Back to Rockville

KC concerts June 15-21: Ruthie Foster, Portugal. The Man, Willie Nelson, Def Leppard

Willie Nelson performs Saturday, June 17, at Starlight Theatre. Dwight Yoakam and Robert Earl Keen are also on the bill.
Willie Nelson performs Saturday, June 17, at Starlight Theatre. Dwight Yoakam and Robert Earl Keen are also on the bill. AP/File

DJ Premier and the Badder Band

Thursday, June 15, at the Riot Room

DJ Premier has picked up a few tricks during his storied career. One of them is knowing that the addition of live musicians makes hip-hop concerts vastly more entertaining. DJ Premier, half of the seminal hip-hop duo Gang Starr, will be joined by the Badder Band in a lively survey of hip-hop history on Thursday. The group will play renditions of game-changing Gang Starr classics and versions of Premier productions for the likes of Nas and Jay-Z. DJ Spinstyles is among the opening acts.

8 p.m. Thursday, June 15. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. $20 in advance.


Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17, in the Stockyards District

Boulevardia is a beer-oriented festival, but the music offerings at the event sponsored by Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing Co. hold as much appeal to teetotalers as to committed carousers. George Clinton, the eccentric genius who led a funk revolution in the ’70s, tops the bill with his Parliament Funkadelic collective on Friday. Sleek indie-pop band Local Natives is Saturday’s headliner. More than 30 additional international and locally based artists will perform on three stages at the two-day event.

4 p.m. Friday, June 16, 11 a.m. Saturday, June 17. Stockyards District. One-day general admission tickets are $20 in advance.

Ruthie Foster

Friday, June 16, at the Folly Theater

Ruthie Foster shared the stage of the Folly Theater with Joe Ely and Paul Thorn on their Southern Troubadours tour last year. This time, the Texan’s warm folk, gospel, blues and pop songs will be the sole focus of Friday’s concert presented by the venerable KCUR radio program “Cyprus Avenue.”

8 p.m. Friday, June 16. Folly Theater. 816-474-4444. $20-$50 in advance.

Kasey Chambers

Friday, June 16, at the Garage at Knuckleheads

The 1999 release of Kasey Chambers’ debut album, “The Captain,” seemed to signal the arrival of a major talent destined to overtake the popularity of like-minded artists such as Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams. Bafflingly, the Australian’s fame leveled off before she became a full-fledged star. Chambers is touring in support of her 11th album, “Dragonfly,” a set that includes a duet with country luminary Keith Urban. With Julian Davis & the Hay-Burners and Garrett Kato.

8 p.m. Friday, June 16. The Garage at Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. $18.50-$28.50 in advance.

Portugal. The Man

Friday, June 16, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Beginning with its 2006 song cycle “Waiter: ‘You Vultures!’ ” the Portland based indie-rock band Portugal. The Man has issued ornate concept albums that channel the ambitious work of the Beatles. Portugal. The Man will celebrate the June 16 release of its eighth album, “Woodstock,” on Friday. The album’s advance singles indicate that “Woodstock” is a meditation on troubling headlines. As with most of Portugal. The Man’s catalog, the songs imply that dancing defiantly is a liberating response to turbulent times. With Electric Guest.

8 p.m. Friday, June 16. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. $26.50 in advance.

Willie Nelson

Saturday, June 17, at Starlight Theatre

Against all odds, Willie Nelson, 84, is at his artistic peak. Nelson is playing guitar like his jazz heroes, singing more soulfully than ever with his timeworn voice and writing memorable new songs. Alternately heartbreaking and hilarious, his terrific new album, “God’s Problem Child,” is filled with instant classics like “It Gets Easier” and “Still Not Dead.” Saturday’s show will be a dynamic showcase for a vital artist rather than a stale retrospective from a tired legend. With Dwight Yoakam and Robert Earl Keen.

6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 17. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. $40.45-$180.45 in advance.

Keith Sweat

Saturday, June 17, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater

Funk Fest, the name of Saturday’s concert in Bonner Springs, is somewhat misleading. The show is loaded with soul, new jack swing, hip-hop and pop acts of the ’80s and ’90s that are only tangentially related to funk. Sultry soul singer Keith Sweat tops the bill. His vintage slow jams like “Twisted” and “Make It Last Forever” remain staples of the Quiet Storm radio format. With Bell Biv DeVoe, Guy with Teddy Riley, SWV, En Vogue and Doug E. Fresh.

6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 17. Providence Medical Amphitheater. 913-825-3400. $39.50-$79.50 in advance.

Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs

Saturday, June 17, at Muriel Kauffman Theatre

Michael McDonald is back in fashion. The St. Louis native has been introduced to a new generation by stylish producer and musician Thundercat. In addition to featuring McDonald’s monstrously soulful voice on his new album, Thundercat has been joined by McDonald for recent performances at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” McDonald will share the stage on Saturday with Boz Scaggs, the owner of another indispensable voice of the ’70s.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 17. Muriel Kauffman Theatre. 816-994-7200. $65.50-$145.50 in advance.

Ann Wilson

Monday, June 19, at the Uptown Theater

The falling out that left sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson estranged last year has resulted in an indefinite hiatus of the classic rock band Heart. While fans will miss out on the duo’s renditions of hits like “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You” this summer, Ann Wilson is unleashing her magnificent voice on a solo tour. In addition to belting out a few Heart favorites, she’s expected to interpret classic rock songs associated with the Who, Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix on Monday.

8 p.m. Monday, June 19. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. $45-$125 in advance.

Day Wave

Wednesday, June 21, at the Riot Room

Released in May, Day Wave’s debut album “The Days We Had” could be mistaken for a reissue of an unfairly neglected 1983 effort by an obscure new wave band. Wistful songs like “Something Here” and “Ordinary” sound as if they belong on the soundtrack of the John Hughes film “Pretty in Pink” alongside hits by Psychedelic Furs and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Day Waves’ throwback sound is orchestrated by fresh-faced Oakland musician Jackson Phillips. With Blonder.

8 p.m. Wednesday, June 21. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. $13 in advance.

Def Leppard

Wednesday, June 21, at the Sprint Center

Aspiring young musicians who intend to shake rock ’n’ roll out of its current doldrums might study the example set by Def Leppard. In its prime in the ’80s, the British group had it all: a handsome frontman in Joe Elliott, the high drama of drummer Rick Allen overcoming a horrific accident and songs that overlaid pop hooks on hard rock backdrops. Thirty years later, Def Leppard hits like “Hysteria” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me” sound better than ever. With Poison.

7 p.m. Wednesday, June 21. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. $57.50-$123 in advance.

Rachel Mallin and the Wild Type

Wednesday, June 21, at Royals Stadium

If there were a scoreboard for musicians as there is for Major League Baseball teams, Rachel Mallin would be nearing the top the standings in a hypothetical ranking of Kansas City’s music scene. The clever woman who amusingly describes her style as “moody soccer mom rock” in her Twitter bio is on a torrid winning streak. Mallin will demonstrate why she’s such a valued prospect in a performance prior to the Royals’ afternoon game against the Red Sox.

Noon Wednesday, June 21. Kauffman Stadium. 816-504-4040. Free with admission to the game.