Music News & Reviews

KC concerts March 28-April 3: Lil Baby, The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, Wild Reeds

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Ticket brokers and bots are vying for the hottest concert tickets along with fans, and driving up prices in the process. And a lot of tickets are pulled from the pool by the tours before the sale to the general public.
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Ticket brokers and bots are vying for the hottest concert tickets along with fans, and driving up prices in the process. And a lot of tickets are pulled from the pool by the tours before the sale to the general public.

Lil Baby

8 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Lil Baby is growing up. The young Atlanta rapper born Dominique Jones cried “wah wah wah … I’m a baby” on his 2018 breakout song “Yes Indeed,” but he’s starting to rap like a fully functional adult. He demonstrates mature contriteness on his guest feature on the new remix of R&B artist Kiana Ledé’s “Ex” without forsaking the sing-song rhythmic patterns that are his trademark. Drake, the icon who ushered Jones to stardom, must be proud. With City Girls and Jordan Hollywood. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $39.50-$49.50 through

Monta at Odds

8 p.m. Friday, March 29, at RecordBar

If it’s good enough for Kraftwerk, it’s good enough for Monta at Odds. The German electronic music pioneers in Kraftwerk made spectacular 3D imaging a central element of a global tour that stopped in Kansas City in 2015. Monta at Odds, the Kansas City band led by Dedric Moore that’s inspired by Kraftwerk’s innovations, will equip attendees with 3D glasses for access to a kaleidoscopic visual presentation designed to enhance its experimental sounds. With Y God Y, La Guerre and Pala Zolo. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $8 through

The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6

7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Muriel Kauffman Theatre

Hit television shows such as “Glee” and fresh-faced ensembles including Pentatonix have made vocalese fashionable in recent years. The members of the jazz-oriented Manhattan Transfer and the doo-wop-based Take 6 have awed audiences with vocal pyrotechnics for decades. The storied ensembles have joined forces in a series of collaborative performances billed as “The Summit.” The groups will collaborate on familiar classics such as “Straighten Up and Fly Right” and more contemporary selections like Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” 816-994-7222. Tickets are $55.50-$95.50 through

Ray Wylie Hubbard

8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Knuckleheads

Ray Wylie Hubbard was cursed by a novelty song in 1973. Jerry Jeff Walker’s hit version of the goofy “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother” typecast Hubbard as a shallow humorist. Although he’s since become a grizzled country outlaw, Hubbard continues to write hilarious songs. He’s enjoying a long overdue critical reappraisal that’s been goosed by collaborations with a few of his famous admirers. Country superstar Eric Church hailed Hubbard on his 2015 song “Mr. Misunderstood” and appears on the Texan’s latest album. With Bonnie Montgomery. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $20 through

Catfish and the Bottlemen

8 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

The punchy songs of Catfish and the Bottlemen act as a respirator on the atrophied body of mainstream rock. The Welch group is providing a public service by breathing life into a form that’s been given up for dead. The new single “Longshot” is among the most hearty of the singles Catfish and the Bottlemen have released since their 2013 recording debut. It’s among the band’s songs that might have been massive hits had they been released 30 years earlier. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $35 through

CATB 2 by Jill Furmanovsky (2)
Catfish and Bottlemen Jill Furmanovsky

Open Mike Eagle

8 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at Encore Room

Michael W. Eagle II, the man who works as Open Mike Eagle, is a hyper-literate rapper at a time when senseless grunts and inarticulate mumbles are among the valued commodities in hip-hop. It’s impossible to imagine a member of Migos rapping, “I never seen my mom and pops together — they had a relationship, and I am its fossil record,” as Eagle does on “Lemons.” Decidedly left-of-center noise-based production further differentiates Eagle from his commercial counterparts. With Aaron Alexander. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $15 through

Wild Reeds

8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at RecordBar

“Moving Target,” the lead track of the Wild Reeds’ latest album, flirts with perfection. Mackenzie Howe, Kinsey Lee and Sharon Silva apply rapturous three-part harmonies to high-spirited lyrics over a giddy garage-rock melody. The track demonstrates the Wild Reeds’ knack for combining the most appealing elements of rock and folk. The trio evokes landmark groups ranging from the Bangles to the Beatles, singing “I’ve been shootin’ all my arrows in the wrong direction,” in the chorus of “Moving Target.” With Valley Queen and Una Walkenhorst. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $12 through

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at Riot Room

In one of the decade’s most memorable rock ’n’ roll tantrums, Laura Jane Grace smashed her guitar and stormed off the stage of Kansas City’s Uptown Theater while playing “Osama Bin Laden as the Crucified Christ” in 2014. Her punk band Against Me! had played only 15 minutes on a tour stop in support of the album “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.” The project documents Grace’s gender transition. Grace now makes similarly furious punk with the Devouring Mothers. With Mercy Union and Control Top. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $22 through