This is your guide to catching great live music both in the city and throughout the suburbs. This weekend metal royalty descends upon Libertyville with Down, synth-pop masters Erasure stop at the Congress Theater and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Lindsey Buckingham takes a break from Fleetwood Mac for a show at The Vic. All of this and much more...
In The City...
World Music Festival - The 13th annual festival features artists from more than thirty countries performing fifty-two shows at twenty-two venues across the city over a period of eight days between Thursday, September 15th and Thursday, September 22nd. I saw Illinois-born banjo player Abigail Washburn perform a set with Bela Fleck in 2007 at the Auditorium Theatre and she brought a compelling stage presence and contemporary take to an instrument that is often overlooked. Catch her on Tuesday, September 20th FREE at the Chicago Cultural Center (noon) or at Martyr's (8PM, $15, 21+).
Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements Fest (Friday, September 16th, Saturday, September 17th, Sunday, September 18th in Eckhart Park, $20 per day) - I'm not sure if this first time festival will be any good but it's definitely interesting as it will apparently attempt to pair musical performances with contortionists, trapeze artists, acrobats, carnival rides and more to create an "adult playground" (The festival's website says that "The ability to let oneself go and be enthralled by a brilliant moment of entertainment and spectacle is at the heart of human experience."). Interesting electronic artist Dan Deacon performs on Sunday at 7PM while the infamous Steve Albini surfaces for a rare set with Shellac at 9PM.
Guinness Oyster Fest (Saturday and Sunday at Roscoe and Damen - $7 per day) - Beer, oysters and (bad) music. Alien Ant Farm will perform their bad Michael Jackson cover on Friday while Saturday gets slightly more interesting (via time machine back to 1983) with The Human League and Men Without Hats. Hard to turn down a live performance of "The Safety Dance" for only $7. Drink lots of Guinness... it will sound better.
Erasure (Friday and Saturday at the Congress Theater - $35-$100 per night or $60 for a two day pass. Doors at 8PM, 17+) - Ever see the Erasure episode of Scrubs? Please. Give me a little respect.
Kings Go Forth (Friday at Double Door, 9PM. $12. 21+) - This ten-piece Milwaukee group is the latest in a soul/funk revival that sees them join the likes of Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Fitz & The Tantrums and more. It may very well reach 200 degrees inside the Double Door on Friday and should be one heck of a night of live music.
Freelance Whales (Saturday, 7PM. FREE to the first 400 people in line outside Empty Bottle over 21 years of age with a printout of their online registration. CLICK HERE for more details) - As announced by this blog on Tuesday, Freelance Whales will be participating in Eventbrite's Concert Confidential: 5 Cities. 5 Causes. 1 Night. The series features five FREE concerts taking place simultaneously in five different cities all to benefit charity (in Chicago that charity is Rock For Kids). It will be interesting to see how many of their myriad instruments Freelance Whales will be able to fit onstage at Empty Bottle.
Madinah Lake (Saturday at Metro, 6PM. $13 or $9 with a student ID. All ages) - The band hits Metro in support of their new album World War III (an album featuring a bit of help from Billy Corgan) which was released on Tuesday. On June 30, 2010, bassist Matthew Leone tried to help a woman he saw being beaten on a Chicago street. Leone was in turn beaten and for his troubles ended up hospitalized with a broken jaw, broken nose and fractured skull and was in a coma for several days. The new album deals with the band's turbulent year and the live show should be a triumphant evening of live music (with Greek Fire, The Lifeline, Stay Golden, and So Many Ways opening). The fact that Matthew Leone is playing live with his bandmantes is hands down the best thing happening on a Chicago stage this weekend.
Lindsey Buckingham (Sunday at The Vic Theatre, 7:30PM. $66.66) - Lindsey Buckingham is obviously best know for his work in Fleetwood Mac but the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is a very underrated guitarist who has been fairly prolific as a solo artist of late having released four albums since 2006. His solo version of "Go Your Own Way" needs to be seen to be believed. What's up with that?
In the Suburbs...
Down (Austin's Fuel Room in Libertyville on Friday - 7PM. Only $80 VIP tickets remain) - Metal royalty descends upon... Libertyville. Interesting choice. A metal supergroup consisting of Pantera's Phil Anselmo and Corrosion of Conformity's Pepper Keenan, Down records only sporadically (having released three albums since 1995). That said, the band never fails to disappoint live and I can tell you from past experience that Phil Anselmo can appear certifiably insane at times onstage.
Oaktoberfest (Friday and Saturday in downtown Oak Park) - A celebration of live music, food, fine wine and craft beers. Amen. Cathy Richardson & The Macrodots on Friday, Robbie Fulks on Saturday and more.
Filed under: Weekend Music Spotlight