Music News & Reviews

KC concerts Dec. 13-19: Snails, Tab Benoit, Brett Young, Harry Connick Jr.

Brett Young, who hit No. 1 on the country radio charts with his first single, combines his California pop influences with a modern Nashville sound.
Brett Young, who hit No. 1 on the country radio charts with his first single, combines his California pop influences with a modern Nashville sound. BIG MACHINE LABEL GROUP


8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at Arvest Bank Theater at the Midland

A young woman interviewed in a promotional video for Snails’ The Shell 2.0 tour groans that “my whole body hurts” after experiencing the show. Her admission is intended as an endorsement of the body-rattling production by the Canadian producer born Frédérik Durand. Snails’ concerts are the musical equivalent of roller coaster rides. The title of his recent single, “Shake the Ground,” defines the sensibility of Snails’ bass-oriented sound. With Svdden Death and Hekler. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $15-$33 through

Tab Benoit

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Garage at Knuckleheads

Like a peppery gumbo or salty shrimp étouffée, the music of Tab Benoit is inextricably linked to its roots in Louisiana. After an invaluable tutelage from elder musicians in Baton Rouge, Benoit has delivered potent Louisiana blues to admiring audiences around the world for more than 30 years. Benoit’s two-night stand at Knuckleheads reflects his status as one of today’s preeminent blues artists. Even so, he’s not a purist. He’ll mix zydeco and jam-band elements into his savory sound. With Damon Fowler and Eric Johanson. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $29.50-$50 through

Jimmie Allen

7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Kanza Hall

Jimmie Allen had a charmed 2018. His debut album, “Mercury Lane,” received warm reviews, and his breakout hit, “Best Shot,” verified that Allen is one of country’s most promising stars. The Nashville-based artist succeeds by playing by the rules. “Best Shot” fits comfortably next to the latest singles by established artists such as Tim McGraw on radio playlists. Friday’s show at Kanza Hall is likely the last chance area fans will have to catch Allen in a relatively small saloon. 913-451-0444. Tickets are $15 through

Brett Young

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at Arvest Bank Theater at the Midland

Brett Young is one of the courtliest men in country music. The California native specializes in idealized love songs about the compassionate ways nice guys respond to the highs and lows of relationships. Young croons that “I would be lying if I said that I could live this life without you” on his signature song, “In Case You Didn’t Know.” Even the heartbroken narrator of the chart-topping “Like I Loved You,” who drowns his troubles in a bar, seems like a man of honor. With Tyler Rich and Rachel Wammack. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $29.50-$50 through

Emma Ruth Rundle

8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, at Riot Room


Anyone seeking holiday cheer is advised to steer clear of the Riot Room on Monday. Emma Ruth Rundle’s mournful laments are capable of transforming even the perkiest enthusiasts of the season into hopeless cynics. “Marked For Death” is among the brooding and often hopeless songs of the Louisville-based artist. Her haunting new album, “On Dark Horses,” combines despairing folk with nihilistic metal in the storied tradition of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey. With Jaye Jayle and Izabel Crane. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $12 through

Nothing, Nowhere

7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, at Bottleneck

Indie-pop fans need a hip-hop artist to call their own. Joe Mulherin, who creates dystopian rap songs as Nothing, Nowhere, fits the bill. His third album, “Ruined,” was released in April by Fueled By Ramen, the record label associated with rule-breaking hitmakers Twenty One Pilots and Panic! At the Disco. Mulherin appeals to a youthful demographic with a gloomy blend of rap and rock initially popularized by the late Lil Peep. With Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Smrtdeath and St. Panther. 785-749-3434. Tickets are $18 through

Doe Paoro

7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Riot Room

“Over,” the astounding opening track of Doe Paoro’s new album, “Soft Power,” sounds like a lost classic produced by the controversial genius Phil Spector in the 1960s. Yet the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter isn’t stuck in the past. Paoro sighs that “nostalgia is killing us” on her most popular song and adds contemporary flourishes to most of her wondrously soulful songs. Fans of like-minded artists such as Lianne La Havas are encouraged to take a chance on Paoro. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $13 through

Harry Connick Jr.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at Arvest Bank Theater at the Midland

Harry Connick Jr. GAVIN BOND

While he’s many things to many people, Harry Connick Jr. sees himself as a musical ambassador of his hometown. The star of stage and screen is also a superlative musician. Connick is marking the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Big Easy on his A New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration tour. In addition to swinging versions of a handful of traditional holiday favorites, Connick will interpret material associated with New Orleans giants such as Allen Toussaint, Professor Longhair and King Oliver. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $65-$150 through