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KC concerts Aug. 3-9: Bruno Mars, Young the Giant, Alt-J, Fleet Foxes, Julien Baker

Bruno Mars performs Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the Sprint Center.
Bruno Mars performs Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the Sprint Center. Invision/AP


Thursday, Aug. 3, at Starlight Theatre

The members Alt-J have their work cut out for them on their current tour. The soothing songs on their aptly titled new album, “Relaxer,” provide an ideal soundtrack for lazing about at home. Making the mellow material compelling to large audiences, however, presents a formidable challenge for the British indie-pop band. Rather than provoking excited fist pump fists, excruciatingly lovely songs like “3WW” may inspire serene contemplation of the splendid setting of Thursday’s concert. With Sohn.

8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $35-$59.50 through

Keaton Conrad

Thursday, Aug. 3, at RecordBar

The biography at Keaton Conrad’s website masks the core strength of the locally based teenager’s music. The text suggests that Conrad “situated himself perfectly among the duality of creative self-expression and commerciality.” That’s a convoluted way of saying that Conrad is an exceptionally promising pop artist in the vein of John Mayer and Jason Mraz. “Waves,” the debut album Conrad released in January, is filled with pop songs that require no apologies. With Cudo, Late Nite Cavalry and Joy Camp.

8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $7 through

Julien Baker

Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Granada

On the title track of her rapturously received 2015 debut album “Sprained Ankle,” Julien Baker summarized her methodology: “spilling my guts, sweat on a microphone, breaking my voice.” The Memphis-based singer/songwriter doesn’t merely wear her heart on her sleeve. To paraphrase Mick Jagger, she sticks a pen in her heart and spills it all over the stage. Hushed and unsparing, Baker’s intimate songs provide ideal accompaniment for pensive introspection on rainy afternoons. With Luray.

8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. The Granada. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $15 through

Young the Giant

Saturday, Aug. 5, at Starlight Theatre

Young the Giant is a colossus in the indie-pop movement that downplays guitars in favor of propulsive beats and gauzy synthetic keyboards. The dreamy 2011 hits “Cough Syrup” and “My Body” served notice to contemporaries like MGMT and Passion Pit. “Something to Believe In” and “Silvertongue,” Young the Giant’s most recent singles, indicate that the California band has perfected its craft. With Cold War Kids and Joywave.

7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $29.50-$39.50 through

Fleet Foxes

Tuesday, Aug. 8, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

In the six years since Fleet Foxes last performed in Kansas City, the group’s Robin Pecknold enrolled in Columbia University and the band’s former drummer Josh Tillman became a star as an acerbic solo artist under the alias of Father John Misty. Fleet Foxes recently emerged from its lengthy hiatus with the rapturously beautiful album “Crack-Up,” a follow-up to 2011’s “Helplessness Blues.” New folk-rock material like “If You Need to, Keep Time on Me” alludes to the band’s uncommon timetable. With (Sandy) Alex G.

8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $36-$40.50 through

One OK Rock

Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Granada

The members of One OK Rock acknowledged the untimely passing of Chester Bennington on Twitter. The moody songs of One OK Rock recall the sound of Bennington’s eclectic rock band Linkin Park. Having achieved arena-status in its native Japan, the quartet intends to replicate that success in the Western Hemisphere. “Ambitions,” its eighth album and the second sung in English, would likely have impressed Bennington. With Set It Off and Palisades.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8. The Granada. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $22 through


Wednesday, Aug. 9, at Knuckleheads

Longtime observers of alternative rock aren’t surprised that David Lowery has become one of the most articulate and cantankerous commentators on the state of the music industry. The acerbic perspective and startling musical range he displayed with Camper Van Beethoven (“Take the Skinheads Bowling”) in the ’80s and with Cracker (“Low”) since the early ’90s has carried over to his persuasive lobbying as an advocate for the rights of musicians in the internet era. With Ashley Raines.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $20 through

Bruno Mars

Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the Sprint Center

Put the strawberry champagne on ice. In addition to sweet bubbly beverages, the eager paramour of “That’s What I Like” promises his lover “shopping sprees in Paris” and “sex by the fire at night.” The song of seduction is the most recent addition to a long list of Bruno Mars chart-toppers that includes the swaggering “Uptown Funk,” the sophisticated hit “Locked Out of Heaven” and his 2010 breakout song “Just the Way You Are.” With Camila Cabello.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. Tickets to the officially sold-out show were $49.50-$125 through