What to do, what to do with this long weekend, the official start of summer?
Head to Lake of the Ozarks, drink your breakfast, lunch, dinner, try to get away from that turd following you back to your buddy’s dad’s boat, and maybe get puked on by the super drunk girl you’re trying to mack it to?
Maybe. I could get with that.
Okay, no, scratch that one…
Saturday, May 28th
Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae, and Mayer Hawthorne at the Independence Event Center
Bruno Mars is a throwback, Motown kind of singer who mixes elements of pop, reggae, doo-wop, and others to form a unique sound. However, his best known work is probably as a writer for other artists. Most recently, he co-authored the Cee Lo Green smash, “Fuck You.” Bruno comes to town with KCK native Janelle Monae, who has been making a name for herself over the past few years, and who garnered several Grammy nominations last year. Monae’s style is eclectic, with orchestral arrangements segueing into jazz and pop figures. Most notably though, is her soaring vocals, which have been compared to the likes of Lauryn Hill and Lady Gaga. Oh, and also, she might be an android.
Also on the bill is Mayer Hawthorne, a white dude from Detroit who does throwback type soul and r&b songs. I caught his act at the Bottleneck a few months ago and was fairly impressed, so don’t skip the opening act if you’re heading to this show. Trust me, you’ll be sorry if you miss Hawthorne’s well put together songs and falsetto vocals.
Widespread Panic at the Midland by AMC in KC
Holy crap. Widespread is coming through KC on Saturday as part of their 25th Anniversary Tour. That’s right, 25th!!! This Athens, Georgia jam band has been doing their thing for quite awhile now, and their fans are some of the most die-hard around. I got my first taste of Widespread while attending the epic 1998 album release show for “Light Fuse, Get Away,” along with 100,000 other lucky fans who meandered their way to the downtown streets of the band’s home base. Since then, Widespread has headlined major festivals, released several albums, and added new members, while their live show has remained consistently tight.
Sunday, May 29th
Pat Green at Crossroads KC
Growing up in Waco, Texas, Pat Green was exposed to some of the artists that would eventually shape his musical career – Willie, Robert Earl Keen, Merle Haggard – though he didn’t necessarily know it at first. “People always ask you what are your influences, and I’ll give them some answer, but the truth is that my influences were everything from some really crappy Eighties music to the best of Motown to a little classical music,” says Green. “After my senior year in high school – the summer before my freshman year at Texas Tech, I had a female friend who was listening to Robert Earl Keen and I thought his songs were so incredible. The stories were great, and the music was so much deeper than the crap on the radio, they just painted a better picture with deeper colors. Robert’s music turned me on to Jerry Jeff Walker and that led me to go further back. Sure, I had already heard of Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, but now I explored it all.”
Hey, no work on Monday, so why not get your mulch on and get out to Grinder’s on a Sunday night.