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Stripped Down

Freedom Festival fans are liberated -- from their clothes.

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SAT 7/2

The folks at Jerry's Bait Shop don't demand that patrons remove their clothes after they get drunk. The atmosphere just seems to merit it. "We don't have to encourage them," says manager Christian Ragen. "It's in the air. It just happens that way. That's why we love it here." It's why we love it there, too -- so much so that we're headed to the Bait Shop (13412 Santa Fe Trail in Lenexa) Saturday for Freedom Festival 2005, a pre-Fourth of July celebration. The family-oriented part of the festival starts at 4:30 p.m. and includes a dunk tank and motorcycle rally, but at 6 p.m., after the stroller-and-diaper-bag crowd goes home, the music kicks off with '60s cover band Voodoo Kitchen, followed by '70s cover band Steel Creek, then '80s tunes from Drew Six and '90s hits from Seattle. The party culminates with a 10 p.m. performance by local pop band National Fire Theory. Call 913-894-9676 for more information. -- Todd Broockerd

Catch a Buzz
Darling Buds of May

TUE 7/5

When KRBZ 96.5 (the Buzz) unveiled the lineup for its first-ever Buzz Beach Ball concert, we were happy that the radio station had included a handful of hometown bands -- and not surprised that the roster included Veda, given afternoon personality Lazlo's big, fat crush on lead singer Kristen May. We gotta admit, we agree with him. Weezer headlines; Cake, Straylight Run, Story of the Year, Embrace and Veda's KC cohorts Elevator Division and Flee the Seen also perform. The show starts at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (633 North 130th Street in Bonner Springs). Tickets are $15-$29.50; call Ticketmaster at 816-931-3330. -- Annie Fischer

Hot Tropic

MON 7/4

Hawaiian luaus can get wild, with the consumption of curiously strong umbrella drinks leading to provocative hula dances accompanied by slack-key-guitar numbers -- tunes that also serenade sun-drunk nappers in poolside chairs. But tropical melodies just don't translate to parties that aren't set in paradise. So Knuckleheads Saloon (2700 Rochester, 816-483-6320) plans to combine exotic pageantry -- including sword swallowers and a pig roast -- with predictably grease-stained riffs at its Rockabilly Luau picnic. And we hear that headliner Wayne "the Train" Hancock, a honky-tonk showman who yodels like an Old West ghost and sweats right through his vintage shirts, will do anything to kick-start a shindig. The $15 show, which starts at 2 p.m. Monday, also includes the Silvermen, whose surf-and-turf sound blends wave-riding ax work and garage grit; Johnny Switchblade and the Rumblejetts; Paulie Bluenotes and the Dukes; and Little Rachel. -- Andrew Miller

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