Do or Die
Thursday, Dec. 28, at Riot Room
Two decades before Chance the Rapper became Chicago’s best known hip-hop artist, an entirely different rap sound was associated with the city. “Picture This,” Do or Die’s debut album, played a pivotal role in establishing the legitimacy of Chicago’s speed-rap movement. The chart-topping hit “Po Pimp” helped Do or Die’s 1996 album achieve gold status. The group has managed to keep its old-school sound robust in spite of significant legal hurdles and the 2016 death of vocalist Johnny P. With Statik G, Jenn the Gem, Mic Wreka, Mikey G and HTR.
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $15 through theriotroom.com.
Thursday, Dec. 28, at the Gospel Lounge at Knuckleheads
Cas Haley sounds like the happiest member of Bob Marley’s extended clan. Many of the genial Texan’s songs resemble cheerful remixes of Marley’s gentle reggae hit “Three Little Birds.” The striking acoustic interpretation of the Police’s “Walking on the Moon” that Haley performed on TV’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2007 set the jubilant tone for his career. Haley’s upbeat new single, “Feel It Shining Down,” tellingly references a “cosmic smile.” With Joel Castillo.
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28. Gospel Lounge at Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $25 through knuckleheadskc.com.
Friday, Dec. 29, at RecordBar
The members of the Elders and their ardent fans are already bracing themselves for a bittersweet new year. Ian Byrne, the frontman of Kansas City’s most popular Celtic rock band, recently announced that the Elders would disband at the end of 2018. Although Byrne told The Star that his band “has never sounded as good as it does right now,” he wants to ensure that the Elders go out on top after 20 successful years.
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $15 through therecordbar.com.
Black Label Society
Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Uptown Theater
Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society recently satirized his hyper-masculine persona in a video skit for a heavy metal publication. Playing the role of a record store clerk, Wylde repeatedly punches a man who doesn’t share his passion for aggressive rock. Wylde’s willingness to laugh at himself contrasts with the ferociously grim music he makes with Black Label Society and as a member of the band led by heavy metal figurehead Ozzy Osbourne. With Corrosion of Conformity and Eyehategod.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $35-$55 through uptowntheater.com.
The Homestead Grays
Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Bottleneck
Before he shook up the Nashville establishment with the neo-traditionalist ensemble BR5-49 in the late 1990s, Chuck Mead led the Lawrence-based country-rock band the Homestead Grays. Mead will reunite with his bandmates Gray Ginther, Brock Ginther and Guy Stephens for the first time since 1992 on Saturday. Mead told The Star that the Homestead Grays will “play all the old songs” at the Bottleneck, a few of which later became essential components of the BR5-49 discography. With Ricky Dean Sinatra.
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30. Bottleneck. 785-749-3434. Tickets are $16.50 through thebottlenecklive.com.
Sunday, Dec. 31, at the Sprint Center
Kid Rock will attempt to make New Year’s Eve great again on Sunday. The polarizing rocker’s appearance at the Sprint Center is the most momentous New Year’s Eve concert in Kansas City in years. Three months after visiting Donald Trump in the White House in April, the Michigan man known to his friends as Bob Ritchie made additional headlines by floating the prospect of a Senate candidacy. He’s likely to intersperse hits like “All Summer Long” with political commentary at Sunday’s concert. With Midland.
9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $20-$129 through sprintcenter.com.
Sunday, Dec. 31, at Knuckleheads
Few Kansas City artists had a more productive year than Samantha Fish. In releasing two vastly different albums, Fish distinguished herself from the humdrum horde of less imaginative blues guitar slingers. Recorded with members of the Detroit Cobras, “Chills & Fever” proved that Fish can outshine fashionable garage-rockers. The country-tinged “Belle of the West” compares favorably to classic John Mellencamp albums like “The Lonesome Jubilee.” Performances by the Bel Airs, Atlantic Express and Levee Town are included in the price of admission.
9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $90 through knuckleheadskc.com.
New Year’s Eve at the Granada and Lucia Beer Garden + Grill
Sunday, Dec. 31, at the Granada and Lucia Beer Garden + Grill
Music lovers who appreciate plenty of elbow room will celebrate New Year’s Eve in comfort in downtown Lawrence. The ability to bounce between the Granada and Lucia Beer Garden + Grill, adjacent establishments on Massachusetts Street, while taking in performances by several elite locally based bands, is a claustrophobic reveler’s dream. The power-pop band the Sluts headlines at the Granada. The hip-hop duo Lincoln Marshall tops the bill at Lucia. With Stik Figa, JC & the Nuns, La Guerre, Starchild, Ebony Tusks, Life Coach, Asterales and Kat King.
9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31. Granada and Lucia Beer Garden + Grill. 785-842-1390. The cover charge is $5. Details are available at thegranada.com.