Best events in KC July 2023

Legally Blonde. Photo courtesy of Starlight Theatre.
Break Free
Breakaway music festival. Courtesy image.

The national touring Breakaway Festival returns to KC for the second year in a row, bringing some of the biggest names in electronic dance music, along with festival favorites like silent disco, food trucks, outdoor bars and other fun summertime activities.

Breakaway originated in Columbus, Ohio, and co-founder Adam Lynn says the cities are comparable—expanding the festival to KC was a no-brainer. “We don’t have a Coachella or Lollapalooza, so why don’t we have something really cool like this? Breakaway is more of a smaller, homegrown exciting event. We just wanted to bring something here for our friends and the local community.”

Like last year, Breakaway will be held in Azura Amphitheater along with other special stages built just for the festival. “There will definitely be an act that you want to see playing at all times,” Lynn says. “We try to really tap into the local community as well and curate a little food village of good local cuisines. It’s become a national festival, but we’re keeping it cool and localized.”

The festival includes dozens of performances by national big-name electronic dance music festival artists like GRiZ and Zedd, as well as local KC DJs. 

Audien, a Grammy-nominated DJ, producer and musician, will also be performing at Breakaway, citing it as one of his favorite festivals because it’s where he and other DJs can try new, more experimental sounds that fans may not be expecting.

“I personally love Breakaway specifically because I always love festivals that blend different styles of music in one place,” Audien says. “It’s never boring, it’s never the same artists over and over again. I love versatile festivals like this, and it’s just a good, open-minded crowd.”

Young the Giant

July 1. 7 pm.

Irvine-based rock band Young the Giant has been playing catchy pop-rock for nearly two decades. In the mid-2010s, they gained widespread fame with radio hits like “Mind Over Matter” and “Cough Syrup.” July 1. 7 pm. Starlight Theatre.

Fleet Foxes

July 1. 8 pm.

Seattle indie-folk band Fleet Foxes has been a staple in the scene for fifteen years. The band released their fourth critically acclaimed album, Shore, in 2020, which received the most praise of any album they’ve released in the last decade and even earned a Grammy nom. They’re hitting KC on tour in support of the album. July 1. 8 pm. The Midland Theatre

Between the Buried and Me

July 2. 7:30 pm. 

Progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me formed in 2000 in Raleigh, North Carolina, slowly cementing themselves as one of the most important bands of their genre, especially for then-teen millennials. In 2015, their album Coma Ecliptic garnered them critical and commercial success. Now, they are on tour promoting their sprawling two-part album Automata I and II, which promises a wide scope of visual accompaniment. July 2. 7:30 pm. The Truman.

Taylor Swift

July 7–8.

Mega popstar Taylor Swift made headlines last fall following the announcement of her highly sought after Eras tour, when scalpers’ reselling caused prices to balloon for hopeful fans and lawsuits were filed over Ticketmaster’s price-gouging. The dust has settled, and Swift’s performing a two-night stint at Arrowhead, where she previously played in 2011 and 2018. Now, she will be performing all the hits from her repertoire. July 7, 6:30 pm; July 8, 6:30 pm. GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

Legally Blonde
Photo courtesy of Starlight Theatre.

July 7–9, July 11–13, 8 pm.

This fun award-winning musical is based off the film of the same name. Legally Blonde the musical follows the transformation of sorority girl Elle Woods as she faces adversity in pursuit of her dreams. July 7–9, 8 pm; July 11–13, 8 pm. Starlight Theatre.

Gogol Bordello

July 11. 8 pm.

American punk-rock band Gogol Bordello has been polarizing audiences since they formed in Manhattan over two decades ago. Composed of a vast array of musicians from around the world—including violinists and accordion players—the band’s sound is influenced by Romani music with elements from punk and dub, though they are now most known for their neverending touring and surprisingly theatrical concerts. July 11. 8 pm. The Truman.

Breakaway Music Festival
July 14–15. 5 pm.

Part of a popular tour across the country, Breakaway festival brings some of the biggest names in electronic dance music, including GRiZ and Zedd, along with festival favorites like silent disco, food trucks, outdoor bars and other fun summertime activities. July 14–15. 5 pm. Azura Amphitheater.

Tears for Fears

July 14. 7:30 pm. 

British pop-rock group Tears for Fears gained widespread fame in the mid-eighties with their 1985 album Songs from the Big Chair, which contained universally known songs like “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout.” July 14. 7:30 pm. Starlight Theatre.

Dave Koz & Friends: Summer Horns 2023 

July 15. 7:30 pm.

L.A. native saxophonist Dave Koz pays tribute to the richly arranged horn sections that served as the backdrop for sixties and seventies hits. After serving as a band member and leader on The Arsenio Hall Show and Emeril Live, Koz now plays, records and tours with various bands. He’ll be joined by Candy Dulfer and Eric Darius for the KC performance. July 15. 7:30 pm. Kauffman Theatre.

Killer Queen

July 16. 7 pm.

Killer Queen is a world-renowned Queen tribute band—and the only tribute band to have played and sold out the same arenas as Queen. They are making their way across the pond to play the iconic hits of the legendary band. July 16. 7 pm. Uptown Theater.


July 18. 7 pm.

British-American rock band Foreigner originally formed in New York City nearly fifty years ago.  Guitarist Mick Jones, original King Crimson member Ian McDonald and vocalist Lou Gramm still want to know what love is. July 18. 7 pm. Starlight Theatre.

Shania Twain

July 19. 7:30 pm.

Country music queen Shania Twain is embarking on her first tour in nearly half a decade, the global, forty-nine-date Queen of Me tour. Mickey Guyton will be joining Twain as she performs her iconic, enduringly popular hits. Let’s go, girls! July 19. 7:30 pm. T-Mobile Center.

The Smile

July 19. 8 pm.

English rock band The Smile isn’t familiar to many, but it’s composed of members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of uber-popular band Radiohead. Tom Skinner joins on drums along with longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. For many longtime fans, this will be the first time they are able to see the members of the band play live together—but this time the music is much more free and wild, incorporating elements of post-punk, progressive rock, Afrobeat and electronic music. July 19. 8 pm. The Midland Theatre.

Michael Rapaport

July 21  &  22, 7 p.m. & 9:45 pm.

New Yorker Michael Rapaport has been on the scene for over thirty years, making over one hundred appearances in various movies and TV shows. Most recently, his stints on shows like Atypical and Only Murders in the Building, along with his divisive podcast “I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast,” have proven his enduring sense of humor and rough and rugged charm. July 21 & 22, 7 p.m. and 9:45 pm. Improv Comedy Club.

Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles 

July 21–23. 8 pm.

Theatrical production Rain, a Beatles tribute, has been around longer than the Beatles band itself. The immersive show gives audiences the experience of seeing the classic songs performed live that were never done so by the actual band, along with theatrical rain effects. July 21–23. 8 pm. Starlight Theatre.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Ziggy Marley 

July 22. 6:30 pm.

This co-headlining summer tour features Trombone Shorty, the New Orleans native who is best known as a classic-style trombone and trumpet player, along with his supporting band, Orleans Avenue. Ziggy Marley, son of icon Bob Marley, is continuing his father’s legacy performing reggae. July 22. 6:30 pm. Grinders.

Ann Wilson

July 22. 8 pm. 

Ann Wilson, the legendary singer of Heart, is embarking on her U.S. tour following her 2022 solo album, Fierce Bliss. Inspired by icon Janis Joplin, Wilson has become an influential rock star all her own, with one of the most powerful vocal ranges in music. Blending rock, pop and folk music, the result is an enduring, versatile sound. July 22. 8 pm. Uptown Theater.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

July 24. 6:30 pm.

Jacksonville-based blues-rock group Tedeschi Trucks Band only formed in 2010, but the band has a classic, almost vintage sound. Their debut album, Revelator, won a Grammy, and the band has since released five studio and three live albums. July 24. 6:30 pm. Kansas City Music Hall.

1776: The Musical

July 25–30. 8 pm.

Based on the book by Peter Stone, 1776 is a musical with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards. The show is based on John Adams’ pursuit for independence and the events that led up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. July 25–30. 8 pm. Starlight Theatre.

Photography by Emily Butler

July 27. 7:30 pm.

Formed in Topeka fifty years ago, Kansas has cemented itself as one of the most iconic classic rock bands in America. Made famous by hits like “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind,” Kansas is coming back home for their fiftieth anniversary tour. July 27. 7:30 pm. The Midland Theatre.

An Orchestral Rendition of Dr. Dre: 2001

July 29. 8:30 pm. 

This immersive experience melds genres along with stunning visuals to bring a live orchestral rendition of Dr. Dre’s iconic album 2001. 2001 was Dr. Dre’s second album, a striking difference from his universally beloved debut album, The Chronic. This modern orchestra composed of Dr. Dre fans include trumpets, horns, strings, drums, DJs and live vocalists to bring the hits in a way fans haven’t heard before. July 29. 8:30 pm. The Truman.

Rock of Ages 

July 30. 3:30 pm.

This musical takes the audience on a journey back to the big-hair bands of the eighties with the story of a small-town girl and a city boy. Rock of Ages’ rocking score features favorite rock anthems like “I Wanna Know What Love Is” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.” July 30. 3:30 pm. The Warwick Theatre.

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