It looks like the moment March hits, Lawrence will be welcoming warmer weather and sunnier skies. With that, revelers will flock to Mass Street for parades, concerts, and daytime shows. An explosion of music and color is set to take over the Downtown Landscape, and locals will be eager to trade in the heavy coats for light jackets as they head to nonstop concerts every week. Here are the big ones to look out for in March:
The Mardis Gras Parade
Downtown Lawrence, March 5
The Mardi Gras Parade is happening unseasonably late this year (we’re used to seeing it in February). Fat Tuesday kicks off on March 5th at noon and will continue as it has in years past. The Brass Mob Brass Band will gather with anyone willing to gussy up at Aimee’s Coffee House. From there, the band will explode with jovial renditions of “Down by the Riverside,” “Iko Iko,” and “Little Liza Jane.” The many-membered parade will snake in and out of Downtown businesses, take over intersections, and end at Free State Brewery (one of the best seats in the house for the parade). Because of the sheer number of people who turn out for march down Mass, it can take close to two hours but is worth every gleeful moment.
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Liberty Hall, March 8
About a week before St. Patrick’s Day, there’s an opportunity to enjoy a true Irish musical experience over at Liberty Hall. “Songs from Ireland,” now in its third year, is spearheaded by Irish native Nick Carswell (of Lawrence band Carswell & Hope). The evening will feature a host of local musicians treating the audience to traditional Irish music, as well as rock and pop music from the area. Katlyn Conroy, Sky Smeed, along with Betse Ellis and Brett Hodges are all set to perform— and attendees will be pleased to know a special dance performance by Céilí at the Crossroads is also scheduled. The show starts early at 7:30 p.m., and a portion of the night’s proceeds will benefit Audio-Reader Network.
Liberty Hall, March 10
The Descendents show at Liberty Hall will likely be one of the biggest ragers of the year. The longstanding hardcore punk band will be heading out for a short tour in March, ending it with their set at Liberty Hall on March 10. The last time they had a show in Kansas City, they played for two hours and the mosh pit was outrageous. We’ll expect nothing less for their Lawrence set, as this tends to be where punks old and new work out their, uh, anxieties and energies. They’ll be joined by New Orleans punk rockers PEARS, who we named as one of the best shows of 2018 and who will terrify the heck out of you. Local power pop band Ultimate Fakebook is set to open the show.
St. Patio Show
The Replay, March 17
In the Lawrence music scene, the first official sign of Spring can be marked by the St. Patrick’s Day patio show at the Replay. In fact, early Replay patio shows are the best gauge of the weather. On Sunday, March 17th, the show starts early on that back patio at 2:00 p.m. and continues through the night. In the past, the hefty lineup and jubilant attendees leave little standing room in the corner venue.
Here’s the schedule for the day, consisting mostly of folk and bluegrass bands:
2:00 p.m. – Signal Ridge
2:50 p.m. – Rolling Foliage
3:40 p.m. – Carswell & Hope
4:30 p.m. – Tyler Gregory
5:20 p.m. – Midnight Kick
6:10 p.m. – Whiskey for the Lady
7:00 p.m. – Nicholas St. James (Full Band)
7:50 p.m. – The Brody Buster Band
The Bottleneck, March 22
One of the most exciting rock bands to come out of Kansas City in the last decade is making a stop in Lawrence this month. Radkey can usually be found touring the world, but every now and then they make a pit stop at the Bottleneck. The trio of brothers is notorious for fast, hard, and addictive punk riffs fronted by guitarist Dee Radke’s famous baritone vocals.
The rest of the lineup alone is impressive, as it brings some of Kansas City’s best to the area. Costumed rockers Drop A Grand, punk rockers The Bad Ideas, and glam rockers Wick and the Tricks are all set to take the stage for this show full of loud antics (bring the earplugs).
Other recommendations for March:
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.