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Top Shows: Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, The Wallflowers

Titus Andronicus is (from left) Adam Reich, Julian Veronesi, Patrick Stickles, Eric Harm and Liam Betson.


Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers.

Bruce Springsteen returns to the Sprint Center.

Steven Tyler, right, and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.

Rosanne Cash comes to the Folly Theater.


Dropkick Murphys.




7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sprint Center

Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and company will attempt Wednesday to validate their longstanding claim that Aerosmith is America’s greatest rock ’n’ roll band at the Sprint Center. It’s a minor miracle that the men are alive, let alone still performing with one another. The quintet of 60-somethings has set aside their tabloid-friendly theatrics and hazardous lifestyles to record an album that’s billed as a return to the raw sound of old rough-and-tumble favorites like “Dream On” and “Back In the Saddle.” Fellow ’70s-era arena rockers from Cheap Trick are along for the ride.

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show range from $43.50 to $149.50.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Dropkick Murphys

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Uptown Theater

If bands were compensated for the influence they had on other musicians, the members of Dropkick Murphys would be very rich men. Only the Pogues have inspired more Celtic punk bands. The Massachusetts act’s rendition of “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” a seething song about a one-legged sailor, and the self-explanatory “Barroom Hero” from its 1998 debut album, serve as oft-copied blueprints of Irish-tinged rebellion. The latest album from the Wyoming-based opening act Teenage Bottlerocket contains supreme party anthems with titles like “Headbanger” and “Cruisin’ for Chicks.”

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show are $24.50 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

The Wallflowers

8 p.m. Thursday, The Midland

What was Jakob Dylan thinking? Opting to follow in the footsteps of his father is perhaps the worst possible career choice for a child of Bob Dylan. There’s no possible way anyone could compete with the legacy of the greatest songwriter of the last 50 years. Yet Jakob Dylan has forged a respectable career. Along with the Wallflowers, he’s even managed to eke out a couple of big hits — the monochromatic “One Headlight” and the weary “6th Avenue Heartache.” The band is touring in support of the ironically titled “Glad all Over,” its first album in seven years. Opening act My Jerusalem is a New Orleans-based collective that traffics in the macabre mojo of its hometown.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the show. Patrons who bring a can of food to the Midland box office receive $5 off their ticket price.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Grassroots Music Fest

Thursday-Friday-Saturday, KC Academy

One of the best venues in Kansas City is tucked away in a private school in a quiet Waldo neighborhood. Offering excellent sight lines and a setting conducive to listening, the theater at the Kansas City Academy seats only a few dozen patrons. A three-day festival beginning Thursday will showcase four of the region’s most interesting acts. The kickoff concert features Organic Proof, a project featuring multifaceted musicians Brandon Draper, Barclay Martin and Rick Willoughby. Saturday’s presentation offers an opportunity to see She’s a Keeper, the youthful folk-rock band that has become one of Kansas City’s most popular acts, in an intimate setting. The delicate folk band the Natural State opens. Accomplished indie rock veterans Ghosty and a trio led by the exceptional jazz saxophonist Matt Otto perform separate shows on Saturday.

Tickets to Thursday’s 7 p.m. show with Organic Proof are $15.

Tickets to Friday’s 7 p.m. show with She’s a Keeper and the Natural State are $15.

Tickets that provide access to both Saturday’s 5 p.m. show with the Matt Otto Trio and a 7 p.m. show with Ghosty are $20.

Passes for all four shows are $30.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink


8 p.m. Friday, Bottleneck

RNDM may seem like a typical name for a dubstep act, but it’s actually the moniker of a new rock band consisting of bassist Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, drummer Richard Stuverud of the Fastbacks and guitarist and vocalist Joseph Arthur. A random encounter several years ago led to the trio’s formation. RNDM’s sound splits the difference between the heartland rock associated with Tom Petty and the British art-rock popularized by David Bowie. Opening act Gull is a noisy Brooklyn-based one-man band.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $21 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Bruce Springsteen

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sprint Center

After canceling his 2009 Kansas City appearance on the day of the concert due to the tragic death of a member of his entourage, Bruce Springsteen finally makes good Saturday on his promise to return to the Sprint Center. Even though the torturous election cycle has ended, fans should still expect to hear plenty of overtly political material from Springsteen’s new album Wrecking Ball. The iconic star’s chant of “hold tight to your anger” on the title track is indicative of his current temperament. Even so, socially conscious material like “We Take Care of our Own” will be balanced by old party-starters like “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.”

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show range from $29 to $95.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Rosanne Cash

8 p.m. Saturday, Folly Theater

Rosanne Cash isn’t merely American music royalty. For more than 30 years, the eldest daughter of Johnny Cash has been writing songs that provide uncommon insights into romantic relationships. The Americana veteran’s extensive songbook demonstrates that she’s an exceptionally keen observer of personal politics. Cash and her husband John Leventhal will perform as a duo Saturday. The sparse format should allow Cash’s incisive lyrics to cut even deeper. The sole downside for Cash’s fans is the knowledge that Bruce Springsteen, one of the few contemporary musicians in possession of similar sagacity, will be performing just a few blocks away.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show range from $30 to $85.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink


8 p.m. Sunday, Uptown Theater

Matisyahu is an unlikely reggae star. The novelty of a Hasidic Jew performing reggae with astounding authenticity sustained his career for a few years. Matisyahu’s new album “Spark Seeker” incorporates liberal doses of electronica and Israeli folk music. His new approach has invigorated a sound that was beginning to stagnate. And that’s not the only dramatic change Matisyahu has made. Unsuspecting members of Sunday’s audience may gasp when they see that the Pennsylvania native has shaved his signature beard since his last appearance in Kansas City. The Constellations, an Atlanta-based funk band with a hip-hop sensibility, open the show.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $24 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink


9 p.m. Monday, RecordBar

The RecordBar will assume the atmosphere of a murky opium den Monday when the Westport venue’s friendly staff and appealing menu are overpowered by the dark drones of Earth. The Seattle-based band has been crafting distinctively atmospheric rock for over two decades. The collective is best known for delectably slow guitar jams with hypnotic qualities that make them the sonic equivalent of poppy fields. Two like-minded acts open the show. The walls of sludge created by Utah’s Eagle Twin also tend to move at a snail’s pace. Stebmo is the experimental project of Earth affiliate Steve Moore.

Tickets to the 9 p.m. show are $15 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Titus Andronicus

Tuesday, The Jackpot

As its Shakespeare-derived name suggests, Titus Andronicus is a word-drunk band with literary ambitions. Like critically acclaimed the Hold Steady, Titus Andronicus specializes in adrenaline-fueled punk rock that’s commandeered by an excitable vocalist who sounds as if he’s speed-reading. The New Jersey quintet’s new album “Local Business” may lack the luster of the band’s previous releases, but the Jackpot will still seem like the epicenter of the rock ’n’ roll universe Tuesday. Ceremony, an excellent California-based act that revives the sloppy majesty of the Sex Pistols, opens the show.

Tickets are $12 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink


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