From show tunes to country to punk, seasonal concerts offer something for all tastes
Does anything go together better than crisp fall weather and live music? The days of sticky, sweaty outdoor festivals are in the past, replaced by cardigans, multicolored leaves and bands hitting the road one last time before the onset of harsh winter weather can make touring by van or bus hazardous, climate change notwithstanding.
Leaders of the Pack, set for Sept. 24 at Hoogland Center for the Arts, is “a retrospective biographical concert” paying tribute to popular female singers of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. Also at the Hoogland, the Sound Celebration Chorus will return on the afternoon of Sept. 30 with A Tribute to Broadway and Beyond, a revue featuring tunes from stage musicals including The Lion King, Wicked and Grease. And in case you haven’t had your fill of show tunes after that, well-known Broadway performer Liz Callaway will present A Night on Broadway that same evening as part of the HCFTA’s annual gala and fundraiser. Find more info at www.hcfta.org.
Over at Sangamon Auditorium, the Springfield Ballet Company will present Rockballet: MIXTAPE on Sept.16 and 17; husband and wife duo Bobby Whitlock (of Derek and the Dominoes fame) and CoCo Carmel will bring their soulful musical revue to the Kitchen Sink Series; The Weight Band, a tribute to legendary Canadian rock legends The Band (featuring musicians who spent time on the road or in the studio with original Band members Levon Helm, Richard Manuel and/or Garth Hudson) will appear on Friday, Oct. 6. On the jazzier side of things, trumpet maestro Wynton Marsalis is set to perform on Oct. 15 and Black Violin – which fuses jazz, hip-hop, funk and classical – will be in the house on Sept. 23. Last but not least, Ken Lam will mark his first concert as the new music director of Illinois Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 27. Visit http://www.sangamonauditorium.org and http://www.ilsymphony.org for more information.
Boondocks has a typically packed calendar of hot country acts set for the fall, including Logan Mize on Sept. 8; Frank Foster, Sept. 16; Dylan Schneider, Sept. 22; Lick Creek, Sept. 23; and Luke Combs w/ Ray Fulcher and Josh Philips on Oct. 21. Stop by www.boondockspub.com for details.
Elsewhere in town, all-ages venue Black Sheep Café continues its role as cornerstone of the small but vibrant Southtown DIY-punk community (also encompassing retail store Dumb Records, venerable indoor skateboard ramp Skank Skates, Boof City Skate Shop and the Southtown Sound recording studio). Sept.16 will mark the Black Sheep 12-Year Anniversary Show which will also act as a dual CD release show for Taylorville’s Stick People and Springfield’s Bottom Bracket (both albums were recorded at Southtown Sound). Kate Ridge and Prowess fill out the bill. Springfield favorites Looming (now based in Pennsylvania) will be in town for their own record release concert on Oct. 2, celebrating Seed, the band’s second full-length album on No Sleep Records. International rock gods Screaming Females will make their second visit to Black Sheep as part of the same bill, along with Street Eaters and Hidden Hospitals. Then, on Oct. 14, get ready for Black Sheep Battle of the Bands 2017, in which high school- and college-aged acts are encouraged to compete, “particularly those who have not yet gotten the chance to perform at Black Sheep.” Interested musicians can get in touch with the venue via firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional dates and details visit www.blacksheepspringfield.com .
Up the road a piece, Champaign’s annual Pygmalion Festival will run from Sept. 20 through 24, with appearances from Animal Collective, Bad Bad Not Good, Thundercat and the well-named The World is a Beautiful Place and I am no Longer Afraid to Die, among many others. Visit www.thepygmalionfestival.com for tickets and a full schedule.
The Castle Theatre in Bloomington continues its stellar track record of booking high quality mid-size acts. This fall, look for shows by Gavin DeGraw (Sept. 6),Conor Oberst backed up by The Felice Brothers (Sept. 17); Ray Wylie Hubbard (Sept. 21), Portugal. The Man (Oct. 2), the Redneck Rebellion Tour featuring Soil, Saving Abel and KIRRA (Oct. 4) and Mushroomhead (Oct. 6), among others. Visit www.castletheatre.com for details and additional concerts.
Of course this is only a sliver of the many upcoming area shows. Keep an eye on www.events.illinoistimes.com for further developments.
Contact Scott Faingold at email@example.com