Sign in with Facebook


Top Shows: Phish, Dawes, Hearts of Darkness

Shiner (from left): drummer Jason Gerken, bass player Paul Malinowski, guitar player Josh Newton, and singer/guitar player Allen Epley.

The Purity Ring is (from left) Corin Roddick and Megan James.

Hearts of Darkness is celebrating an album release.

Dead Prez


Trey Anastasio of Phish



Wednesday Starlight Theatre

The ushers at Starlight Theatre may be in for a long night Wednesday. The pleasant but stern crew will attempt to maintain order as thousands of excited fans feel compelled to dance in the aisles during the band’s first appearance in the Kansas City area in recent years. The most popular post-Grateful Dead jam band, Phish possesses a massive musical vocabulary. In addition to extended jams, the Vermont-based band’s shows feature playful nods to funk, disco, television theme songs and thunderous interpretations of Led Zeppelin.

Remaining tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $60.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink


Friday Granada

Shiner, one of most innovative acts in the history of Kansas City’s rock scene, is reuniting for four shows. Audiences in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Lawrence will have the rare opportunity to hear the dirty yet technically masterful attack that thrilled fans for a dozen years before Shiner disbanded in 2003. The newly remastered version of the brilliant 2001 album “The Egg” serves as a reminder that Shiner was well ahead of its time. Ghosty, another regional band with a rabid cult following, and Kansas City’s Simple Lines open the show.

Tickets to the 9 p.m. show are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink


Saturday Crossroads KC

Everything old is new again. While the three acts featured Saturday at Crossroads KC are primarily championed by fans born in the ’80s, the music they create might give members of older generations an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. Dawes, a band based in Southern California, sound uncannily like singer/songwriter Jackson Browne. The headliner’s melancholy songs like “Time Spent in Los Angeles” are clearly inspired by Browne classics including “Doctor My Eyes.” The prodigiously gifted William Elliott Whitmore works squarely in the rugged tradition of troubadours like Townes van Zandt. And traces of the folk-rock of the Byrds echo in the lively music of Kansas City’s Quiet Corral.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. concert range from $19.50 to $61.50.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Hearts of Darkness

Saturday Knuckleheads

Hearts of Darkness, already one of Kansas City’s most entertaining and groundbreaking acts, keeps getting better. “Shelf Life,” the large collective’s second album, showcases the band’s strengths. Punchy horn charts, deep grooves, edgy rapping and a celebratory spirit make the new recording by the Afrobeat band a foolproof party starter. Hearts of Darkness will celebrate the album’s release Saturday with early and late sets at Knuckleheads. The Good Foot, a popular regional soul revue, will keep the dance floor full between Hearts of Darkness’ two outings.

Tickets to the 8:30 p.m. show are $15 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Dead Prez

Sunday Riot Room

Anyone who listens to urban contemporary radio knows that the subject matter of most mainstream hip-hop songs is limited to love, sex and the accumulation of wealth. Dead Prez summarily rejects that mindset. The hip-hop duo from New York has been engaged in music-based activism since 1996. A line from “It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop,” the pair’s best-known track, reflects its goals. “Would you rather have a Lexus or justice?” the duo raps. Popular Kansas City emcee Les Izmore opens the show.

Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 on the day of the show. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Purity Ring

Monday Jackpot Music Hall

Based on the ecstatic reactions of the Canadian duo’s most enthusiastic advocates, Purity Ring’s wispy, synthetic dream-pop resembles the harps of heaven. The ethereal sound is undeniably pretty. Megan James’ sweet voice basks in producer Corin Roddick’s slowed and manipulated version of the electronic dance music featured on Purity Ring’s striking 2012 debut album, “Shrines.” British producer Evian Christ opens Monday’s show with a dramatically darker and slightly funkier version of Purity Ring’s lush electronica.

Tickets to the 10 p.m. show are $8 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

The Paola Roots Festival

Friday/Saturday Paola Park Square

The Paola Roots Festival combines a small town feel with big city talent. Located in Paola’s quaint town square 45 miles southwest of downtown Kansas City, the 23rd edition of the event features a bevy of audience-pleasing acts. Friday’s headliner is Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue, an electrifying gospel and R&B throwback act based in Nashville. Also appearing Friday are blueswoman Janiva Magness, the blues-rock act Steepwater Band and Kansas City’s soul revue the Good Foot. Los Lonely Boys, best known for the 2004 hit “Heaven,” top Saturday’s bill. The terrific songwriter Paul Thorn, Kansas City sensation Samantha Fish and the alternative bluegrass band Split Lip Rayfield also perform Saturday.

The music begins at 6 p.m. on Friday and at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The price of admission is $10 per day. Children 10 and under are free.

The Soul Food Festival

Saturday Parade Park

Organizers of the fifth annual Soul Food Festival promise “the best oxtails, ribs, greens and macaroni-and-cheese on the planet.” The delectable music served at the event will be just as enticing. The hits performed by several of the most notable R&B acts of recent decades will enhance the feasting. Featured acts include the legendary soul survivors the Whispers (“Rock Steady”), the emotive crooning of Kelly Price (“Friend of Mine”), the funk-based Zapp (“More Bounce to the Ounce”) and the grown-and-sexy sounds of Jagged Edge (“Let’s Get Married”), Ginuwine (“Pony”) and Dwele (“Find a Way”).

Music begins at 5 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $60.

John Hiatt

Monday Uptown Theater

Almost forty years into his immensely productive career, John Hiatt is revered as one of rock’s savviest songwriters. Many of his story songs are clever updates of Chuck Berry’s classics. Hiatt’s tender songs are no less gut-wrenching than the best work of Randy Newman. Yet fans who have never attended one of Hiatt’s concerts may not realize that he’s also a memorably entertaining performer. He makes ridiculous faces, shares amusing anecdotes and throws himself into every selection with the wild abandon of a teenage punk rocker. The Kansas City-based blues woman Samantha Fish opens the show.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show range from $35 to $93.

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

Tuesday Yardley Hall

Lyle Lovett’s appearances with the aptly named Large Band can seem like too much of a good thing. The impeccable chops of the jazz-oriented orchestra are so impressive that some listeners might find themselves longing for an uninterrupted evening of the Large Band’s passionate swing. On the other hand, the orchestra can be considered an unwanted distraction from Lovett’s distinctive songs. The best moments of Tuesday’s concert, consequently, may be when both elements are showcased on material like “Here I Am.”

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. concert range from $55 to $130.


No comments have been posted. Perhaps you'd like to be the first?

Sign in with Facebook to comment.