With Spring in full swing, Lawrence will be ready to get back to nature. This is the month where we green starts creeping into our vision, and the world celebrates Earth Day. So it’s no wonder we’ll be seeing plenty of folk, mountain-style music, and opportunities to flock to the nearest patio for a drink and a show. Here are some of the hot tickets in town this month:
Union Pacific Depot, April 6
This Spring will see a cultural celebration of traditional Irish music from a nontraditional venue. Union Pacific Depot, at 402 N 2nd St., will be hosting an all-day Celtic Roots Festival. This is the place to be for all things Celtic music, including workshops in dance, song, fiddle, banjo, and Bodhran. The workshops start at 1:00 p.m., followed by a series of performances from traditional Irish bands from Lawrence and Kansas City. The event runs through midnight, so bring your dancing shoes and a whole lot of stamina!
Girls Rock Fundraiser (early and late shows)
The Replay, April 19
One of the most influential organizations to come out of the Lawrence music scene in recent years is the Girls Rock! music camp. Since it’s inception not long ago, we’ve seen a handful of teen musicians go on to become established members of the scene. The gears are already turning for the week-long camp, which caters to adolescent girls and trans youth, in 2019. First up is an eclectic, all-day fundraiser taking up both the early and late show slots at the Replay. LK Ultra (consisting of Girls Rock! alumni), Rachel Mallin and the Wild Type, and Ex Brain will kick off the early (and all-ages) show at 6:00 p.m., while Vigil and Thieves, Lovergurl, Khrystal, and Suzannah Johannes will take over at 10:00 p.m. for the late show. Girls Rock Lawrence is an intersectional feminist camp that creates a safe space for youth interested in the music industry. Funds from this show will raiser money for the camp. You can read more about it here.
The Bottleneck, April 27
Everyone’s always eager to know who’s going to be the next big band to make it out of Lawrence. Trust us on this one, it’s going to be Hembree. In recent years, the longtime locals have been catching the eyes and ears of everyone from Rolling Stone to NPR. On April 27, they’ll hit up the Bottleneck to bring their smooth and exciting synth-infused indie rock. The choice of venue is a surprise considering the Hembree tends to stick to large stages and festivals. Even more surprising is who will be joining them on the Bottleneck stage. After taking a few years off, Cowboy Indian Bear will reunite for this one-off show. As one of the more popular acts to come out of Lawrence over the last decade, the reunion was sudden and unexpected. Tickets will likely sell out (quickly) to this show.
DMX – It’s Dark and Hell is Hot 20 Year Anniversary
The Granada, April 28
If you’re a child of the 90’s, you definitely know who DMX is. The rapper, known for one his more popular hits, “Party Up (Up in Here)”, saw a lot of fame thanks to his music and appearances in films such as “Romeo Must Die” and “Exit Wounds.” Not even a day after his release from prison, the “It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot 20 Year Anniversary Tour” was announced. You can catch DMX at the Granada at the end of the month.
Liberty Hall, April 28
One of the hottest tickets at Liberty Hall this Spring will be The Tallest Man on Earth. The Swedish crooner releases his album I Love You. It’s A Fever Dream this month, coinciding with an international tour. The indie folk rocker is known for heartbreaking lyrics over beautiful folk arrangements, sometimes armed with little more than a guitar. With the full band, he creates a rich sound capable of making anyone’s heart flutter.
Other recommendations for April:
Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 15 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more. Currently, she resides in Lawrence, Kansas, where she works as a music journalist and is the Editor of I Heart Local Music