Back to Rockville

KC concerts, Feb. 9-15: K. Flay, Gaelynn Lea, Avant and Keke Wyatt, Me Like Bees

Austin, Texas-based country artist Sam Riggs will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, at Kanza Hall.
Austin, Texas-based country artist Sam Riggs will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, at Kanza Hall. NATALIE RHEA PRODUCTIONS

Sam Riggs

Thursday, Feb. 9, at Kanza Hall

Sam Riggs recalls that “we were poor and we were wild and we were young” in “The Lucky Ones,” one of the most compelling songs on the latest album by the Austin, Texas-based country artist. Fans representing various layers of social standing, temperament and ages will band together to sing along to Riggs’ defiant song Thursday. While he has yet to achieve the success enjoyed by like-minded artists such as Randy Rogers, Riggs creates an equally satisfying brand of rough-hewn country. With Mountain Deer Revival.

8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9. Kanza Hall. 913-451-0444. $15 in advance.

K. Flay

Friday, Feb. 10, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland

For people smitten with modern rock, attending Afentra’s VD Party may be more satisfying than receiving a bouquet of flowers or a heartfelt card. The free Valentine’s Day-themed concert is radio station 96.5 The Buzz’s seasonal gift to its listeners. K.Flay, a whip-smart artist who studied at Stanford University, is Friday’s headliner. After working for several years as a left-of-center rapper, K.Flay has recently pivoted to a wordy form of indie-rock. With Lolo, Paper Route and Dreamgirl.

8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. Free.


Friday, Feb. 10, at RecordBar

The opening lyrical salvo of Jaenki’s thrilling new song “The Timing and the Spaces” alludes to the history of the band’s members: “there’s too many ghosts in this place, not from anybody who died, but from the people I know who’ve moved on with their lives.” A Kansas City super group of sorts with ties to other ensembles including the Republic Tigers and Vedera, the members of Jaenki have thankfully refused to move on from their promising musical careers. With Pink Royal, Westerners and Westside Royal.

8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. $10 in advance.

Rebirth Brass Band

Friday, Feb. 10, at the Lied Center

Many of the most enlightened denizens of New Orleans will celebrate Fat Tuesday with the Rebirth Brass Band at a tavern in their hometown on Feb. 28. In-the-know Kansans will get a preview of the boisterous holiday bash Friday. The longstanding New Orleans brass band has been the life of countless parties since its formation in 1983. A line parade will almost certainly break out.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Lied Center. 785-864-2787. $20-$30 in advance.

Gaelynn Lea

Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Tank Room

Sunday, Feb. 12 at the Replay Lounge

Before winning the 2016 edition of Tiny Desk Contest, the annual online talent competition overseen by the NPR program “All Songs Considered,” very few people outside of Gaelynn Lea’s hometown of Duluth, Minn., had heard of the remarkable fiddler and singer-songwriter. Lea is touring with Bella Hardy, a Scottish musician with a similar approach. The Accidental Project, Phil Wang and Cindy Novelo will also perform at the Tank Room on Saturday. Signal Ridge will open Sunday’s show at the Replay Lounge.

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. Tank Room. 816-214-6403. $10 in advance.

5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12. Replay Lounge. 785-749-7676. Cover charge is $3.

Avant and Keke Wyatt

Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Uptown Theater

Only one missing detail prevented Avant’s concert at the Uptown Theater from achieving perfection last year. The romance-minded R&B crooner from Cleveland sang the 2012 hit “You & I” with one of his background singers rather than with his original duet partner, Keke Wyatt. Avant is accompanied by Wyatt on his current tour. The reunion of their wondrous voices will also allow for an authentic rendition of their dreamy 2000 slow jam “My First Love.” With Tank.

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. $55-$125 in advance.

Me Like Bees

Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Brick

“There Will Be a Time,” a four-song EP released by Me Like Bees last year, reflects the worth of a good producer. John Feldmann, a studio wizard who helped the likes of Good Charlotte and Ashlee Simpson sell millions of albums, uncovered previously obscured aspects of Me Like Bees’ indie-pop. The quartet from Joplin headlines Saturday’s benefit show for the Midwest Music Foundation’s annual showcase in Austin that runs concurrently with the SXSW Music Festival. With Verbose, Something and the Whatevers and Nicholas St. James.

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. The Brick. 816-421-1634. Cover charge is $10.


Saturday, Feb. 11, at RecordBar

Although its best-known song is titled “Chillin’ on the Beach with My Best Friend Jesus Christ,” Susto is more than a loopy novelty band. The musicians from South Carolina address metaphysical questions and spiritual musings with the congenial earthiness associated with the country outsider Sturgill Simpson. Susto employs gentle folk-rock on many of its songs, but it unleashes formidable guitar-based rock on “Waves,” a song that references “smoking weed with God.” With Cereus Bright and Spencer Mackenzie Brown.

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. $10 in advance.

Run the Jewels

Monday, Feb. 13, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland

Political protests involving strident young activists that fail to incorporate the music of Run the Jewels into their demonstrations are suspect. No current musical group harnesses rage more effectively than the hyper-political hip-hop duo of Killer Mike and El-P. Released on Christmas Eve, Run the Jewels’ third release (not counting a cat-themed novelty project) is the right album at the right time for angry agitators. With the Gaslamp Killer, Gangsta Boo, Nick Hook and Cuz.

8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. $26.50.

Lydia Loveless

Monday, Feb. 13, at the Bottleneck

Lydia Loveless is poised to join the likes of Jason Isbell and Neko Case as a foremost purveyor of the nebulous genre that was once known as alternative country. Her entirely convincing 2016 album “Real” indicates that Loveless is beginning to realize her potential. Just 26, the Ohio native possesses the sort of rare talent that might eventually make her one of America’s most beloved artists. With Angelica Garcia.

9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13. The Bottleneck. 785-749-3434. $13 in advance.

Robbie Fulks

Tuesday, Feb. 14, at Knuckleheads

In his amusing song “Every Kind of Music But Country,” Robbie Fulks boasts of converting a formerly skeptical woman to his brand of twangy sounds. Fulks has acted as an evangelist for astute honky tonk for more than 25 years. Once known for wild-eyed rave-ups like “Let’s Kill Saturday Night,” Fulks has been creating more nuanced material in recent years. On his new composition “America Is a Hard Religion,” Fulks sighs that “not just anyone may enter.”

8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. $15 in advance.

Folk Alliance Conference

Wednesday, Feb. 15, Thursday, Feb. 16, Friday, Feb. 17, Saturday, Feb. 18, Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Westin Hotel/Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center

Thousands of folk and folk-related musicians and representatives of the industry that support them will congregate in Kansas City for the annual Folk Alliance International Conference that begins Wednesday. Showcases open to the public take place nightly. Sonia Rutstein of the stalwart socially conscious folk ensemble Disappear Fear is among the three dozen performers who will exemplify the conference’s “Forbidden Folk” theme Wednesday.

“Public Official Showcases”: 8:15 p.m.-11:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15. Westin Hotel/Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center. 816-221-3655. $15 in advance.