Todd Kessler // Courtesy of Chelsea Ross

Sound check: Todd Kessler’s showcase returns to Hey Nonny

Music is back on stage at Hey Nonny and on screen at The Venue; plus not-to-miss livestreams this next week.

Songwriters return

Deerfield singer-songwriter Todd Kessler resumes his regular Songwriters In the Round presentations at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights next week with two limited-seating showcases. Kessler’s unique presentations — featuring songs performed by him and his guest, peppered with stories and Q&A-style discussions — drew crowds to the Arlington Heights listening room and promise to be a return to normalcy for the venue. Next Tuesday, he presents the varied talents of Maggie Vagle and Brendan Forrest of Cousin along with Aurora singer-songwriter Noah Gabriel. Seating will be socially distanced at tables for two, three or four (although most three-seat tables are already sold out). 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. Tickets are $30-$60 per table at or (224) 202-0750.

The week’s Hey Nonny’s lineup also includes:

• The Kinsey Report: 7 and 9 p.m. Thursday, April 1; $40-$80.

• The Waco Brothers late show: 9 p.m. Saturday, April 3; $50-$100.

• Bethany Thomas: 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 7; $40-$80.

• Dickie: 7 and 9 p.m. Thursday, April 8; $40-$80.

The Venue is back

Downtown Aurora’s The Venue joins the list of suburban performance spaces showing signs of life after the cold snowy winter coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns. And while the indoor performance hall is still closed for the time being, the venue is heading into April with a full lineup of livestreams and a hope to bring outdoor shows back to the adjacent Munday Park in June. Livestreams kick off for April with a performance by singer-songwriter Kevin Trudo next Thursday, April 7; Leslie Beukelman, Ellie Kahn and Scott Tipping cover the self-titled album by Crosby Stills & Nash Sunday, April 11; and Sam Wyatt streams Wednesday, April 14. The Venue is at 21 S. Broadway Ave., Aurora. Call (331) 212-8490 or visit for details, admission and the rest of the April schedule.

Pearl Jamming

As a peace offering for the recent cancellation of the 2021 tour postponement, Pearl Jam is offering a free stream of its Hard Rock Calling Festival set. The 2010 full-length concert, which the band headlined in Hyde Park, London, was professionally recorded and will be available for viewing throughout the weekend on the Pearl Jam’s YouTube channel, as well as 7 p.m. Friday, April 2, through 10:59 p.m. Monday, April 5, on YouTube and at

But it’s a School Night

For more than a decade, School Night has been the tastemaking series for music fans to find new favorite emerging artists (such as Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa long before they hit the international spotlight, for example). With the COVID crisis still raging, the series is moving online (and to a wider audience) with “School Night at Home,” a twice-weekly performance broadcast streaming on Twitch. Featuring British singer-songwriter Shelbie Rose as host, each Monday and Wednesday night production will feature intimate performances by several hand-selected artists from around the world, along with Q & As and discussions. The series debut Monday will feature London singer-songwriter Kings Elliot, Philadelphia-bred songwriter-poet-MC Khemist, London band Mamas Gun, Brooklyn-based electronic musician and songwriter Mindchatter, and DJ sets from Douridas. Wednesday’s stream presents Galway-based indie group Newdad, LA singer VIAA, Wales classic rock band Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, and Utah rockers The Backseat Lovers. Tune in for free at 7 p.m. Monday, April 5, and Wednesday, April 7, (and every Monday and Wednesday after that) at


David Archuleta Easter special: 7 p.m. Friday, April 2; $15 at

Blind Boys of Alabama Easter Weekend Special: 8 p.m. Friday, April 2; $18-$25 at

Justin Roberts “Why Not Sea Monsters?” Easter show: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 3; pay-what-you-can at

Morgan James: 4 p.m. Saturday, April 3; pay-what-you-can at

Kurt Elling at Epiphany Center for the Arts: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 3; $20 at

Emmet Cahill’s Easter Sunday Church Concert from Ireland: 4 p.m. Sunday, April 4; $15 at

Blind Pilot “Live from Astoria”: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8 and 15; single-show ($25-$80) and series ($40-$110) passes are available, along with merch bundles, at

Milky Chance live and acoustic: Noon Saturday, April 3; free on YouTube.

The Head and the Heart: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 3; streaming on BandsInTownPlus 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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