Music News & Reviews

KC concerts May 30-June 5: Chase Rice, Amanda Palmer, StrangeFest, Juice Wrld, Hozier

Chase Rice

7 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at KC Live!


Chase Rice is the first of 11 men headlining the 2019 season of the 12-week Hot Country Nights concert series in the Power & Light District. (The Aug. 8 act has yet to be announced.) The free performances fill the central courtyard with appreciative revelers every Thursday. Rice, the co-writer of Florida Georgia Line’s 2012 crossover smash “Cruise,” crafts feel-good country hits like “Eyes On You” that contain liberal sprinklings of pop. 816-842-1045. Free.

Guitar Wolf

7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at Knuckleheads

Guitar Wolf isn’t billed as the primary attraction of the raucous triple-bill at Knuckleheads, but the Japanese act is a legendary cult band. The title of its 1994 release, “Kung Fu Ramone,” underscores the impression that Guitar Wolf is the Japanese version of the punk institution the Ramones. The trio maintains its thunderous attack in the new millennium, and front man Seji’s snarling vocals and extreme guitar velocity resemble a feral cat fight in a sheet-metal factory. With Nashville Pussy and Turbo ACs. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $15 through

Amanda Palmer

7:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

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Amanda Palmer IMAGO Zuma Press/TNS

Amanda Palmer poses unclothed on the cover of her new album, “There Will Be No Intermission.” She’s also stripping her show by performing without accompanists on her corresponding tour. The iconic art-rocker is receiving rave reviews for her spare renderings of harrowing compositions such as “A Mother’s Confession,” a song about shoplifting and child endangerment, and the abortion lament “Voicemail for Jill.” Palmer’s recent concerts have lasted four hours. Contrary to the title of her album, there will be an intermission. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $35-$55 through


5 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at KC Live!

Tech N9ne, born Aaron Dontez Yates in 1971, is one of Kansas City’s most successful entrepreneurs. The rapper and his business partner, Travis O’Guin, are the music industry moguls behind Strange Music. Based in Lee’s Summit, the independent record label is stupendously successful. StrangeFest acts as a celebration of the achievement. Artists affiliated with Strange Music, including Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Mackenzie Nicole and Joey Cool, will perform rap, hip-hop, rock and pop on two stages. 816-842-1045. Tickets are $31 through

Raheem DeVaughn and Oleta Adams

6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at the Gem Theater

Wondering why two a pair of soul-oriented artists are performing at the American Jazz Walk of Fame induction concert risks overlooking the extraordinary appeal of their music. Raheem DeVaughn, the Washington, D.C., crooner behind steamy hits like “Woman” and “Queen,” and Oleta Adams, the Kansas City star who made the world swoon with “Get Here” in 1990, apply jazz elements to their sophisticated brands of R&B. The performances will follow a ceremony honoring Adams, Harry Belafonte, Leon Brady, Nathan Davis and Quincy Jones. 816-474-8463. Tickets are $50 through


9 p.m. Saturday, June 1, in La Cygne

Alabama’s signature hits “Song of the South” and “Dixieland Delight” may trigger sensitive listeners in the current social and political climate. The country band’s liberal use of the Confederate flag during its commercial peak in the 1980s — an association it’s since rejected — further complicates its image. Even so, timeless Alabama hits like “Mountain Music” still resonate. Alabama will perform on the final night of the three-day Tumbleweed festival. Blackberry Smoke and the Marshall Tucker Band are also slated to appear. Festival opens at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 30; 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 31; and noon Saturday, June 1. 913-735-0801. Tickets are $60 per day and three-day passes are $100 through

Juice Wrld

8 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena

“Death Race for Love,” the second full-length recording by Juice Wrld (aka Jarad Higgins), topped album charts around the globe in February. It’s an astounding achievement for an album filled with bleak lyrics and viscous beats. The 20-year-old Chicago musician raps and sings about opioid abuse, suicidal thoughts and paralyzing depression. Although hits including “Robbery” are desperately grim, Juice Wrld’s current tour features an inspiring production and boisterous audience participation. With Ski Mask the Slump God. 816-442-6100. Tickets are $49.50-$80 through


8 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland


Hozier references jazz greats Chet Baker, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington in his new song “Almost (Sweet Music),” but the Irish musician born Andrew Hozier-Byrne in 1990 rose to stardom by crafting reassuring folk-rock. Much like countryman Van Morrison, Hozier takes a fresh approach to vintage American music. Gospel intonations fueled his uplifting 2013 smash “Take Me to Church.” He continues to make lilting acoustic-based songs that make the old seem new again. With Bailen. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $45-$55 through

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

8 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at Crossroads KC

“Hurricane Season,” the opening track of Trombone Shorty’s 2010 debut album, serves as the unofficial anthem of New Orleans. The jubilant call-and-response party song announced the arrival of one of the Big Easy’s most engaging musical ambassadors. The man born Troy Andrews imbues every performance with the bacchanal spirit of Mardi Gras. The antithesis of a musical purist, the multi-instrumentalist revitalizes the traditional music of his home with an invigorating blend of jazz, hip-hop, funk and rock. With Seratones. 785-749-3434. Tickets are $23.50-$75 through