Music News & Reviews

KC concerts Oct. 11-17: Ed Sheeran, Janelle Monáe, The Roots, Wynton Marsalis

Janelle Monáe will be at Starlight Theatre as part of Open Spaces on Oct. 13.
Janelle Monáe will be at Starlight Theatre as part of Open Spaces on Oct. 13. Invision/AP

Open Spaces’ “The Weekend”

The Roots, Janelle Monáe and Vijay Iyer

6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12; 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13; 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13; at Starlight Theatre

The centerpiece of the Open Spaces festival, “The Weekend” will consist of three notable concerts at Starlight Theatre. Hip-hop innovators The Roots will headline Friday’s show, with The Soul Rebels and Red Baraat opening. The homecoming of Kansas City, Kan., native Janelle Monáe on Saturday will be preceded by performances by the Marcus Lewis Big Band, the McFadden Brothers and Sankofa Danzafro. The Hermon Mehari Quartet, DakhaBrakha and Innov Gnawa will warm up the audience for the daring jazz artist Vijay Iyer on Sunday. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $39.50-$150 on Friday and Saturday and $20-$50 on Sunday through

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at Lied Center

Wynton Marsalis will be at Lied Center Oct. 11. JOE MARTINEZ

How will the most famous living jazz musician interpret the legend of Wilt Chamberlain? Jazz aficionados and loyalists of the University of Kansas basketball program will find out during the premiere of the “Rock Chalk Suite.” Led by Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will perform a 15-part composition that memorializes Chamberlain and other notable Jayhawks. The suite was commissioned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lied Center. 785-864-2787. Tickets are $40-$60 through

Puddles Pity Party

8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at Folly Theater

Not all novelty acts are created equal. Mike Geier, the man who performs as Puddles Pity Party, possesses innate advantages over other gimmick-oriented entertainers. Not only does he sing with the confidence of an accomplished cabaret star, but Geier wraps his imposing 6-foot-8 body with clown regalia. Far from the stuff of nightmares, the odd concept is ingratiating. Geier’s distinctive renditions of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” and Lorde’s “Royals” transcend the amusing schtick. 816-474-4444. Tickets are $30-$45 through

Foo Fighters

7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at Sprint Center

Foo Fighters, from left: Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Dave Grohl, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee. BRANTLEY GUTIERREZ

Some of the popularity of the Foo Fighters is attributable to the band’s unusual position in the rock pantheon. The group led by Dave Grohl might be the last titanic rock band. Although discontented youths will never stop making a racket on guitars, rock is no longer a primary component of popular culture. Grohl is the music’s best ambassador. In addition to being an inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he’s tirelessly dedicated to reviving rock’s fortunes. With Gang of Youths. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $49.50-$99 through

The Elders

7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at Unity Temple on the Plaza

The Elders aren’t the type of band that’s inclined to wind down with a whimper. The Celtic-rock powerhouse is playing a flurry of high-profile shows before calling it quits at the end of the year. Given that television station KCPT will document Friday’s concert for posterity, the members of The Elders are sure to demonstrate why their band is one of Kansas City’s most popular acts. Ian Byrne, the charismatic vocalist of The Elders, will be presented with an award of recognition at the event. 816-235-6222. Tickets are $28 through

Ed Sheeran

7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Arrowhead Stadium

Ed Sheeran.JPG
Ed Sheeran will be at Arrowhead Stadium Oct. 13. MARKUS SCHREIBER AP

Ed Sheeran did not receive a warm reception the first time he performed at Arrowhead Stadium. As an incongruous opening act for the Rolling Stones in 2015, the British pop star’s tender love songs were ignored by tens of thousands of classic rock fans. The singer-songwriter likely will be greeted as a conquering hero Saturday. Sheeran’s folk-based pop songs like “Perfect” are the default soundtrack for millions of romantic relationships. With Snow Patrol and Lauv. 800-745-3000. Tickets are $35-$115 through

J Balvin

8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Sprint Center

The buoyant music of J Balvin has been an integral component of countless parties around the world in 2018. The distinctive voice of the reggaeton star born in Colombia in 1985 is featured on three of the year’s biggest hits. He contributes to Cardi B’s salsa-themed smash “I Like It,” collaborates with Nicky Jam on the bouncy club anthem “X” and is the lead artist on “Machika,” one of the year’s most invigorating dance songs. Balvin’s lauded Vibras tour is bringing the party to Kansas City. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $30-$130 through

Emmylou Harris

8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Yardley Hall

Emmylou Harris was considered a rebel when she provided harmonies for the contentious country artist Gram Parsons in the early 1970s. Harris, 71, is now heralded as one of the form’s most respected elders. Even as the inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame has pushed the music in new directions on projects ranging from her ethereal 1995 album “Wrecking Ball” to her popular collaborations with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, Harris has imbued each project with indelible elegance. 913-469-4445. Tickets are $40-$68 through

Rod Stewart

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Sprint Center

Rod Stewart is still a lovable rogue. The British icon, 73, continues to sport a mop of blond hair while belting out his classic songs with boyish enthusiasm. His recent interpretations of the Great American Songbook were surprisingly popular, but the set lists of Stewart’s recent shows have been dominated by his rock and pop hits from the 1970s and 1980s, including the disco-inspired “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and the caddish breakup song “Maggie May.” With Cyndi Lauper. (Rescheduled from Aug. 14.) 816-949-7100. Tickets are $35-$119.50 through