Weekend Music Spotlight - Live Music Highlights Friday 11/18 - Sunday 11/20

Weekend Music Spotlight - Live Music Highlights Friday 11/18 - Sunday 11/20

This is your guide to great live music both in the city and throughout the suburbs... This weekend, Fitz & The Tantrums arrive in town for a mini residency at Metro, Norm Macdonald brings his comedic stylings to St. Charles and Furthur rolls Bob Weir and Phil Lesh into Rosemont. All of this plus much more. 

In The City…

Mat Kearney (7PM Friday 11/18 and Saturday 11/19 at House of Blues.  $28, All ages) - The ladies like Kearney's brand of singer-songwriter pop from its appearances in Grey's Anatomy.  That's probably the only reason you'll see any guys at this show.

Fitz & The Tantrums (9PM Saturday 11/19, 7:30PM Sunday 11/20 and 9PM Tuesday 11/22 at Metro) – Walk The Moon opens.  One of my favorite new bands in quite some time, Fitz & The Tantrums combine the "call and response" elements of gospel with a neo-soul sound that is entirely unique for an incredibly full sound that doesn't even feature guitar.  Good luck getting in to these sold out shows (though you'll have a blast if you do). (Check out my live review of Fitz & The Tantrums' August show at Schubas HERE and my interview with Fitz HERE).

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (9PM Friday at Cubby Bear.  FREE, 21+) - 93XRT/Bud Light Free Sample.  Santah and The Hudson Branch open.  Doors open at 8PM.  Can't go wrong with free, so get acquainted with the indie pop of yet another Detroit duo.

Kopecky Family Band (9:30PM Friday at Martyrs.  $12, 21+) – Matrimony and Grand & Noble open.  Guitar, bass, drums and cello via this Nashville family band should sound outstanding within the cozy confines of Martyrs.

Ra Ra Riot (9PM Friday at Metro. $18, 18+) – Delicate Steve and Yellow Ostrich open.  Chamber pop!  Cello, bass, keyboard, drums, bass and guitar. 

David Hidalgo and Louie Perez of Los Lobos (7 and 10PM on Saturday at Old Town School of Folk Music) - Los Lobos consistently draws upon a wide range of music styles that rock in the live setting.  Here, though, the band's main creative core should sparkle in a stripped down setting that will put the focus square on the band's solid songwriting history.

North Mississippi Allstars (9PM Saturday at House of Blues.  $28, 17+) – Shannon McNally opens.   Luther and Cody Dickinson are the sons of legendary producer Jim Dickinson (The Rolling Stones) and their live brand of rootsy blues is generally quite raucous live.  Enjoy!

In The Suburbs…

Charlie Musselwhite (8PM Friday at SPACE in Evanston.  $20-35, 21+) - Part of the Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Series.  One of blues' finest harp players.  I had the chance to catch him in 2001 with Dr. John at the Riv and he always delivers live.

Furthur (7:30PM Friday at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.  $50-70, All ages) - Bob Weir and Phil Lesh.  Deadheads invade Rosemont!  Avoid the Des Plaines Oasis! 

Lita Ford (8PM Friday at Tailgaters in Bolingbrook. $24-35, 21+) - The former Runaways member who once famously sang "I went to a party last Saturday night / I didn't get laid, I got in a fight / Uh huh" ("Kiss Me Deadly") is now playing at a bar in Bolingbrook that was once frequented by Drew Peterson.  Yep.  Who's paying $35 for this?

Norm Macdonald (8 & 10PM on Friday and 7:30 & 9:45PM on Saturday at Zanie’s in St. Charles.  $31 with a two drink minimum) - Norm is hilarious.   Plus, he appeared to be fairly intoxicated during two early morning TV interviews on Friday in Chicago.  I'd say this bodes well!

Zac Brown Band (7:30PM Friday at Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. $29.50-64.50, All ages) – Sonia Leigh and Nic Cowan open.

The Duke Robillard Band (8PM Saturday at Prairie Center For the Arts in Schaumburg. $46, All ages) -  Charlie Musselwhite opens.  How can you miss an opportunity to see the man responsible for the album cover shown below?  Thank you.  The defense rests.

Paula Cole (8PM Saturday at Fermilab in Batavia.  $14-27, All ages) –  I have to admit... I kind of forgot about Paula Cole.  Saw her in 1997 on the H.O.R.D.E. tour and she wasn't bad.  Now, however, you can catch her at a science laboratory.

Puddle of Mudd (8PM Saturday at Austin’s Fuel Room in Libertyville.  21+, SOLD OUT) – Landsdowne opens.  The forward thinkers who gave us hits like "She Hates Me" are back!

Shawn Mullins (8PM Saturday at Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights.  SOLD OUT) –  Mullins actually puts on a killer live show.  If the only song you know from him is "Lullaby" you will be pleasantly surprised.  Check out 2000's "Beautiful Wreck" for a better idea.

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    Jim Ryan

    Jim Ryan has written about music in print and online for a variety of Chicagoland publications for over fifteen years. In addition to duties filling in as Traffic Anchor on CLTV or in the helicopter on NBC 5, you can also catch him Sunday nights at 6PM central as host of "The Rock N' Roll Radio Program" on AM 1420 WIMS and AM 1060 WHFB (streaming at wimsradio.com and via the TuneIn Radio app for the smart phone or tablet). Jim has also worked locally for WXRT-FM, lives within walking distance of the Metro and is an avid White Sox and Blackhawks fan whose first live concert experience came at Comiskey Park in 1984 during the Jacksons' "Victory" tour.

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