Free Energy, with Fall Down
Running and Delicate Steve
If bands like Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy and T. Rex caught wind of what Free Energy was up to, they might start lawyering up. With its fat '70s power-chord crunches, thumping bass lines, sing-along choruses, and twin guitar solos, this Philly crew is unsubtle in its affinity for classic rock. But those who have exhausted every minuscule detail on Jailbreak will find plenty to love in the revivalism. The big, ambitious songs are written for arenas — though for now the Riot Room will have to do.
Tuesday, July 19, at the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179).
Fleet Foxes, with Alela Diane and Wild Divine
Three years is a long gap between the acclaimed debut and the unveiling of the sophomore effort, and it carries with it the risk of unrealistic expectations. But the guys in Fleet Foxes are pros, and we now know that they took their sweet-ass time on their follow-up because they knew they had excellent songs and they wanted to give the album a distinct identity. Mission accomplished: Helplessness Blues adds a fleeting, dreamlike backdrop to the band's rich, harmony-driven folk. It's a grower, too, so maybe think about giving it another spin if you got on Facebook and declared it boring after one listen.
Monday, July 18, at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665).
DJ Shadow supposedly has one of the largest personal record collections in the known universe (60,000, according to Wikipedia). He puts it to brilliant use constructing sample-heavy songs that straddle the line between hip-hop and trip-hop. His 1996 debut, Endtroducing, blazed the trail for the pastiche dance parties that Gregg Gillis has popularized with Girl Talk in recent years. But Shadow has dug through way more crates than Gillis, and his freakish knowledge is evident in his sets.
Tuesday, July 19, at the Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania, 816-561-2560).
Cinderella, with Hammerlord
and the Dead Girls
Part of the first wave of hair-metal bands, Cinderella never attained quite the mainstream success of contemporaries Poison and Motley Crue. That might be due to the fact that its blues-driven hard rock wasn't so tied to the more glam gimmicks of the era, a quality that now gives the band a relatively dignified air. Also, to the band's credit: It still boasts four original members, including frontman Tom Keifer. Fittingly, metal act Hammerlord and classic-rock devotees the Dead Girls embody the opposing characteristics of Cinderella's sound.
Tuesday, July 19, at Crossroads KC at Grinders (417 East 18th Street, 785-749-3434).
New Kids on the Block and
Their heydays are now so distant, it's easy to forget that New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys were of different boy-band eras. Oh, well. Just lump them together, update their outfits, and send them out on a tour with a hacky name while they can still hit the high notes and choreographed marks. Everybody wins.
Saturday, July 16, at Sprint Center (1407 Grand, 816-949-7000).