We’re all fans of the weekend, but this weekend is a fan’s dream.
Devotees of disparate diversions will have their ways with roots music, tattoos, science fiction, cult comedy, classic rock and more. Is it possible that any one person out there could be into it all?
Ooh. Call me a fan of that!
More than 60 roots music acts will regale on two stages at this fifth annual back-to-basics shindig in historic Westport. Whether you’re a rowdy roll ’n’ roller, howling honky-tonker or bucolic bluegrass believer, you’ll find something to be a fan of. My pick: Husband-and-wife duo Cole Michael Porter and Kendra Porter from Springfield, Missouri, who call themselves Porter Union. When they kick into “Don’t Look at Me,” the lead track to their 2017 eponymously titled debut album, just try not flashing on George and Tammy. Ah, tradition.
Friday, 7 p.m. (pre-party)-Sunday, 11:55 p.m.; Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $40 ($70 Saturday/Sunday pass, $10 Friday pre-party pass)
Serious tattoo fans need three days to flesh out all of the body-art possibilities at the Kansas City Tattoo Arts Convention. The fourth annual confab includes a horde of tattoo product vendors (in case you’re running low on antiseptic lotion or lip piercing needles), celebrity tattoo artists creating live tats, tattoo seminars, tattoo sideshows (use your imagination) and tattoo contests, including awards for best portraits, best leg sleeve and best chest and back pieces. So much for sporting a simple “Mother” on your shoulder.
Friday, 2 p.m.-midnight; Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, 2345 McGee St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20 ($40 three-day pass), free for ages 11 and younger.
3. ConQuest 49
The 49th edition of the region’s longest-running annual science fiction and fantasy convention this year includes panel discussions on the 50th anniversaries of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Planet of the Apes.” Other topics to be wrestled with among curious aficionados of well-organized make-believe: “Star Trek,” “Dr. Who,” “The Walking Dead,” “Jurassic Park,” “Frankenstein 200 Years Later” and “The Best of Saturday Morning TV.” (For the record, I was always partial to “Jonny Quest.”) Plus loads of gaming, cosplay and author events. Geek out!
Friday, Saturday and Sunday; Sheraton Kansas City Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center, 2345 McGee St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $30-$65; $15-$25 for ages 6-12.
He lives in Los Angeles, but veteran comedian David Koechner has made a name for himself in Kansas City as a co-host of the annual Big Slick Celebrity Weekend charity event sponsored by Children’s Mercy Hospital. Currently on his “Symphony of Chaos” stand-up comedy tour, Koechner started out on “Saturday Night Live” and became a familiar face thanks to more than 160 movie and TV appearances. And, yes, if you’re an “Anchorman” fan, that’s him with Will Ferrell as nutso throwback TV sportscaster Champ Kind, who’s always raring to whip out his ever-ready catch phrase, “Whammy!” See him twice this weekend and make it a double whammy.
Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m.; Saturday, 7 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 7 p.m.; Kansas City Improv Comedy Club at Zona Rosa, 7260 N.W. 87th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20-$50.
Rock and Roll 101: Everyone should experience Cheap Trick performing their killer song, “Surrender,” in concert at least once. And their killer song, “Dream Police.” And their killer song, “California Man.” And … well, you see where I’m going with this: Power-pop band extraordinaire Cheap Trick is a must-see if you’re any kind of fan of the whole ecstatic rock thing. And, of course, you should be. So if you’ve never seen Cheap Trick live – and if you have, you already know all this – catch these fantastically melodic noisemakers (and 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees) sandwiched between Pop Evil and Poison on Friday night at Sprint Center. And enjoy the rest of the show, too – if you must.
Friday, 7 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $22-$122.
Tap fan? Bring your tap shoes or just have a ball watching others rhythmically occupy theirs as led by Kansas City’s own tap-dancing legend, Billie Mahoney. The audience-participation show is in honor of National Tap Dance Day (May 25), so named by the U.S. Congress to honor the birthday of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Heel-toe your way to tap heaven!
Friday, 7 p.m.; Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $5.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3.