Outlaw Music Fest
Ever the rebel, country star Willie Nelson is kicking around on tour for the third installment of the Outlaw Music Fest, paying another visit to the Chicago area this weekend. The lineup — featuring The Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss, Dawes, Old Crow Medicine Show, Phil Lesh and Lissie — boasts some of country and folk rock’s biggest and best names. So go on, be an outlaw, take Friday off and catch some musical legends. 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 28, at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 19100 Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park. Tickets start at $18. livenation.com.
Vinyl Pop’s ‘Bones’ release
As solo artists, Mike Hayes and Brent Brown stand on their own with soulful vocals rising above masterful guitar work. But together, the two create dancing, light-handed harmonies on the single “L-O-V-E,” a product of the duo’s new project, Vinyl Pop. Hayes and Brown share that tonight as they roll out Vinyl Pop’s new album, “Bones,” with an all-ages release show at Two Brothers Barrel House, also featuring special guest singer-songwriter Brian Allison. 7 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at Two Brothers Barrel House, 16 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville. Free; the album will also be for sale on vinyl at the show. (630) 615-7100 or twobrothersbrewing.com.
Now that summer’s finally here-ish, Ravinia Festival is firing on all cylinders. This week brings a hearty mix — a little country from Little Big Town Friday, June 28, and Sugarland Sunday, June 30; Counting Crows’ alternative rock Saturday, June 29; classic rock with the Steve Miller Band Monday, June 30; and rapper/actor T.I. takes the pavilion Tuesday, July 2.
• Little Big Town, Jillian Jacqueline at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 28 ($49-$150)
• Counting Crows “25 Years and Counting Tour” with Margaret Glaspy at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29 ($130-$140; lawn seats are sold out)
• Sugarland, Noah Schnacky at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 30 ($49-$140)
• Steve Miller Band, Matt Andersen at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 1 ($38-$115)
• T.I. at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 ($27-$85)
Ravinia Festival is at 418 Sheridan Road, Highland Park. (847) 266-5100 or ravinia.org.
Kowloon Bay’s release
Kowloon Bay takes its punk seriously. Teetering somewhere between Rise Against and The Offspring, this collection of Chicago-area musicians treated us to the rousing four-track “You’re Nothing at All” this spring, and they’re ready to share it live at Friday’s release show at Reggies. (Pay special attention to the melody and vocal layering in “3 Reasons to Believe.”) The night’s lineup is packed with area punk from Lightweights, Guardrail and Eddy and the Arsons, so you don’t want to miss this one! 8 p.m. Friday, June 28, at Reggies Music Joint, 2105 S. State St., Chicago. $10-$12. (312) 949-0120 or reggieslive.com.
Music in the Park
DuPage County Area Project and Mercy Housing are joining forces to bring an intimate and free summer music festival to the Western suburbs. Music in the Park launches at Marian Park Courtyard in Wheaton Saturday, June 29, featuring performances by Michael Heidemann, Buddy Smith and David “DJ Skachmo” Skach. Food and soft drinks will be served. 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Marian Park Courtyard, 2088 W. Roosevelt Road, Wheaton. Free, but RSVP is required by Tuesday, June 25; donations will be accepted to benefit future projects by DuPage County Area Project and Mercy Housing. RSVP to DeLena.Byanski@mercyhousing.org.
‘Paper Queen’ release show
Violet Crime took something that clearly wasn’t broken and somehow added even more heart to it. The band dropped singles this spring leading up to the recent release of its new EP, “Paper Queen,” a collection of soul-pop songs rich with imagery and dripping with emotion. Saturday the five-piece — known around the Chicago area for nuanced and moving live performances with intensely lush vocal harmonies and catchy melodies — is sharing those songs and more (joined by a few special guest bandmates for the night) at its EP release show. Tiote, Bright Kid, The Darling Suns and Wilem & the Warning round out the rest of the killer lineup. 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago. $10. (312) 666-6775 or bottomlounge.com.
Battle at Side Street
Round 2 of Side Street Studio Arts’ Battle of the Bands launches this weekend, pitting the up-and-coming talents (and fans) of Round 1 winners New Nights, Billow, Three Oh Go and Whüzy against one another. Maybe you know the bands, and maybe you don’t; either way you should go see what they have in store and support your favorites. 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) Saturday, June 29, at Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court, Elgin. $5 suggested donation each night. (847) 429-2276 or sidestreetstudioarts.org.
• 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 chicagosoundcheck.com.