Summer has come and gone, but the live music season isn’t slowing down. There are plenty of don’t-miss shows on the way. Here’s a look at 10 of the biggest and best shows coming to town this fall.
U2 with Beck at Arrowhead
Tuesday, Sept. 12
One of the biggest rock bands in the world will perform the biggest show of the year at our biggest venue, the home of the Chiefs. The Joshua Tree Tour honors the 30th anniversary of their biggest-selling album and dips into the rest of U2’s catalog. Expect to hear some new music as well. The band has been trickling out tracks from “Songs of Experience,” the full-length it will release later this year. Recent set lists have included “The Little Things That Give You Away,” another “Experience” track.
Beck is opening this leg of the tour; in October, he’ll release “Colors,” his 13th studio album, which will be released Oct. 13. He recently released the first single off that album, “Dear Life.”
Tickets start at $35.
Gorillaz at Sprint Center
Friday, Sept. 22
This could be the most spectacular show of the year, a visual feast that primarily celebrates “Humanz,” Gorillaz’s fifth studio album and its first in seven years.
Gorillaz is a virtual band created by Damon Albarn of Blur and artist Jamie Hewlett. The band includes Albarn and four animated members: 2D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs. At recent shows, Albarn and his cartoon band have been joined by special guests like Vince Staples and Del the Funky Homosapien, who reprised his role in the Gorillaz hit “Clint Eastwood.”
Tickets are $44.25 to $101.25
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill with Brandy Clark at Sprint Center
Saturday, Sept. 23
They last performed together in Kansas City in July 2006, when they brought their Soul2Soul II Tour to Kemper Arena. They have resurrected that tour and this time will bring it to the Sprint Center.
This tour celebrates the couple’s 20-year marriage and revives many of their greatest hits, both as a duet, like “It’s Your Love,” and as solo artists. The set list also has included a few new songs.
Get there early and see the opener Brandy Clark, one of the best songwriters in Nashville and one of several women country artists who are criminally ignored by country radio.
Tickets are $71.50 to $119.50.
The Weeknd with Nav and Gucci Mane at Sprint Center
Tuesday, Sept. 26
The Weeknd is Abel Tesfaye, a pop/soul/R&B singer, songwriter and producer from Toronto. He has released three solo albums, two of which have gone platinum in the U.S. He has also released several No. 1 singles, including collaborations with Daft Punk and Ariana Grande.
His 2017 tour is getting rave reviews for more than just his music. From a writer in Atlanta: “His live show contains some of the most inventive staging seen in years. Looking like the hull of an Imperial Star Destroyer, the tilting piece of machinery that hovered over the catwalk where the Weeknd spent almost the entire concert, was a marvel to watch.” Sounds like candy for the ears and eyes.
Tickets are $37.75 to $135.
The xx at Starlight Theatre
Tuesday, Oct. 3
The trio from London concocts a spacey, ethereal mix of indie pop and electronic rock that ought to sound even more hypnotic on an autumn night at Starlight. In January, they released “I See You,” their third studio album and their first in more than four years. Set lists have comprised a mix of new material and tracks from the first two albums. All of it arouses the same kind of effects. From a review in the Hollywood Reporter: “The xx’s music is moody and minimalist. Some find it sleepy, others captivating.”
Tickets are $36 to $60.
Willie Nelson and Family at Starlight Theatre
Wednesday, Oct. 4
He turned 84 this year, but he hasn’t slowed his touring schedule much. Or his recording schedule. In April, Nelson released “God’s Problem Child,” his 72nd studio album. Nelson co-wrote seven of its 13 tracks; it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country chart the week of its release. This show is a makeup date for a show in June that was postponed by inclement weather.
Tickets are $40.45 to $180.45.
Queens of the Stone Age with Royal Blood at Crossroads KC
Friday, Oct. 13
Queens of the Stone Age just released “Villains,” their first studio album in four years to mostly positive reviews. From DYI magazine: “As a whole, Villains is the Californian filthmongers’ most danceable offering yet — and all the better for it.”
This will be the band’s fourth-ever Kansas City performance and its first since a May 2014 show at Starlight Theatre. Don’t miss the openers, Royal Blood, a duo from Brighton, England, that whips together a rapturous mix of rock-blues, garage rock and psychedelic rock.
The show is sold out.
Janet Jackson at Sprint Center
Thursday, Oct. 19
This will be only her sixth concert in Kansas City since April 1990, when she brought her Rhythm Nation Tour to Kemper Arena. Her previous show here was at Starlight Theatre in August 2011. She’s back to arenas for this show, which has been postponed twice, most recently in April 2016, when Jackson announced she was expecting a child.
She is calling this her State of the World Tour. Her website says, “The tour is a continuation of the Unbreakable tour and will include fan favorites from her chart-topping ‘Unbreakable’ album, an array of her socially conscious music she’s released throughout her career, and other smash hits and soon-to-be released new tracks with a state of the art live production.”
Tickets are $37.50 to $123
Katy Perry with Noah Cyrus at Sprint Center
Friday, Oct. 27
Perry’s latest album, “Witness,” has been widely panned by critics, but that shouldn’t affect interest in her live shows, which are always extravagant spectacles, visually and musically. The tour opened Sept. 7 in Montreal, so Perry and crew should be in mid-season shape by the time it rolls into the Sprint Center. This will be her first Kansas City appearance since August 2014. Previous appearances include shows at the Beaumont Club and a spot in the 2008 Warped Tour out at the amphitheater in Bonner Springs. The show’s opener, 17-year-old Noah Cyrus, is the younger sister of Miley Cyrus.
Tickets are $50.50 to $130.50
Lady Gaga at Sprint Center
Wednesday, Nov. 15
Like its predecessors, the Joanne Tour is a gaudy blitzkrieg of flash, glitz, theater, wardrobe changes and a barrage of hits. The show comprises six acts plus a finale and mixes songs from “Joanne,” her fifth studio album, with several of her blockbuster hits, like “Poker Face” and “Alejandro.”
This will be her third headlining show in Kansas City and her first since February 2013. She also opened for New Kids on the Block at the Sprint Center in November 2008.
Tickets are $46 to $226.