This summer is shaping up to be one of the busiest ever for music fans in Kansas City.
Many venues have heavy bills, whether outdoors or indoors, but none heavier than the Sprint Center, where two international tours will open.
Here’s a look at 10 of the biggest shows coming to town, plus a list of 20 recommendations.
May 26: He is opening his Us + Them tour of North America in Kansas City. Expect a mix of classic Pink Floyd and older solo songs with material from Waters’ new album, “Is This the Life We Really Want?”
In October, Waters told Rolling Stone, “Probably 75 percent of it will be old material and 25 percent will be new, but it will be all connected by a general theme. It’ll be spectacular like all my shows have been.”
Waters last performed in Kansas City in October 2010, when he brought the Wall Live Tour to the Sprint Center.
June 29: The first show of his 48-stop, 100-day North American tour is Kansas City.
He will be touring on “Divide,” his third full-length studio album, which has gone gold (500,000 copies) in the United States since its release in March. The album’s second single, “Shape of You,” went No. 1 worldwide.
This will be Sheeran’s first Kansas City show since June 2015, when he opened for the Rolling Stones at Arrowhead Stadium. He also headlined a show at the Sprint Center in September 2014, opened for Taylor Swift at the Sprint Center in August 2013 and headlined a show at the Midland in February 2013.
June 2: Petty hasn’t visited Kansas City since July 2010. He and his Heartbreakers are out on the road now celebrating their 40th anniversary. Expect more of the usual: an evening packed with timeless rock songs.
Aug. 16: The most important artist in contemporary hip-hop has performed in Kansas City three times: headlining at the Midland in December 2012 and opening for Drake (March 2012) and Kanye West (December 2013) at the Sprint Center. This time, he’s headlining The Damn. Tour, named after his fourth studio album, which was released in April. It has already gone gold (500,000 in sales).
Aug. 11: In October, they released “Revolution Radio,” a screed about the chaotic state of the United States and issues like mass shootings and race protests. It also addresses some personal issues that afflicted the band.
The tour, which sells T-shirts that say “No racism, no sexism, no homophobia,” is getting rave reviews. From the Guardian in London, where they sold out the O Arena: “They get their melodic craftsmanship from Paul McCartney, their conceptual ambition from Pete Townshend, their showmanship from Bruce Springsteen, their velocity from the Ramones and their ethics from the Clash. … Green Day play for two and a half hours with a relentless, crowd-pleasing zeal.”
June 4: In July, he delivered a manic, rousing set opening for Drake at the Sprint Center. This time, his name is atop the marquee and for good reasons: In February, the Atlanta rapper became the first solo artist ever to top the Billboard album chart two weeks in a row with two different albums: “Future,” then “Hndrxx.”
From a New York Times review of his recent show at the Barclay Center: “Future has been one of the most reliable hitmakers of the decade, so even when he was pin-balling between moods, he was delivering thrills, though there is little variation in his presentation.”
June 9: Costello is no stranger to Kansas City. This show will be his fourth in Kansas City since June 2011, when he brought his “Spinning Wheel” show to Crossroads KC. This time, he is celebrating the 35th anniversary of his classic “Imperial Bedroom” album. Expect to hear that album in its entirety, plus a generous sprinkling of other hits and classics.
June 17: Nelson is one of the most relentless road dogs in live music, still busing from city to city, issuing songs and medleys from his classic country catalog. His pairing with Yoakam only adds luster to one of the summer’s bucket-list shows. Robert Earl Keen is also on the bill.
July 18: Two of the more dynamic women in rock music will rule this show in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. Shirley Manson of Garbage and Debbie Harry of Blondie will be the focal points of the Rage and Rapture Tour, which will showcase some of the biggest hits in the 1980s, when Blondie ruled, and the 1990s, when Garbage filled the charts.
Aug. 9: His latest album, “24K Magic,” released in November, has already sold in excess of 700,000 copies in the United States. It includes two Top 10 singles, the title track and “That’s What I Like,” which reached No. 1.
Mars is an engaging and multifaceted live performer: He can sing, dance and play several instruments, and he does it all during his high-energy shows. He’ll return to Kansas City nearly four years to the date after his previous Kansas City show, which was Aug. 9, 2013. His previous show in our area was at the Independence Events Center in May 2011, when he headlined a bill that included Janelle Monae.
20 more shows
July 11: Iron Maiden
July 21: Luke Bryan
Aug. 15: Coldplay
July 6: Jill Scott
June 17: Michael McDonald with Boz Scaggs
Aug. 18: The Dave Rawlings Machine
June 15: Buddy Guy
June 23: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
July 25: Violent Femmes with Echo and the Bunnymen
Aug. 20: Father John Misty with Tennis
June 11: Old Crow Medicine Show
July 7: Turnpike Troubadours with Lucero
Aug. 18: Die Antwoord
June 8: Alejandro Escovedo
June 16: Kasey Chambers
June 12: Muse
June 13: John Legend
Aug. 16: Idina Menzel
Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
June 10: Glass Animals with Miike Snow
Aug. 1: Slayer with Lamb of God