Wow, the spring concert season isn’t playing around. You’re gonna need some stamina for this one. The weekend of May 19th and 20th is going to be a particularly rowdy time. Clear your calendar for this month, because the locals have it on lock. Between end-of-the-semester parties and the return of a local music festival, our music cup runneth over. Here’s a look at the best events coming to the Lawrence music landscape in May.

Skinny Puppy

Skinny Puppy: The Final Tour

Liberty Hall | May 2

Lawrence has been having a sort of goth and industrial renaissance with touring bands this year, and May is no exception. Skinny Puppy are absolute legends in that scene—and after decades of bringing industrial bangers to the warlock masses, they’re bringing their farewell tour to Liberty Hall. This is their first tour in more than ten years, but it’s also their last. This will be one of the hottest tickets of the year, so let’s get dolled up in our finest eyeliner and go cry together at Liberty Hall.

RIYL: Ministry, ohGr, Serene Fiend

Jackoffs by Fally Afani

Jackoffs by Fally Afani

Stop Day Party with Jackoffs / Nik Parr and the Selfless Lovers / LYXE

Replay Lounge | May 5

Full disclosure: This is an I Heart Local Music sponsored event.

One of the best emerging bands over the last year that we’ve seen is Jackoffs. They’re everything the scene wants from a young punk band: rowdy, physical, and fast as hell. They headline a Stop Day party for the students this month at Replay, and we’re sure to see a lot of thrashing and maybe even a pit (*clutches pearl* a pit? In the REPLAY??). They’ll be joined by Texas party kids Nik Parr and the Selfless lovers (check them out if you love rowdy sax solos) and local favorites LYXE.

RIYL: Dead Kennedys, Radkey, The Sluts

Whips with the band that saved the world granada

The Whips and The Band That Saved The World

The Granada | May 12

We’re pretty jazzed (heh) about this one, folks. If you like shows that strictly feature local bands in their natural habitats and conjure up the craziest parties, this is the show for you. In what is indisputably a perfect match, The Whips are teaming up with The Band That Saved The World for a party for the ages just in time for the semester to end. Before you walk down the hill, saunter over to the Granada for a night of funk and dance music. The Whips are a young band that worked their way up through the ranks in Lawrence and have delivered one thrilling and energetic show after another. What’s even more impressive is how well-loved they are, constantly pulling in large crowds who keep the energy all night. There’s a reason we called them “Baby Band That Saved The World,” and now they’re teaming up together for this night of dance and merriment. Unless you’re allergic to fun, you won’t regret going to this show.

RIYL: Partying

Manor Fest 2023

Manor Fest 5

Gaslight Gardens / The Replay / Lucia / White Schoolhouse | May 19 – 20

Every year, someone puts together a big festival that takes place across several venues, featuring only local acts… and every year, it’s an absolute banger. Manor Fest is returning once again with an impressive lineup that’s pretty hefty. Organized by KC record label Manor Records, you can expect to see bands from the label sharing stages across Lawrence on May 19th and 20th, followed by their KC showcases the next weekend.

This is one of those can’t-miss events for the year, so get your wristbands now. We were overwhelmingly impressed with how well-structured the event was last year, particularly how it introduced newer acts to wider audiences.

Dunes Day by Fally Afani

Dunes Day at Manor Fest by Fally Afani

The schedule, which has always featured the rowdiest and most energetic bands, is as follows:

Friday, May 19

Replay Lounge Patio - 5:00 p.m.

  • Pure XTC
  • CS Luxem
  • Heidi Gluck

Lucia - 7:00 p.m.

  • The Distant Now
  • The Moose
  • The Creepy Jingles

Replay Lounge - 10:00 p.m.

  • Parry
  • Saving Miles Lemon
  • Scabb
  • Eggs on Mars

Saturday, May 20

Gaslight Gardens - 5:00 p.m.

  • Teri Quinn
  • Forest Porridge
  • Kirstie Lynn & Galen Clark

White Schoolhouse - 7:00 p.m.

  • Liney Blu
  • Ebony Tusks

Replay Lounge - 10:00 p.m.

  • Dunes Day (pictured above)
  • Pale Tongue
  • Abandoncy

RIYL: Supporting your local music scene, seeing diverse acts

Thelma and the Sleaze

Thelma and The Sleaze / Mellowphobia

The Bottleneck | May 24

Thelma and The Sleaze (cool band name) are in the midst of a spring tour, which ends at The Bottleneck just as we’re ready to head into the summer months. The grungy, bluesy, attitude-for-days band are possibly Nashville’s most well-known all-female, queer Southern rock band. They’ll be sharing the stage with Lawrence’s Mellowphobia, and we’re just saying this is an excellent way to get ready for PRIDE month (more on that in a later post). 

RIYL: The Coathangers, The Detroit Cobras, The White Stripes

Other events to keep on your radar:

Wayne Gottstine

Replay Lounge | May 5


Opal Agafia / Unfit Wives

The Bottleneck | May 5


The Black Dahlia Murder

The Granada | May 6


Steamboat Revival / Whisky Mash

Lucia | May 6



Gaslight Gardens | May 6


Cinco de Mayo with Maria the Mexican

Replay Lounge | May 7


Cryin’ Out Loud

Lucia | May 7



Liberty Hall | May 14



The Granada | May 19


Cory Phillips and the Band of Light

Lucia | May 20


Skating Polly / The Cavves / Lord Friday the 13th

Replay Lounge | May 20


Fenne Lilly / Christian Lee Hutson

The Bottleneck | May 22


Kepi Ghoulie / White Line Nightmares / The Scriveners

Replay Lounge | May 23


The Wailers

The Bottleneck | May 30


Cover Photo: Pale Tongue at Manor Fest by John Knepper

Live Music Calendar