Sound check: Thomas Benko drops new EP; Guardsman going-away party; Homegrown news

Roselle native Tom Benko, the in-house percussion expert at Maine South, performer at both Blue Man Group and on the Chicago Bulls drum line and founder of the Emanation concert series, is out on a Midwest tour promoting the upcoming release of his five-song solo EP, “Rodina.” “Rodina,” a Slovak word meaning “family,” is a celebration of “my chosen family, everybody in my musical family,” Benko said. Through the five songs, Benko explores harmonies and melodies with both pitched and non-pitched instruments, layering the percussive sounds to create a lush landscape of explosive emotion. See Benko perform live when he ends his tour in Chicago for the EP’s release at Uncommon Ground with guests Alex Sokol and Rob Funkhouser. 8 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark St., Chicago. $10. (773) 929-3680 or uncommonground.com.

Goodbye, Guardsman

The hard-rocking band Guardsman is packing up and moving from the Chicago scene, but not without one last goodbye show. They bid farewell at Cairo Pizza and Grill this weekend along with a stacked bill including Orchestra In Black, VitriaL, Vyse and The Almas hosted by guest MC comedian Ross Childs. 8 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Cairo Pizza and Grill, 2009 Franciscan Way, West Chicago. $10. (630) 876-9600 or cairoalehouse.com.

Boyz are back

Boyz II Men, the Philly quartet who hit national fame in the early ’90s with the silky, harmonious hits “End of the Road,” “I’ll Make Love to You” and “One Sweet Day,” helped herald in an era of R&B mainstream success on radio waves across the country. The best-selling R&B group, now a trio, is out on tour, paying a visit to Aurora this weekend. 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $59-$140. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.

Chicago Theatre roundup

The Chicago Theatre brings a host of acts to the city this week. Start the weekend with progressive metal band Dream Theater Friday; singer-songwriter Amos Lee and Ethan Gruska take the stage Saturday; and classic British rock band Mott The Hoople ’74 come to Chicago as part of the band’s first U.S. tour in 45 years. Dream Theater “Distance Over Time Tour + 20 Years of Metropolis Pt. 2” is at 8 p.m. Friday, March 29: $49-$89. Amos Lee “My New Moon Tour” is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30: $33-$98. Mott The Hoople ’74 plays at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3: $45-$125. All at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. (312) 902-1500 or msg.com.

Homegrown a-coming

The Homegrown Arts & Music Festival might be months away, but founder Aaron Williams is starting to stack the lineup for this summer’s festival, set for July 27 and 28 in Lisle. Submissions will open for Chicago-area original acts Monday, April 1, at homegrownartsandmusicfestival.com.

Concert highlights

Ax and the Hatchetmen: 7 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Big Ed’s BBQ: 4030 Norhtpoint Blvd., Waukegan. (847) 473-5333 or facebook.com.

Mumford & Sons “Delta Tour”: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 29, at United Center, 1901 W. Madison, Chicago. $200. (800) 745-3000 or unitedcenter.com.

Jazz Is PHSH, Lunar Ticks: 8 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Wire, 6815 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. $20-$120. (708) 669-9473 or wireismusic.com.

Easton Corbin, Austin Edwards: 9 p.m. Friday, March 29, at BrauerHouse Live, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. $30-$35. (630) 495-2141 or brauerhouse.com.

T-Pain, Abby Jasmine: 9 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago. $30-$300. (773) 929-1322 or parkwestchicago.com.

Warpath, Monster: 9:15 p.m. Friday, March 29, at BrauerHouse, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. $8-$10. (630) 495-2141 or brauerhouse.com.

The Werks, Chachuba: 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $15-$18. (773) 404-9494 or martyrslive.com.

Jerry Rivera: 10 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Joe’s Live, 5441 Park Place, Rosemont. $45-$75. (847) 261-0392 or joesliverosemont.com.

King by Friday, Days of Grunge: 10 p.m. Friday, March 29, at H.O.M.E. Bar, 1227 N. Rand Road, Arlington Heights. $5-$10. (847) 577-4663 or homebarchicago.com.

Dan + Shay “The Tour” with Chris Lane: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. $99-$397. (800) 745-3000 or rosemont.com/theatre.

Janet Gardner, The Outfit, Blacklist Regulars: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at RocHaus, 96 W. Main St., West Dundee. $18-$36. (815) 482-2870 or rochaus.com.

Masters Of Metal 4 featuring Judas Rising, Blizzard Of Ozz And High Speed Dirt: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at BrauerHouse, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. $10. (630) 495-2141 or brauerhouse.com.

Righteous Hillbillies: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Frankie’s Blue Room, 16 Chicago Ave., Naperville. $7. (630) 416-4898 or frankiesblueroom.net.

Family Groove Company, Bodhicitta: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. $15-$30. (224) 202-0750 or heynonny.com.

Hairbanger’s Ball: 9 p.m. Saturday, March 30 at BrauerHouse Live, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. $8-$10. (630) 495-2141 or brauerhouse.com.

Tonic Freight Train: 9 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Miss Kitty’s Saloon, 634 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville. $5. (630) 357-2420 or misskittyssaloon.com.

August Hotel, Man Called Noon, Trick Shooter Social Club, Old Grand Dad: 9 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $10-$15. (773) 404-9494 or martyrslive.com.

Southern Draw Chicago: 10 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at H.O.M.E. Bar, 1227 N. Rand Road, Arlington Heights. $5-$10. (847) 577-4663 or homebarchicago.com.

Chris Weaver Band: 11 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Joe’s Live, 5441 Park Place, Rosemont. $8; free with Dan + Shay Rosemont Theatre ticket stub. (847) 261-0392 or joesliverosemont.com.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers with Matthew Michael & Christina Marie: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. $15-$30. (224) 202-0750 or heynonny.com.

Soraia: 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at RocHaus, 96 W. Main St., West Dundee. $10-$13. (815) 482-2870 or rochaus.com.

Chris Greene Quartet: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. $15-$30. (224) 202-0750 or heynonny.com.

L.A. Guns, The Darbies, Teeze, Dang Blasted Cranks: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at RocHaus, 96 W. Main St., West Dundee. $25-$43. (815) 482-2870 or rochaus.com.

An Evening with Reina del Cid: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. $15-$30. (224) 202-0750 or heynonny.com.

The Cadillac Three, Ray Fulcher: 8 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at Joe’s Live, 5441 Park Place, Rosemont. $23-$50. (847) 261-0392 or joesliverosemont.com.

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music fanboy. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @thatshamieguy. Brian also keeps tabs on the Chicago-area music scene at chicagosoundcheck.com.

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