Music News & Reviews

KC concerts Aug. 15-21: Vince Gill, Ben Folds, Lauryn Hill, Denzel Curry, Josh Ritter

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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.

Vince Gill

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland


The tasteful music of Vince Gill represents an oasis of serenity for country fans troubled by current hits including Lil Nas X’s ubiquitous novelty song “Old Town Road” and the blaring country-rock epitomized by Luke Combs’ “Beer Never Broke My Heart.” After his area appearance as a ringer in the revamped version of the Eagles last year, Gill will showcase his tender vocals, sparkling guitar playing and calm demeanor in interpretations of hits like “I Still Believe In You.” With Jedd Hughes. 816-283-9900. Tickets are $39.50-$89.50 through

Ben Folds

8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at Starlight Theatre

In his new book, “A Dream About Lightning Bugs,” Ben Folds recalls listening to records for hours on end as a child. His obsessiveness paid off. The North Carolina native is conversant in a wide breadth of music. Folds performed with the Kansas City Symphony last year. When he revisits the wry rock that made him famous at Starlight, he’ll mix old favorites like “Rockin’ the Suburbs” with newer material such as his protest song “Moscow Mitch.” With Violent Femmes and Savannah Conley. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $35-$115 through

John Hiatt

8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at Knuckleheads

John Hiatt likes to rock. Songs like “Perfectly Good Guitar” that are designed for extreme amplification are fan favorites. Yet high volume often obscures Hiatt’s exquisite craftsmanship. His current acoustic tour offers a chance to appreciate the nuances of Hiatt’s lyrics and melodies. He’s likely to revive a few compositions associated with other artists, including “Sure as I’m Sittin’ Here” (Three Dog Night), “Riding With the King” (B.B. King and Eric Clapton) and “Thing Called Love” (Bonnie Raitt). With Logan Ledger. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $45 through

Lauryn Hill

Saturday, Aug. 17, at Kauffman Stadium, after baseball game

Lauryn Hill.JPG

Pity the people tasked with promoting the Strike Out Slavery concert at Kauffman Stadium. The group’s mission to “spread awareness about modern-day slavery” is overshadowed by concerns related to celebrity spokeswoman Lauryn Hill. The star behind the 1998 hit “Doo Wop (That Thing)” is slated to perform after the Royals’ game. Citing Hill’s mercurial behavior, hundreds of fans have expressed skepticism about the event on social media. Strike Out Slavery representatives respond that Hill is “excited to promote” the cause during Saturday’s concert. 800-676-9257. Tickets to the game are $19-$141 through


5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater

Slipknot, the masked malcontents of metal, headline one of the most auspicious rock tours of 2019. The costumed band began exposing the seamy underbelly of its home state of Iowa more than 20 years ago. Slipknot is the headliner and organizer of the fearsome roadshow Knotfest. Volbeat, a Danish band that turbocharges rockabilly, is likely to headline arenas on its next American tour. The French quartet Gojira and the Polish group Behemoth add further international flair to Slipknot’s sinister side show. 913-825-3400. Tickets are $35-$150 through

Denzel Curry

6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater

Denzel Curry is best known as an accomplished rapper. “Ricky” on his new album “Zuu” is among the most notable rap tracks of 2019. Yet the Floridian regularly makes a mockery of genre classifications. Curry’s forays into punk rock and heavy metal are entirely convincing. His interpretations of Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls On Parade” and Bad Brain’s “I Against I” add fresh nuances to the rock classics. With Suicideboys, Shoreline Mafia, City Morgue, Germ, Night Lovell, Shakewell and Trash Talk. 913-825-3400. Tickets are $29.50-$59.50 through

Josh Ritter and The Royal City Band

8 p.m. Aug. 21, at Madrid Theatre

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Josh Ritter is one of the most literate singer-songwriters of the new millennium. Even so, he’s watched a steady stream of like-minded artists such as Jason Isbell achieve far greater fame and fortune during the last 20 years. Having Isbell produce his recently released 10th studio album, “Fever Beats,” was a savvy move. The heft the beloved Americana star adds to erudite songs like “The Torch Committee” is likely to expand Ritter’s audience. 816-753-8880. Tickets are $30 through

Nikki Hill

8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, at Knuckleheads

A wry YouTube commenter suggests that Nikki Hill sounds like the hypothetical child of the gravel-voiced AC/DC front man Bon Scott and the frenetic icon Tina Turner. Yet that reflects only one aspect of Hill’s sound. The North Carolina native is also among the most convincing of the countless vocalists who attempt to revive style of the R&B legend Etta James. Hill’s sense of urgency informs both components of her enticing musical personality. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $15 through