Friday Pilots Club takes the stage with the Lumineers, AJR, The Strumbellas and more at 101WKQX's PIQNIQ music festival Saturday, June 15. - Courtesy of Denis Cheng

Sound check: Friday Pilots Club joins Lumineers, Young the Giant for PIQNIQ

PIQNIQ in the park

Chicago rising star Friday Pilots Club is making a name for itself nationally, thanks to a win at last year’s Next2Rock competition and chances to play for crowds across the country. The band, led by Caleb Hiltunen and Drew Polovick and featuring James Kourafas, Sean Burke and Eric Doar, returns from a tour and a stint at Bonnaroo to take the stage at this summer’s edition of 101 WKQX’s PIQNIQ music festival, a full day of alternative rock at Tinley Park’s Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

“We’re so excited to be home,” Polovick said. “Playing to new faces and new places has been incredible, but nothing beats playing in Chicago. There’s an energy and a sense of community very specific to the Chicago scene that we haven’t felt anywhere else yet and we are beyond stoked to come back to that.”

The day’s lineup includes The LumineersYoung the GiantCatfish and the BottlemenAJR, hometown favorite Tom MorelloThe Glorious SonsBlue OctoberThe Strumbellas and SHAED. “I’m super excited about seeing familiar faces there,” Hiltunen said. “Also, the other bands. People I’ve looked up to for a long time that we happen to be playing with. That’s mind-blowing to me. Also, just to be home and see my girl.”

Catch Friday Pilots Club when the band opens the fest on the Saint Xavier University Stage at 1 p.m. Doors open at noon Saturday, June 15, at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 19100 Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park. $20.

Battle at Side Street

Side Street Studio Arts continues its quest to put up-and-coming talent into the spotlight as rounds 1.3 and 1.4 of its summerlong Battle of the Bands commence this weekend. Audience votes are key to winning, so get out there, enjoy some new music and support these local acts: Three Oh Go, Pan and The Lost Boys, Our Century In Pictures and Saad on Friday, June 14; Westwood, The Romantic Satire, Whüzy and Rushmore play Saturday, June 15. 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, at Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court, Elgin. $5 suggested donation each night. (847) 429-2276 or

Welcome to Jonestown’s release show

On the band’s new album, “For Punk’s Sake,” Welcome to Jonestown takes listeners on a musical journey down the fun side of pop-punk, treating them to frenetic guitars, driving drums and heavy bass lines, topped off with Jeremy Handel’s enthusiastic vocals. “Musically, this album is inspired by basically every pop-punk song we’ve ever heard,” Handel said. “Lyrically, I find random bits of inspiration here and there, often songs are crafted around a line I think is meaningful or clever.” The band plays a release show for the new album — which has certainly earned a spot in a certain music writer’s driving-music rotation — at LiveWire Lounge this weekend, along with Conway, Social Que and Overclocked. 8 p.m. Friday, June 14, at LiveWire Lounge, 3394 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. $10. (773) 756-5363 or

Chicago rock band State and Madison plays the Short Fuse Brewing Company’s second anniversary bash Saturday, June 15, with Marina City, Modern Vices, Glory Days and Microcosms. – Courtesy of Chris Mullins

Short Fuse’s anniversary bash

Since releasing the full-length album “We Are Two Parts of the Same Thing” last fall, Chicago alternative band State and Madison has been touching fans with deep dives into emotion-based rock. Marina City, on the other hand, smacked us upside the head with “Strawberry,” the recent release channeling all the area’s available pop power and funneling it into a vibrant, electrifying banger. Both bands will burn up the stage as they play Short Fuse Brewing Company’s Second Anniversary Party this weekend, joined by the spacey, smoky garage rock band Modern Vices, the powerfully fun pop-punk Glory Days and Microcosms, the band that answers the question “What would happen if you stuck your prog.rock in my alternative jams?” 1 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Short Fuse Brewing Company, 5000 N. River Road, Schiller Park. $10-$15 for general admission; $8 parking; bronze, silver and gold VIP upgrades are also available. (847) 260-5044 or

‘You got the right stuff, baby’

You can keep your Backstreet Boys. Travel back to the time of tight-rolled jeans and Hypercolor shirts, when boy bands were being born, hip-hop was rising in the mainstream and pop princesses ruled the airwaves. The New Kids On The Block visits the Allstate Arena for two nights of “The Mixtape Tour” this weekend, bringing special guests Salt-N-Pepa (“Push It”), Tiffany (“I Think We’re Alone Now”), Debbie Gibson (“Out of the Blue”) and Naughty By Nature (“O.P.P.”) along for the ride. So go ahead and hang tough, shake your love or just hold an old friend’s hand. (I’m so so sorry for that.) 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, at Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Road, Rosemont. Tickets start at $15. (847) 635-6601 or

Springfield & Marx at Ravinia

Rick Springfield, the Aussie actor and musical heartthrob behind “Jessie’s Girl,” teams up with Richard Marx, the Chicago area’s king of romantic rock, at Ravinia for a night of full-band sets under the stars. 7 p.m. (doors open at 4) Saturday, June 15, at Ravinia Festival, 418 Sheridan Road, Highland Park. Tickets $33 to $75. (847) 266-5100 or

Andy Grammer plays for kids

101.9 THE MIX morning host Eric Ferguson presents platinum-selling artist Andy Grammer and “American Idol” season 16 winner Maddie Poppe at the “Eric in the Morning Grab Your Bags Tournament” Tuesday, June 18. Donations collected at the acoustic performances, held at Parkway Bank Park, will benefit “MIX Kids” for the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at Parkway Bank Park entertainment district, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont. Free, but donations are accepted.

Blacklist Regulars plays a hard-rocking release show at LiveWire Lounge in Chicago Thursday, June 20. – Courtesy of Blacklist Regulars

New music from Blacklist Regulars

Chicago hard rockers Blacklist Regulars are dropping the long-anticipated debut album, “Through the Blast,” Friday. The album, much of which is an exploration of the human psyche and the identities we assume in dealing with our inner demons, is rich with imagery and driving intensity. See band members — Luke Keating, Arturo Banus, and Tomas and Alejandro Zabala — perform it live Thursday night when they play with Marwood’s FallDivide the Fall and Qualia. 8 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at LiveWire Lounge, 3394 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. $10. (773) 756-5363 or

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