Music News & Reviews

KC concerts July 11-17: Santana, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, 98 Degrees, Snail Mail


7 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at Sprint Center

Carlos Santana isn’t a typical rock star. The searing performance by the guitarist’s band at the Woodstock festival 50 years ago made him famous, but Santana always seemed indifferent to celebrity. Sporadic hits like “Black Magic Woman” (1970), “Winning” (1981) and “Smooth” (1999) have been interspersed by recordings that focus on jazz and mysticism. Santana’s new album, “Africa Speaks,” also defies expectations. The decidedly non-commercial project is an exhilarating exploration of the continent’s music. With the Doobie Brothers. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $47-$123 through


7 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at KC Live!

The trio of Texans in Midland toe a delicate line. The band manages to play twangy traditional sounds in the vein of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard without repelling listeners who otherwise prefer contemporary country artists like Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean. The tradeoff is described in Midland’s aptly titled “Check Chasin’ Country”: “We ain’t got a single on the radio … ain’t in it for the money.” Even so, Midland is developing a reputation as one of today’s most vital country acts. 816-842-1045. Tickets are $20-$100 through

98 Degrees

7 p.m. Friday, July 12, at KC Live!

98 Degrees band members are, from left, Jeff Timmons, Drew Lachey, Nick Lachey and Justin Jeffre. CHARLES SYKES Invision/AP

The teens who swayed to “I Do (Cherish You)” at high school dances when the romantic ballad was a hit in 1999 are now in their late 30s. Thousands of them will congregate in the Power & Light District to relive their youths. Almost all the nostalgic fans likely know the steamy introduction of the boy band’s debut album by heart: “Come and feel the heat, come and feel the passion.” The four original members of 98 Degrees are certain to deliver on that swoon-worthy invitation. 816-842-1045. Tickets are $20-$100 through

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

4 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at Grandview Amphitheater

Maze M&M Group Entertainment

The exceedingly unbalanced popularity of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly symbolizes the social divisions that fester in the United States. A musical institution in urban America for more than 40 years, the R&B band remains virtually unknown to pop fans. Beyoncé’s interpretation of Maze’s 1981 hit “Before I Let Go” in her new concert film, “Homecoming,” may partly rectify the disunion. Maze will headline the KC Summer Soul Fest. With Sir Charles Jones, Bishop Bullwinkle, Stokley, Next Level and Lo-Key. 816-316-4888. Tickets are $48 through

The Beths

8 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at RecordBar

As she sighs “There’s something about you” on the chorus of the title track of The Beths’ engaging 2018 debut album, “Future Me Hates Me,” Elizabeth Stokes taps into the classic power-pop tradition of The Beatles, The Cars and The Go-Go’s. The dollop of punk added to clever songs about heartache makes The Beths’ music fashionable among indie-rock enthusiasts, but Stokes and her bandmates in the New Zealand group proudly work within a traditional rock framework. With Girl Friday. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $10 through

Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker

8 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, at Knuckleheads

Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, rock bands co-founded by David Lowery, have distinct identities. Loopy underground hits like “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and “Eye of Fatima” made the former band a staple of college radio in the 1980s. Cracker, which had a mainstream rock hit with “Low” in 1993, is much less eccentric. Lowery, a prominent objector of music industry practices in the streaming era, is showcasing both aspects of his musical personality on the Summer Vacation Tour. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $20 through

Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson

7 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater

Twenty-five years after Marilyn Manson’s debut album, it’s difficult to believe that the recording provoked indignation among parents and politicians. The effort the band leader born Brian Hugh Warner put in to alarming staid members of society now seems quaint. Even so, Warner continues to push boundaries. He’s co-headlining the Hell Never Dies Tour with his self-proclaimed “twin of evil” Rob Zombie, a rocker and filmmaker with a similar ability to arouse shock and horror with bloody songs such as “Dragula.” 913-825-3400. Tickets are $35-$99.50 through

Snail Mail

9 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, at Granada

Snail Mail.jpg
Lindsay Jordan of Snail Mail. Matador Records

Lindsey Jordan is an exciting component of a generational revolution in popular music. Like her peers Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, the 20-year-old Maryland native is transforming the expectations of what American musicians too young to buy a drink can achieve. As the primary artistic force of the indie-rock band Snail Mail, Jordan is one of the most critically acclaimed artists of recent years. “The 2nd Most Beautiful Girl in the World” is among the songs that affirm Jordan’s enormous potential. With Sasami. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $17 through