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The best music this weekend in Kansas City: Brian Davis, The Joy Formidable, The Cry and the Josh Berwanger Band, Will Downing, and Making Movies’ Carnaval

Brian Davis will play two shows in the area: Thursday, Sept. 17, at PBR Big Sky in Kansas City and Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Granada in Lawrence.
Brian Davis will play two shows in the area: Thursday, Sept. 17, at PBR Big Sky in Kansas City and Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Granada in Lawrence. jlee@thesunnews.com

Brian Davis

Thursday, Sept. 17, at PBR Big Sky

Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Granada

Brian Davis’ signature song, “Hurt Like Hell Yeah,” is equal parts AC/DC and Kenny Chesney. The North Carolina native plays an aggressive version of country that makes it clear that he hopes to join the likes of Jason Aldean as a crowd-pleasing arena act. With Roman Alexander.

Tickets to Thursday’s show are $11 in advance. Details are available at powerandlightdistrict.com.

Tickets to Saturday’s show are $10 in advance through thegranada.com.

The Joy Formidable

Friday, Sept. 18, at KC Live

The Joy Formidable, a band that headlined at Ink’s Middle of the Map festival in 2013, returns to Kansas City for a free show affiliated with the Tech Week conference. Entrepreneurs and members of the general public will enjoy the grand rock sweep of the energetic Welsh rock trio.

Details about the free concert are available at powerandlightdistrict.com.

The Cry and the Josh Berwanger Band

Friday, Sept. 18, at the Riot Room

The retro power pop favored by the band led by Josh Berwanger may set him apart from the majority of his peers in Kansas City and Lawrence, but he has musical soul mates in the Cry, a like-minded band based in Portland, Ore. The ensembles will join forces at the Riot Room on Friday. With Lost Element.

Tickets are $8 in advance through theriotroom.com.

Will Downing

Saturday, Sept. 19, at the VooDoo

The untimely death of Luther Vandross in 2005 shocked fans of the mellow R&B balladeer. Will Downing was once viewed as one of Vandross’ primary musical rivals. The man characterized as “the prince of sophisticated soul” has since become one of the primary heirs of Vandross’ romantic legacy.

Tickets range from $59-$89 in advance through voodookc.com.

Making Movies’ Carnaval

Saturday, Sept. 19, at Knuckleheads

Billed as “Kansas City’s cultural music & arts block party,” Carnaval is a family-friendly fundraiser for Making Movies’ after-school music education programs. Guests of the bilingual rock band include Hurray for the Riff Raff, Las Cafeteras, Migrant Kids and Hearts of Darkness.

Advance tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under through knuckleheadshonkytonk.com.

Sister Sledge

Sunday, Sept. 20, at KC Live

An anthem that’s used in settings from wholesome wedding receptions to dissolute dance clubs, Sister Sledge’s 1979 hit “We Are Family” is universally beloved. On Sunday, the song will ignite a celebration at a free concert on the KC Live stage in the Power & Light District.

Details about the free concert are available at powerandlightdistrict.com.

Best Coast

Sunday, Sept. 20, at the RecordBar

The affectionate odes to their home state crafted by Best Coast’s Bobb Bruno and Bethany Cosentino clearly translate to listeners in the landlocked Midwest. Sunday’s show by the indie-rock duo promoting their third album, “California Nights,” is sold out. With the Lovely Bad Things.

Tickets to the sold-out show were $9.65 in advance through therecordbar.com.

Good Graeff

Monday, Sept. 21, at the Riot Room

Brooke and Brittany Graeff, the twins at the core of Good Graeff, are on to something. By making a cello a central instrument of their indie-pop on the new EP “Good Job Go,” the inventive sisters from Florida set themselves apart. With Dolls on Fire, Blackbird Revue and Margo May.

Tickets are $8 in advance through theriotroom.com.

Twenty One Pilots

Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Starlight Theatre

Just a couple of years removed from playing intimate clubs like the Bottleneck, Twenty One Pilots has become a headlining act at prestigious venues including Starlight Theatre. The peppy indie-rock duo’s energetic live shows have propelled the ensemble to stardom. With Echosmith and Finish Ticket.

Tickets to the officially sold-out show were $30 in advance through kcstarlight.com.

UB40

Tuesday, Sept. 22, at the Midland

Hearing UB40 hits like “Red Red Wine” and “(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love With You” just wouldn’t be the same without the sweet vocals of Ali Campbell. After several years spent apart from the successful British reggae group, Campbell has reunited with the reconstituted hit-makers.

Tickets range from $27.50 to $57.50 in advance through midlandkc.com.

Bill Brownlee, Special to The Star

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