Thursday, Aug. 24, at Knuckleheads
While he isn’t nearly as famous as bluegrass icon Alison Krauss, country luminary Garth Brooks or folk-rock band Mumford & Sons, Jerry Douglas is a valued collaborator to each of those consequential acts. As a Dobro master and an accomplished producer, Douglas has played an outsize role in shaping the sound of American music for more than 30 years. His efforts have been rewarded with 14 Grammy Awards. Douglas is taking a break from the recording studio to promote his latest album, “What If.”
8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $25 through knuckleheadskc.com.
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Friday, Aug. 25, and Saturday, Aug. 26, Paola Park Square
The quaint town square of Paola, Kan., is transformed into an emporium of homespun American music for two days every August. The 28th edition of the Roots Festival features a typically impressive array of handcrafted sounds. Stoney LaRue, a purveyor of gritty Texas honky-tonk, tops a bill on Friday that includes Kansas City bluegrass band the John Brown Boys. Vintage Trouble, a splashy blues-rock ensemble from Los Angeles, is Saturday’s headliner. The day’s lineup also includes engaging Mississippi singer/songwriter Paul Thorn.
5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Paola Park Square. 913-294-6427. Admission is $15 on Friday, $20 on Saturday. Children 10 and younger free. Details are available at rootsfestival.org.
Kool & the Gang
Friday, Aug. 25, at KC Live
Still boasting original members Robert “Kool” Bell and his little brother Ronald Bell, Kool & the Gang is a beloved American institution. Even people who don’t know James Brown from Charlie Brown can sing along to the celebratory hook of the group’s inescapable 1980 hit “Celebration.” The longstanding ensemble is likely to revive stone-cold funk classics like “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging” as well as tender love songs like “Cherish” for a full house of young and old celebrants in the Power & Light District on Friday.
8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. KC Live. 816-842-1045. Tickets are $20 through powerandlightdistrict.com.
Saturday, Aug. 26, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
Traditionalists unhappy with the dominance of bro-country artists like Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean might rightfully blame Montgomery Gentry for initiating the trend. The duo’s early hits like “Self Made Man” and “Cold One Comin’ On” have acted as blueprints for a new generation of young stars. Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry headline a solid lineup of slightly faded but similarly notable country acts at radio station KFKF’s “Throwback Throwdown” concert. With Joe Diffie, Restless Heart, Sammy Kershaw and Sit Sit Stay.
6:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Providence Medical Center Amphitheater. 913-825-3400. Tickets are $19.41-$49.50 through providenceamp.com.
Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey
Sunday, Aug. 27, at the Sprint Center
When Lionel Richie announced that he’d need additional time to recuperate from knee surgery before embarking on the promisingly titled the All the Hits Tour, the postponement dismayed fans of the beloved hitmaker. Richie, 68, may have understandably determined that rescheduling the tour wasn’t worth the aggravation. Renditions of Richie classics like “Three Times a Lady” and “Dancing on the Ceiling,” consequently, will sound especially sweet on Sunday. Richie’s folksy charm will be countered by the presence of melodramatic R&B chanteuse Mariah Carey. With Tauren Wells.
7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $19.95-$147.95 through sprintcenter.com.
Sunday, Aug. 27, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
Pentatonix has been making glee club cool since 2011. Since winning TV’s “The Sing-Off,” the ensemble has dramatically altered the perception of school choirs. Rather than representing social outcasts, students dedicated to scholastic vocal groups are now likely to be seen as potential pop stars by their classmates. Pentatonix’s show in Bonner Springs will act as a master class as the quintet interprets familiar material ranging from “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “Over the Rainbow.”
8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27. Providence Medical Center Amphitheater. 913-825-3400. Tickets are $29.50-$69.50 through providenceamp.com.
Sunday, Aug. 27, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
“True!” The one-word exclamation that’s one of 2 Chainz’s primary catchphrases has become a staple in everyday conversations. It’s a remarkable achievement for a man who once rapped under the moniker of Tity Boi. The man born Tauheed Epps in Georgia in 1977 alluded to his background on his verse on Chance the Rapper’s “No Problem” by explaining that he “took night classes” at the “school of hard knocks.” He has repeatedly proved that he’s an engaging performer at his frequent area appearances. With Young Dolph.
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $38.50 through midlandkc.com.
Wednesday, Aug. 30, at the Riot Room
Jennifer and Jessica Clavin address the sexism they face as the leaders of the hard-rocking Los Angeles group Bleached in their new song “Can You Deal?”: “Yeah, I’m a girl and I play in a band/Can you deal?/I listen to (Black) Sabbath with all of my friends/Yeah, it’s real.” The undeniable realness of the sisters’ aggressive rock will be introduced to larger audiences when the acclaimed quartet embarks on a tour with Against Me in September. With Shortsweather and Dreamgirl.
8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $12 through theriotroom.com.