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KC concerts Dec. 21-27: Big Head Todd and the Monsters; Illenium, Radkey

Big Head Todd and the Monsters will perform Friday, Dec. 22, at the Uptown Theater.
Big Head Todd and the Monsters will perform Friday, Dec. 22, at the Uptown Theater. .


Thursday, Dec. 21, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Nick Miller, the Denver-based producer who crafts burnished beats as Illenium, is among the artists who are making the distinction between mainstream pop and electronic dance music increasingly irrelevant. Tracks like “Beautiful Creatures” fit comfortably on playlists between songs by hitmakers such as Taylor Swift and Logic. The lustrous rhythmic beds Miller provides for the entrancing crooning of guest vocalists including Daya make Illenium one of the most pleasing crossover acts of 2017. With Said the Sky and Dabin.

8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $25 through

Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Friday, Dec. 22, at the Uptown Theater

Todd Park Mohr collaborated with since-deceased blues legends James Cotton and Hubert Sumlin in a thrilling 2011 concert at the Uptown Theater. Six years later, the bandleader of Big Head Todd and the Monsters will showcase his knack for balancing his blues inclinations with his formidable jam band credentials at the same venue. Best known for the 1993 hit “Bittersweet,” Mohr’s group combines the disparate styles on the sturdy new album “New World Arisin’.” With Rayland Baxter and Making Movies.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $25-$55 through


Friday, Dec. 22, at RecordBar

Radkey seemed to be on the verge of conquering the rock world a couple of years ago. The trio of brothers from St. Joseph appeared at major festivals around the world and showcased their loud sound on prestigious television programs. Yet the band has been curiously quiet in 2017. Radkey has yet to follow up on its 2015 debut album “Dark Black Makeup,” an urgent sonic encapsulation of sweat, testosterone and adrenaline. With Drop a Grand and Red Kate.

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $12 through

35th & Taylor

Friday, Dec. 22, at Knuckleheads

Iowa-based band 35th & Taylor caught a big break when it opened a concert for Bon Jovi at the United Center in Chicago in March. The pairing makes sense. Like Bon Jovi, 35th & Taylor specializes in the straightforward meat-and-potatoes rock that was popular in the 1980s. The powerhouse vocals of Anna Taylor distinguish the group from the many other ensembles that cater to nostalgic fans who long for the era in which rock artists like Pat Benatar and Foreigner dominated the charts.

9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $10 through

The Floozies

Saturday, Dec. 23, at the Truman

“Funk Jesus,” the cheeky title of the Floozies’ latest album, reflects the irreverent artistry of the Lawrence-based duo of brothers Mark and Matt Hill. The Floozies may not be dance music saviors, but the ensemble’s concerts often resemble miraculously transcendent house parties. The family band skillfully combines elements of electronic dance music, contemporary pop and old-school funk on rapturous jams like “Summer Fling” and “Stuntin’.” With Late Night Radio and DJ Chicken Sammich.

9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23. The Truman. 816-205-8560. Tickets are $22 through

Sky Smeed

Saturday, Dec. 23, at the Gospel Lounge at Knuckleheads

If Howard Iceberg is the Bob Dylan of Kansas City’s singer/songwriter community, then Sky Smeed is the region’s version of John Prine. Smeed’s folksy humor imbues his most memorable compositions. He pays tribute to Kansas City barbecue on “Smoke ‘n’ Spice” and gently mocks the culture of cannabis dispensaries on “Talkin’ Medical Marijuana Blues.” “If You’re Taught You Learn to Be Mean,” Smeed’s most recent release, is a plaintive meditation on divisive social strife.

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23. Gospel Lounge at Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $15 through


Saturday, Dec. 23, at the Encore Room

Much of the soothing electronic dance music Charles Ingalls produces as CharlestheFirst seems designed to relax patrons at upscale spas. The 21-year-old resident of Northern California is a member of a genre-agnostic generation that tends to disregard distinctions between hip-hop, electronica and R&B. The original Charles I was beheaded in London in 1649, but it’s difficult to imagine his beat-happy namesake inspiring anything but appreciative ovations and seasonal cheer at the Encore Room on Saturday.

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23. Encore Room. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $15 through

Slim Hanson and the Poor Choices

Tuesday, Dec. 26, at the Ship

Slim Hanson and the Poor Choices defy stereotypes about country music and the musicians who perform the frequently lampooned style. Beau Bledsoe, a sublime guitarist better known as a member of the classical chamber group Bach Aria Soloists and the Turkish jazz ensemble Alaturka, and Bill McKemy, an adventurous bassist who’s a member of Kansas City’s jazz scene, will play honky-tonk standards by the likes of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard as members of Slim Hanson and the Poor Choices at the Ship on Tuesday.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26. The Ship. 816-471-7447. Free.