6 Persistent Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend | KCUR

6 Persistent Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Oct 18, 2018

As if you’re not busy enough during the week, here comes your weekend to-do list. Think you’re too pooped to enjoy yourself?

Try thinking of the folks attempting to keep you entertained during your so-called down time. The stubborn fun gets started early, with Thursday night concerts by a legendary rock band striving to move on amid controversy and an ardent practitioner of a singular organ riff that just won’t quit. The doggedness even includes an event that's all about canines having their day.

So be persistent this weekend. You’ve got company.

1. Fleetwood Mac

In a rock world (what’s left of it) where bands are always (or should be) looking for a way to stand out, one of the best-selling and best-sounding bands of all time, the legendary Fleetwood Mac, is garnering relative buzz by accident. Earlier this year, the Mac fired singer/songwriter and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham (who only a few days ago filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates) and replaced him with Split Enz-cum-Crowded House crooner Neil Finn and Tom Petty’s forever guitarist Mike Campbell.

In the ensuing eyebrow-raising sessions, fans have taken sides, as fans tend to do. But both flanks should be well represented at the persistent group’s tour stop at Sprint Center. From what I’ve caught on YouTube, the new amalgam actually sounds good playing old Buckingham-fueled favorites like “The Chain.” But great? Hmm. At least the extra musician onstage will give Stevie Nicks someone else to transcendently twirl around. Go Stevie!

Thursday, 8 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $46-$197.

2. Booker T. Jones

The namesake of Booker T. & the M.G.’s could have packed it in a long time ago. But Booker T. Jones is still cooking with “Green Onions,” his old band’s 1962 instrumental classic that paved the way for the group’s other sixties dancefloor hits, including “Time is Tight,” “Hip-Hug-Her” and “Soul-Limbo.” Did someone say limbo? How low can you go? Yes, that might require some effort! For inspiration, keep an ear on Jones' trademark Hammond B3 organ sound, which actually requires no effort at all. Smo-o-o-oth.   

Thursday, 8 p.m.; Knuckleheads Saloon, 2714 Rochester St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $28.50.

3. Kansas

“All we are is dust in the wind.” That view might sound a little lax to some, but “Dust in the Wind” was the biggest hit for Kansas, the veteran progressive rock band now on tour performing that tune and every other track from its 1977 album, “Point of Know Return.” Despite such nostalgic counterculture fatalism, Kansas will probably work in a few of its more optimistic numbers through the years, most notably “Carry On Wayward Son.” Two original members of Kansas have carried on with the Topeka-born band since 1973 – drummer Phil Ehart and guitarist Rich Williams. Way to hang in there, guys. But is it okay if we’re not just powder in the airstream?

Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $35-$125.

4. ‘4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince’

Even the Grim Reaper can’t keep a glorious songbook down. And the one belonging to the late, great Prince is getting the full-blown instrumental treatment as curated by Questlove of the Roots and approved by the Prince estate. This touring tribute features an orchestra with a rock band (and only occasional vocals) buoyed by videos of the Purple One and other surprises. The music is given different yet recognizable interpretations, utilizing rock, jazz, hip-hop, samba and even bossa nova to make the point that Prince’s genius remains remarkably alive and adaptable.

Sunday, 7:30 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $39.50-$85.

5. Dogtober Fest

The 175th anniversary (or 25th in human years) of Dogtober Fest might end up being the utmost pooch party ever. But only if enough dog lovers and their furry friends show up to participate in the annually persistent assortment of activities, led by Frisbee catching, dock diving, the running of agility courses, a working dogs demo and a Halloween costume contest. Cats – unless they’re clever dogs in disguise – enter at your own risk!    

Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Kemper Outdoor Education Center, 8201 S. Jasper Bell Road, Blue Springs, Mo.; admission: free (dog food donations accepted for animal shelters).

6. Lenexa Chili Challenge
Another fall, another Lenexa Chili Challenge, where chili-making contestants who’ve tried to take home the grand prize will try once again. Will persistence pay off? Or will some newcomer to the spicy fray concoct a recipe to sway the judges? If the suspense is killing you, that may be better than a crazy-hot bowl of chili doing it. The Kids Kornbread Contest on Saturday sounds like safer territory. Still, the public will get its chance to partake of all manner of homemade chilis with free samples on Saturday while supplies last.

Friday, 6-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Old Town Lenexa, Santa Fe Trail Drive and Pflumm Road, Lenexa, Kan.; admission: free.

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at brianmctavish@gmail.com