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Five Reasons to Visit Boulevardia 2018

Above image: Tech N9ne headlines Boulevardia on Friday, June 15. | Photo: Adrenaline PR

From a tasting with 58 breweries and local eateries to a makers market and that picturesque ferris wheel, there won’t be any shortage of entertainment and refreshment options at this weekend’s fifth annual Boulevardia. Of course, there’s also the music. Check out five of our top musical options.

Friday’s Boulevard Main Stage Lineup

At least in my opinion, Friday night’s lineup is one of the best and most diverse you’ll ever find in the city. KC funk-soul masters The MGDs kick off the festivities at 5:30 p.m., warming the crowd up for the national acts that will follow. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear starts at 6:40 p.m., playing a hometown show before heading out on extensive tours with Lake Street Dive and The Record Company. Manchester Orchestra follows at 8:20 p.m., whose album, “A Black Mile To The Surface,” was a personal favorite of 2017. Hometown and independent hip-hop favorite Tech N9ne will round out the festivities at 9:45 p.m. He recently announced a beer collaboration with Boulevard — a pineapple and coconut-infused unfiltered wheat beer called Boulevard Bou Lou — and 16 oz. cans will debut at Boulevardia this weekend.



Alicia Solo

From her days as the frontwoman of The Beautiful Bodies and keyboardist for Pixel Panda, Alicia Solo established herself as a striking, ambitious artist. Last year, she broke out as a solo performer with “Solo,” a three-song EP of kinetic dance-pop songs, and crafted a commanding stage show to go along with it. She also recently released a video where she interviewed people from her world travels about what it means to be happy. Check it out below, and hear more about it on her Eight One Sixty interview. Solo takes the Guy’s Homegrown Stage at 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, June 16.



Run With It

This Kansas City-based trio has a positively peppy spirit that permeates through soaring pop tunes, and a commitment to building a dedicated, enthusiastic fanbase. If you’re looking for a stage show with eye-popping theatrics and fist-pumping anthems, check out Run With It on the Vineborough Stage at 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 16. The group recently announced its breakup, and this will be one of its final Kansas City shows.



Durand Jones and the Indications

What started as an evening of friends jamming at a house party has turned into a national success story. The group, formed by friends at Indiana University, recorded its 2016 self-titled debut with a budget of only $452.11 (which included beer) and a karaoke mic. Since then, Durand Jones & the Indications has garnered acclaim from NPR, Paste and Billboard and performed on stages like Bonnaroo and SXSW. Led by saxophonist-turned-singer Durand Jones, the collective channels a smooth vintage soul sound, and will be performing on the Guy’s Homegrown Stage at 9:20 p.m. on Saturday, right after Alicia Solo.



Silent Disco

If you’d rather dance to some soul, hip-hop or trance tracks, you might be interested in the Silent Disco. Head near the Vineborough Stage to get a load of this experience, where a number of local DJs — including DJs Thundercutz, Rico, Sheppa, Ashton Martin and more — will be spinning tunes that you can only hear with a pair of bluetooth headphones. Basically, you don your headphones, and choose a station. The headphones will light up with a corresponding color, allowing you to see who else is listening to the same station as you. For a full schedule and lineup of what’s happening Boulevardia, visit its website.

—Michelle Bacon writes about music for 90.9 The Bridge and plays bass and drums in bands. If you’re out at Boulevardia this weekend, she’ll be playing bass with Heidi Lynne Gluck and The Pony Show on Friday night at 6 p.m. on the Vineborough Stage.