Tom Higgenson and brothers Darren and Eric Vorel of TLB // Courtesy of Cal Engel

Sound check: TLB heads up Humans Were Here holiday spectacular

Holidays with Humans

Spend a relaxing Sunday break from the holiday bustle with musicians from Humans Were Here, the music label created by Plain White T’s Tom Higgenson. Catch performances by TLB — featuring Higgenson and brothers Darren and Eric Vorel — Fairview, Million Miler and Jessica Jarrell as the Christmas show is livestreamed along with giveaways, shoutouts and another little surprise or two. 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20; $15 at

Trans-Siberian traditions

Turn down the lights and fire up the widescreen: The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is bringing its “Christmas Eve and Other Stories Live in Concert” directly to you. The holiday rock tradition includes a 90-minute set of electrifying favorites along with a revamped version of the powered-up spectacle audiences know and love about the TSO. Merch bundles are all sold out, but tickets to the livestreaming event are still available. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18; $30 for livestream access, and merch bundles up to $185 at and

Barenaked Ladies livestreaming

Nearly two decades ago, the Barenaked Ladies released a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings” that grew into a staple of the pop-holiday music landscape. Barenaked Ladies performs two streaming variety shows with sketch comedy and musical favorites from the “Barenaked for the Holidays” album. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, and 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19; $15 for streaming admission, with merch/ticket bundles from $25-$195 at

‘Xmas From North Ave.’

Chicago’s The Empty Pockets presents its annual roots-rocking holiday show streaming live from the band’s North Avenue studio. With the band’s rich tones an excellent example of harmony on their previous releases, their take on holiday faves is bound to be inspired. Noon Saturday, Dec. 19; $20 per household at

Brewery benefit show

West suburban-based Tunes for a Minute has been partnering with musicians to produce livestream concerts to benefit local charities throughout the year. But this weekend, they’re bringing a little holiday spirit to service and entertainment industry workers who have had the rug pulled out from under them during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. Partnering with St. Charles breweries Riverlands Brewing Company, Alter Brewing, 93 Octane, D & G Brewing and Geneva’s Penrose Brewing Company, Tunes for a Minute organizers Colin Ryan and Jason Perez have put together “In This Together: Brew-Aid,” a livestreaming night of raffles, bartender spotlights and a live performance by ÉSSO to raise money for local bartenders and servers. Information and a donation link can be found at or at the Facebook event page. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, at

Jinglin’ in Elgin

Side Street Studio Arts is looking to jinglify your Christmas countdown with the four-night virtual Jingle Bell Jam, an online revamping of its popular holiday party. Featuring a mix of live and recorded musical performances by FORESIGHT, Binx, The Romantic Satire and Lever, as well as special guests including Moana Lotte as the Ghost of Christmas, the free streaming shows will put a little dazzle into your holiday stockings. 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Dec. 21-24, at

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).

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