Now that Spring is in full swing, we fully expect to see nothing but joy and revelry spilling out of every venue and onto the streets Downtown. Rejoice! For May is a time for sundresses swaying in the breeze as music lovers take in bluegrass patio shows (both Downtown and north of the river), a crisp drink in their easygoing grips. Here are some of the best shows coming up this month.
Kaw Valley Public House, May 2
Say hello to Lawrence’s newest venue, a quaint little drinking hole tucked away in north Lawrence. Since its recent inception, Kaw Valley Public House has been home to a number of bluegrass and folk events, surrounded by cozy comrades. This is where local songwriter Megan Luttrell has thrown together a monthly event featuring only female performers. May’s lineup features Jaimie Benvenutti, Erin Eades, Julie Bennett Hume, and hostess Megan Luttrell.
The Bottleneck, May 4
Lawrence loves a good Arthur Dodge set, but this will be a special one. The longtime local musician will be touting along a new record, a long-anticipated event in Lawrence. His Elvis Costello-esque vocals over twangy tunes is practically a staple of any local music lover’s diet. He’ll be bringing along another local favorite for the show, Suzannah Johannes, who’s set to perform with a full band. This is the show to drown yourself in feel-good nostalgia, and reminisce about the days prior to five-story apartment buildings popping up along the Downtown Landscape.
The Granada, May 6
Lace up your boots/chucks/vans, it’s time to get rowdy at the Granada. If the Pup show at the Granada hasn’t sold out by the time you read this, it will soon. Hot off of the release of Morbid Stuff the popular punk band full of anxiety-riddled lyrics is in the middle of a massive tour. This tour started last month, and runs through NOVEMBER. Think of the kind of stamina this band has to tout along for a tour like that. Their Lawrence stop includes sets from Ratboys (who just played White Schoolhouse, if you can believe it) and Casper Skulls.
Take a listen to PUP…
The Replay, May 11
For nearly a decade, the Replay has been thrashing their way from one season to another with the ever-popular and always-rowdy Spring Into Summer Fest. The night features both early and late shows on the patio and indoors. The local (and regional) lineup features bands that start with a breezy and lighthearted essence, but later moves to performers that increase with intensity as the night goes on.
Here’s a glance at the schedule:
5:00 p.m. – Chris Twist & Jason Steady
6:00 p.m. – LK Ultra
7:00 p.m. – No Magic
8:00 p.m. – CS Luxem
10:00 p.m. – Pala Zolo
11:00 p.m. – Drugs & Attics
12:00 a.m. – Helen Kelter Skelter
12:50 a.m. – HighWesthus
Here’s a great video of the headliner HighWesthus performing live on Coop Sessions, a local music online channel:
Liberty Hall, May 22
The absolute most-bananas show of the month (other than ICP at the Granada) comes to Liberty Hall on the 22nd. The Hives, one of Sweden’s greatest rock exports, is making their way to the Hall (along with fellow Swedes Refused for a co-headlining tour). It’s been 20 years since The Hives made their big, fiery debut in the American rock scene in their signature Black and White suits. Though it’s been three years since The Hives have gone out on tour, the anticipation is high and Liberty Hall will likely catch on fire again thanks to this hot ticket. This isn’t going to just be one of the top shows of the month, it will likely be one of the top shows of the year. Don’t fall asleep on this sure-to-be unforgettable night.
Other noteworthy concerts this month:
Maria the Mexican – Cinco de Mayo on the Patio at The Replay
Shoebox Money / Jean Claude & The Eclairs / Arsonists at The Bottleneck
Insane Clown Posse at The Granada
Leggy / The Wild Type at The Replay
Animals as Leaders at The Granada
Ohmme / Kat King / Kill Vargas at White Schoolhouse
Shoreline Mafia at The Granada
Lucas Parker Band / 3 Son Green at The Bottleneck
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 Musi