedom Is Free,” the title of the Los Angeles-based psychedelic Americana band’s new album, acts as similarly compelling commentary. Before Chicano Batman performs songs like the gently grooving “Friendship (Is a Small Boat in a Storm)” at 8:30 p.m., a documentary about union leader Dolores Huerta will be screened at 6 p.m.
6 p.m. Thursday, June 29. Lawrence Arts Center. 785-843-2787. freestatefestival.org. $25 in advance.
Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers
Thursday, June 29, at Knuckleheads
Bruce Hornsby might be the most versatile musician in America. The iconoclastic Virginia native flits between instruments and genres with seeming effortlessness. Hornsby doesn’t even touch his signature instrument on his most recent album, “Rehab Reunion,” exchanging piano for dulcimer. The project emphasizes Appalachian and folk sounds, but he’s equally adept playing pop, jazz, classical and rock. Hornsby and his band the Noisemakers are likely to touch on each of those styles on Thursday.
8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 29. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. knuckleheadskc.com. $35 in advance.
Josh Abbott Band
Thursday, June 29, at KC Live
One of Kansas City’s signature locales will be transformed into a northern outpost of the Lone Star State on Thursday. The KC Live stage in the Power & Light District will resound with paeans to Texas when the Josh Abbott Band takes the stage. Partly because the country ensemble from Lubbock has yet to develop a national following in spite of the infectiousness of recent singles like “Wasn’t That Drunk,” a few of the Josh Abbott Band’s most popular selections are Texas-themed songs.
7 p.m. Thursday, June 29. KC Live. 816-842-1045. powerandlightdistrict.com. $30 in advance.
Friday, June 30, at KC Live
Jack Antonoff is widely hailed as one of the most influential figures in pop, but until recently he was better known for his romance with actress and producer Lena Dunham. After honing his talent as a member of the bands Steel Train and Fun, Antonoff became a valued collaborator of stars like Taylor Swift and Lorde. “Gone Now,” Bleachers’ recently released third album, indicates that Antonoff has perfected his uncanny knack for making the stalest components of ’80s pop seem fresh. With Muna.
8 p.m. Friday, June 30. KC Live. 816-842-1045. powerandlightdistrict.com. $15-$45 in advance.
Friday, June 30, at Folly Theater
Billed as “a night of innovative music, film and dance,” Collaborations Live! is a series of pairings between entities that wouldn’t ordinarily work together. The music of harp-wielding singer/songwriter Calvin Arsenia will be complemented by a presentation by imaginative multimedia troupe Quixotic in one of the most promising collaborations at the benefit for community radio station KKFI. Vocalist Julia Haile, blues-oriented bandleader Kelley Hunt and jazz ensemble A La Mode are among the additional participants.
7 p.m. Friday, June 30. Folly Theater. 816-474-4444. follytheater.org. $20-$120 in advance.
Katy Guillen & the Girls
Friday, June 30, at the Bottleneck
Psychedelic visual effects associated with the late ’60s and early ’70s are employed in the striking music video for Katy Guillen & the Girls’ “Waking Up From You.” It’s appropriate. While entirely vital, the trio’s blues-rock evokes the era in which groups like Foghat and Savoy Brown were popular attractions. The fine guitarist Guillen, bassist Claire Adams and drummer Stephanie Williams will demonstrate the remarkable chemistry honed through years of steady gigging on Friday. With Eric Tessmer.
9 p.m. Friday, June 30. Bottleneck. 785-749-3434. thebottlenecklive.com. $9 in advance.
Saturday, July 1, at RecordBar
Ron Gallo is a funny guy. “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me,” the breakout song of the Nashville-based garage-rock artist, is filled with amusing digs about an unbalanced romantic partner. “Put the Kids to Bed,” a disturbing portrait of faded love, is just as startling. The bracing songs are standouts on Gallo’s recently released “Heavy Meta,” an album that a critic for American Songwriter suggested was as “creative and snarky as the inspired tongue-in-cheek title of this impressive debut.” With White Reaper and Drugs & Attics.
8 p.m. Saturday, July 1. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. therecordbar.com. $9.65 in advance.
Sunday, July 2, on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence
Reggae legend Bob Marley would be 72 had he not died in 1981. Aston “Family Man” Barrett, among a handful of Marley’s surviving colleagues, played the basslines of 1970s reggae classics including “Concrete Jungle,” “Get Up, Stand Up” and “Three Little Birds.” Along with the Wailers, the ensemble Marley led, Barrett will fill the air with the familiar songs at Sunday’s free outdoor concert. With Page 7 and the Rhythm Project.
6 p.m. Sunday, July 2. The 1000 block of Massachusetts Street in Lawrence. 785-842-1390. thegranada.com. Free (a donation of $5 encouraged).
Sunday, July 2, at Crossroads KC
Brad Nowell of Sublime died in 1996, but his musical legacy has never been more vital. The loose-limbed melding of alternative rock, rap and reggae he oversaw on Sublime hits like “Santeria” continues to be echoed by countless bands. Four of them will perform at Crossroads KC on Sunday. Dirty Heads, the California-based headliner, continues Nowell’s tradition of making reggae rhythms palatable to new generations with carefree hits like “My Sweet Summer.” With Soja, the Green and Rdgldgrn.
7 p.m. Sunday, July 2. Crossroads KC. 785-749-3434. crossroadskc.com. $28-$75 in advance.
Monday, July 3, at Starlight Theatre
Anyone who failed to grasp the ubiquity of Train need only have tuned in to the first game of the 2017 NBA Finals a few weeks ago to hear lead singer Pat Monahan deliver the national anthem. The sound of Monahan singing Train’s genial pop songs is deeply embedded in American pop culture. While it may not be universally beloved, almost everyone has a strong opinion about the 2009 Train hit “Hey, Soul Sister.” The frothy single “Play That Song” has been similarly inescapable in recent months. With Natasha Bedingfield.
7 p.m. Monday, July 3. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $29.50-$79.50 in advance.
Monday, July 3, at Knuckleheads
Although the rambunctious roots-rock band the Gourds never managed to cross over to the mainstream, the ensemble was long one of the most representative purveyors of the eccentric sensibility associated with Austin, Texas. Kevin Russell, the primary artistic force of the Gourds, leads the similarly left-of-center band Shinyribs. Aficionados of acerbic country-soul artists like Paul Thorn and Delbert McClinton will find that Shinyribs makes an entirely satisfying musical meal.
8:30 p.m. Monday, July 3. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. knuckleheadskc.com. $15 in advance.