Rock in Lombard
With the recent release of the single and video “Just Tell Me,” post-grunge/nu metal band Puddle of Mudd is telling the world it’s back and ready for action. The hard-rocking musicians behind the Billboard-charting “Blurry” and “She Hates Me” are heading to the Afterlife Music Hall at BrauerHouse this weekend. Southern rock stalwarts Shallow Side (of the outsider anthem “Rebel” and a pretty incredible take on Styx’s “Renegade”) bring a powerhouse show and even more fun to the stage, along with Unlikely Souls, A Story Unwritten and Slow Kill.
7 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Afterlife Music Hall, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. Tickets start at $40; VIP packages are also available. (630) 495-2141 or eventbrite.com.
Bitter Jester is back!
After shifting to a virtual songwriting contest last year, the Bitter Jester Music Festival is back in full force this summer. Kicking off this Friday, the weekly competition series launches with six up-and-coming acts from the region — the Adem Dalipi Band, The Millennials, Scarlet Demore, Scorched Waves, Venganza and You Got the Message — playing live in Port Clinton Square in Highland Park. Solo artist Kate Larson will warm things up with Acacia closing off the evening before the judging announcements. The contest continues the subsequent three Fridays (July 30, Aug. 6 and Aug. 13) with new acts each week, culminating in the grand finale concert and fireworks show on Sunday, Sept. 5. Visit bitterjesterfoundation.org for information on the bands, judges and contest prizes.
6:45 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Ave., Highland Park. Free; bitterjesterfoundation.org.
Underbelly Hours Spotlight
The Underbelly Hours — the Wheaton-based underground music podcast featuring Adela Skowronski and Dan Dick chatting with movers and artists on the local music scene — is hosting its third monthly UBH Spotlight local music showcase this weekend on the patio at Dry City Brew Works in downtown Wheaton. This month’s lineup includes folksy Americana with Aurora’s Nick Weisner, Demi Clara of Naperville with her soulful songwriting and a rare acoustic performance by Chicago prog-rockers Spooky Boo, who will also be performing tunes from their new EP at the show. The chill outdoor evening is free; keep an eye on the Facebook event page for any weather-related updates. And if you haven’t already, check out the Underbelly Hours podcast on the AUX Podcasting Network.
6 p.m. Saturday, July 24, at Dry City Brew Works, 120 N. Main St., Wheaton. Free. (630) 456-4787 or drycitybrewworks.com.
Big energy at The Venue
The Venue presents a big weekend of outdoor music with three incredible acts playing at Mundy Park adjacent to the nightspot. Shawn Holt, who now helms the band started by his dad, blues legend Magic Slim, continues the musical mission when he and The Teardrops kick things off Friday night. With roots in a small-town farming community, Cody Diekhoff brings a slice of real Americana to his band Chicago Farmer & The Fieldnotes, which plays Saturday. And The Claudettes close off the weekend with funky, punky rockabilly blues energy Sunday night. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the outdoor terrace performances.
Shawn Holt and the Teardrops at 8 p.m. Friday, July 23; $15-$20. Chicago Farmer & The Fieldnotes at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 24; $15-$20. The Claudettes at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 25; $10-$15. The Venue and Mundy Park are at 21-23 S. Broadway, Aurora. (331) 212-8490 or themusicvenue.org.
Gospel Music Association award-winning vocalist Tina Jenkins Crawley will be performing an uplifting concert of gospel-inspired music this Sunday for the Lake County Forest Preserves’ annual Gospelfest. Crawley, a native of Springfield, was voted Chicago’s Best Gospel Entertainer of the Year in 2015 for her modern, jazzy take on inspirational messages and positivity. The concert will take place in the Greenbelt Cultural Center’s outdoor amphitheater, and guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs, along with picnics. And for those who can’t make it out, the performances will be livestreamed and broadcast at youtube.com/user/LCFPD.
4 p.m. Sunday, July 25, at the Greenbelt Cultural Center, 1215 Green Bay Road, North Chicago. Free; (847) 968-3477 or lcfpd.org/calendar/gospelfest-2021/.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).