Asleep at the Wheel
Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Garage at Knuckleheads
Asleep at the Wheel was performing the style of music now known as Americana decades before the term was coined. Led by the lanky Ray Benson, Asleep at the Wheel has filled dance floors with a soulful blend of country and rock for more than 45 years. The ensemble will play material from its new holiday album “Merry Texas Christmas, Ya’ll” and vintage favorites like “Hot Rod Lincoln” at Thursday’s show. With Sam Lewis.
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8. The Garage at Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. knuckleheadskc.com. $32.50 in advance.
Thursday, Dec. 8, at Kanza Hall
Parting ways with a powerful record label might signal the beginning of the end of a once-promising career for many artists. Yet Scotty McCreery has plenty of reasons to be optimistic after his recent split with a subsidiary of Universal Music. The golden-throated country artist from North Carolina released three studio albums through Interscope Records/Mercury Nashville after winning the 2011 season of “American Idol.” In addition to his youth and vocal prowess, McCreery, 23, is also becoming a proficient songwriter. With Smithfield.
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8. Kanza Hall. 913-451-0444. oneblocksouthkc.com. $35.
Friday, Dec. 9, at the Uptown Theater
The suggestive image on the cover of Tove Lo’s new album “Lady Wood” may be an intentional evocation of the similar photograph that adorns Madonna’s classic 1989 release “Like a Virgin.” Like Madonna, Tove Lo overlays straightforward pop with disarmingly knowing connotations. The savvy Swede will perform hits like “Cool Girl” and “Stay High” at Friday’s concert sponsored by radio station 95.7 The Vibe. With Zara Larsson, Mackenzie Nicole, Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko.
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $20 in advance.
For King & Country
Friday, Dec. 9, at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
An unsuspecting person who wanders into a concert by For King & Country could spend 15 minutes at the show before realizing that the Australian ensemble is a Christian rock band. Joel and Luke Smallbone, the charismatic brothers who founded the group, employ many of the bells and whistles associated with similar sounding secular bands like Coldplay. King & Country capably filled the Sprint Center with arena-sized anthems when the group headlined the Winter Jam festival in January. With Lauren Daigle.
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. 800-745-3000. silversteineyecentersarena.com. $20-$100 in advance.
Friday, Dec. 9, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
Unlike the costumed musicians who elect to wear malevolent wardrobes, the electronic dance music producer behind Marshmello selected a gloriously absurd guise. The man who performs with a bucket on his head has quickly become a big draw on the dance music circuit since he launched his career last year. Friday’s concert is sold out. Billowy and sugary songs like “Keep It Mello” and “Magic” match the playful ebullience of Marshmello’s personna. With Sikdope and Speaker of the House.
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. Tickets to the sold-out concert were $20-$25 in advance.
Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Granada
Lupe Fiasco has Kanye West’s back. The Chicago rapper born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco in 1984 has staunchly defended the embattled West in recent weeks. West gave Fiasco one of his first big breaks by featuring his protege’s distinctive flow on the 2006 hit “Touch the Sky.” West’s faith has paid off. “Kick, Push” and “The Show Goes On” are among the Fiasco songs that have altered the direction of hip-hop. With RXMN, the Boy Illinois and Lyric Reddick.
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. The Granada. 785-842-1390. thegranada.com. $35 in advance.
The Noise FM
Saturday, Dec. 10, at RecordBar
The Noise FM, a band that claims both Kansas City and Chicago as its home, is presenting Noise For Toys concerts in both cities this month. Patrons are encouraged to donate unopened toys and wear ugly holiday sweaters at the annual benefit events for Toys For Tots. The Noise FM plays anthemic guitar-rock that’s as sturdy as a Tonka truck and as flexible as a Slinky. With Me Like Bees, Rachel Mallin & the Wild Type and Shadow Rabbits.
8:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. therecordbar.com. $10 in advance or $5 with the donation of an unopened toy at the door.
Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
A subversive mentality lies just underneath the glossy surface of Mannheim Steamroller’s festive holiday music. Chip Davis, the creative mastermind and massively successful entrepreneur behind Mannheim Steamroller, was inspired by radical innovators like Wendy Carlos while crafting his initial electronic music instrumental projects in the 1970s. Released in 1984, Mannheim Steamroller’s first Christmas album has sold more than 6 million copies. Davis has overseen each of the subsequent 32 annual tours of synthesizer-based glad tidings.
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $35-$97.50 in advance.
Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Uptown Theater
Jon Bellion is a master of modern pop. The New York native’s admirably varied songwriting credits include work for the Christian hip-hop star Andy Mineo, the rap legend Eminem, the electronic dance music producer Zedd and pop stars including Jason Derulo, Andy Grammer and Cody Simpson. Abetted by the support of radio stations like Mix 93.3, the sponsor of Sunday’s Jingle Jam concert, Bellion is well on his way to becoming an established artist in his own right. With Gnash.
7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $29.50 in advance.
Maxwell and Mary J. Blige
Monday, Dec. 12, at the Sprint Center
Mary J. Blige and Maxwell, the two greatest soul artists of their generation, will share a stage at the Sprint Center on Monday. No performers have done more to nurture and refine the classic Motown sound during the last 20 years than Blige, 45, and Gerald Maxwell Rivera, 43, the man who works under his middle name. The dream pairing is the year’s most essential tour for fans of the soulful music that was forged in Detroit and sharpened in New York. With Ro James.
7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. sprintcenter.com. $37.50-$173 in advance.
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience
Monday, Dec. 12, at the Uptown Theater
Jason Bonham, 50, has lived 18 years longer than his father. John Bonham, the venerated drummer of Led Zeppelin, was just 32 when died in 1980. Aside from a handful of reunions, Led Zeppelin ended with his demise. The tribute band led by Jason Bonham comes closer than almost all of the countless ensembles that have attempted to replicate the Sturm und Drang of Led Zeppelin. Rightfully confident in his abilities, Bonham has replicated his father’s flashy percussion showcase “Moby Dick” in recent outings.
8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $35-$75 in advance.
Helmet and Local H
Tuesday, Dec. 13, at RecordBar
Page Hamilton of Helmet was among the musicians who expanded the possibilities of the electric guitar in the 1990s. As the artistic visionary behind the New York band Helmet, Hamilton found new ways to make his instrument sob and howl. Hamilton remains a formidable sonic architect 26 years after Helmet’s debut album transformed the alternative rock landscape. Less artistically ambitious but almost as sonically potent as Helmet, the Illinois band Local H was also a powerhouse in the 1990s.
8:10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. therecordbar.com. $22 in advance.