This is your guide to the best live music both in the city and throughout the suburbs... This weekend, the American Mustache Institute celebrates it's love of the male upper lip tickler in Chicago at 'Stache Bash 2011, Paul Oakenfold hits the Congress Theater, Widespread Panic take up residence in the city, and the suburbs step up their game with area performances by Jerry Seinfeld, George Jones, Herbie Hancock and Cyndi Lauper. All of this plus much more...
In The City…
The American Mustache Institute's 'Stache Bash 2011 (8PM on Friday 10/28 at Joe's Bar on Weed St. $30, 21+) - Features open bar from 8PM to midnight and musical performances by The Flavor Savers and U.S. Air Guitar Champion Romeo Dance Cheetah (as well as a scheduled appearance from Milwaukee Brewers pitcher John Axford) to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG. Fresh off of their Thursday night "Occupy The Upper Lip" march on Wicker Park, the prestigious American Mustache Institute arrives in Chicago to celebrate our city's rich history of facial hair (think along the lines of Mike Ditka, Joel Quenneville, Andre Dawson and various seventies and eighties news anchors). A great opportunity for the clean shaven and lip adorned communities of Chicago to join together and get drunk for a great cause in celebration of the fact that Chicago was recently named "America's Most Mustache-Friendly City" by the AMI. Costumes are highly encouraged.
Paul Van Dyck and Paul Oakenfold (8PM Friday at Congress Theater. $25-85, 17+) - R3hab, Mixin Marc and more open. Oakenfold remains one of house and dance's most popular DJ's and this is a rare chance to see one of the genre's best in Chicago.
Shelby Lynne (9PM Friday at Lincoln Hall. $35, 21+) - Lynne's new album Revelation Road comes out on November 18th and it is easily her most intimate and personal to date (as the All Music Guide puts it, the song "Heaven's Only Days Down the Road" directly addresses "the killing of her mother by her father before he committed suicide in front of Lynne and her sister, Allison Moorer-Earle" in 1986. Heavy stuff to put it mildly). I heard an incredibly touching NPR feature on Lynne and the album earlier this week and if that was any indication, this show (billed as "An Evening With Shelby Lynne") could be a quite moving experience.
White Mystery with JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound (9PM Friday at Double Door. $12, 21+) - Satan’s Youth Ministers and DJ Sloppy White open. White Mystery rock. The duo's take on punk is rich in seventies influence and drenched in fuzz and distortion that should not be missed. JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound celebrate the release of their Tuesday debut on Bloodshot Records (Want More ) at this record release party.
Widespread Panic (7PM Friday 10/28 and Saturday 10/29 at the Chicago Theatre. SOLD OUT) - It's that time of year... one of the "jam band" genre's better offerings, Widespread is heavy not just on jamming but on jazz and blues influences too. Plus they can rock a bit.
Robert Randolph & The Family Band with The Steepwater Band (8PM Saturday at Park West. $36) - Speaking of blues influences, Robert Randolph's live shows are always a blast. Prepare for pedal steel fueled blues-rock that's funky and soulful.
Screeching Weasel with The Queers (7PM Saturday at Reggie’s Rock Club. 17+, SOLD OUT) - The Seething Coast open. With the possible exception of Naked Raygun, Screeching Weasel may just be Chicago's finest contribution to punk music. While it's always a triumph to find Ben Weasel performing live at all, the real triumph is that he finally has new music to play. First World Manifesto was released in March (the band's first new album since 2000) and a new EP appears to be on its way too... And ladies, if you play your cards right on Saturday, maybe Ben won't punch you in the face.
Joan Baez with Dirk Powell (7:30PM Sunday 10/30 at Symphony Center. $20-45) -Baez's Chicago appearance couldn't have been better timed with the protests and activism seen of late with the "Occupy" movement taking place throughout the country. The master of the protest song, Baez remains one of music's more socially conscious aritsts.
Plain White T’s (5:30PM Sunday at House of Blues. $34, All Ages) – The Summer Set, The Downtown Fiction and Allison Park open. I first saw the Plain White T's with Ness opening up for Loud Lucy at Double Door in 1998 (At least I think it was 1998) and I remain as impressed by them today as I was then. Don't penalize the band for being able to craft a hook ("Hey There, Delilah") because it's a small window into a larger world of what the band is capable of (a melodic and fun brand of punk-pop).
Sebadoh (8PM Sunday at Schubas. $20, 21+) - Lou Barlow's lo-fi, experimental, Dinosaur Jr. spinoff was nothing if not interesting. While they haven't released anything new since 1999, it should still be fun (and loud) to hear the band in such intimate confines.
*** For more info on Chicagoland Halloween happenings, click HERE ***
In The Suburbs…
“From Memphis To Mardi Gras” with Cyndi Lauper & Dr. John (8PM Friday 10/28 at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. $66-76) - While it costs entirely too much, I'm actually intrigued by this pairing. I saw Dr. John in 2001 at The Riv and was blown away. Cyndi Lauper has never been afraid to take chances. This might not be so bad.
Jerry Seinfeld (2 shows on Friday at 7:30PM and 9PM at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. $74-89) - Why do shows in the suburbs cost so much?
Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds (8PM Friday at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville, Indiana. $56-116) - Soulful, slow music that would be better suited for Valentine's Day than Halloween. Nevertheless, this man is responsible for a nearly incomprehensible number of hits.
George Jones (8PM on Saturday 10/29 at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan. $44-87) - Always the rebel, Jones' well documented personal demons have caused him to miss many the show over the years. At 80 years of age, it is anyone's guess what kind of show to expect from the godfather of country music.
Herbie Hancock (8PM Saturday at Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center of North Central College in Naperville. $85-95) - Born in Chicago, here's a guy who has dabbled in just about everything during his career (jazz, electronic, funk, etc.). Did you know he's 71 years old? Me neither. Do you think he'll play "Rockit?" Find out Saturday in Naperville.
Neil Sedaka (8PM Saturday at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. $49-89) - Seriously, why do shows in the suburbs cost so much? Anyone? Hello?