Kansas City concerts Jan. 23-29: George Strait, Winter Jam, Erin Coburn, Svdden Death

George Strait

Winter Jam

7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at Sprint Center

An enormous version of musical chairs breaks out at the Sprint Center every January. The open-seating format at the annual Winter Jam concert inspires a mad dash for seats. Attendees seeking spiritual nourishment and musical entertainment compete with hundreds of church youth groups for advantageous spots to take in the Christian music roadshow. Singer-songwriter David Wallace Crowder and accomplished rapper Andy Mineo are among this year’s major attractions. With Hillsong Young & Free, Building 429, Red, Austin French, NewSong, Zane Black, Riley Clemmons, Ballenger and Zauntee. 816-949-7100. Tickets $15 at door. sprintcenter.com.

Ray Scott

7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at Riot Room

Ray Scott’s signature song, “My Kind of Music,” is a rousing defense of traditional country. An indignant narrator spurns the woman of his dreams upon discovering that “she’s never been a fan of Willie Nelson.” The timing of “My Kind of Music,” released in 2005 as Scott’s debut single, couldn’t have been worse. A trend toward pop-leaning sounds kept Scott off the airwaves of country radio stations. Consequently, he performs his tried-and-true honky-tonk in taverns rather than concert halls. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $15 through theriotroom.com.

Erin Coburn

8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at Knuckleheads

Erin Coburn would do well to check in with Brody Buster during her tour stop in Kansas City. The locally based blues veteran might counsel Coburn on the pitfalls awaiting highly touted prodigies. Buster retains the audacious talent he flashed as a child harmonica player, but he’s learned that the blues world tends to lose interest in a performer after the novelty of youth dissipates. Perhaps that’s why Coburn, a teenage blues artist from Kentucky, addresses mature subjects on her latest album, “Out From Under.” 816-483-1456. Tickets are $10 through knuckleheadskc.com.

George Strait

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8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 25-26, at Sprint Center

The members of Mötley Crüe recently reneged on their promise to never perform together again. And Elton John’s farewell tour appears as if it may never end. But when George Strait pledged in 2014 that his The Cowboy Rides Away Tour was his final run, there was no reason not to believe him. Strait is the personification of integrity in country music. Even so, fans will be grateful for Strait’s uncharacteristic oath-breaking as he revives his beloved hits. With Asleep at the Wheel. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $75-$250 through sprintcenter.com.

Svdden Death

8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at The Truman

The agitated soundscapes Los Angeles producer Danny Howland makes as Svdden Death are designed to wreak havoc on the bodies of fans of electronic dance music. Centered on violent subsonic bass lines, Howland’s synthetic music viscerally rattles the torsos of revelers. Months before Svdden Death bruises bodies at major summer festivals like Bonnaroo, intrepid ravers at the Truman will carom to Howland tracks like “Take Ya Head Off.” With Akeos and Bvnvnvs. 816-205-8560. Tickets are $20 through thetrumankc.com.

Midge Ure

8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at RecordBar

This concert will afford rock fans an uncommon opportunity to interact directly with an internationally renowned star. When he’s not performing songs from an extensive career that includes stints in Thin Lizzy, Visage and Ultravox, Midge Ure, 66, is responding to inquiries from audience members during his Songs, Questions and Answers tour. There’s plenty to ask about. The Scottish musician co-wrote the 1984 benefit song “Do They Know It’s Christmas” with Bob Geldolf and is the lead vocalist on Ultravox’s classic 1980 synth-pop hit “Vienna.” 816-753-5207. Tickets are $25 through therecordbar.com.

Garrison Starr

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8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Encore Room

Although it’s only January, Garrison Starr and Sean McConnell have already released what’s certain to be one of the most affectingly vulnerable songs of 2020. “Nothing Without You,” a plaintive appeal they created with Peter Groenwald as My Sister, My Brother, evokes the most compelling work of Leonard Cohen. Starr is accustomed to catching lightning in a bottle. Songs written by the Mississippi native frequently enhance television shows and commercials. Starr and McConnell will perform separately and together Wednesday. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $10 through uptowntheater.com.


7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Riot Room

Ilyich Yasuchi Sato might be better known for his political activism than for the music he creates as Equipto. The Bay Area artist regularly engages in hunger strikes and other acts of civil disobedience to draw attention to causes. For almost 30 years, Sato has also made compelling music as a member of the legendary underground hip-hop collective Bored Stiff and with his current collaborators including Michael Marshall and James De Noir in the Slap Frost Revue. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $12 through theriotroom.com.

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