Music News & Reviews

KC concerts June 21-27: Macklemore & Kesha; Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle & Dwight Yoakam

Macklemore and Kesha performed Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at the Sprint Center.
Macklemore and Kesha performed Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at the Sprint Center.

Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam

Thursday, June 21, at Starlight Theatre

Ardent roots music aficionados might think they’re hallucinating when they encounter the mind-blowing lineup of the LSD Tour. Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam — three 60-something luminaries who have expanded the boundaries of country music — are touring together for the first time. Williams has been writing deeply personal but remarkably universal love songs for decades. Earle’s career has more plot twists than an O. Henry anthology, while Yoakam has been an unwavering honky-tonk hero for more than 30 years.

7 p.m. Thursday, June 21. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $35-$125 through kcstarlight.com.

Midland

Thursday, June 21, at KC Live

References to booze are common in contemporary country songs, but the straight-laced music usually sounds paradoxically sober. The three men in Midland play drinking songs that are as blurry as their lyrics suggest. The primary witticism of “Drinkin’ Problem” — “people say I got a drinkin’ problem but I got no problem drinkin’ at all” — reads like a novelty T-shirt, but the steel guitar whine on the Texas band’s song evokes the stumblebum hits of vintage country stars like Gary Stewart and George Jones.

7 p.m. Thursday, June 21. KC Live. 816-842-1045. Free. Details are available at powerandlightdistrict.com.

Boyz II Men

Thursday, June 21, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Boyz II Men’s signature song “End of the Road” commemorates the heartbreaking conclusion of a relationship, but the ongoing vitality of the R&B vocal group from Philadelphia suggests that its career is far from over. Boyz II Men remains a major attraction 27 years after the combination of traditional harmony singing and fresh new jack swing on its debut album, “Cooleyhighharmony,” first floored listeners. Proceeds from Thursday’s concert benefit the breast cancer organization Susan G. Komen.

8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $38.50-$150 through midlandkc.com.

Devon Allman Project

Thursday, June 21, at Crossroads KC

Devon Allman and his collaborators are disproving the adage that things aren’t what they used to be. The son of the late Gregg Allman, the famed vocalist of the Allman Brothers Band, proudly carries on the family tradition with reverent authority. Not only is Allman reviving Southern rock warhorses like “Midnight Rider” on his current tour, he’s joined by guitarist Duane Betts, the son of the Allman Brothers Band’s Dickey Betts in renditions of soaring classics including “Melissa.” With Amanda Fish.

8 p.m. Thursday, June 21. Crossroads KC. 785-749-3434. Tickets are $20-$29.50 through crossroadskc.com.

Ruthie Foster

Friday, June 22, at Frontier Park

The unfussy music of Ruthie Foster is ideally suited to the homey atmosphere associated with a free concert in a park. The Texan’s earthy folk, blues and gospel songs are at home amid the riotous laughter of children and the content murmur of picnickers. Foster, a three-time Grammy Award nominee, is renowned for her graceful voice, soothing compositions and radiant spirit. “What Are You Listening To?” from her appropriately titled “Joy Comes Back” album is one of last year’s sweetest songs. With Lester Estelle.

7 p.m. Friday, June 22. Frontier Park. 913-971-8600. Free. Details are available at olatheks.org.

Caroline Rose

Monday, June 25, at Knuckleheads

“Jeannie Becomes a Mom,” a character study on Caroline Rose’s stunning new album, “Loner,” examines the life of a woman who is moving to a Topeka suburb. Like a millennial version of Nick Lowe, Rose specializes in songs of irony and heartbreak. Rose is as funny as she is acerbic, qualities that promise to make Monday’s show resemble the stand-up routine of a comic as much as a concert by one of the most promising young talents in indie-rock.

7:30 p.m. Monday, June 25. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $10 through knuckleheadskc.com.

Macklemore and Kesha

Tuesday, June 26, Sprint Center

Macklemore and Kesha, two of the most embattled stars in popular music, have teamed up for one of the most unlikely arena tours in recent memory. Even though he wasn’t to blame for the controversy, Macklemore’s career has been under a cloud since “The Heist” beat out more acclaimed albums by Drake, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar for best rap album Grammy in 2014. After attaining fame as a lurid pop star, Kesha has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle with the producer of her early hits.

7 p.m. Tuesday, June 26. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $30.50-$100.50 through sprintcenter.com.

Chicago and REO Speedwagon

Wednesday, June 27, at Starlight Theatre

The go-with-the-flow sentiment expressed in the chorus of REO Speedwagon’s hit “Roll With the Changes” has assumed new meaning since the song was released 40 years ago. While the group retains three members from its commercial heyday, lead guitarist Gary Richrath died in 2015. Chicago has gone through numerous lineups since the band’s genesis as a horn-based ensemble in the 1960s. The bands’ co-headlining tour will feature an avalanche of feel-good classic rock songs that celebrate endurance and survival.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 27. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $39.50-$150 through kcstarlight.com.

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