May music in KC: Haim, Westport Roots Festival, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists

A scene from the 2015 Westport Roots Festival.
A scene from the 2015 Westport Roots Festival. Special to the Star

Jack White and Odesza did us a favor and kicked off the outdoor concert season last week.

Now with a flip of the calendar into May, venues like Starlight and CrossroadsKC are back on the concert calendar!

Haim, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists, The Struts, Post Malone, K.Flay, The Breeders, Jimmy Eat World, James Taylor, The Head and the Heart and the list just keeps going.

This month we also get some warmer weather fests, like the fifth annual Westport Roots Festival on Memorial Day weekend. It’s one of our highlights below.

05/10 Haim/Lizzo at The Uptown

Check out Haim Live from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon HERE

The three sisters in Haim got their roots in what sounds like a concept for a Disney television show. As a family, the sisters and their mom and dad would sing cover songs under the name Rockinghaim. Fast forward to 2012 and their name became known to millions with the massive hit, “Forever."

This cover image released by Columbia Records shows "Something To Tell You," a 2017 release by Haim. Columbia Records via AP

That was followed by more hits and even Taylor Swift became a fan. At Swift’s KC tour stop in 2015, a video of Haim was played on the huge screens during one of Swift's many wardrobe changes. What I’m getting at here is, how is Haim not selling out rooms like Sprint Center yet? They played Coachella last month, and have sold out shows all over this country, I’d have to imagine this would be the last tour that you’ll be able to see them in intimate theaters. And make sure you’re there early to catch Lizzo from Houston, Texas.

05/11 Modest Mouse at Starlight

Check out Modest Mouse live on CBS This Morning: Saturday Sessions HERE

Modest Mouse is one of those bands you could start with on a Pandora station and end up with an amazing playlist to follow. This once Seattle-based band now calls Portland, Ore., home and has been making music for 25 years. They have entertained a couple generations of fans. With interesting lyrics, bouncy choruses full of twisting metaphors and that unmistakable voice from frontman, Isaac Brock, if you appreciate good music it’s hard not to love this band. They haven’t put out a new album for a few years, but that doesn’t mean some new stuff won’t be played when they take the stage out at Starlight.

05/17 The Struts at The Truman

Check out The Struts play a stripped down set at 90.9 The Bridge HERE

When it comes to music I always favor darker and more pensive stuff, things that punch you in the gut and leave an emotional mark. That said, I love The Struts. These guys are a blast to watch on stage as they make fun music.

Frontman Luke Spiller is a rock star. In 2016, we were lucky to host The Struts at Middle of the Map as they were on the rise. They came back through KC last summer and played a sweltering set at Boulevardia. And I caught them on Halloween night in Louisville, playing to an adoring crowd. The songs are full of hooks, they’ve having a good time on stage and the band is humbled by their success in the U.S.

05/23 The Decemberists/Eleanor Friedberger at The Uptown

Check out a Tiny Desk Concert from The Decemberists HERE

The last time The Decemberists were in town was Feb. 7, 2011. I imagine in that time a new, younger generation of fans have fallen in love with this band from Portland, Ore. You fall in love with that voice and you listen to it tell you stories on repeat again and again.

They’re out on tour in support of their eighth studio album, "I’ll Be Your Girl." The album is a different sound for them, there’s some experimentation and lots of synths, and they’ve cited New Order and Depeche Mode as influences. It will be interesting to see how the new stuff floats into the old stuff and crowd favorites like "Crane Wife #3." Also, make sure you get there early for the great singer-songwriter opening the show, Eleanor Friedberger.

05/25 to 05/27 Westport Roots Music Festival at Westport Saloon

Check out one of the headliners of Westport Roots Fest, Porter Union HERE

I’ve been to four fests and always had a great time. The fest is centered around the Westport Saloon, which is a great venue in the heart of Westport serving up live music every night of the week. From honkey tonk to bluegrass to roots music, this fest stretches the boundaries of those genres in several directions.

The fest is on Memorial Day weekend and spans three days, featuring 60-plus bands on two stages. The video above is from one of the fest headliners, Porter Union. It’s the husband-and-wife team of songwriters Cole Michael Porter and Kendra Porter playing their style of country and Americana music. Head to and see the full lineup.

Here’s our list of other shows to catch in May:

05/01 Dusty Rust at The Ship

05/01 Jim Lower Jazz Orchestra featuring Dave Basse at Californos

05/01 Jonathan Davis of Korn at The Truman

05/01 Truls Mørk & Behzod Abduraimov: Park ICM 1900 Series at 1900 Building

05/01 UMKC Finale, Conservatory Orchestra and Choirs at Kauffman Center

05/02 Eddie Moore Trio & Open Jam at Californos

05/02 Patty Griffin at Liberty Hall

05/03 Anthony Jeselnik at The Midland

05/03 K.Flay (sold out) at The Truman

05/03 Maria The Mexican in The Gospel Lounge at Knuckleheads

05/03 Run River North/The Brummies/Violent Bear at recordBar

05/04 The MGDs/DJ Diehard at CrossroadsKC, free show

05/04 Dead Voices/Young Manchego at Replay Lounge

05/04 Jake Wells /Kala Loa/Nathan Jurries at The RINO

05/04 Martin Lawrence/Bruce Bruce/Jay Pharoah/Adele Givens/Benji Brown at Sprint Center

05/04 Merle Jam: Day One — Jason D Williams/Jim Lauderdale/Slim Hanson/Nace Brothers/Outlaw Jim & The Whiskey Benders at Knuckleheads

05/04 Misterwives/Flor/Flint Eastwood at The Truman

05/04 Off The Wall: Pop Hits of the 80's with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra at Kauffman Center

05/04 Priests/Mellow Diamonds/Wendy Moira/Wick & the Tricks at The Bottleneck

05/04 Star Wars Cosplay Costume Event w/ DJ at Daveys

05/04 The Architects/The Sluts/Company Retreat at The Riot Room

05/04 The Nadas at recordBar

05/04 The Stolen Winnebagos at Grandview Amphitheater

05/05 Coyote Bill Boogie Band/Hector Anchando Band/Scotch Hollow at Westport Saloon

05/05 Ensemble Iberica at The Ship

05/05 Flyover 2018 featuring Post Malone/Lil Pump/Flatbush Zombies/Jessie Reyez & more at Providence Amphitheater

05/05 Kevin Morby at recordBar

05/05 Merle Jam: Day Two — Robert Randolph and the Family Band/John Nemeth/Albert Castiglia/Papa Greenshoes/Sebastian Lane Band/Brandon Miller Band at Knuckleheads

05/05 Pablo Sanhueza and the KC Latin Jazz All-Stars at The Blue Room

05/05 Phil Vassar at Yardley Hall

05/05 Sofi Tukker/LP Giobbi at The Riot Room

05/05 Y god Y/Digisaurus/Nublvckcity at The RINO

05/06 Robert Johnson’s Birthday: Brody Buster/Bob & Diane Suckiel/Pat Nichols/Dave Williamson at BB’s Lawnside

05/06 Truckstop Honeymoon/L A Fahy at Replay Lounge

05/08 Black Stone Cherry/Bones Owens/Unwritten Rulz at The Madrid

05/08 Rosedale/Pageant Boys/The Chunk Boys at The Riot Room

05/08 The Suffers/Hi-Lux at recordBar

05/10 Barclay Brothers at Mike Kelly’s Westsider

05/10 Bishop Briggs at The Truman

05/10 Haim/Lizzo at The Uptown

05/10 Jason Aldean/Luke Combs/Lauren Alaina at Sprint Center

05/10 Mainland/Rad Horror at The Riot Room

05/10 Sons of Brasil at Black Dolphin

05/10 The Last Gang/Vedettes at The Bottleneck

05/11 Amber Underwood Quintet at Black Dolphin

05/11 and 05/12 Workers Revival Fest at recordBar FRI: Downtown Boys/Red Kate/Friendship Commanders/Ebony Tusks/Nublvckcity SAT: Baracutanga/Rev. Sekou/Austin Lucas/Scruffy & the Janitors/Lovergurl

05/11 Chase & Ovation (Prince tribute) at Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s

05/11 Kelley Hunt at The Folly

05/11 Modest Mouse at Starlight

05/11 Sie Lieben Maschinen/Ghost Bones at miniBar

05/11 The Breeders at The Truman

05/11 The Mavericks/Seth Walker at Knuckleheads

05/11 Tracer Heights at The Westsider

05/12 Handmade Moments/The Center State at The Bottleneck

05/12 HipShot Killer/The Runaway Sons/Varma Cross at miniBar

05/12 Jeff Krause Trio/The Widowmakers/Kelly Hunt at Westport Saloon

05/12 Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul-Soulfire Tour at The Uptown

05/12 Mene Mene/Vela/Gypsy Rose Frequency at The Brick

05/12 Saba/Joseph Chilliams/Jean Deaux at The Granada

05/12 Spring Into Summer Fest 2018: Wild Eye/Toughies/CS Luxem/The Wiffs/The Phantastics & more at Replay Lounge

05/12 The Mavericks/Seth Walker at Knuckleheads

05/12 The MGDs at Broadway Bistro

05/12 The Project H at Black Dolphin

05/12 Tiffany Haddish at The Midland

05/12 Trevor Noah at Starlight

05/13 Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant at Kauffman Center

05/13 Duncan Burnett x RIOT/Payge Turner/Le Grand at recordBar

05/13 Helmet at The Truman

05/13 Pala Zolo/Pageant Boys/Sheep’s Clothes at Replay Lounge

05/13 Pianos Become The Teeth/The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die at The Bottleneck

05/14 Charly Bliss/Skating Polly at recordBar

05/14 Chris Neville Trio at 1900 Building

05/14 SoundMachineKC with Freak Heat Waves/Rubeo/Grim Repeater at miniBar

05/15 Breaking Benjamin at The Uptown

05/15 Jimmy Eat World at The Truman

05/15 Laurel Gagnon, Award-Winning Violinist & Park ICM Student at 1900 Building

05/15 SoundMachineKC: Pink Mexico/Drugs & Attics/Youth Pool at recordBar

05/16 American Slim pre-game concert at The K at noon, before the 1:15PM Royals game

05/16 Burnside/Damon Parker at Westport Saloon

05/16 Southern Culture on the Skids at Knuckleheads

05/16 The Brian Jonestown Massacre at recordBar

05/17 arx duo & Beomjae Kim at 1900 Building

05/17 Maria The Mexican in The Gospel Lounge at Knuckleheads

05/17 The Struts at The Truman

05/17 Walter Salas-Humara/Bob Walkenhorst/Howard Iceberg In the Gospel lounge at Knuckleheads

05/18 and 05/19 Sol de Chiapas and Mireya Ramos of Flor de Toloache at MTH Theater at Crown Center

05/18 Apocalyptica Plays (playing Metallica on Four Cellos) at The Uptown

05/18 Godspeed You! Black Emperor (sold out) at recordBar

05/18 Jason Vivone and The Billy Bats at The Phoenix

05/18 Joey Bada$$ at The Truman

05/18 Samantha Fish/Nick Schnebelen Band at The Bottleneck

05/18 Soul Preservers feat. Dropout Boogie at The Ship

05/18 The Sextet at Black Dolphin

05/18 Bronco/5to Olea/DJ Skandaloso at CrossroadsKC

05/18 The Squids/The Grave Escape at The Brick

05/18 Yefim Bronfman, Piano at The Folly

05/19 Fred Wickham & The Hadacol Caravan at The Ship

05/19 Grand Marquis/Nate Fredrick with Brandon Whyde at Westport Saloon

05/19 Ida McBeth at The Blue Room

05/19 Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band at Sprint Center

05/19 Khrystal/Sugo/Lava Dreams/Matt Cobbins at miniBar

05/19 My Oh My! (album release)/Brandon Phillips & the Condition/Timbers/Jake Wells at recordBar

05/19 The Grisly Hand/Of tree/Hollow Ends at The Brick

05/19 Tony Vinh — Live Album Recording, "A Country of Legends and Liars" at The RINO

05/19 Vik G. Trio at The Phoenix

05/19 What’s Next Fest: Belle & The Vertigo Waves/Keaton Conrad/Chloe Jacobson/Neon Black at Blue Springs Library, free 1-4PM

05/21 Wolf Parade/Japandroids at The Truman

05/22 Hawthorne Heights/listener/Hotel Books/Sienna Skies/Heavy Things/Hipshot Killer at The Granada

05/22 Height Keech/Micah Anne/Cuee/High Westhus at The Bottleneck

05/22 James Taylor & His All-Star Band at Sprint Center

05/22 Son Little/DJ Thundercutz at The Riot Room

05/23 An Evening Celebrating the Music, Art & Culture of Lithuania at 1900 Building

05/23 Chaos Chaos at recordBar

05/23 The Decemberists/Eleanor Friedberger at The Uptown

05/24 Bill McKemy Trio at The Blue Room

05/24 Jorge Arana Trio/Mysterious Clouds/Temp Tats at recordBar

05/24 Lily DaTaeye/Dan Martin at Westport Saloon

05/24 Mene Mene/Orphan Welles/Rabble in Arms at The RINO

05/25 Company of Thieves (acoustic tour) Windler/Robert Clancy at The Riot Room

05/25 Melvins at recordBar

05/25 Nikki Lane/Jason Eady/Sara Morgan at Knuckleheads

05/25 Poison/Cheap Trick/Pop Evil at Sprint Center

05/25 Slander/Eptic/Whipped Cream at The Midland

05/25 The Grand Marquis at Broadway Bistro

05/25 The MGDs at The Phoenix

05/25 to 05/27 Westport Roots Music Festival at Westport Saloon and on an outdoor stage

05/26 34/Left On Northwood reunion/Crunk Witch/Electric Lungs at The Bottleneck

05/26 Farruko/Lary Over/DJ IOP/DJ AJ at The Uptown

05/26 Keith Harkin in the Gospel Lounge at Knuckleheads

05/26 Mikal Shapiro album release show at The Buffalo Room

05/26 SoundMachineKC: Instant Karma/Dylan Guthrie & the Good Time Guys/Foshee at recordBar

05/26 The Sextet at Broadway Bistro

05/27 American Aquarium/Cory Branan at Knuckleheads

05/27 Horsefeathers at recordBar

05/28 The New Trust/Ex Acrobat at The Riot Room

05/29 Kimbra/Tevin Williams at The Madrid

05/29 The Head & The Heart/Grouplove at Starlight

05/29 The Kemps at The Ship

05/29 to 05/31 A Chorus Line at Kauffman Center

05/30 Daughtry at The Uptown

05/30 Instant Karma pre-game concert at The K at 6PM, before the 7:15PM Royals game

05/30 KC Symphony Presents: Sounds Relaxing, an evening of meditation and music at Kauffman Center

05/30 Old No/ 5’s at Knuckleheads

05/30 Pears/High/Red Kate/Hipshot Killer at The Bottleneck

05/31 Stuyedeyed/Vela/Drugs & Attics at The Riot Room