Outdoor Music Series in South KC
By Jill Draper
It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy—especially when there’s live music on the patio, in the park or even the parking lot. There’s no better way to enjoy warm, breezy nights than listening to local and national performers while enjoying cold drinks and casual food.
You don’t have to go far. South Kansas City has several summer music series that are free and open to the public.
Ward Parkway Pavilion
Smitty’s Garage, MidiCi and Charleston’s restaurants all provide patio seating for the shopping center’s summer concert series every Friday and Saturday from 6-9 p.m. beginning June 8 and continuing through September. In addition, Smitty’s will host games like cornhole and bingo on various nights. And if you’re in the mood for a sugary treat, watch for the late spring opening of two more eateries, Sweet Charlie’s Ice Cream and Hurts Donuts.
Here are the first acts. Check wardparkwaycenter.com for additional performers:
June 8—Don Accurso Orchestra, a Kansas City icon, entertains with a fun evening of big band music.
June 9—Chris Foster, a singer, songwriter and guitar player, has a style that ranges from Latin jazz, folk and rock to pop.
June 15 – Mason Blaize Cline; and Payge Turner (split the stage)
June 16--Rick Bacas — classic rock
June 22–Nathan Corsi — singer/songwriter, cover artist
June 23–Mike Ashley— classic well-loved songs from the 70s
June 29–Jonathon Ramsey — Irish singer/guitarist
June 30–Drew Six — singer/songwriter (classic rock, covers)
Sunset Music Fest ’18 at Town Center Plaza
Just across State Line Road in Leawood, this annual family concert series features local bands followed by nationally known acts every Thursday in June. Kids’ activities start at 6 p.m. and the music begins at 7 p.m. Bring lawn chairs or blankets to the north parking lot, where Hereford House will be selling beverages, burgers, hot dogs and other festival food, with a portion of the proceeds going to the JDRF Foundation to fight juvenile diabetes. No coolers allowed. Sponsors include Shawnee Mission Health, Sprint and Sporting Kansas City. See towncenterplaza.com for a lineup of local bands as information becomes available.
June 7—The Romantics are a pop/rock band known for high-energy tunes such as “What I Like About You” and “Talking in Your Sleep.”
June 14—The Fabulous Thunderbirds describe themselves as a blues band that plays rock ’n’ roll. Hits include “Tuff Enough” and “Wrap It Up.”
June 21—Fastball topped the charts in the ’90s with “The Way,” followed by songs like “Fire Escape” and “Out of My Head.”
June 28—Sister Hazel, an American alternative rock band, blends elements of jangle pop, folk rock, classic rock ‘n’ roll and southern rock. Hits include “All for You” and “Change Your Mind.”
Grandview Amphitheater Summer Concert Series
Every Friday night from the beginning of June through Aug. 24 the city of Grandview hosts performances at its state-of-the-art amphitheater. Except for the first show, the doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the music starts at 7 p.m. Concert-goers can play lifesize versions of Jenga and beer pong along with washers and bean bags, or just relax in lawn chairs brought from home. Concessions include festival food and beer (no coolers allowed). Please note there is no band on Friday, June 29. See more at grandview.org.
June 1—The concert series kicks off with Kids Night. The doors open at 5 p.m. and Mr. Stinky Feet entertains at 5:30 p.m. Immediately afterward (around dusk) there will be a showing of the movie Ferdinand.
June 8—KC All Stars are a local dance party band that performs hits from every generation.
June 15—Tracy Allison & The Drive specialize in country, classic rock and bluegrass.
June 22—The Recliners are a classic rock cover band with a set list that ranges from the Beatles and Rolling Stones to Tom Petty to Elvis.
June 29—no concert, but check the website for more performances in July and August.
Martin City area restaurants
Martin City Brewing Co. rotates live music on the patio between its two adjacent locations, The Pub and The Tap Room, on Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the summer and into October. The entertainment is from 7-11 p.m. and includes bands such as The Snot Rockets, The Boxley Brothers, Kyle Sexton and American Slim. Check out their Facebook page for updates.
Jess and Jim’s has scheduled live music on the patio on Friday nights and some Wednesday nights from 6:30-9:30 p.m. starting in June. Performers include Andy Dewitt every second Friday and Tony Antonucci every last Friday of the month.
Murray’s Tables & Tap has outside seating, and it has live music on Friday and Saturday, but the bands are stationed inside. If the garage door is open, however, you can hear songs from the patio. There is a $5 cover charge.
BB’s Lawnside BBQ has music just about every night. While not specifically an outdoor venue, a front deck allows you to listen to the music and converse with friends.
But seriously, if you want your music served chilled, inside an air conditioned environment, we also recommend The Daily Limit located in the Red Bridge Shopping Center. Weekend only.
Do you know of any venues we’ve missed? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll spread the word.