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6 Things For Music Lovers To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

The Phoenix celebrates its 25th anniversary this weekend with Phoenix Fest in downtown Kansas City.

Music isn’t just an open door – it’s a palace of passageways leading to all kinds of tunes around every corner.

This weekend, check out some of the different ways to explore the musical mansion, from superstar country to indie rock, jazz, blues and more.

The best part? You get to sing along.

1. Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean

It’s only been a few weeks since the Rolling Stones rocked the numerous faithful at Arrowhead Stadium and only a few days since pop sensation One Direction elicited shrieks from a horde of young fans. Now its country music’s turn to turn up the music at the home of the Chiefs with co-headliners Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean joined by Brantley Gilbert, Cole Swindell and Old Dominion. Big music. Big Stadium. Big time.

5 p.m. Saturday; Arrowhead Stadium, 1 Arrowhead Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $35-$510.

2. Vans Warped Tour ’15

The daylong alternative rock fest that is the Vans Warped Tour offers scads of loud and proud indie bands with names that can evoke a reaction even before a note is played. For example: I Killed the Prom Queen, the Dirty Nil, the Karma Killers, False Puppet and (perhaps in a more positive vein) SayWeCanFly. OK, we can fly. Always here to help.

Doors, 11 a.m. Thursday, Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre. 633 N. 130th St. Bonner Springs, Kan.; tickets: $55.50.

3. Phoenix Fest

Head downtown and be part of the 25th anniversary party at the Phoenix. The longtime live music hub for jazz, blues and other memorable music will have indoor and outdoor stages packed with such local talents as Amanda Fish, Levee Town, the MGDs and Tim Whitmer & the Wild Women. All ages and lawn chairs welcome. Food trucks, too! This one will go wa-a-ay into the night.

Saturday, 2 p.m.-Sunday, 1:30 a.m., the Phoenix, 302 W. Eighth St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $10 (ages 11 and younger free).

4. Heart of America Hotdog Fest

Hotdogs are on the menu, but music will be in the air during this daylong tribute to America’s favorite wiener. I take mine with mustard. Yeah, relish, too. Peppers are good. Onions? Got to do it. After all that, it might be easier to digest the Hotdog Fest’s headlining band, which will be none other than 1970s funk-rock group the Average White Band, whose groove-laden hits included “Cut the Cake” – hold the mustard.

Noon-9 p.m. Saturday, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission:

5. Dwight Yoakam

Honky-tonk par excellence is the calling card of Dwight Yoakam, whose latest (and 15th) album, Second Hand Heart, makes the veteran singer-songwriter sound as fresh as ever. Yoakam reveres vintage honk – as well he should, because it’s fantastic stuff – especially the West Coast Bakersfield Sound that made a star out of Buck Owens and his Buckaroos back in the 1960s. Dwight even performed at Buck’s funeral. Respect.

7 p.m. Thursday, KC Live Stage, Kansas City Power & Light District, 1100 Walnut St., Kansas City, Mo; admission: free.

6. Howl at the Moon

Despite the crowd-fueled craziness that can surround the dueling pianos show at this vibrant club in the heart of the Kansas City Power & Light District, the melodic bottom line remains: The tune is the thing. Of course, the variety-show gimmick is that the songs keep changing, almost faster than patrons can make a request. So sing, hoot or purr along – whatever works. Just be careful about requesting the Semisonic song, “Closing Time.” Who wants the party to stop? 

Thursday, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday; Friday, 5 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday; Saturday, 7 p.m.-3 a.m. Sunday, 1334 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.

Brian McTavish follows popular culture in the belief that the search for significance can lead anywhere. Brian explains, "I've written articles and reviews ... reviewed hundreds of concerts, films and plays. And the thing is, these high arts all sprang from the pop culture of their day. Don't forget: Shakespeare was once Spielberg."
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