Anyone looking to initiate an explosive barroom debate is advised to duck quietly out of the room after asking which was the better and more important band: The Pixies or Nirvana? Both bands altered the direction of indie-rock 25 years ago with their uncommonly intelligent songs, extreme dynamics and adamant rejection of the status quo. While Nirvana’s prospects ended with the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, the Pixies have managed to extend their legacy with period reunions that have served to burnish the band’s reputation. Original bassist Kim Deal is a holdout from the current tour. New York’s Cults, one of countless bands in the wake of the Pixies, open the show at the Midland.
Tickets are $38 and $43 in advance through axs.com.
Monster JamFriday through Sunday
An all-American combination of dirt, noise and vigorous competition, Monster Jam is a touring motor sports festival. Gearheads, thrill junkies and people who simply enjoy seeing enormous vehicles performing daredevil stunts will flock to Monster Jam’s three-day stop at the Sprint Center. Like a rodeo fueled by gasoline, Monster Jam features a variety of events. Trucks with outsized wheels are propelled into the air, crush lesser vehicles and navigate tracks during foolhardy freestyle drives. Plenty of hands-on family-friendly activities allow fans to get in on the action. Tickets are $15 to $50 at [sprintcenter.com](http://www.sprintcenter.com/events/detail/monster-jam-4).
‘Bring It On: The Musical’Tuesday
High school cheerleaders have it rough. That’s one of the primary messages of “Bring It On: The Musical.” Based on the 2000 film starring Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union, the production contains a contemporary sheen familiar to viewers of television’s “Glee.” By employing the vernacular of high school students — words like “dork” pepper the show — and hip-hop accents, the musical targets a new generation of overstimulated theatergoers accustomed to Snapchat and large-screen televisions. Tickets to the performance at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts are $50 to $85 at [kansascity.broadway.com](http://kansascity.broadway.com/).
The brooding rock of the National has entranced indie-rock fans for more than a decade. The band’s doom-laden sensibility and literate songwriting have set it apart from its peers. By building on the National’s gloomy appeal while also recalling the dark vision of the late Ian Curtis of Joy Division, White Lies serves as Britain’s answer to the National. White Lies clearly has grand ambitions. The melodramatic songs on its most recent album “Big TV” are suited to arenas. Frankie Rose, a Brooklyn-based critical darling who headlined at the RecordBar in January, opens the show at Liberty Hall. Tickets are $22 in advance through ticketmaster.com.
Steve Hofstetter titled one of his early albums “Cure for the Cable Guy.” The confrontational comedian positions himself as the erudite adversary of the lowbrow humor associated with Larry the Cable Guy. Defiantly arrogant, Hofstetter lambasts political correctness as he peppers his rants with pop culture references. The approach has paid off. The self-appointed conscience of contemporary comedy is a big draw on college campuses and regularly appears as a commentator on television. His most recent release topped iTunes’ comedy charts. Tickets to the 7 p.m. performance at Czar Bar are $20 in advance through czarkc.com.