Music News & Reviews

KC concerts March 14-20: John Mellencamp, Maren Morris, Michael Bublé

Maren Morris
Maren Morris Invision/AP

John Mellencamp

8 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Decades after their commercial peaks, musicians tend to resume playing the sounds that originally inspired them. Even though John Mellencamp’s heartland rock hits of the 1980s like “Small Town,” “Jack & Diane” and “Pink Houses” serve as blueprints for contemporary country, the proud Hoosier has turned his attention to folk and blues in recent years. On Thursday, Mellencamp will intersperse renditions of his most popular songs with convincing roots material. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $42.50-$129.50 through arvestbanktheatre.com.

John Mellencamp.JPG
John Mellencamp SCOTT SHARPE Raleigh News & Observer

John McEuen and the String Wizards

8 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Folly Theater

John McEuen will always be remembered for helping to create “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” the 1972 album on which bluegrass and country notables collaborated with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The release broke down the formidable barrier between country and rock. Now 73, McEuen is as old as his hero Maybelle Carter was when he worked with her more than 45 years ago. He and a handful of friends will revisit “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” 816-474-4444. Tickets are $25-$55 through follytheater.org.

Maren Morris

8 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

“The Middle,” one of last year’s most inescapable songs, features the lustrous singing of Maren Morris. The dance-oriented earworm produced by a consortium of elite producers made Morris’ voice ubiquitous. The breakout smash is in keeping with an artist who is branded as a country performer but who looks and sounds like a woman who has little interest in categorization. Her freewheeling sensibility makes Morris one of the most interesting up-and-coming stars in country or pop. With Cassadee Pope. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $29.50-$39.50 through arvestbanktheatre.com.

Cypress Hill

7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Uptown Theater

Cypress Hill’s psychedelic rap hits seemed like novelty songs when released in the 1990s. Rather than momentary aberrations, the violent fantasy “How I Could Just Kill a Man,” the mentally unbalanced “Insane in the Brain” and the marijuana-themed “Dr. Greenthumb” proved to be prescient innovations. The California group’s enduring status as trailblazers is echoed by the alienated output of countless acts, including Hollywood Undead, one of Friday’s opening acts. Also with Demrick and Xzibit. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $34.50 through uptowntheater.com.

Adia Victoria

8:45 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at RecordBar

Although Adia Victoria insists she’s a blues artist, her recorded output belies the assertion. The Nashville-based artist affirmed that she channels the spirits of ill-fated blues icons such as Robert Johnson and Bessie Smith during her startling Kansas City debut at the Riot Room three years ago. Victoria spent much of the performance off the stage, cadging smokes and drinks from bewildered admirers as she belted out a Southern gothic update of the blues. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $12 through therecordbar.com.

Wet

9 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Granada

Wet operates at one of the most intriguing outposts of mainstream pop music. The singing of Wet’s Kelly Zutrau is every bit as inviting as the voice of Kelly Clarkson as she croons catchy melodies. Yet the synthetic sound field created by her bandmates is slightly left of center. Rather than acting as disaffected outliers, the Brooklyn-based group is leading the way toward the dominant pop sound of the near future. With Kilo Kish and Hana Vu. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $23 through thegranada.com.

Leikeli47

8 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at Encore Room

Leikeli47 created a distinctive sonic landscape on her stunning 2018 album “Acrylic.” Set in a nail parlor, the colorful song cycle offers a unique examination of police brutality, the 9-to-5 grind and the social life at historically black colleges. In opposition to the specificity of her lyrics, the rapper’s personal life is shrouded in mystery. Like an otherworldly superhero, the Brooklyn artist wears a mask and refuses to reveal her identity. With Yung Baby Tate. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $15 through uptowntheater.com.

Michael Bublé

8 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at Sprint Center

Michael Bublé earned a lot of goodwill through his appearance in a commercial for a brand of sparkling water that debuted during the Super Bowl last month. Making fun of his stodgy image helped the crooner seem more approachable. At 43, the Canadian often seems as if he were born in the wrong era. His recreation of the elegant styles of bygone legends like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams is impeccable. 816-949-7000. Tickets are $68-$142.50 through sprintcenter.com.

MichaelBubleInConcert-Philadelphia.JPG
Michael Buble OWEN SWEENEY Invision/AP

  Comments