This is your guide to catching the best live music both in the city and throughout the suburbs... This weekend, forget shopping and spend Black Friday in the city with Umphrey's McGee or Ike Reilly, Kid Rock hits up House of Blues and the eighties continue their stranglehold on the suburbs with area appearances from Jackyl and Eddie Money. All of this plus much more...
In The City...
Umphrey's McGee (8PM Black Friday 11/25 and Saturday 11/26 at the Aragon Ballroom. $46, 18+) - Beats Antique open. Chicago's own jam band always delivers in the live setting and is more than capable of rocking a bit too.
The Ike Reilly Assassination (9PM Friday at Double Door. $20, 21+) - Miles Nielsen and Musikanto open. One of the city's most underrated songwriters, Ike's acerbic wit will be on full display on Friday.
Corey Taylor (10PM Saturday at Double Door. $25, 21+) - This appearance by the Slipknot and Stone Sour member features an acoustic performance, some spoken word and a Q&A session.
John Doe (8PM Saturday at Old Town School of Folk Music) - Amy LaVere opens. The founding member of seminal eighties punk band X, Doe is touring in support of his August release Keeper. Influenced by punk, country and more, LaVere couldn't be a more appropriate opener.
Kid Rock (9PM Saturday at House of Blues. SOLD OUT, 21+) - Ty Stone opens. I've never been a huge fan of Kid's music... But this is most certainly a man who could be playing a much larger venue for a much higher fee (tickets were only $49) so I respect his choice to play a rare show in such a small venue. This will be loud and fun.
The Kooks (8PM Saturday at the Vic Theatre. SOLD OUT, All Ages) - The Postelles open. The Kooks' "Junk of the Heart (Happy)" has become a fairly ubiquitous hit of late... See if they can pull it off live on Saturday.
Markéta Irglová of The Swell Season (9PM Saturday at Lincoln Hall. $20, 21+) - Sean Rowe opens. One half of The Swell Season, Irglová's mesmerizing vocals will sparkle amidst the outstanding acoustics of Lincoln Hall.
Peter Murphy (8PM Saturday at Metro. $31, 18+) - She Wants Revenge and Hussle Club open. The former Bauhaus frontman is back at Metro in support of his well-received June release Ninth.
State and Madison (Annual Fall Formal, 7:30PM Saturday at Beat Kitchen. $10, All Ages) - Tommy & The High Pilots, The Super Happy Fun Club, and South Jordan also on the bill. Crunchy guitar, catchy hooks... good luck leaving Beat Kitchen without a song stuck in your head.
In The Suburbs...
Cathy Richardson's "Wheel of Fortune" (9PM Black Friday 11/25 at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn. $15, 21+) - The Big Ditties open. One of Chicago's best singers, Cathy has been a busy lady with her solo material, duties as lead vocalist in Jefferson Starship and new material in the works with The Macrodots (a band she formed with former Scandal guitarist Zack Smith) so it's nice to have her back at home in Chicago.
Heavily influenced by Elvis Costello's "Singing Songbook" tours, Cathy explained to me on the phone last weekend that this show will be quite heavy on audience participation and will work to raise money and awareness for Coat Angels. So jump on the Blue Line and head out to Berwyn. I'll see you there.
Jackyl (8PM Friday at Austin's Fuel Room in Libertyville. $15-25, 21+) - The Nigel Dupree Band opens. A hair band that hit it big about ten years after hair metal's day in the sun and gave us timeless classics like "Down on Me." I wonder if they still do the chainsaw solo? Let's hope so.
The Temptations (8PM Friday at Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville. $51-61, All Ages) - Jimmie "JJ" Walker and Terisa Griffin open. Catch the legendary group's choreographed moves, rich harmonies and funky take on pop Friday night. And from what I hear, the opening act is DYNOMITE!
The Lettermen (3PM Sunday 11/27 at McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. $34-69, All Ages) - A favorite of Brian Wilson, The Lettermen have been delivering their fine vocal harmonies for over fifty years.
The Tommy Castro Band (8PM Sunday at SPACE in Evanston. $15-30, 21+) - Part of Alligator Records "40th Anniversary Series." What a solid series this has been at SPACE. Touring in support of a June live release, Castro is the real deal and has backed artists like Albert King.
"Jingle Bell Rock Tour" featuring Eddie Money, Lou Gramm and Mickey Thomas (7PM Sunday at Moejoe's in Joliet. $50-100, 21+) - Another fine edition to what has become my favorite weekly question: "Who's paying to go to this?" Today's entrant... People paying $100 to meet Eddie Money. Why not just take your paycheck and start it on fire while you're at it?
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