Music News & Reviews

KC concerts Sept. 5-11: Backstreet Boys, Blink-182 and Lil Wayne, Marilyn Maye

Clay Walker, Lonestar and Mark Wills

6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater

Garth Brooks dominated country music in the 1990s, but the three men performing at the Throwback Throwdown concert were worthy also-rans. By patterning his sound on the twang-heavy hits of fellow Texan George Strait, Clay Walker enjoyed success with honky-tonk songs like “This Woman and This Man.” Lonestar, a substantially slicker act, is best known for its dramatic ballad “Amazing.” The melodramatic love song “Wish You Were Here” is among Mark Wills’ hits. With Kerosene 6. 913-825-3400. Tickets are $24-$69 through

Al Di Meola

8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at VooDoo

Given all his accomplishments and the enormous change he’s brought about during the past half-century, it’s hard to believe Al Di Meola is just 65. The seminal guitarist was a teenager when Chick Corea brought him into the jazz fusion supergroup Return to Forever. After contributing to landmark Return to Forever albums like “Romantic Warrior” and releasing solo projects including “Casino,” Di Meola showcased his mastery of gypsy and flamenco guitar on the classic 1981 acoustic recording “Friday Night in San Francisco.” 816-472-7777. Tickets are $29.50-$49.50 through

Backstreet Boys

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Sprint Center

The five members of the Backstreet Boys asked a series of questions in their 1997 hit “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”: Am I original? Am I the only one? Am I sexual? Am I everything you need?” Nostalgic fans who still answer those queries affirmatively will gather at the Sprint Center to sing along with massive hits such as “I Want It That Way.” The group’s new album, “DNA,” indicates that the pleasing vocal harmonies of the former boy band are intact. With Baylee Littrell. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $29-$175 through

Crossroads Music Fest

11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, multiple venues in Crossroads District

One of Kansas City’s most wholesome bands is the primary headliner of the Crossroads Music Fest. The mother-and-son folk duo Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear uphold Midwestern values in tender songs like “Childhood Goodbye.” Not all of the more than two dozen bands at the annual showcase for regional talent organized by community radio station KKFI are as subdued. The wild-eyed bluegrass group Split Lip Rayfield and the thrash metal band Bleed the Victim will be among the other performers. 816-931-3122. Tickets are $20-$75 through

Making Movies’ Carnaval

5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Knuckleheads

Making Movies isn’t merely a band. It’s a movement. From its “We are all immigrants” T-shirts that are popular fashion accessories in its hometown of Kansas City to its educational endeavors including Art as Mentorship, Making Movies is much more than a vibrant Latin rock act. The group consisting of members of Panamanian and Mexican descent will perform topical material from its new album, “Ameri’kana,” at its annual Carnaval. With Las Cafeteras, Ésso, Grand Marquis and the Rebel Youth Academy. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children under 13 through Children under 13 without an adult guardian must leave by 10 p.m.

Prairie Village Jazz Festival

4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Harmon Park

The cancellation of Jazz in the Woods and a structural reorganization at the American Jazz Museum mean that this is the sole jazz festival in the area this year. Rather than decry the diminishment of the scene, jazz enthusiasts should enjoy the low-key, single-stage concert featuring locally based talent. A big band led by saxophonist Dan Thomas headlines the event at 77th and Mission Road. With the Marcus Lewis Big Band, Vine Street Rumble, the Matt Otto Quartet and the Shawnee Mission East Blue Knights. 913-381-6464. $5 at gate.

Blink-182 and Lil Wayne

7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater

Blink-182 will perform with Lil Wayne. SARAH LOUISE BENNETT

Blink-182 and Lil Wayne are strange bedfellows. Their unlikely combined tour was announced with a collaborative performance video that melded the California pop-punk band’s “What’s My Age Again?” with the rapper’s “A Milli,” but the joint endeavor has been peppered with drama. The New Orleans rapper born Michael Carter told an audience in July that “this might be my last night.” Even so, Carter has seemingly come to terms with performing for throngs of uninterested rock fans. With Neck Deep. 913-825-3400. Tickets are $37.50-$152 through

Gruff Rhys

8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at RecordBar

Welsh musician Gruff Rhys is the primary artistic force of the psychedelic rock band Super Furry Animals. The group’s Technicolor repertoire resembles a European version of the Flaming Lips. Kliph Scurlock, a former member of the Flaming Lips, is part of Rhys’ touring band that is likely to interpret experimental songs including “Pang!,” the Brazilian-inflected title track of Rhys’ forthcoming solo album. Rhys’ rare area appearance will be followed by a much louder and decidedly less ornate performance by the Kansas City band Season to Risk. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $15 through

Hazel English

8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Encore Room

Hazel English wasn’t alive when the sound she and her band revive was new. The 28-year-old Australia-born, California-based singer-songwriter evokes the jangly college rock made by 1980s bands like Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Aztec Camera and R.E.M. English applies lyrics about anxiety, self-doubt and desire to the vintage sound. Her elders have taken notice. English is opening concerts for indie-rock heavyweights Lord Huron and Death Cab for Cutie this month. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $13 through

Marilyn Maye

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11; 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13; 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sept. 14; 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15; at Quality Hill Playhouse

Marilyn Maye’s fabulous sense of humor was reflected by the title of her recent show at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City. “I Wish I Were 90 Again!” was greeted with rave reviews. Maye, 91, is aging like a proverbial fine wine. The cabaret star with deep ties to Kansas City rose to prominence through 76 appearances on “The Tonight Show.” Never one to rest on her laurels, Maye will present a fresh repertoire at her seven shows at Quality Hill Playhouse. 816-421-1700. Tickets are $45-$48 through