Dream Theater belies its reputation for excess

Dream Theater is burdened with a reputation for bombastic excess. Although Wednesday's show at the Uptown Theater lasted over three hours, the members of the quintet allowed themselves surprisingly few moments of indulgent exhibitionism during their surprisingly taut performance.

Jazz spotlight shines on talented women

It’s a busy month for jazz in Kansas City, and women musicians are responsible for some of the best events on the calendar. Pianist and composer Helen Sung performs Saturday at the Blue Room to promote her new album, “Anthem for a New Day.” Another schedule highlight is provided by singer Catherine Russell, who is at Knuckleheads on Wednesday.

Lorde, Imagine Dragons lead Billboard nominations

Newcomers Lorde and Imagine Dragons are the top contenders at next month's Billboard Music Awards. The breakthrough acts are finalists in 12 categories, thanks to Lorde's Grammy-winning multiplatinum hit "Royals" and Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive," also a multiplatinum Grammy winner.

Erratic B.B. King performance makes fans blue

At 88, blues guitarist B.B. King is a living legend, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer with his own satellite radio channel and a string of blues-themed restaurants in New York, Las Vegas and several other cities.

Strait wins entertainer of the year at ACM Awards

George Strait won his second entertainer of the year — 25 years after he won his first — and Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban teamed up to earn top honors Sunday night at a jam-packed Academy of Country Music Awards that had a little something for everyone.

Middle of the Map Fest is a musical vortex for talent

After three successful years, Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest has become a staple and a highlight of the city’s music landscape. Starting Thursday, for the fourth April in a row, scores of bands and recording artists from other states and other countries will perform in Westport venues. Some of them are national performers, such as headliners Of Montreal, Gary Numan, Kate Nash and Del the Funky Homosapien.

Fleetwood Mac to launch tour with both McVies

The McVies are going back on the road with Fleetwood Mac. The band announced a 33-city North American tour Thursday. It’s the first set of shows since they canceled performances last year as bassist John McVie was being treated for cancer.

Heartland Men’s Chorus finds meaning in ‘I Am Harvey Milk’

There’s a lot in “I Am Harvey Milk” that resonates with members of the Heartland Men’s Chorus, who will perform it this weekend with members of another gay chorus, the Gateway Men’s Chorus of St. Louis. The oratorio — part theater, part choral performance — celebrates the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California.

Lawrence musician Kawehi's Nirvana cover gets worldwide raves

People are raving about a local one-woman band called Kawehi and the video of her covering Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box." Some of the descriptions from The Huffington Post, Spin, People magazine, Esquire magazine and tons of websites of her performance include words like "Unbelievable," "Killer," "Genius," and "Hypnotic."

Veteran drummer Eliot Zigmund follows the beat of his jazz heart

In his first 15 years as a professional drummer Eliot Zigmund experienced the commercial side of music. He was busy in the studios of New York, but all the while, his heart was in jazz. So Zigmund, who’s coming to Kansas City for a string of gigs next month, made a career adjustment — and he has been true to jazz ever since.

Ellen DeGeneres loves Kansas City rapper Mac Lethal

After a long weekend of Kansas teams getting edged out of the NCAA Tournament, Mac Lethal delivered a hometown win Monday. The Kansas City rapper walked across the stage on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” hands in the air, smile on his face, and it was hard not feel victorious.