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Top shows: Esperanza Spalding, Ingrid Michaelson, Bassnectar

Tremonti Project is Mark Tremoni, the guitarist from Creed and Alter Bridge.

Sons of Great Dane

Ingrid Michaelson

The band Kansas

JD McPherson

Esperanza Spalding

Crocodiles are an noise pop/indie pop band from San Diego, California.


Aesop Rock

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

special to ink

Ingrid Michaelson

8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 Granada

If Ingrid Michaelson ever loses her passion for music, she might consider becoming a comedian. Anyone who follows her on Twitter @ingridmusic or has attended one of her concerts knows that she’s hilarious. Michaelson’s wit has contributed to her rapid ascent to the top of today’s singer/songwriter scene. Popular songs like “The Way I Am” and “You and I” contain amusing references to male balding and the reproductive habits of rabbits. Her current acoustic tour should allow Michaelson to showcase both her humor and talent. Opening act Sugar & the Hi-Lows is a California-based duo with a retro pop sound.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $25.


7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 Beaumont Club

Mark Tremonti is the guitarist in the mainstream rock bands Creed and Alter Bridge, but heavy metal fans shouldn’t hold that against him. He’s Guitar World magazine’s three-time Guitarist of the Year and evokes the heavy sound of Pantera on his new solo project. The profile of Tremonti’s tour in support of his new album, “All I Was,” received a significant boost when Wolfgang Van Halen, 21, joined the band. Fresh off a tour with Van Halen, the young bassist is a burgeoning star. Wednesday’s opening acts include Illinois’ Man the Mighty and Virginia’s For the Broken.

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show are $19.

JD McPherson

8 p.m. Thursday Knuckleheads

Who says they don’t make ’em like they used to? JD McPherson, a fresh-faced Oklahoman, looks like a young Carl Perkins and sounds like Little Richard in his prime. He’s an expert revivalist of ’50s-era rock ’n’ roll and offers history-minded music lovers an invigorating blast from the past. Yet “Signs & Signifiers,” his terrific debut album, isn’t a moldy exercise in formality. The infectious fervor of songs like “North Side Gal” and “I Can’t Complain” are certain to fill Knuckleheads’ dance floor.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $15.


6 p.m. Friday Burcham Park

Where’s the party? Traditionalists may not care for the answer, but the correct response to the perennial question of anxious revelers in 2012 is usually related to electronic dance music. Bassnectar is one of the biggest stars of the flourishing genre. Bassnectar is the stage name of the charismatic Californian Lorin Ashton, who incites uninhibited dancing with his propulsive hits like “Bass Head” and “Vava Voom.” Acts kick starting Friday’s outdoor party at Burcham Park in Lawrence include the Austin-based duo Ghostland Observatory, native Slovenian Gramatik and the Los Angeles-based Gladkill.

Tickets to the 6 p.m. show are $38.50.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

8 p.m. Friday Crossroads KC

“Looks like an occupy movement on stage,” a snarky commenter suggested of a YouTube upload of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ 2008 network television debut. The remark may have been malicious, but it’s true — the energetic collective is remarkably scruffy and startlingly large. The Los Angeles-based band reconstructs the heyday of hippies with anachronistic folk-rock. Its new album, “Here,” overflows with songs that are propelled by flower power. Having survived the momentary celebrity provided by capricious music bloggers in 2005, opening act Clap Your Hands Say Yeah continues to perform antsy indie rock.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show range from $20 to $61.50.

Sons of Great Dane, Dead Girls, Radkey

10 p.m. Saturday Brick

Saturday’s terrific triple-bill at the Brick is a microcosm of the vitality of Kansas City’s rock scene and features three vastly different acts. Sons of Great Dane’s new EP demonstrates that the band has successfully merged the pop of Cheap Trick with the country-tinged punch of Uncle Tupelo. The Dead Girls are a reliably captivating power pop band. The youthful Radkey is one of the region’s most exciting new bands. Like an immensely talented child who isn’t certain what he wants to be when he grows up, Radkey has yet to solidify its identity. Tracking Radkey’s development promises to be a satisfying diversion for area rock fans.

The cover charge for the 10 p.m. show is $7.

Aesop Rock

9 p.m. Monday Granada

Aesop Rock, adored by partisans of the form and ignored by the remainder of the world, is one of underground hip-hop’s most thoughtful stars. Would-be hits like “None Shall Pass” virtually define the genre. He’s touring in support of “Skelethon,” the latest addition to a formidable catalog that has been helping to redefine hip-hop for 15 years. The Californian is just as likely to rap about philosophy as street life over productions that are decidedly out of step with mainstream styles. The hip-hop hero’s formidable crew includes Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz and Dark Time Sunshine.

Tickets to the 9 p.m. show are $16 in advance and $18 on the day of the show.

Esperanza Spalding

7 p.m. Tuesday Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The most talked-about artist in jazz seems like a reluctant star. Esperanza Spalding is a bassist, vocalist and composer who looks just as happy playing a complementary role in the band of saxophonist Joe Lovano as she does leading her own ensemble. Tuesday’s concert is her second headlining show in Kansas City and the first since she claimed the Grammy Award for best new artist in 2011. Spalding is expected to focus on material from her recent funk-flavored release, “Radio Music Society.” Curiosity seekers should expect to hear a prescient preview of the sound of jazz in the millennium.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. show range from $39 to $69.


8 p.m. Sunday Riot Room

The members of Crocodiles don’t attempt to hide their influences. The San Diego-based band sounds like a fuzzy combination of the iconic ’80s acts the Jesus and Mary Chain and Echo and the Bunnymen. Heavy on reverb and feedback, Crocodiles’ psychedelic pop occasionally reaches the lofty heights achieved by its inspirations. The new album, “Endless Flowers,” which is loaded with blissful gems like the tellingly titled “Bubblegum Trash,” is close to perfect. The music of the Crocodiles may not be innovative, but it’s eminently enjoyable.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the show.


8 p.m. Saturday Uptown Theater

The wayward sons of Kansas continue to carry on. The original lineup of the classic rock act may have splintered, but this “official” version of the band is certain to play hits including “Carry On Wayward Son” with satisfying authority. Kansas’ current tour marks the 35th anniversary of the release of the album “Point of Know Return” and the band’s signature hit “Dust in the Wind.” Two proven audience-pleasing acts open the show. King’s X is a heavy rock band with deep Midwestern roots. That 1 Guy is a multitasking one-man-band.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show range from $33 to $100.


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