Music News & Reviews

KC concerts April 18-24: Chris Tomlin, Gov’t Mule, Alice Merton

Chris Tomlin
Chris Tomlin

Chris Tomlin

7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at Sprint Center

Chris Tomlin pledges that his Holy Roar Tour will provide audiences with “an encounter with the presence of the living God.” As one of the most successful contemporary Christian artists of the last two decades, Tomlin is as qualified as any artist to make the audacious claim. “How Great is Our God” is among the Texan’s compositions that have become staples of Sunday morning worship services and praise-and-worship celebrations around the world. With Tauren Wells, Pat Barrett and Darren Whitehead. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $21-$92.50 through

Lil Durk

8 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at Uptown Theater

The mayhem documented by Chicago artist Lil Durk hit close to home last month when his cousin and fellow rapper Lil Master was shot in the head and died, an outcome that’s sadly unsurprising to fans familiar with “Neighborhood Hero,” in which Durk advises “don’t get shot in my areas, ain’t no trauma unit.” Much of Durk’s vulgar repertoire celebrates intoxicants and sex as a means of escape from the violence in the city he calls Chiraq. With Tokyo Jetz. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $42-$60 through

Logan Richardson

7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at Blue Room

Logan Richardson’s headlining appearance at the Prairie Village Jazz Festival last September has attained legendary status in Kansas City’s jazz community. Unsuspecting members of the audience were repelled by the saxophonist’s intentionally abrasive sound and unapologetically confrontational disposition. The Paris-based Richardson is likely to receive a warmer reception from admirers who appreciate his aggressive approach during this homecoming concert. The groundbreaking artist will present the challenging material from his latest album, “Blues People.” 816-474-8463. The cover charge is $10. Details are available at

Charley Crockett

8 p.m. Friday, April 19, at Granada

Charley Crockett claims Davy Crockett as an ancestor. The famed outdoorsman, soldier and politician was known as the King of the Wild Frontier. Charley Crockett could one day be known as the Prince of Texas Music. The former street musician seamlessly blends blues, country and rock associated with the Lone Star State. As with label mates Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson, Crockett has honed a genre-defying sound that appeals to roots music purists and curious pop fans alike. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $15 through


7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at RecordBar

It’s not unfair to characterize the sound of Darlingside as an appealing reboot of the 1970s super-group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, but there are differences between the Massachusetts ensemble and the folk-rock institution. The members of Darlingside, who met while students at Williams College, maintain a friendly rapport that their musical heroes seem to lack. The band also has a connection to Kansas City. Auyon Mukharji, the vocalist, mandolinist and violinist of Darlingside, was raised in the area. With Lula Wiles. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $16 through

Gov’t Mule

7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at Liberty Hall

Gov’t Mule has yet to be added to the lineup of the 2019 Woodstock festival. The absence is glaring. Gov’t Mule exemplifies the generous spirit of improvisation associated with the performances of artists such as the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Santana and Johnny Winter at the original Woodstock. Powered by guitarist Warren Haynes’ formidable fluency in jazz, blues and rock, Gov’t Mule would have excelled on the legendary Woodstock stage 50 years ago. 785-749-1972. Tickets are $35-$69 through


Son Volt

8 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at Knuckleheads

Jay Farrar, who has led Son Volt since he and Jeff Tweedy disbanded the alternative country band Uncle Tupelo in 1994, is a notoriously detached songwriter. Yet Farrar addresses politics with uncharacteristic specificity on “Union,” his latest collection of songs. Although lyrics like “on this election interference the intel report was plain and laid bare for this job with the NSA” don’t exactly roll off the tongue, Farrar’s new compositions add a fresh component to the roots-based mainstay. With Ian Noe. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $25 through

Alice Merton

8 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at RecordBar

“Why so serious? When did we get like this?” The questions Alice Merton poses on her debut album, “Mint,” reflect her blithe approach to pop. Acerbic yet bouncy, “Mint” sounds like the comeback album of a former teen idol who abandoned the pursuit of stardom in favor of completing graduate school. At 25, the Berlin-based Merton has developed a remarkable knack for addressing challenging adult themes with youthful naiveté on clever compositions such as “I Don’t Hold a Grudge.” 816-753-5207. Tickets are $22 through

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Alice Merton AMY HARRIS Invision/AP