This is your guide to catching the best live music both in the city and throughout the suburbs... This weekend, lots of metal to choose from as Testament rocks Libertyville and the Gigantour brings Megadeth, Motörhead and more to Uptown. Plus Bill Cosby, the sold out return of The Darkness and much more...
In The City...
Gigantour 2012: Megadeth, Motörhead, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil (6:30PM Friday at the Aragon Ballroom. $42, All Ages) - The metal festival heads indoors for it's fifth incarnation (after running from 2005 to 2008, it went on hiatus until this year) with a lineup that spans several generations of heavy metal music. One of the first bands to infuse punk and metal, Motörhead remains a tour de force in the live setting. In fact, they were great only months ago at the Congress Theater. But I personally can't wait to check out speed metal maven Dave Mustaine and Megadeth for the first time. Check out my interview earlier this week with Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell for more on Gigantour.
Cowboy Mouth (9PM Friday at House of Blues. $28, 17+) - Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts open. I've seen Cowboy Mouth a few times and have never been terribly enamored by them in the live setting. Plus, they haven't released anything new since 2008 (though just hearing "Joe Strummer" could make this show worth taking a flier on). Their drummer sings and has an odd repoire with the crowd that generally sees him continually berate them. Fun! Regardless, I continue to hear great things about the live performances of opener Miles Nielsen (formerly of Harmony Riley and Rick's son) who was here about a month ago at Fitzgerald's.
Ingram Hill (10PM Friday at Schubas. $18, 18+) - Matt Duke and Mikey Wax open. An alternative take on roots rock. The Memphis trio is touring in support of June's Blue Room Afternoon.
The Darkness (8PM Saturday at Metro. 18+, SOLD OUT) - Foxy Shazam and Crown Jewel Defense open. They're baaaaack. Falling victim to the sophomore slump in 2005, frontman Justin Hawkins eventually left the band, spiraling in to substance abuse. But the original lineup is back together and supposedly working on a new album. If you're not familiar with them, think AC/DC meets the Cure... but delivered with Freddy Mercury-like rock bombast. At times annoying, at times great, I'll be curious to hear how their sound has held up in the last seven years because generally there is a shelf life on music like this.
Chicago Mixtape One Year Anniversary Party: The Shams Band, Elephant Gun, The Damn Choir and Architecture (8:30PM Saturday at Subterranean. $10, 21+) - Always great to see a cool and original concept strike a chord and find an audience. They've turned a lot of people on to a lot of great local music in the past year so this is a well deserved celebration of that. I caught The Shams Band a few weeks ago at the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Fest and had a good time so this should be a fun evening.
In The Suburbs...
Bill Cosby (8PM Friday at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. $50-89, All Ages) - The comedic icon has been more outspoken than ever of late and his social observations have been extremely interesting. I saw Cosby in 1999 and have never laughed harder at a comedy show before or since (which is not what I was expecting at the time).
Jeffrey Osborne (8PM Friday at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan. $46-76, All Ages) - The eighties star can croon ("On the Wings of Love") or bring the funk ("Stay With me Tonight") with the best of them and believe it or not, he's released albums fairly regularly even into the beginning of the 2000's.
Testament (8PM Friday at Austin's Fuel Room in Libertyville. $30-80, 21+) - Diamond Plate and Ion Vein open. Lots of metal to check out this weekend. Friday in Libertyville, speed metal will be on the menu.
Deals Gone Bad (9PM Saturday at Brauerhouse in Lombard. $6) - Crombies and Turdles open. I saw the local, ska outfit a few years back opening up for The Tossers at Metro and more recently opening the ill-fated Chuck Berry show last New Years Day at the Congress Theater. Each time they've been solid. This should be a good time.
Leon Redbone (7PM Sunday at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn. $25, 21+) - A quite mysterious persona to go with a sound that combines ragtime, jazz and blues, Redbone is the consummate throwback.
Zoë Keating (2PM and 8PM Sunday at SPACE in Evanston. Each show is $18-34, All Ages) - From what I've read, Keating plays cello and uses a foot-controlled laptop to loop that cello, play samples and basically act as a one woman orchestra. I find this very, very intriguing.
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