Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Uptown Theater
Rock ’n’ roll was an integral component of popular music when Clutch began plying its formidable form of the genre 25 years ago. While the prominence of hard rock has been eclipsed by hip-hop, indie rock and electronic dance music in the intervening years, the durable quartet from Maryland remains faithful to its ferocious attack, which often sounds like the lurid soundtrack to a movie about a lawless gang of bikers. With Zakk Sabbath and Kyng.
▪ 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $25-$75 in advance.
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Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22, at Knuckleheads
JD McPherson is among an elite group of performers who have earned a weekend residency at Knuckleheads. Like the Mavericks, Paul Thorn and Trampled Under Foot before him, the former schoolteacher from Oklahoma will entertain admirers on consecutive nights at the prominent roadhouse. An elite revivalist of 1950s-era rock and R&B, McPherson makes old sounds seem fresh. His headlining sets will be preceded by the Grisly Hand on Friday and the Philistines on Saturday.
▪ 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21; 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. knuckleheadskc.com. $20 per night in advance.
Friday, Oct. 21, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
Even the most savage critics of Simon Cowell are forced to admit that the man can discover the next zeitgeist. Cowell, the man best known as the impolite judge on the first nine seasons of “American Idol,” formulated Il Divo 13 years ago. The clever melding of pop and opera has made the European quartet the world’s pre-eminent popera ensemble. Il Divo is touring in support of its unabashedly romantic Spanish language album “Amor & Pasion.”
▪ 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $58-$128 in advance.
Saturday, Oct. 22, at VooDoo
Don’t tell E-40 that rap is a young man’s game. Like Kansas City’s Tech N9ne, Bay Area rapper E-40 is more popular than ever even though he’s well into his 40s. The deliriously creative liberties E-40 takes with the English language have amused his admirers for decades. Recent collaborations with younger stars like Schoolboy Q, Big Sean and G-Eazy reflect the respect that E-40 commands among his peers and radio programmers. With Big Scoob.
▪ 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22. VooDoo. 816-472-7777. VooDoo. $39-$44 in advance.
Saturday, Oct. 22, at Kauffman Center
“The Prelude Implicit,” Kansas’ first studio album in 16 years, should quell the concerns of fans who fretted that attrition would diminish the vitality of the classic rock institution from Topeka. Although guitarist Rich Williams and drummer Phil Ehart are the only remaining members of Kansas’ impactful 1970s lineup, the group retains its dynamic sound. The revamped version of Kansas with new vocalist Ronnie Platt will perform the 1976 album “Leftoverture” in its entirety on Saturday.
▪ 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-994-7200. kauffmancenter.org. $39-$69 in advance.
Monday, Oct. 24, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
Quincy Matthew Hanley, the man who raps as Schoolboy Q, is poised to join the likes of Kanye West and Drake in the uppermost tier of elite rappers. He has come a long way. Hanley was recruited into a Los Angeles street gang at an early age. While his occasionally brutish lyrics reflect his harrowing past, Hanley resembles an eloquent street poet in his thoughtful analysis of black-on-black violence and the desperation engendered by terminal poverty. With Joey Badass.
▪ 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $39.50 in advance.
Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Liberty Hall
The members of extreme metal band Meshuggah would be forgiven if they began coasting. After all, continually creating punishingly brutal music since forming in the Swedish town of Umeå almost 30 years ago must be exhausting. Yet “The Violent Sleep of Reason,” Meshuggah’s eighth studio album, is being hailed by many longtime fans as one of the group’s most masterful releases. Commanding new songs, including “Born in Dissonance,” will receive their Midwestern debuts on Tuesday. With High on Fire.
▪ 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25. Liberty Hall. 785-749-1972. libertyhall.net. $29.50-$49.50 in advance.
Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Granada
Amanda Sudano may have inherited her powerful voice from her mother, but she applies her talents to an entirely different style of music. Donna Summer, Sudano’s late mother, was known as the Queen of Disco. As half of the duo Johnnyswim, Sudano performs stomp-and-shout folk. She and her husband, Abner Ramirez, released their fourth album, “Georgica Pond,” earlier this month. The project features the epic singalong “Drunks.” With Penny and Sparrow.
▪ 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25. The Granada. 785-842-1390. thegranada.com. $18 in advance.
DEAN WEEN GROUP AND MEAT PUPPETS
Wednesday, Oct. 26, at RecordBar
Odd birds of a feather are flocking together on a tour that pairs the outsider indie-rock veterans Dean Ween and the Meat Puppets. Ween, the alias of Mickey Melchiondo Jr., is best known as half of the screwball rock band Ween. His new ensemble reflects Ween’s allegiance to the demented aesthetic of Frank Zappa. Curt Kirkwood plays guitar in Ween’s new group. The crispy rock Kirkwood crafted with his brother Cris in Meat Puppets altered the course of indie rock in the 1980s.
▪ 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. therecordbar.com. $25 in advance.
THE MAIN SQUEEZE
Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Bottleneck
The primary drawback of many jam bands is that they’re just not funky enough. The appeal of long guitar solos is diminished when they’re situated on flimsy foundations. The Main Squeeze, a groove-based ensemble from Chicago, addresses that dilemma. The group’s deep grooves owe as much to Funkadelic as to the Grateful Dead. The group is touring in support of “Mind Your Head,” an album produced by former “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson. With Evanoff.
▪ 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26. The Bottleneck. 785-841-5483. thebottlenecklive.com. $13 in advance.
Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Uptown Theater
Purity Ring’s song titles seem to be generated by the exceptionally intuitive bots of a music streaming service. The lower case names of “heartsigh,” “stillness in woe” and “dust hymn” perfectly encapsulate the ethereal style of the Canadian synth-pop duo. Megan James croons like the guileless protagonist of “Alice in Wonderland” over glitchy beats. Dark lyrical phrases like “I can taste your vulnerable part” on “sea castle” prevent Purity Ring from sounding overly precious. With Health.
▪ 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $25 in advance.
Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Granada
Moon Hooch, a diabolically feral and outlandishly fun trio of two saxophonists and a drummer, demonstrates newfound polish on its excellent new album, “Red Sky.” While largely instrumental, the project by the former New York City subway buskers features relatively conventional vocals on the EDM-laden “Sunken Ship.” “On the Sun” features a startling merger of pop, jazz, classical and minimalism. The costumes that revelers are encouraged to wear at Wednesday’s show will enhance the madcap fun. With Honeycomb.
▪ 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26. The Granada. 785-842-1390. thegranada.com. $12 in advance.