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KC concerts Dec. 14-20: Todd Rundgren, Borns, Suicideboys, Greta Van Fleet

Børns will perform Saturday, Dec. 16, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland.
Børns will perform Saturday, Dec. 16, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. .


Friday, Dec. 15, at the Uptown Theater

The death of 21-year-old Lil Peep in November was a devastating blow to the ascendent new wave of emo-rappers. Peep was widely tabbed as the most marketable member of a movement that includes Suicideboys. The emo-rap duo from New Orleans shares the Peep’s obsession with the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana as well as with murky Southern rappers like Gucci Mane. Alarming Suicideboys songs like “Champion of Death” and “Mount Sinai” are an integral component of the soundtrack to the nation’s opioid epidemic.

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $28 through

Greta Van Fleet

Friday, Dec. 15, at the Granada

The ardent wishes of diehard Led Zeppelin fans who have long lobbied for a reunion tour by the surviving members of the classic rock band will probably never be fulfilled. The rise of Greta Van Fleet should ease their frustration. The young band from Michigan offers a convincing simulacrum of peak-era Led Zeppelin. Josh Kiszka has perfected the urgent melisma of vocalist Robert Plant, while his brother Jake has brazenly swiped Jimmy Page’s signature guitar riffs. With Billy Raffoul.

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. Granada. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $10.51 through

Todd Rundgren

Friday, Dec. 15, at the VooDoo

Not every fan of Todd Rundgren embraces his divisive new song “Tin Foil Hat.” Co-written with Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, song lyrics like “the man in the tin foil hat is tweeting like a teenage girl/He puts the Pluto in plutocrat/But it’s gonna be a huge, huge, huge new world” have incited rancorous disruptions at Rundgren’s concerts. The unpredictable star’s current tour isn’t all about politics. Classic rock staples including the 1973 hit “Hello It’s Me” have appeared on recent set lists.

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. VooDoo. 816-472-7777. Tickets are $39.50-$161 through


Saturday, Dec. 16, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

“Sweet Dreams,” the latest single by Børns, is an insinuating slice of synth-pop perfection. It’s not the only new trick Michigan native Garrett Clark Borns has learned since he honed his craft in small clubs like RecordBar. The frantic “Faded Heart” updates the teen dreams of Motown legends like the Supremes. These refinements validate Borns’ elevation to headliner status at the last of three seasonal concerts sponsored by radio station 96.5 the Buzz. With Kitten, AJR and Brandon Phillips & the Condition.

6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $29.65 through

Pokey LaFarge

Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Garage at Knuckleheads

Unlike many of his compatriots in the old-timey revivalist movement, Pokey LaFarge doesn’t indulge in nostalgic escapism. He addresses the social unrest in his hometown of St. Louis on “Riot in the Streets,” a bracing composition on his new album, “Manic Revelations.” He sighs that “walking down West Florissant Road, it feels like this city is gonna explode.” The protest song demonstrates why LaFarge is one of the most crucial talents in American roots music. With Easy Leaves.

9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. Garage at Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $20 through

Joe Louis Walker and Zac Harmon

Saturday, Dec. 16, at Knuckleheads

Although he has never achieved the mainstream renown of his peers, including Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughan, Joe Louis Walker is one of the most respected bluesmen of his generation. The first of Walker’s acclaimed albums was released 1986. As with most of his output, the recording pairs his expressive voice and stellar guitar work with a house-rocking rhythm section. Accompanied only by his friend Zac Harmon, Walker will play a comparatively unadorned version of the blues on Saturday.

7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $14 through

Nicole Atkins

Sunday, Dec. 17, at the Riot Room

A sleep mask emblazoned with the words “Darkness Falls So Quiet” can be purchased at the site of Nicole Atkins’ record label. The title of one of the standout songs on Atkins’ soul-steeped new album, “Goodnight Rhonda Lee,” “Darkness Falls So Quiet” sounds like a lost track on Dusty Springfield’s classic 1969 album “Dusty in Memphis.” Atkins’ elegant throwback sound is a dramatic shift from the indie-pop orientation of her first three albums. With Thayer Sarrano and Jessica Paige.

8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $12 through


Tuesday, Dec. 19, at RecordBar

The members of Sports bill themselves as “a band of wizards from Oklahoma.” While they insist that they specialize in “conjuring pop music spells for ears,” the group more closely resembles an aggregation of alchemists. The concoctions they devise blend old-school sounds with cutting-edge ingredients. “Someone You’d Rather Be Dating” melds the popping bass lines of 1970s funk with modern indie-pop. The smooth “Dina” is equal parts contemporary chillwave and simmering yacht rock. With Pink Royal and Dreamgirl.

8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $12 through