Concert Review: “Croce Plays Croce”


  • A.J. CROCE
  • The Kauffman Center, Kansas City, MO
  • April 13, 2024


“And I carry it with me like my daddy did.”

“I Got a Name” – Jim Croce


I remember when Michael Douglas won his Oscar for “Wall Street” he thanked his dad for allowing him to “step out of a shadow.”  In the history of singer/songwriters, very few people left a shadow as large as that of Jim Croce.  In a tragically shortened career that lasted less than two years, Croce wrote and performed some of the most popular songs of the 20th Century.  His son, A.J., following in his father’s footsteps, has become an influential singer/songwriter of this century.  This past Saturday night, the two centuries converged on the Kauffman Center as, to paraphrase the name of the tour, Croce played Croce.


The show opened with a film clip of Jim Croce talking about his young son, Adrian James, asking his wife, Ingrid, to “bring him out.”  With that introduction, A.J. took the stage and, for the next two and a half hours, kept the audience grooving with a combination of songs by himself, his father and some of his musical heroes.


Musically, the show was flawless.  Mr. Croce is an accomplished musician and, along with his backup band made up of some amazing session players, he rocked the house.  But even better then the music were the stories Mr. Croce shared with the audience.  Stores about his father.  Stories about his own musical journey.  A highlight was when he opened the show up to the audience, encouraging them to shout out titles of songs they wanted to hear, Mr. Croce and the band obliging them.  The songs were presented with a variety of videos, featuring everything from family films of his father to an animated cartoon of “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown,” which I can remember watching as a kid on “The Sonny and Cher Show.”


While I could not grab a set list, both Croce’s catalogues were well represented.  A great story about Rod Stewart evolved into a kick-ass version of “Stay with Me.”  Another musical highlight was “Name of the Game,” a song Jim Croce was working on before he passed that A.J. finished.


All in all, it was an amazing night filled with amazing music.  One I highly recommend.  On a scale of zero to five, “Croce Plays Croce” receives ★★★★


“Croce plays Croce’ continues though the end of the year.  For tickets, please click HERE.   

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