It’s going to be a hot one, and there’s no better way to escape the sizzle than with a cold beverage and good show. In the rest of the world, it’s called July. In Lawrence, it’s called the pre-game before bluegrass season (we’ll get to that next month). For now, you’ll want to don the sandals and head out to explore the local music scene. Touring bands are few and far between this month, but you’re in luck because it’s the perfect time to cozy up to the locals. Here are our top picks for July’s concert calendar.
Douglas County Fairgrounds | July 3
You better get yourself to a Fourth of July party this month or we’re bound to think you don’t love ‘MURICA.
This summer the City of Lawrence is going all out with a big concert to celebrate the holiday. The shaded arena portion of the fairgrounds will be home to food trucks & Free State Brewery beer sales, while a nearby stage will showcase some of the best music we have to offer, including performances by VCMN, The Matchsellers, Page 7, The Whips, and Maria the Mexican. You’ll want to stick around until the sun goes down, because after the music there’s a giant fireworks display.
Maria the Mexican descends from local music royalty. Peep their iconic cover of our state song below.
RIYL: AMERICA, blowing things up, drinking and listening to local bands
Replay Lounge | July 7
If you’ve been itching for a fun, destructive, and flailing post-punk show, clear your calendar on July 7 (and, uh, maybe the next day, too). PONS, dubbed “the hardest-working band in NYC,” is sure to bring absolute chaos to the Replay. And oh look, the other two curators of chaos in town are opening. Bring the ear plugs, kids. This will be a (really fun!) rowdy one.
RIYL: Blowing out your knee in the pit
Lucia | July 9
We realize not everyone’s a night owl. Shoot, some of you aren’t even evening starlings. But don’t fret, there’s a show for you. The Sunday Roundup at Lucia has been chugging along this year providing ever-growing-in-popularity daytime sets from honky-tonk and bluegrass bands. There are actually a few daytime Sunday shows this month, but we’re highlighting this one because hark! It’s a rare MAW sighting!
RIYL: Unfit Wives, Tammy Wynette, bluegrass
Photo credit: Heidi Gluck by John Knepper
The Bottleneck | July 21
Rejoice! One of the region’s finest songwriters is finally releasing a new album! Heidi Gluck is a Lawrence treasure, constantly tugging at our heartstrings with her expert songwriting. In recent years, you’ve likely seen the indie folk musician in bands like The Roseline and 95 Sweetbird. But this month, she’s finally taking center stage once again, touting along her recent album Migrate or Die. If the already released tracks are any indication, this will be one of the top local releases of the year (no surprise as she is a local favorite).
Gluck, a multi-instrumentalist, will be joined by Frightened Stag (also releasing an EP!) and Daniel Gum.
RIYL: Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, Brandi Carlile
The Bottleneck | July 24
Summer is a time for folk punk, so if you’re looking to let off some steam head to the Bottleneck. AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad) will be coming through with new album Disposable Everything in tow. It’s got a lot more robust sound than what we’re used to from the band, and we can expect them really diving into the weird with this one (and a whole lot of retro sounds).
Open Mike Eagle and Foot Ox are set to open.
RIYL: Jeff Rosenstock, Bomb the Music Industry, The Rackatees
Other events to keep on your radar:
Gaslight Gardens | July 1
The Bottleneck | July 12
Replay Lounge | July 7
Liberty Hall | July 14
The Bottleneck | July 14
Lucia | July 16 (daytime show)
Lucia | July 21
Replay Lounge | July 23
The Bottleneck | July 27
Live Music Calendar
This is the place where Nirvana & Green Day played in a small, standing-room-only shack. This is the place where Janelle Monae packed in her hometown crowd. George Clinton has funked up our streets and we “fought the power” with...