2715 Rochester | 816-483-1456 | knuckleheadskc.com
People often ask us what our favorite music venue is in the city, and we always stutter and murmur unintelligibly. There are so many great places to see live music here, and choosing one feels like a slight to the others. But East Bottoms roots-and-blues joint Knuckleheads is always a part of that conversation. We love the honky-tonk roadhouse vibe, and few places capture a Kansas City summer like the sights, sounds and smells experienced at the venue's outdoor shows. But a smaller stage on the east side of the sprawling property — owner Frank Hicks calls it the Living Room — has emerged of late as the site of Knuckleheads' best shows. Here's the idea: Hicks books a big-time performer, puts him or her in the 50-seat Living Room, and makes up for the loss of seating by increasing the price of the tickets. Casual fans might not put up the extra dough, but it's a superfan's dream come true. Where else can you see David Lindley or Marshall Crenshaw in a room the size of a boxing ring? Nowhere that we're aware of.