This week’s top live music: Modest Mouse, Delbert McClinton and Journey

07/09/2014 7:00 AM

07/07/2014 11:01 AM

Michael Feinstein

Friday at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Michael Feinstein, one of the elite interpreters of the Great American Songbook, isn’t a stranger to the Kansas City area. Yet Friday’s appearance is his first at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Feinstein is precisely the sort of immaculately tasteful artist who is ideally suited for either of the venue’s two stages. His dedication to sustaining the popular standards associated with previous generations was featured in the 2010 PBS documentary series “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook.” Friday’s program will focus on the classic works of George and Ira Gershwin such as “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Tickets range from $39 to $109 in advance through

Delbert McClinton

Friday at Knuckleheads

Proud Texans are quick to claim that everything is bigger and better in Texas. The merits of that assertion are debatable, but there’s no denying that the Lone Star State has produced wonderfully unique sounds. Two musicians who are inextricably linked to their native state will perform Friday at Knuckleheads. Delbert McClinton is a veteran roadhouse belter best known outside Texas for his 1980 hit “Givin’ It Up for Your Love.” Joe “King” Carrasco’s manic blend of Tex-Mex and roots rock was labeled “nuevo wavo” when he first achieved national recognition in the early ’80s with crazed dance songs like “Party Weekend.”

Tickets are $32.50 in advance through

Glass Animals

Saturday at Czar Bar

Sunday at the Riot Room

The unlikely success of the British art-rock band Alt-J was bound to inspire a new wave of acts enamored with odd rhythms, obscure lyrics and tense melodies. Glass Animals, an ensemble from Oxford, England, is one of the most promising bands galvanized by Alt-J. The quartet will perform slinky songs like “Gooey” and “Pools” from its debut album, “ZABA,” at two sold-out shows. Glass Animals’ further interest in trip-hop and the fashionably dark R&B production associated with the Weeknd are encouraging indications that the band may soon outgrow its devotion to its primary influence. Outsides, a synth-rock band from Kansas City, opens Sunday’s show at the Riot Room.

Tickets for Saturday’s show were $9.65 in advance through

Tickets for Sunday’s show were $9.65 in advance through

Cheap Girls

Saturday at the Riot Room

Fans should forgive the three members of Cheap Girls if they seem a bit bleary when they perform Saturday at the Riot Room. Cheap Girls is on a temporary break from its tour with notoriously rowdy band the Hold Steady. Yet Cheap Girls is more than capable of raising its own brand of hell. The boozy, guitar-based songs on the Michigan band’s new album, “Famous Graves,” are reminiscent of bracing Minneapolis artists like Bob Mould and Paul Westerberg. Grungy St. Joseph trio Scruffy and the Janitors and a post-punk Kansas City trio, the Feel Bad Hit of the Winter, open the show.

Tickets are $10 in advance through

Paquita La Del Barrio

Saturday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

A Spanish-language television advertisement for Saturday’s concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts contains footage from Paquita La Del Barrio’s music video for “Tu Ultima Parada.” The commercial depicts the Mexican ranchera vocalist on a festive tour bus as she travels to a glamorous poolside gig with her large band. The Kauffman Center may lack the al fresco ambiance depicted in the video, but it’s an appropriately grand hall for the woman who is beloved for her rich voice and long-standing insistence that women be treated with respect.

Tickets range from $49 to $99 in advance through

Fado, the Soul of Portugal

Saturday at Polsky Theatre

A deeply emotive style indigenous to Portugal, fado typically features mournful singing and elaborate guitar work. Saturday’s concert is billed as the first time Portuguese fado artists have performed in the Kansas City area. Along with the dashing vocalist Rodrigo Costa Félix, one of the genre’s most compelling young stars, accomplished guitarists Marta Pereira da Costa and Pedro Pinhal are based in Lisbon. The ambitious concert was organized by Kansas City’s Beau Bledsoe. Ensemble Ibérica, one of Bledsoe’s many musical endeavors, will also perform.

Tickets are $20 in advance through

Modest Mouse with Mimicking Birds

Sunday at the Uptown Theater

Modest Mouse’s “Float On” may be the indie-rock equivalent of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.” A celebration of the slacker lifestyle, the 2004 song serves as a generation’s statement of purpose. Formed more than 20 years ago in Issaquah, Wash., Modest Mouse has maintained credibility even after scoring offbeat hits like “Float On” and “Dashboard.” Mimicking Birds is touring in support of Modest Mouse. The Portland-based folk-rock band is signed to Glacial Pace Recordings, a record label overseen by Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock.

Tickets range from $38 to $42 in advance through


Monday at Starlight Theatre

The Kansas City Royals replaced Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” as the featured sixth-inning singalong last month. The switch was just another affirmation of the classic rock song’s paramount position in pop culture. Even though “Don’t Stop Believin’” will be sung by replacement vocalist Arnel Pineda, the rendition of the song will almost certainly be the highlight of Monday’s concert. Journey will be joined by the Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power. Miller’s hits, including “The Joker” and “Fly Like an Eagle,” retain their mellow charm. Tower of Power’s soulful favorites like “What Is Hip?” will open the evening of feel-good nostalgia.

Tickets range from $47.50 to $145 in advance through

Wild Cub

Monday at Czar Bar

Wild Cub is among the most auspicious new entrants in the synth-driven indie pop movement led by bands like Grouplove and Young the Giant. “Thunder Clatter” is just one of the bouncy songs that makes Wild Cub’s jubilant album, “Youth,” an ideal soundtrack for a steamy summer. Yet if the fetching Nashville band fails to break out, founding member Keegan DeWitt has an attractive backup plan as the creator of film scores. The Academy Award-winning 2012 documentary “Inocente” featured DeWitt’s original music. Opening band Grizfolk may possess even greater commercial potential than Wild Cub. The international collaboration blends sleek electronic dance textures with elements of analog folk music.

Tickets, which have sold out, were $9.65 in advance through


Tuesday at Crossroads KC

Much of the music that’s billed as Americana and adult alternative is genteel. There’s little that’s gracious about the three unrefined bands appearing Tuesday at Crossroads KC. Impolite and disorderly, Lucero, Murder by Death and the Delta Saints are roots-rock rebels. Lucero’s raw twang is an anecdote for anyone who’s suffering from overexposure to contemporary country radio. The members of Lucero have sounded like they’re eager to brawl since they banded together in Memphis 16 years ago. Murder by Death is a gothic Americana band from Indiana. Nashville’s the Delta Saints describes its sound as “bourbon-fueled bayou rock.”

Tickets range from $21.50 to $61.50 in advance through

Pat Benatar

Wednesday at Starlight Theatre

As the late R&B star Aaliyah sang in 1994, “age ain’t nothing but a number.” Pat Benatar and Rick Springfield, the featured attractions Wednesday at Starlight Theatre, may be in their 60s, but their performances will be designed to make make longtime fans feel 30 years younger. From 1979’s blistering “Heartbreaker” through 1984’s melodramatic love song “We Belong,” Benatar’s impressive series of hits helped define an era. Springfield has parlayed his matinee idol looks and the 1981 hit “Jessie’s Girl” into a prolonged career. William Beckett, 29, opens the show with a set of appropriately theatrical pop-rock.

Tickets range from $25 to $95 in advance through

Bob Schneider

Wednesday at Knuckleheads

The thousands of Willie Nelson fans who attended the star’s concert Sunday at Starlight Theatre might consider turning their attention to Bob Schneider. Like Nelson, Schneider has refused to conform to music industry conventions. The admirably eccentric singer/songwriter from Texas is deserving of a larger audience. Whether by accident or by design, the publicity shots and the moniker of opening act Dawn & Hawkes evoke the illustrious ’70s duo Buckingham Nicks. The Austin-based duo of Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes play a form of folk-rock that resonates with listeners who appreciate of the contributions Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks made to Fleetwood Mac.

Tickets are $20 in advance through

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