Music News & Reviews

KC concerts May 31-June 6: Five Finger Death Punch, Stone Temple Pilots, Barenaked Ladies

Five Finger Death Punch tops the bill at Rockfest June 2 at Kansas Speedway. Stone Temple Pilots and Ghost are among other bands at the all-day fest.
Five Finger Death Punch tops the bill at Rockfest June 2 at Kansas Speedway. Stone Temple Pilots and Ghost are among other bands at the all-day fest.

Kip Moore

Thursday, May 31, at KC Live

The tear-jerking music video for Kip Moore’s recent single, “Last Shot,” depicts lifelong friends attempting to fulfill the aspirations of a dying woman. The raw emotional display suits the impassioned music of the ascendant country artist. While stereotypical party songs like “Somethin’ ’Bout a Truck” and “Beer Money” made the Georgia native a star, his soulful voice is most effective on more nuanced material like “More Girls Like You” and “Try Again.” With Jameson Rodgers.

7 p.m. Thursday, May 31. KC Live. 816-842-1045. Free. Details are available at

Larry Garner

Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at Oak Grove Park

While he’s not as well known as contemporaries like Robert Cray, Larry Garner is an exceptionally talented blues man. The Louisiana artist is a powerful vocalist, fine guitarist and engaging performer, but his ingenious songs like “No Free Rides” and “Scared of You” distinguish him from less imaginative peers. Garner is Saturday’s main attraction at the 22nd edition of the two-day Gladstone Summertime Bluesfest. Mud Morganfield, the son of blues icon Muddy Waters, headlines on Friday.

6 p.m. Friday, June 1, and 4 p.m. Saturday, June 2. Oak Grove Park. 816-436-4523. A $5 donation is encouraged. Details are available at

Parquet Courts

Friday, June 1, at the Granada

Parquet Courts has paid its dues on its way to becoming one of the most acclaimed bands in indie-rock. The New York City quartet’s first gig in the Kansas City area was a house concert. The years of scrappiness pay dividends on the impressive new album, “Wide Awake!” Punk occasionally gives way to angular funk and jubilant blues on the political songs. The title of the cathartic “Freebird II” reveals that the members of the band have maintained a sense of humor. With Goat Girl.

9 p.m. Friday, June 1. The Granada. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $18 through

Al Stewart

Friday, June 1, at Polsky Theatre

Al Stewart’s dreamy 1976 album, “The Year of the Cat,” is a dispatch from a very different era. The wispy innocence of the British singer/songwriter’s breakout album sounds refreshingly peculiar 42 years after its release. Stewart will revisit the wondrously anachronistic recording in its entirety at Johnson County Community College on Friday. Renditions of airy selections like “On the Border” and the title track will transport nostalgic listeners to the era of the administrations of President Jimmy Carter and Prime Minister James Callaghan.

8 p.m. Friday, June 1. Polsky Theatre. 913-469-4445. Tickets are $35 through


Saturday, June 2, at Kansas Speedway

Five Finger Death Punch ascends to the top of the bill of the 2018 edition of Rockfest after making repeated appearances as a supporting act at the colossal blowout. The prestigious showcase for the Las Vegas group’s bruising melodic hard rock will be preceded by 15 acts at the massive event organized by radio station 98.9 the Rock. A reconstituted version of storied grunge group Stone Temple Pilots and costumed Swedish ensemble Ghost are among the additional bands that will appear on two stages.

Noon Saturday, June 2. Kansas Speedway. 913-744-3600. Tickets are $79.50 through

Barenaked Ladies

Saturday, June 2, at Starlight Theatre

In its announcement of a new exhibition dedicated to Barenaked Ladies, the National Music Centre in Calgary noted that the display commemorates the band’s record as “the best-selling independent artists in Canadian history … and their undeniable power as a live act for nearly 30 years and counting.” Renditions of sardonic Barenaked Ladies hits like “If I Had $1,000,000” and “Be My Yoko Ono” will be accompanied by lighthearted interactive rituals between fans and the band on Saturday. With Better Than Ezra and KT Tunstall.

7 p.m. Saturday, June 2. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $25-$95 through

Thelma Houston

Sunday, June 3, at Berkley Riverfront Park

Thelma Houston’s version of “Don’t Leave Me This Way” may be the best — and most important — hit of the disco era. Not only did Houston win a Grammy Award for her powerhouse performance of the 1976 smash, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” later became a defiant anthem during the AIDS epidemic. Houston, 72, is slated to sing the iconic song during her 45-minute appearance as the headliner of the final night of the three-day PrideFest.

6 p.m. Sunday, June 3. Berkley Riverfront Park. 816-960-3400. Tickets are $10 through

Third Day

Wednesday, June 6, at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena

Third Day is retiring from the road after more than 25 years of bringing bracing Christian rock to receptive audiences around the world. The band will be missed. One of a handful of Christian ensembles that has crafted music that withstands comparisons to secular counterparts like Kings of Leon, the Georgia-based group will perform persuasive material like “Souls on Fire” and “I Need a Miracle” one last time in the Kansas City area on Wednesday. With Matt Maher.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6. Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. 816-442-6100. Tickets are $20-$38 through