It’s Summer in Lawrence! That means street parties, block parties, and music echoing throughout every alleyway in the Downtown area. Lawrencians love a good reason to throw parties outside, and June marks the start of all manners of outdoor events for good old LFK. But there are plenty of opportunities to escape the impending heat as well. Here’s a list of I Heart Local Music’s best live music picks for the month of June.
The Bottleneck, June 5
It’s time to dust off those platform goth boots and head over to the Bottleneck. My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult holds such a legendary status in the industrial music scene, we’re almost a bit surprised they’re playing the Bottleneck. Expect goths far and wide to flock to the Bottleneck on this Wednesday evening. They’ll be joined by Curse Mackey and Kansas City’s own ASMO.
The Granada, June 8
Full transparency, this is an I Heart Local Music event. But after seeing how things went down when we ventured into throwing a PRIDE event last year, we were moved to do it again this year (and go bigger). This Summer, on the second Saturday in June, a variety show of sorts is heading to the Granada stage. But this constitutes as both an indoor and outdoor event, as the evening’s festivities actually begin at the opposite side of town. That’s where a loud and colorful parade marches down the sidewalks of Mass Street, ending with a grand entrance to the Granada.
Two musical acts will grace the stages for PRIDE, including glam rockers Wick and the Tricks and Lawrence’s own Cuee, a notorious rapper who on this night will be performing with a many-membered jazz band (Glass Bandit) backing them up. Between the music, drag performers will thrill and entertain, followed by a dance party to round out the night.
In an effort to make the event as accessible as possible, the event is free and all ages.
Kaw Valley Public House, June 8
On that same night, you can head across the river for an entirely different experience. Kaw Valley Public House will host a bit of an emotional sendoff for The Heavy Figs. The show, originally scheduled at Frank’s (RIP), moved to North Lawrence’s new home for live music just recently. The legendary band will be joined by ultimate rock and rollers Vedettes and The Mad Kings. The entire lineup is essentially the finest rock and roll and to offer in Lawrence.
The Bottleneck, June 15
If you’re a fan of theatrics, you’re going to LOVE the show coming to the Bottleneck on June 15th. They Watch Us From The Moon has steadily been building a reputation in town, with wild shows filled with heavy and disorienting guitar riffs. The band even has their own comic book, which they’ll likely be touting along for the show.
But it’s Vibralux who quite possibly puts on the showiest display of all. The Kansas City glam rockers are no stranger to Lawrence— in fact, we dare say they have a bigger following here than on their home turf. Expect naked Barbie dolls, fishnet tights, and corsets over some of the most exciting guitar licks for this thrilling live show.
St. John’s Catholic School, June 21 & 22
Are you even a Lawrencian if you don’t take part in St. John’s Mexican Fiesta? Like we mentioned earlier, Lawrence loves a good block party, and this might be the town favorite. The event spans two days towards the end of June, and features nonstop action thanks to Mariachi music and beautifully-dressed dancers. You may be coming for the authentic food, but you’ll stay for the nonstop dance party that erupts on the blacktop of St. John’s Catholic School. Absolutely nothing feels better than a Kansas Summer spent dancing away to live music under the bright lights of Fiesta, with a belly full of warm tacos, tostadas, and tamales.
Other noteworthy concerts this month:
JC & the Nuns Tour Kickoff at The Replay
Other Americans/Approach and the Boogaloo Odyssey at The Replay
Pleasures/CHEW/Arc Flash at The Replay
Truckstop Love/Godzillionaire/Headlight Rivals at The Bottleneck
Pink Fuzz/Visitor/LYXE at The Replay
Mic Drop at Liberty Hall
New Found Glory at The Granada
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 Mus