The Chicago Children's Choir performs "Long Way Home" in 2018. A studio recording of the theatrical performance will benefit the arts organization. // Courtesy of Chicago Children's Choir

Sound check: ‘Long Way Home’ supports children’s choir; Better Than Ezra, Brian Fallon livestreams

A studio recording of “Long Way Home,” a theatrical production by the Q Brothers Collective, becomes available for streaming, and Marina City kicks off one of Wrigley’s hottest concerts of the summer, featuring Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer.

‘Long Way Home’

On Tuesday, Aug. 17, the Chicago Children’s Choir releases the studio recording from its 2018 theatrical production of “Long Way Home,” an adaptation of Homer’s “The Odyssey” set in modern-day Chicago. Written by the Q Brothers Collective, the 34-track performance follows South Side poet Ody as he undertakes a magical journey home through the city’s varied neighborhoods, celebrating Chicago’s musical styles and cultural scene along the way. “Long Way Home” will be available for purchase or streaming on most major platforms; proceeds will benefit Chicago Children’s Choir’s mission to inspire and change young lives through music.

The “Long Way Home” studio recording features the Chicago Children’s Choir. // Courtesy of Hebru Brantley

Fire up your devices

Whether you feel ready to pack into a crowded venue or not, livestreams are still a great way to stay in touch with some of your favorite artists. And while they might not be as ubiquitous as they were at this time last year, they seem to be here to stay for artists using them to reach wider audiences regardless of geographic location. Here are a few standouts you should tune in for this coming week:

• Better Than Ezra “Friction, Baby 25th Anniversary Livestream”: Kevin Griffin and the alternative rock band take the stage at the House of Blues New Orleans for a playthrough of the band’s second major label release. 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14; $15 at

• Joe Pug: The former Chicago singer-songwriter plays week 59 of the Sunday night concert series he started during the early pandemic lockdowns. 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15; free on YouTube.

• Brian Fallon: The former singer for the now-gone Gaslight Anthem brings his punk-influenced heartland rock stylings to your screen. 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19; $20.25 for stream and 72-hour replay at

Quick and Painless took the week’s honors last Friday at the Bitter Jester Music Festival’s summer competition. // Courtesy of Bitter Jester

Bitter Jester Week 4

The Bitter Jester Music Fest kicks off 30 minutes early this week to accommodate a showcase artist who was rained out last Friday. In the fourth week of judging, Ian Jake Robleza, Lyra, Opening Day, Pretoria, Quite Frankly the Band and Vertigo shoot for top honors and a slot at the Sept. 5 Grand Finale concert and cash prize competition. Fightin’ Bob, Linda Therese and the Peter Dankelson Trio will be featured as special guests.

6:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13, at Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Ave., Highland Park. Free admission; for more information on the event and this week’s bands and judges, visit

Soulful style

The Marriott Theatre concert series returns to Lincolnshire this weekend with Chester Gregory’s “Higher and Higher: A Rock ‘N Soul Party.” A Broadway veteran, Gregory will treat audiences to his own take on the hits of iconic soul artists Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, James Brown and more.

7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15, at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. $55 plus fees and taxes at (847) 634-0200 or

Marina City will rev up the crowd before the Green Day/Fall Out Boy/Weezer concert at Wrigley Field Sunday, Aug. 15. // Courtesy of JP Calubaquib

Mega Marina City

If you already have your tickets for the Hella Mega Tour concert this Sunday at Wrigley, you’re about to get another special treat. In addition to Green Day, Weezer, The Interrupters and Chicago’s own Fall Out Boy on the field, West suburban Marina City just announced the band will be playing a two-hour opening set at Gallagher Way just outside the stadium. Get there early to get revved up with the high-energy performance.

4:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15, at Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St., Chicago. Free for ticketholders;

• 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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