Music News & Reviews

KC concerts July 18-24: Shawn Mendes, Earth, Wind & Fire, Khalid, The Boxmasters

Gov’t Mule

8 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at Crossroads KC

Gov’t Mule is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the most on-brand way possible. The band is marking the milestone with a new concert film, the release of corresponding sets of live recordings and a lengthy tour. “Bring On the Music: Live at the Capitol Theatre” documents the quartet’s two-night stand at a New York venue last year. Led by guitar hero Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule is one of the most dynamic jam-oriented bands in rock history. 785-749-3434. Tickets are $26.50-$38.50 through

Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh

9 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at Bottleneck

Is there a market for a Christian metal band consisting of young women? The three sisters in Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh are attempting to answer that question on their current tour. The Floridians bill themselves as a melding of pop-punk band Paramore and horror-metal heavyweights Slipknot. Songs like “Never Again” on the new album, “Oh, the Horror!” reflect that unusual pairing. The lyrics reflect the sisters’ status as outliers: “You say that I am blind to reality but I’m not the one who’s hiding.” 785-749-3434. Tickets are $8 through

Shawn Mendes

7:30 p.m. Friday, July 19, at Sprint Center

The song of the summer is an informal designation accorded to a ubiquitous hit that defines the season. Cardi B’s swaggering “I Like It” and Shawn Mendes’ intense “In My Blood” battled for the honor in 2018. Mendes, a Canadian pop star who won’t turn 21 until August, is back in the mix this year. “Señorita,” his steamy duet with Camila Cabello, is the frontrunner for the song of the summer. Mendes will showcase two dozen similarly engaging selections for all seasons. With Alessia Cara. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $29.50-$89.50 through


8 p.m. Friday, July 19, at KC Live!

“Do you think they’ll build the wall?” Daniel Armbruster asks on Joywave’s latest single, “Like a Kennedy.” The swelling anthem is a startling change of pace for the New York band. Joywave has slowly cultivated a strong base of support for its frothy songs and energetic performances. “Tongues” is among Joywave’s indie-pop hits that are like sonic representations of house-of-mirrors carnival attractions. The band’s surprising maturation promises to add a smidgeon of substance to Friday’s party. With The Band Camino and Yes You Are. 816-842-1045. Tickets are $15-$100 through

Earth, Wind & Fire

8 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at Starlight Theatre

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Verdine White, left, Ralph Johnson, David Whitford and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire AMY HARRIS Invision/AP

Much as the band’s name consists of fundamental elements, the music of Earth, Wind & Fire has served as an essential component of the cultural fabric for 50 years. Although the band’s founder and primary artistic force, Maurice White, died in 2016, longtime Earth, Wind & Fire members including vocalist Philip Bailey maintain the spirit of the R&B institution. The audience at Starlight can expect to hear classics such as “Boogie Wonderland,” “September” and “Shining Star.” 816-363-7827. Tickets are $40.50-$155.25 through

Bobby Rush

8 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at Knuckleheads

Longtime fans of Bobby Rush aren’t the least bit surprised by the lascivious tone of the 85-year-old’s new single, “Bowlegged Woman.” He gives Kansas City a shout-out in the risque song. Since the release of his funky signature hit “Chicken Heads” in 1972, Rush has been associated with off-color material. He hasn’t mellowed with age. Rush continues to relish titillating audiences with a bawdy form of the blues accentuated by lewd antics. With the Paladins and Vanessa Collier. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $35-$55 through


7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21, at Sprint Center

Khalid JACK PLUNKETT Invision/AP

The music created by Khalid is a tranquil refuge in a cacophonous pop scene. Most of today’s hit-makers vie for attention with aggressive antics and outlandishly novel sounds, but the man born Khalid Donnel Robinson in 1998 rose to the top with relatively serene songs about love. Even though they feature state-of-the-art production, tender songs like “Location” and “Talk” are in the tradition of pop ditties by the likes of Dionne Warwick and the Carpenters. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $36.95-$76.95 through

The Boxmasters

8 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at Knuckleheads

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Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters JACK PLUNKETT AP

Billy Bob Thornton’s unassuming Southern charm and rakish wit make him a singular movie star. Most of the songs he delivers as a member of the Boxmasters are in keeping with the everyman characters he plays on film. Thornton’s wry singing voice differs little from his delivery as an actor. The dusty country-rock material on the Boxmasters’ eighth album, “Speck,” is designed to resonate in rambunctious roadhouses like Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $27.50-$47.50 through