Thursday, August 31, 2017

Music News

Depending on when you read this, you might still be able to catch Phil Angotti and Friends playing John Lennon’s entire Rock And Roll LP at Reggie’s tonight on State Street. Angotti recently did a terrific job performing Paul McCartney songs at the Apple Jam Stage at Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago. He’ll be backed by a horn section at Reggie’s with other special guests joining in on stage.

Minstrelpalooza returns to Durty Nellie’s in Palatine for its third installment on Saturday, September 23. Subtitled The Very Best of ’81, this celebration of the Minstrels music store in Niles will once again feature the hard-edged and satirical power pop group Van Go. Other acts will certainly be involved, although I don’t see any listed on the Facebook  page yet. The event is free and will run from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Congratulations to Laurie’s Planet Of Sound on its 20th Anniversary. To mark the occasion, the record store is showing The Monkees’experimental film Head and the lesser-known comedy Record City this Sunday at the Davis Theater. Tickets are free and available at store, which is located at 4639 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. Laurie’s Planet Of Sound has become an essential part of Record Store Day festivities each April, with in-store performances by local acts like Dolly Varden, The Romeros, The Handcuffs, John San Juan, and Phil Angotti.

Friday, August 25, 2017


Photo from the Tributosaurus Facebook page.
Wizard World Chicago Comic Con announced today via a sensitively worded e-mail that David Tennant from the Doctor Who and Jessica Jones TV shows has cancelled his appearances at this year’s event due to an illness in his immediate family. While it’s a major disappointment, the important thing is to wish for a full recovery of the person who is ill. “We trust all will be well in London,” the Wizard World message states, “and will be sending our thoughts and prayers to David and his family.” All customers who paid to have an autograph and/or photo session with Tennant will be issued refunds.

The Backlot Bash kicked off in Skokie tonight with A Flock Of Seagulls, The Alarm, and Devil In A Woodpile. Soul Asylum and Frisbie are among the acts performing tomorrow, and on Sunday at 6:30 p.m., Tributosaurus becomes R.E.M. Admission is free.

Also in Skokie, the Bill Graham Rock And Roll Revolution continues its run at the Illinois Holocaust Museum And Education Center at 9603 Woods Drive. Graham was an iconic music promoter who brought big names bands to the Fillmore concert venue in San Francisco, and later to the Fillmore East in New York. He is credited with helping the careers of Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix. The exhibition runs through Nov. 12.

Acclaimed alt rock/Americana band Over The Rhine performs at SPACE in Evanston tomorrow and Sunday.

I always feel a rush of anticipation whenever I find a package from Fruits de Mer in my mailbox. The British indie label offers vinyl-only releases of current purveyors of prog, garage, and Euro rock and sends out promo CDs of its latest releases. The ones I just received—a five-song EP from the Spanish band Stay and a three-song single from UK veterans The Chemistry Set— are particularly good and I’m hoping to review them in the future.

Tickets are now on sale today for The Buzzcocks gig at Cobra Lounge in Chicago on September 16. Other new shows on sale include Peter Case at FitzGerald’s on October 21; Lemon Twigs at Thalia Hall on October 26; Los Lobos at City Winery on December 10–13; and Orwells at House Of Blues on September 14.

According to Tracy Swartz in a recent CHICAGO INC. column in the Chicago Tribune, the popular Fox series Empire plans to shoot a Prince-themed episode in Chicago for its fourth season.

An article by Robert Holly in this past Wednesday’s Blue Sky page in the Chicago Tribune’s Business section noted that the Reverb online marketplace for musicians is considering selling records and other music formats.

When the Polonia Festival in Jefferson Park takes place over the Labor Day weekend, one of the highlights will surely be the Tributosaurus becomes Tom Petty show on September 1. Other bands will be going the tribute route at the Polonia Festival, including Heartless as Heart; Reely Dan as Steely Dan; American English as The Beatles; Beggars Banquest as The Rolling Stones; and CTA as Chicago.

Congratulations to Streetwise as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary. I was at the first public meeting for Streetwise back 1992 when the idea of creating a publication that homeless people could sell to help support themselves was still in early development. I wrote entertainment features for Streetwise during its first few years, and I’m glad to see the publication still actively covers the performing arts scene in Chicago. Pick up a copy of the latest issue for $2 from one of the vendors in the downtown area.

I second that emotion. It was nice to see the support and affection popular weatherman Tom Skilling received after becoming overwhelmed as he reported on the recent eclipse for WGN TV. Reportedly, his tears were a response to witnessing the deep effect the solar event was having on those who had come out to view it.

In a perfect world, I would have spent the bulk of last weekend basking in the communal and creative vibes of the inaugural YippieFest at the Prop Thtr. As it was, a hectic schedule, a freelance overload, and a nasty cold limited me to a Saturday night visit to this three-day festival dedicated to carrying on the spirit of the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins festival that was staged by the Mary-Arrchie Theatre for several years. From what I heard, former Mary-Arrchie Theatre Artistic Director (the troupe called it quits in 2016) dropped by on Friday night to show his support. On Saturday, Famous In Future performed a mix of old and new comedy material to packed and appreciative house, followed by an engaging new work from Black Forest Theatre that opened with a tribute to the late Sam Shepard. Here’s hoping YippieFest becomes a new summer tradition.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

A TARDIS Full Of Guests

David Tennant and Catherine Tate. Photo from David Tennant’s Facebook page.

Wizard World Chicago Comic Con opened today at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont and will cast its magical spell through Sunday. The annual event brings together self-professed nerds, sci-fi devotees, graphic novels readers, art lovers, and anyone who embraces the more adventurous paths of modern culture.

When I posted a preview of Wizard World last year, I noted celebrity guests were being assembled in teams from TV shows like The X-Files; The Walking Dead; Daredevil; and Arrow, and I wished there were a grouping of Doctor Who stars. This year, that dream comes true with David Tennant, Alex Kingston, John Barrowman, Catherine Tate, and Jenna Coleman among the amazing assortment of celebrity guests. As always, several other TV shows and movies will be represented.

Wizard World Comic Con Chicago also offers aisle after aisle of corporate and independent vendors selling comic books, t shirts, action figures, and other fantasy/sci-fi related artifacts. In the huge marketplace dubbed Artists Alley, up-and-coming artists and writers compete for attention. If I was a high-powered financier from a counter-culture version of Shark Tank, I’d put up funds for several of the worthy projects these people have created.

There’s also a fun, masquerade atmosphere as people dress up in superhero or villain costumes, and gladly pose for photos. Where else are you going to see Batman and Princess Leia sipping 32-oz. Cokes together, or Captain Jack Sparrow and Harry Potter walking side by side. Check the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con website for the complete list of guests, schedule, and prices.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Backlot Bash, A Taste Of Polonia, And Bill Graham

There will be a variety of live performances this coming weekend at the Backlot Bash in Skokie. A Flock Of Seagulls, The Alarm, and Devil In A Woodpile kick things off on Friday, August 25, with Soul Asylum, Frisbie, the Bach And Beethoven Ensemble among the acts scheduled for Saturday. On Sunday at 6:30 p.m., the renowned tribute act Tributosaurus becomes R.E.M. Admission for the Backlot Bash is free.

As previously mentioned here on BHT, Tributosaurus will become Tom Petty on September 1 as part of the Taste Of Polonia in Jefferson Park over the Labor Day weekend. Tribute bands will rule at this festival (along with several Polish acts), with Heartless covering Heart; Reely Dan covering Steely Dan; American English covering Herman’s Hermits; Beggars Banquest covering The Rolling Stones; and CTA covering Chicago. Of course, I was kidding about American English—they will be covering The Beatles.

Rock fans heading to Skokie next weekend for the Backlot Bash could tie that in with a visit to the Bill Graham And The Rock And Roll Revolution exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum And Education Center at 9603 Woods Drive. Graham was an iconic music promoter who brought big names bands to the Fillmore concert venue in San Francisco, and later to the Fillmore East in New York. He is credited with helping the careers of Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix. The exhibition runs through Nov. 12.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Yippie! Chicago Has A New Arts Festival!

YippieFest, a three-day celebration of theatre, comedy, music, puppets, and other forms of offbeat entertainment, opens tomorrow, August 18 at Prop Thtr on Chicago’s north side. The people behind this brand new event—Frank Carr and Desiree Burcum from the Famous In The Future comedy group, and Carla Hayden and James Moeller from Black Forest Theatre—are veterans of the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins festival that Mary-Arrchie Theatre hosted for 30 years. If they can carry on that same tie-dyed, rebellious spirit Mary-Arrchie Artistic Director Rich Cotovsky, channeling Abbie Hoffman, brought to his annual events, YippieFest will be worth celebrating.

Fans of Abbie Fest will see some familiar faces at its lovechild. In addition to Famous In The Future (full disclosure: I used to be part of this group) and Black Forest, YippieFest will offer Rush Pearson, DB Comedy, David Drazin, and Danger Circus. There will also be plenty of live music, including Moeller and Hayden’s alt rock band whitewolfsonicprincess; The Rut; The Telepaths; Voodoo Asylum; and the Grateful Dead tribute band Trouble Ahead. Tickets are $15 for each night, $25 for the entire weekend.

Friday, August 11, 2017


Photo from the official Shoes Facebook page.

People sometimes call these the dog days of summer but I prefer to employ the more positive Simon and Garfunkel paraphrase, August, Rock She Must. The month traditionally has a lot going on in the Chicago area, and 2017 is no exception. In the next few weeks, we have a power pop showcase with Dwight Twilley, Pezband, and Shoes at The Arcada in St. Charles; Fest For Beatles Fans and Wizard World Comic Con Chicago in Rosemont; and YippieFest and The Chicago Air And Water Show taking place in the city.

The 41st Annual Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago comes to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in suburban Rosemont this weekend. The event presents musicians, authors, artists, photographers, and music biz people who have some connection to to the most famous band in rock history. See yesterday’s post for more information.

The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles presents three power pop legends tonight with Pezband, Shoes, and Dwight Twilley. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. See my Wednesday night post for more information. Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Cliff Johnson and The Raine will not be performing as part of the show tonight.

YippieFest, a three-day celebration of theatre, comedy, music, puppets, and other forms of entertainment set for next weekend, August 18 – 21 at Prop Thtr. The people behind this brand new event are veterans of the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins festival that Mary-Arrchie Theatre hosted for 30 years.

When Wizard World Comic Con Chicago returns to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont August 24 through 27, it will be particularly interesting for Doctor Who fans. David Tennant, Alex Kingston, John Barrowman, Catherine Tare, and Jenna Coleman will be on hand. Fans of the TV shows The Walking Dead; Arrow; Firefly; and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. will also find some of their favorite stars there. I’m hoping to post more on this in the near future.

Jackson Browne and Greg Leisz are performing a Benefit For Veterans For Peace this Sunday night at the Copernicus Center in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood.

California residents will have an opportunity to hear two famous and very funny British men conversing now that tickets are on sale for the John Cleese with Eric Idle Live Talks Los Angeles show at The Alex Theatre. The Monty Python duo will be discussing Cleese’s book So, Anyway . . .

Monty Python fans in the Chicago area can see Neil Innes at Fest For Beatles Fans this weekend at the Hotel in Rosemont. Innes is a musician/comedian who worked quite bit with the Pythons, and was a driving force behind the Beatles parody act The Rutles.

The 23rd Annual Black Harvest Film Festival continues at the Gene Siskel Center in downtown Chicago and runs through the end of the month.

The American Ska-Thic festival will celebrate its 25th Anniversary next Saturday, August 19 at Metro. MU330, Coolidge, The Eclectics, Detroit Rude Boy Society, Skapone, Tango Wedding Band, and DJ Chuck Wren will be performing.

Also, next Saturday, Chicago venue The Elbo Room is sponsoring the ninth annual I Am Fest – International Art and Music Festival. The day-long event will actually be held at the more spacious The House Of Blues and feature music acts, art, and photography. The Smoking Popes, Sin Anestesia, and Littlebirds are scheduled to perform.

Tributosaurus will performing Tom Petty songs at the Taste Of Polonia Festival in Jefferson Park on September. The critically acclaimed tribute act, which use a rotating lineup of musicians, has honored Petty in the past.

Jefferson Park will also be the home of the Chicago Fringe Fest, which takes place in various venues around the northwest side neighborhood on two weekends, starting August 30. There’s a Preview Party on August 30 at the Copernicus Center.

We’ve recently had Stephen Stills and Graham Nash doing separate shows in Chicago, and now David Crosby is on his way. His David Crosby and Friends concert comes to City Winery Chicago on 10 - 30. Other upcoming shows at City Winery include Rusty Young with Poco on 10-25; The Alarm on 8-28, and Living Colour on 9-3.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Step Right Up

Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago runs tomorrow, August 11 through Sunday. Founded by Mark and Carol Lapidos back in the late 1970s, the annual celebration brings a wide range of fans together at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont to relive Beatlemania via concerts, celebrity interviews; sing-along sessions; trivia contests; art exhibits; video presentations, and more. There are also unique Beatles and rock items for sale in the marketplace.

The 2017 lineup of celebrity guests features four musicians who performed at various times with Paul McCartney in Wings: Denny Laine, Laurence Juber, Denny Seiwell, and Steve Holley. Returning favorites include George Harrison’s sister Louise; Neil Innes, the comedian/musician behind The Rutles parody and a cohort of the Monty Python; and sax player-vocalist Mark Rivera. Mark Hudson, a musician and producer who has worked with Ringo Starr and Cher, remains a longtime Fest participant with an unbridled sense humor and an extensive knowledge of rock and roll. Bruce Spizer, Jude Southerland Kessler, Jorie Gracen, and Robert Rodriguez are among the numerous authors who’ll be on hand.

The Apple Jam Stage, a well-received recent addition to The Fest, offers performances by Laurence Juber, Phil Angotti, Jay Goeppner, Scott Erickson, and other music or comedy acts on a small stage all weekend. The superb Beatles tribute band Liverpool performs in the Ballroom each night, and will cover Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on Saturday and Sunday night. They will also cover other Beatles songs and then likely jam with the members of Wings; Hudson; and Riveria. The Weeklings, a quartet that includes Glen Burtnik and John Merjave from Liverpool, will perform on Sunday.

There will be designated signing times for most of the guests, and many will be interviewed by master of ceremonies Terri Hemmert, whose Breakfast With The Beatles show airs on WXRT in Chicago every Sunday morning. Wally Podrazik, Tom Frangione, Susan Ryan, and Byrd will also serve as hosts and announcers. Tickets are $52 for Friday, $78 for Saturday or Sunday, and $190 for the entire weekend. Various two-day combinations are also available. Check Fest For Beatles Fans-Chicago online for a list of the celebrity guests and an extensive rundown on all the activities going on all weekend.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Somewhere To Be This Friday Night

Pezband photo from the band’s Facebook page.

On August 11, The Arcada Theatre will present three of the Chicago area’s best-known power pop acts, along with a Tulsa, OK native who’s known for his mastery of the genre. The quadruple bill of Pezband, Shoes, Cliff Johnson and The Raine, and Dwight Twilley kicks off at 7:00 p.m. It’s another multi-act event for the St. Charles venue, which is housed in a vintage movie theatre.

Twilley is best known for the hits “I’m On Fire” and “Boys,” and his knack for melodic and energetic songs has influenced several musicians. He’s worked extensively with Tom Petty. Pezband was one of the first Chicago bands to embrace power pop music back in the mid-1970s. “Please Be Somewhere Tonight” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” led by vocalist Mimi Betinis, remain classics. The band’s 30 Seconds Over Schaumburg EP—recorded at the B’Ginnings club in the northwest suburb, has great versions of original tunes and a cover of “Blue Wind/Stroll On.”

Cliff Johnson’s impressive career includes fronting the band Off Broadway, which gained national attention with impossibly catchy songs like “Stay In Time,” “Hang On For Love,” and “Full Moon Turn My Head Around” from its 1980 Atlantic Records debut On. Johnson currently performs with the veteran Chicago power pop band The Raine on the local club scene. Shoes were one of the very first successful practitioners of the DIY recording approach, attracting major label interest with their self-released Black Vinyl Shoes in 1977. Their tenure with Elektra Records produced gems like “Tomorrow Night,” “Your Imagination,” and “May Day,” before they went back to recording on their own Black Vinyl label. Their most recent effort, 2012’s Ignition, found the band performing at full power with songs like “Head Vs Heart,” “Diminishing Returns,” and Rolling Stones influenced “Hot Mess.”

Nash Thrives In New Musical Partnership

Photo of Shane Fontayne (left) and Graham Nash from Graham Nash’s Facebook page.

Graham Nash’s latest tour features him once again sharing the stage with guitarist-vocalist Shane Fontayne. It’s at least his third time around with Fontayne, who also toured with Sting and Bruce Springsteen. The duo has evolved nicely into another successful musical relationship for Nash, following those he’s forged with David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young, as well as with Allan Clarke and Tony Hicks of The Hollies.

During Nash’s July 29 concert at The Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago (the second of his three sold-out shows there), he and Fontayne demonstrated how they practice harmonizing by delivering a breath-taking version of Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird.” Their compatibility extended to the way Fontayne’s electric guitar playing provided a powerful undercurrent to Nash’s melodic acoustic strumming on “Wasted On The Way,” “Immigration Man,” “Wind On The Water,” and “Marrakesh Express.” “I Used To Be A King,” which Nash described as “My first breakup song,” concluded with some spirited jamming.

Nash continued his recent tradition of opening shows with a pair of Hollies songs—this time playing “On A Carousel” and “Carrie Anne.” It would great to see him delve deeper into his tenure with the British Invasion band for songs like “Butterfly” or “Tell Me To My Face.” He and Fontayne added another stellar Beatles cover with “A Day In The Life” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The bulk of the concert was devoted to Nash’s solo output and his work with Crosby, Stills, and Young. “Golden Days” and “Found Myself At Last” from his 2016 solo effort This Path Tonight were introspective and engaging. “Mississippi Burning,” a bonus track on Path, was a hard-hitting tribute to murdered civil rights workers.

Nash’s occasional political comments during the Old Town show were measured but forceful, and he altered a line in “Military Madness” to “I hope Trump discovers what’s driving the people wild.” “Chicago,” performed as the final encore, remains as relevant today as when it sprung from his Songs For Beginners solo debut in 1971. Like the early Crosby, Stills Nash and Young hits “Teach Your Children” and “Our House,” it had people joyously singing along with Nash and Fontayne.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Get Yer Na Na Na Na Na Na Nas Out

On any given night of Paul McCartney’s current tour, a number of audience members are fulfilling a long-time (almost lifelong) desire to see Beatles songs performed by an actual Beatle. Scanning the crowd at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park this past July 25, it was easy to spot girls-night-out friends hugging and laughing in disbelief that they were about to see Paul McCartney in person. A pair of guys behind where my wife Pam and I were sitting swapped predictions of which songs McCartney had to play, and there were plenty of parents who brought young kids with them.

McCartney and (from what I’ve read) Ringo Starr approach this mammoth responsibility with a bemused expression and an old-fashioned work ethic. McCartney played three hours of classic material augmented by dazzling technical effects, but consistently addressed the crowd as though he was chatting with some mates at the corner pub. His tales centered on encounters with other famous musicians, as well as the simple events that sometimes provide inspiration for a song.

“We’re going to take you back in time,” he announced before harmonizing perfectly with members of his first-rate backup band on the pre-Beatles Quarrymen song “In Spite Of All The Danger.” The concert also included the engaging “Queenie Eye” and “New” from his most recent release, New. McCartney’s days with Wings were well represented with rousing versions of “Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five,” “Letting Go,” and “Band On The Run.” An extended jam at the end of “Let Me Roll It” honored Jimi Hendrix and led to a funny anecdote about the iconic musician playing to a star-studded audience that included McCartney and Eric Clapton. After realizing his guitar was out of tune, Hendrix reportedly spotted Clapton and asked if he’d come on stage to tune it for him. According to McCartney, Clapton refused.

While introducing the rollicking “I Wanna Be Your Man,” McCartney related how he and John Lennon decided to give the song to The Rolling Stones so they could have a hit single with it. “Here Today,” served as a knowing and heartfelt tribute to Lennon, and later in the show, McCartney quietly strummed “Something” on a ukulele before the full band joined in and photos of George Harrison spread across the big screens surrounding the stage. McCartney also took a moment to honor producer George Martin, suggesting there wouldn’t have been a Beatles without his guidance.

Throughout the show, he seamlessly blended highlights from his solo career—“Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Temporary Secretary,” an eye-popping “Live And Let Die”—with Beatles classics. “Blackbird,” which he explained was inspired by the civil rights movement in America, “And I Love Her,” “Fool On The Hill,” and “Let It Be” were pure magic, while “Back In The U.S.S.R.,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and “Lady Madonna” were performed at full power by McCartney and his band. He dedicated “Birthday” to everyone in the crowd who was celebrating their birthday that night (which included me), and in honor of the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper, played “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” and “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!”

As “Hey Jude” sparked its customary audience sing-along on the “Na na na na na na na” coda, it was amazing to glance around the stadium, as well as back across the lawn area, and see so many exuberant people joining together.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Saturday Night Slumgullion

An Evening Of John Lennon is coming to City Winery Chicago tomorrow night, August 6, featuring Phil Angotti, Tommi Zender, Casey McDonough, Joe Camarillo, and Dick Schmidt. These guys are veterans of the local music scene and have successfully staged this retrospective before. Tickets are $15; the music starts at 7:30 p.m.

The 23rd Annual Black Harvest Film Festival opened today at the Gene Siskel Center in downtown Chicago and runs through the end of the month.

The Chicago Art Book Fair, an international showcase of “zine-makers, book artists, comic makers, photo book creators RISOgraph printers, and self-publishers,” makes its debut November 16 through 19 at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel at 12 S. Michigan Avenue. It will be free and open to the public.

That new video Derrick Anderson talked about filming a while back for his impossibly catchy song “When I Was Your Man” is now available. Taken from his recent solo album A World Of My Own, the stark but fun clip features him on bass, along with Debbi and Vicki Peterson of The Bangles, and Kim Shattuck from The Muffs. Anderson has been performing with The Bangles as their bass player for some time now, and he got them, along Shattuck, Matthew Sweet, The Smithereens, and other power pop stars to help out on the album. As I said here before, I’d love to see Anderson go on tour with that all-star band, and come to Chicago.

In other Bangles news, the band’s 1984 album All Over The Place, was named as one of National Public Radio’s The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women. Join Mitchell’s Blue came in at Number One. Vicki Peterson has formed a new band called Action Skulls with John Cowsill and Bill Mumy. “Mainstream,” a satiric and jangling tune from their upcoming album Angels Hear, can be heard on The Bangles Facebook page.

The always essential website The Second Disc recently reported on Leave Home: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of The Ramones’ second album. Writer Joe Marchese stated that the three-CD/one-LP box set comes with a remastered version of the album, a new mix on CD and vinyl, and a bonus disc with 33 rare tracks. In another Second Disc post, Marchese covered The Who’s upcoming Maximum As and Bs: The Complete Singles five-CD box set. It comes with a 48-page booklet.

Chicago venue The Elbo Room is sponsoring the ninth annual I Am Fest – International Art and Music Festival on August 19. The day-long event will actually be held at the more spacious The House Of Blues and feature music acts, art, and photography. The Smoking Popes, Sin Anestesia, and Littlebirds are scheduled to perform.

The American Ska-Thic festival will celebrate its 25th Anniversary on August 19 at Metro. MU330, Coolidge, The Eclectics, Detroit Rude Boy Society, Skapone, Tango Wedding Band, and DJ Chuck Wren will be performing.

Carlos Santana’s Transmogrify Tour comes to Ravinia next Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12.

Friday, August 4, 2017


A hearty Broken Hearted Toy welcome to all the music acts and fans that have arrived in Chicago for Lollapalooza, which opened yesterday and continues through Sunday. You’ll find recommendations on which performances to check out in the daily Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times; weekly Chicago Reader and Redeye; and Innerview, a publication that shows up in record stores whenever a major festival is about to happen in town. The Lollapalooza Facebook page offers updates, and is sharing live performance videos from Red Bull TV.

In yesterday’s Chicago Tribune, writer Tracy Swartz offered extensive tips on tickets, transportation parking, items that are allowed and those that aren’t, and what food vendors will be at the fest. WXRT 93.1 FM has two of its DJs—Marty Lennartz and Jason Thomas—doing live reports from Lollapalooza throughout its four-day run.

So far, the weather has caused some problems for this year’s Lollapalooza, with Lorde’s show being cut short last night due to stormy weather. Today’s temperature barely made it out of the 50s, which is unusual for Chicago this time of year. Major acts coming up in the next few days include Tegan And Sara; Ryan Adams; Run The Jewels; Foster The People; The Killers; Blink-182; Vance Joy; Banks; The Head And The Heart; Chance The Rapper; The XX; Charli XCX; Milky Chance; and The Shins.

Well, I’ve never been to Lolla, but I kind of like the pictures. Those who weren’t able to get Lollapalooza tickets or are just curious about what it looks like can check out the Rock ’n’ Roll Summer pop-up Lollapalooza concert photography retrospective at the Elephant Room Gallery at 704 S. Wabash. It’s right next to the Buddy Guy’s Legends venue and runs through August 9. Chicago-based photographers Barry Brecheisen, Andy Argyrakis, Lyle A Waisman, and Curt Baran will be displaying their work.

fans old enough to drink can purchase a festival souvenir in the form of an IPA beer bottle. According to Josh Noel in the Chicago Tribune, Stay Gold, a joint effort from Pipeworks Brewing, Interboro Spirits, and the band Run The Jewels, will be available on draft or for $10 in 22-ounce bottles at a pop-up store at 2363 N. Milwaukee Avenue through Sunday. Call 773-360-8774 for more information.
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