7 Things to Do in Kansas City This Week: February 24th – March 1st

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7 Things to Do in Kansas City This Week: February 24th – March 1st

Date: Sep 30, 2020
Author: Collins Chinedu 489 No Comments

Find the perfect experiences and events in Kansas City with our daily curated guides. Whether you’re looking for things to do in Crossroads, Country Club Plaza, Midtown, Westport, West Bottoms or North KC our local curators have been living, working and playing in KCMO and are passionate about seeking and sharing their most recent discoveries here for your inspiration, community and enjoyment.

Stonefield, Pale Tongue, The Moose

Monday, February 24, 2020 at 7 PM – 12 AM

STONEFIELD, Pale Tongue, The Moose

From practicing in their family shed as teenagers in rural Australia, to touring the world with Fleetwood Mac, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, King Tuff, and King Gizzard, it’s been a strange trip for the four Findlay sisters. As Stonefield, they’ve got three albums and thousands of miles under their belts, plus plenty of perspective on what it’s like to fight to make a place for themselves, and tell their own story. Written largely on the road in America earlier this year, the songs on BENT are filled with reference and reflection–the kind that comes from months spent far from home, living on four wheels. The surreal isolation of trudging through white-out snow and snaking down deserted highways served as the perfect backdrop for the band to look inward, taking stock of the journeythey’ve taken thus far as musicians, and as people. “It’s a culmination of experiences, emotions,and stories collected over time,” explains lead singer and drummer Amy Findlay, “A growth of honest, raw, energy that has been burning within us and waiting for its moment.”
Recorded in just five days with Joe Walker and Stu Mackenzie from King Gizzard at their studio in Melbourne, the album is almost 100% live. Besides being an impressive feat and the flexing of a confident band operating at the height of their powers, that immediacy lends the album a distinct, crackling energy–thunder, lightning, and muscle-bound horsepower. “Sleep” opens the album with guitars covered in five inches of sludge and distortion and something that sounds like a far-off siren, or the high-pitched howling of the wind. It serves as a warning, a call to arms,kicking things off with a next-level version of the massive, unholy racket the band has become known for over the course of their last three albums.

The sonic inspiration taken from listening to Black Sabbath, Beak, Deep Purple, The Alan Parsons Project, and Mike Oldfield inject BENT with its sternum-shaking heaviness and ever-present swagger, but also its exploratory fearlessness–letting the songs loose to twist and turn, sticking to no one’s rules but their own. Take the proggy, keyboard-soaked intro at the top of “People,” or the cheeky combination of tinnitus-inducing hard rock and hip-shaking boogie at thecore of “Dead Alive.” “Don’t make me think I’ve lost control / I know exactly what you said / Don’tmake me think it’s in my head,” Amy sings during the latter, keeping the lyrics as defiant as the music.

“The album is about our own experiences and stories,” explains Amy, “Songs about the fear of walking home alone at night, stories of what it’s like being an all-female band and the power of supporting one another.” With that being the lyrical subject, the music that came out is definitely our heaviest.” It’s clear that darker thoughts were on the Findlay sisters’ mind– “Route 29,” with its suspenseful synth intro was inspired by the creepy The Route 29 Stalker podcast the band was listening to as they drove the namesake road on their way to a gig with King Tuff, and the cascading synth line and slinky restraint of the hi-hat on “If I Die” can only distract so much from the song’s terror-stricken lyrics.

It’s on the album’s last two songs that the band makes their strongest statement, using “Shutdown” to explore the doubt and search for validation that comes from moving and working within an industry that often makes the band feel like outsiders, lacing lines like “Is it easy for you living / When you don’t have to prove your meaning” in between a battle-cry chorus and detonations of guitar and keyboard. And “Woman” takes it to the edge with a chorus of “I am enough / I am woman,” spelling it out for anyone that hasn’t been paying attention.

BENT has all the chills and spills you would expect from an album that mines inspiration from some of the darker experiences of being misrepresented, belittled, and underestimated. By taking control of the narrative, and pumping it up with stack-blowing, guitar hero riffs and razor-edged vocals, it becomes an album of power, control, and confidence–projected in the face of a world that too often forces the opposite.

1520 Grand Blvd, 
Kansas City, Missouri 64108


Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 8 PM


General Admission Floor, Reserved Balcony Cabaret and Balcony High-Top Tables. Balcony 4-Top Tables must be purchased as whole tables in multiples of 4 seats. Doors 7pm / Show 8pm There will be a $2 minor surcharge at the door for patrons under 21 years of age.

The Madrid Theatre
3810 Main St, Kansas City, 
Missouri 64111

Arts Marketing Network

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 4:30 PM – 6 PM

Arts Marketing Network

Meet for happy hour and share knowledge with fellow arts marketers at the ArtsKC Arts Marketing Network.

ArtsKC hosts The Arts Leadership Network (ALN) for arts leaders throughout our region to connect, discuss industry trends, and collaborate on initiatives like audience development, diversity, and funding.

ALN has now expanded to include a bi-monthly meeting of Arts Marketers to cater to the topics, trends, and needs unique to their roles.

The Arts Marketing Network also gives ArtsKC an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of each organization’s marketing capacities and goals to better tailor programming to your needs.

Artskc - Regional Arts Council
106 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, 
Missouri 64108

A La Mode Trio

Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 6 PM – 10 PM

A La Mode Trio

Voted “Kansas City’s Favorite Jazz Band” of 2018 – The Pitch KC. “You’ll think you have been transported back in time”, “Led by Clayton and Jesica DeLong, this band is a “popular purveyor of elegant party music” – The Kansas City Star

Chaz on the Plaza
325 Ward Parkway, 
Kansas City, Missouri 64112

Live Music: Cowtown Country Club

Friday, February 28, 2020 at 7 PM – 10 PM

Live Music: Cowtown Country Club

Since first appearing on stage in August 2017, Cowtown Country Club have been delighting audiences with their sometimes surprising take on country and western executed with glittering guitars and 24-karat vocal harmonies.

At once both deeply familiar and excitingly fresh, Cowtown Country Club is quickly gaining a reputation for their original interpretations of classic country and western swing, plus a signature brand of countrified re-imaginings of pop hits. Featuring Greg Gagnon (guitars), Leah Sproul Pulatie (guitars), Brian Werner (bass), and Jessica Salley (drums).

Kansas City Bier Company
310 W 79th St, Kansas City, 
Missouri 64114

Bar K Beer Fest

Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 11 AM – 4 PM

Bar K Beer Fest

Bar K Beer Fest brings together craft and international breweries in Kansas City’s most dog-friendly beer fest. Your pup will enjoy unlimited playtime while you sample new and interesting hops. Admission is $35 for General Admission (12pm-4pm) and $45 for VIP Early Admission (includes early entry from 11am-12pm, first dibs on small batch and special release sampling and first access to free vendor swag). Admission includes beer. Food is sold separately.

Bar K Members receive a discount with their membership card. Admission is $25 for General Admission (12pm-4pm) and $35 for VIP Early Admission (includes early entry from 11am-12pm, first dibs on small batch and special release sampling and first access to free vendor swag).

Bar K
501 Berkley Parkway, Kansas City,
Missouri 64120

Opeth: In Cauda Venenum North American Tour

Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 8 PM

Opeth: In Cauda Venenum North American Tour

Sweden’s Opeth are preparing to release their most important record to date with “In Cauda Venenum”. Certainly, fans and critics will have their opinion, but few records in the Swedes’ oeuvre are as engaging, delicate, panoramic, intense, and musical as Opeth’s lucky thirteenth. Sporting a clever Travis Smith cover—replete with inside jokes and a nod to King Diamond—a masterful Park Studios (The Hellacopters, Graveyard) production, Opeth’s usual five-star musicianship, and lyrics entirely in Swedish, “In Cauda Venenum” raises the bar markedly. While a record in Swedish is a first—there’s also an English version—for frontman and founding member Mikael Åkerfeldt, the 10 songs on offer feel and sound completely natural. As if years of listening to and being a fan of Swedish rock and hard rock has paid off. In a way, Opeth have come home. But the Swedish lyrics of the primary edition of “In Cauda Venenum” shouldn’t distract from the quality presented in Opeth’s new songs, the lot of which sneak up and take control after repeated listens. “In Cauda Venenum” is like that, tricky in its complicated simplicity, resourceful in its ability to charm with delightful if wistful melodies. Really, it’s just Opeth being Opeth.

“This is me,” Åkerfeldt says. “This is Opeth. I think by now fans will recognize—at least I hope they do—my writing style, our sound, what we do as a band. There are a lot of surprises on “In Cauda Venenum”, from the strings and Swedish samples to Fredrik’s [Åkesson] solos and the Swedish lyrics. But I knew I wanted a Latin title early on. I wanted a Latin title that would work for both versions. I didn’t want a Swedish title for the Swedish version and an English title for the English version. Since the death metal days of Opeth, I’ve always wanted a Latin title. Nothing ever worked. We had one Latin titled song on the first record though, “Requiem,” the instrumental. I’ve always wanted something like that but it turned out harder than I thought when coming up with a title. With Latin, it can mean something really cool but look like shit or be very difficult to read. I couldn’t find a source for “In Cauda Venenum”. I thought, “Well, that looks cool.” I remember Travis and I were working on the cover. We had this little insect, a scorpion, with the five heads of the band members. So, when I came across the phrase ‘In Cauda Venenum”,’ I thought, ‘Well, that’s weird. Here we have a scorpion and ‘“In Cauda Venenum”’ can relate to scorpions. Besides being a cool phrase, it works with the artwork, and the lyrics. In many ways, the stars aligned with the title.”

Opeth have traveled a long way since their humble beginnings in Huddinge, a small town south of Stockholm. Formed in 1990 by David Isberg (vocals) and Åkerfeldt (guitars) to create the “most evil band in the world,” Opeth would first require an actual band to partake in such a venomous venture. The duo enlisted Åkerfeldt’s former Eruption bandmates Anders Nordin (drums) and Nick Döring (bass). Not long after, a second guitarist, in the shape of Andreas Dimeo, was added to the lineup. Officially a five-piece, Opeth set out to corrupt the world (or at the very least Sweden) with their evil spells and black-hearted music. After a few gigs, the band splintered, with Dimeo and Döring exiting for personal reasons. Over the next two years, members left as quickly as they arrived, but it was the introduction of Peter Lindgren—on bass, then guitar—where things started to get serious. Even the departure of Isberg in 1992 didn’t heavily affect the newly established core of Åkerfeldt, Nordin, and Lindgren. They vowed to carry on as a trio and as Opeth. For the next few years, Opeth, still in its most nascent of stages, wrote and rehearsed religiously. It wasn’t until the re-entry of bassist Johan De Farfalla that Opeth was formally complete. Now, 13 records into their career and a few lineup changes to boot—Åkerfeldt is the only original member remaining—the band that started out of nothing has gone on to tour the world, sell more than two million records, and change the face of the heaviest of metals. “In Cauda Venenum” is Opeth’s finest hour.

“For us, at this stage with “In Cauda Venenum”, heaviness isn’t guitars tuned down with screaming vocals over the top,” says Åkerfeldt. “That’s not necessarily what I call ‘heavy’ music these days. I can listen to Korn and say, ‘OK, that’s heavy.’ But it doesn’t really mean anything to me. I mean, I catch up on things in magazines or online. I read about bands that have the ‘heaviest record ever,’ and I’m not too impressed by that. OK, it’s cool but what does it say? What does it mean? It’s an impossible mission, to be the heaviest. That’s been done before. Over time, I got tired of that tag. Of course, when I was younger it meant everything to me. I was always on the pursuit for heaviness in my youth, trying to find the next level of heaviness. First it was death metal, then it was bands like Meshuggah, but heaviness is now more about emotions, heavy chord progressions, music that has feelings. Heaviness doesn’t mean Meshuggah anymore, although indeed they’re a fucking heavy band. I’m not trying to tap into that anymore.”

“In Cauda Venenum” was written surreptitiously by Åkerfeldt when he was scheduled for sabbatical after the “Sorceress” record cycle. Tired of Gantt charts, milestones, and other Project Management Office essentials presented by management, he told his handlers it was high time for break from Opeth and its many and varied responsibilities. They complied. Almost immediately, however, Åkerfeldt was holed up in his studio, Junkmail, writing music by himself without pressure or influence. Ultimately, the Opeth songman wanted a return to the old days—think “Orchid” through “Blackwater Park”—when writing music was a creative endeavor not a factor in the business equation of being in a full-time, internationally recognized band. Described as more fun than spadework, the writing sessions were eventually exposed to the rest of the band and management. They were into Åkerfeldt’s newest creations but before anyone had a word in edgewise, “In Cauda Venenum” was, more or less, in the proverbial bag. The only thing that remained the same was Åkerfeldt writing and performing in his aging studio.

“The process, or the studio, for writing “In Cauda Venenum” was similar to Sorceress,” Åkerfeldt says. “I have the same stuff I’ve recorded on since “Watershed”. It’s all very outdated. I mean, nothing really works all that well, but it fits the purpose for what I’m doing with it. The writing, as always, is the same. The environment was the same. But the pressure was different. I got to write music that I felt was important. For “Sorceress”—which is a really good record—I felt I catered to what the other guys in the band wanted. I mean, with Axe, he really loves playing heavy metal music. So, I wrote two heavy metal songs. That was cool, but I didn’t want any kind of basic heavy metal on this record. I wanted something really elaborate, complex without sounding complex. I wanted it to be sing-along and melodic, but not gimmicky. The most fun part about writing “In Cauda Venenum” was the Swedish idea. That I’d write an entire Opeth record in Swedish. With that, I also wanted to make it grander, overblown and pompous, with strings and stuff. I actually had a really good time writing this record. For once, it was fun. A lot of fun.”

The idea to craft “In Cauda Venenum” entirely in Swedish originated while Åkerfeldt was driving his kids to school. He challenged the concept, weighed the risks and rewards, and ultimately came away with the direction he needed: Opeth’s next record would be entirely in Swedish. Precedent, after all, had been established. The special edition of 2008’s Watershed included a cover rendition of Swedish singer Marie Fredriksson’s “Den Ständiga Resan,” on which sings Åkerfeldt sings in Swedish. Then again, an entire Opeth record in Swedish was not only a first-time event, but a brave marketing move to single out the band’s predominantly English-only fanbase and indeed, all but two countries—Sweden and Finland—do not speak, read, and understand Swedish. Undeterred, Åkerfeldt continued on, writing the scenic “Ingen Sanning Ärallas” (“Universal Truth”) first. The rest of “In Cauda Venenum”, in Swedish, came as smoothly as a glass of glögg down the gullet. That an English version awaited was a no-brainer.

“I don’t expect us to conquer the world,” says Åkerfeldt. “We’re not going to be the next big thing now that we’re 45 and into our thirteenth record. So, as time has moved on, Opeth is becoming more and more for us. In a way, that makes the music and the record more pure. We’re not trying to get to the next level of popularity. We’re trying to get to the next level of creativity. So, making the record in Swedish was the spark. It got the music going. Down the line, I got anxious about the idea though. I started to think, ‘Maybe, they [the fans] won’t listen to it all because it’s in Swedish.’ I’ll admit I was chicken shit about not having an English version. So, I went ahead and made an English version as well. To me, the Swedish version is the main version, the most important version to me, and the version I want people to listen to first. Obviously, we wanted to give fans the choice though.”

Indeed, “In Cauda Venenum” will give fans a choice. Swedish or English. But maybe it’s not the language after all that bewitches. From the Tangerine Dream-like opener “Livet’s Trädgård” (“Garden of Earthly Delights”) to the epic closer “Allting Tar Slut” (“All Things Will Pass”), the new Opeth record is riveting, a musical score to an unreleased film, existing only in Åkerfeldt’s head as directed by Werner Herzog. To wit, tracks like “Svekets Prins” (“Dignity”), “Minnets Yta” (“Lovelorn Crime”), and “Banemannen” (“The Garroter”) are artful and melancholic yet high-spirited and uncomplicated in their sway forward. In many respects, it’s almost as if the film projector’s clicky hum is in the background while some shadowy figure sits in a chair smoking a cigarette. To put it actual terms, “In Cauda Venenum” resides somewhere between yet beyond Scott Walker’s “Scott 3”, The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, and Judas Priest’s “Sad Wings of Destiny”. It’s heavy mental, just with Swedish thoughts and motivations.

“I’m still discovering new artists that interest me,” Åkerfeldt says. “I also re-discover records I already have, like Deep Purple’s “Stormbringer”, which is always a nice surprise. ‘I’m like, “Oh, that’s cool. Forgot about that song. I will listen to that two-three times now.’ There are some newer artists—that are obviously not prog or from the ‘70s—like Kate Bush. I’ve been aware of her for a very long time and I knew her songs, but it’s a bit like the ABBA situation: they’ve always been there, I know the songs, I’ve heard the songs, but I’ve never listened to the songs. Now, I play an ABBA record, and I’m like, “Fuck! That’s great!” Those songs became something else than what they were in my childhood. So, that happened to a couple of Kate Bush songs. Now, I listen to her. I’m also doing a lot of listening to jazz, courtesy of my girlfriend. As far as obscure artists, I got totally blown away by a British artist—completely unknown—named, Philamore Lincoln. I remember seeing the record, “The North Wind Blew South”, many years ago. I figured the cover was cool, because the cover reminded me of the back cover to our first record, “Orchid”, where we are standing in silhouette on the mountain. His cover is just him though. Eventually, I found a copy and thought it was amazing. It was Philamore Lincoln that got me into pop-rock music accompanied with strings.”

Originally slated to be recorded at Ghost Ward Recordings with producer/engineer David Castillo, Opeth opted for Park Studios with Stefan Boman instead. Nestled on a quiet backstreet in a nondescript neighborhood south of Stockholm, Park Studios was built in the 1970s by blues rock guru Acke Gårdebäck (of Acke & Gurra fame). While the studio has changed owners several times—now co-owned by Boman—it has retained its shag carpet and platform shoes allure by offering a bevy of original old-school recording tools, the very kind used on some of Åkerfeldt most cherished records. Plus, as it turns out Boman is of the same vision as the Opeth frontman when it comes to gear. Recordings for “In Cauda Venenum” commenced in November 2018 with Boman engineering and co-producing with Åkerfeldt. The production team started first with the drums, rhythm guitars, acoustic guitars, bass, and then tailed off the tracking with guitars, keyboards, lead guitars, and additional vocals. By Christmastide, Phase I of “In Cauda Venenum” was complete.

“There are really good studios in Stockholm,” says Åkerfeldt. “It really boiled downed to which studio I wanted to use. I was at dinner with Tobias [Forge] from Ghost and he said to me, ‘Have you been to Park Studios? You’d love that studio. It’s right up your alley. It’s a modern studio with old shit.’ I had totally forgotten about Park Studios. So, I called up Stefan [Boman] to ask him if he was available and if we could come down to look at the studio. He was like, ‘Yeah, great! Come over!’ Park Studios is 15 minutes from my house and 5 minutes from our rehearsal room, so it was perfect. Also, I’m not that into vintage gear where I must have a Marshall head from ’69 soldered in the month of March. As long as it sounds good that’s what I’m into. I like the idea of doing things for real though. Using someone’s expertise to get what you want. I want to sit with an amp, turn some knobs to get the sound I want. There’s physicality to it that I like. I got that at Park Studios.”

Where Opeth go from here, it’s on tour in support of “In Cauda Venenum”. The previous touring cycle for Sorceress was two-years, so expectations for the Swedes ring the world into 2021, where they’ll play “Svekets Prins” (“Dignity”), “Hjärtat Vet Vad Handen Gör” (“Heart in Hand”), “Ingen Sanning Ärallas” (“Universal Truth”), “Banemannen” (“The Garroter”), and “Kontinuerlig Drift” (“Continuum”), are high. Clearly, once the bi-lingual brilliance of “In Cauda Venenum” is released, Opeth’s dedicated fanbase will be eager to hear, absorb, and experience the record in the flesh. As for what Åkerfeldt wants from his ardent followers is for them to appreciate the latest Opeth chapter in the same way they have 1996’s “Morningrise”, 2003’s “Damnation”, and 2014’s “Pale Communion”.

“Of course, I want everybody to love everything that we do,” Åkerfeldt says. “But it’s secondary to me. I can’t control that, and I don’t want to. I really don’t know what they’ll think about it. I don’t know how people listen to music these days. I don’t know how people feel about it music. I know how I listen to music. I provide the time to listen to music. I make time for music. I’m not doing something else while music is playing. I’d like everybody to focus on the new record. That’s no different from the Opeth records. I’ve always wanted people to focus on our music; not treat it as background music for daily chores, white noise, or whatever. If you want to get into this record, I’m hoping you’ll find, by our standards, something different.”

Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
1228 Main St, Kansas City, 
Missouri 64105

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