Samantha Fish // Courtesy of Kaelen Barowsky

Sound check: Get happy with outdoor Warp Corps; Samantha Fish in Aurora

Warp Corps holds its second annual outdoor music festival in Woodstock’s Town Square, and Samantha Fish plays the blues at Piazza.

Outdoors and happy

Warp Corps is a McHenry County skateboarding-based organization harnessing the power of sports, music and the arts to increase awareness about mental health, addiction and recovery issues. And it is rallying local artists and vendors for its second Max Happy Fest, an outdoor event in Woodstock’s Town Square to raise funds for its ongoing Community Center project. Along with an art exhibits, a skateboard trick showcase, food, drinks and community outreach, entertainment will be provided by a number of regional artists, including Rotten Mouth, Fuzzlove, Hot Lagarto, Soul Tango, The Ian Hall Band, Broken Robots and more. Prepare to learn a little, have a lot of fun and support a good cause. Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Woodstock Town Square, 114 N. Benton St., Woodstock. Free, but a $5 donation is suggested. Performances will also be livestreamed. Visit for more information about the cause and Facebook for updated details on the event.

Samantha sings the blues

Missouri singer-songwriter Samantha Fish is bringing her guitar-driven music to the Fox Valley Mall entertainment area for two performances at The Piazza this weekend. With her roots growing from Southern blues, Fish sports a fairly eclectic mix of influences reflected in her six-album catalog, alive with the spirit of rock, country, R&B and a little bit of funk. Settle in with a drink for this performance from one of the blues most promising young artists. Seating is reserved at tables and following CDC safety protocols. 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, at The Piazza, 85 Executive Drive, Aurora. Find tickets at

Celebrating orchestra

Tune in as The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra presents its 43rd Annual Showers of Sound Gala in livestreaming format this weekend. The hourlong celebration of the orchestra will feature performances by renowned Frankfort native Jeffrey Mattsey (baritone) and Chicago musicians Anthony McGill (clarinet), Rachel Barton Pine (violin) and Lisa Tannebaum (harp). In addition to the music, viewers will be treated to the presentation of the Leo Michuda IPO Award for Lifetime Service to Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra Life Director Jerri Greer. A silent auction is also open now through 9 p.m. the day of the gala. 7 p.m. Saturday, April 24; $175 for the livestream at

So long, Tonic Room. Hello, Golden Dagger!

Chicago’s much-loved hangout and music venue Tonic Room was struggling through the COVID lockdowns last year, but owner Donnie Biggins took the time as an opportunity to enact some long-term changes he had been looking to make. The venue reopens this week as The Golden Dagger with a restructured stage, an expanded outdoor seating area and an added coffee bar menu. Live music doesn’t start for a bit — when Kara Jackson and Kamaria Nayo take the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 29 — but you can stop in this week for a drink or your morning brew. The Golden Dagger, 2447 N. Halsted St., Chicago, is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday. (773) 248-8400 or

• 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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