Music News & Reviews

KC concerts Aug. 22-28: Dierks Bentley, Papa Roach, Samantha Fish, Mark Knopfler

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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.

Dierks Bentley

7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at Starlight Theatre

The trope that the popularity of country music is rooted in the relatable stories told in its songs definitely applies to the runaway success of Dierks Bentley. The amiable veteran’s repertoire of hits filled with narrative drama accounts for much of his allure. “Getting Drunk on a Plane” is about a jilted groom’s response to heartbreak. “What the Hell Did I Say” recounts a bleary man’s drunk-dial remorse, and “5-1-5-0” relates a man’s love-blind miscalculations. With Jon Pardi and Tenille Townes. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $50.75-$89.75 through

Polo G

8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at Uptown Theater

One of the grim ironies of the deeply disturbing murder rate in Chicago is the corresponding popularity of the young rappers who chronicle the conditions that give rise to the violence. Taurus Tremani Bartlett, 20, the legally troubled rapper who works as Polo G, is part of the harrowing scene that’s already produced numerous stars. He notes on his breakout song, “Finer Things,” that “a lot of people dyin’ and it’s a chance that you might.” With Yungeen Ace, Lil Poppa and Toosii. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $35-$45 through

Samantha Fish

9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at Paola Roots Festival

Samantha Fish Rounder Records

Observers of Kansas City’s blues scene knew it was just a matter of time before local fans would have to share Samantha Fish with the rest of the world. Fish moved to New Orleans and signed with the venerable roots music label Rounder Records after becoming one of the brightest luminaries in Kansas City. The rugged vocalist, outstanding guitarist and standout performer will return to the area as the headliner of the first day of the Paola Roots Festival. A band led by the funky steel guitar hero Robert Randolph tops the bill Saturday, Aug. 24. 913-294-6427. Admission Friday, $15.


8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at KC Live!

The phantoms suggested by the moniker of the New York duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter could be the formidable legacies of several seminal acts. The specters of trip-hop pioneers Portishead, virtual rock band Gorillaz and iconic synth-pop group Depeche Mode haunt the songs of Phantogram. The lurking musical ghosts coalesce in perfect Phantogram gems like the 2016 hit “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” and the current single “Into Happiness.” With Bob Moses. 816-842-1045. Tickets are $15-$50 through

Papa Roach

7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater

Saturday’s throwdown in Bonner Springs might be the least fashionable big concert of the summer. The show is also likely to be outlandishly fun for people who aren’t concerned with scoring style points. What the unpretentious hard rock band Papa Roach lacks in trendiness is offset by its proven ability to entertain party-minded headbangers. The California band’s defiant guitar-based hits “Last Resort,” “Help” and “Scars” will provide an ideal soundtrack for chugging beer on a warm summer night. With Asking Alexandria and Bad Wolves. 913-825-3400. Tickets are $35-$110 through


8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Granada

Lawrence Parker, the 53-year-old rapper who makes music as KRS-One, is likely to feel despondent every time he turns on a radio. Almost all the tenets he holds dear have been rejected by most of today’s hit-makers. The tenets of communal responsibility and complex lyrical flow that Parker developed with his peers in New York City in the 1980s now seem like quaint relics. Even so, he’ll demonstrate his commitment to those bygone principles in renditions of classics like “Sound of da Police.” 785-842-1390. Tickets are $25 through

Black Flag

8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26, at CrossroadsKC

Greg Ginn, 65, is the figurative grandfather of American hard-core punk rock. By founding the seminal California band Black Flag in 1976 and acting as the group’s sole continuous member, the innovative guitarist created a harsh, frenetic sound that inspired countless musicians. Professional skateboarder Mike Vallely will shout classic Black Flag anthems from the early 1980s like “Rise Above,” “Revenge” and “TV Party” as Ginn’s buzzsaw guitar condenses the violent psychedelia of Jimi Hendrix. 785-749-3434. Tickets are $20-$75 through

Nicole Dollanganger

8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, at Encore Room

Billie Eilish is one of the world’s biggest pop stars, but she doesn’t have a monopoly on goth-oriented songs that resonate with disaffected teens. Canadian artist Nicole Dollanganger shares a similar sensibility but renders her alienation in quieter terms. Her frightening songs about body image (“Ugly”), eating disorders (“Please Eat”) and serial killers (“Dog Teeth”) are made even creepier by Dollanganger’s delivery in an eerily childlike voice. With Infinity Crush. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $15 through

Mark Knopfler

8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Mark Knopfler.jpg
British musician Mark Knopfler LUCA BRUNO AP

Tastefulness and rock aren’t compatible. The sound of rebellion is usually weakened when diluted by sophistication. The music made by Mark Knopfler and his defunct band Dire Straits are notable exceptions. Dire Straits’ 1978 breakout hit “Sultans of Swing” detailed Knopfler’s admiration for a group of anonymous jazz musicians, a telling indication of his inclinations. Knopfler, 70, has suggested that his current trek in support of his 2018 album “Down the Road Wherever” is probably his final international tour. 816-283-9900. Tickets are $55.50-$201 through