The Waco Brothers brings its country punk to Mundy Park outside The Venue in Aurora Friday, Aug. 20. // Courtesy of Paul Beaty

Sound check: Waco Brothers bring a barnburner to The Venue

Punk cowboys The Waco Brothers play outdoors at The Venue; 56 Music Fix returns to Mount Prospect; and Vince Neil headlines next week’s VetFest 2021 in Oswego. Plus, 10 shows not to miss.

Country punks

The Chicago-based punk cowboy outfit The Waco Brothers brings its feverish country thunder to Aurora’s The Venue to kick off the weekend. Even though the event is outdoors at Mundy Park, adjacent to the venue, masks or proof of vaccination are required for entrance to the venue; once outdoors, masks are encouraged but may be removed.

8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at The Venue, 21 S. Broadway, Aurora. $20 for general admission (bring your own chair or blanket), $25 for terrace seating; admission goes up $5 at the door. (331) 212-8490 or

Musical Mount Prospect

The 56 Music Fix returns to town for its annual three-day celebration of local and regional music. With performances peppered throughout local businesses, restaurants and venues in town, fans can jump from stage to stage to catch a favorite or discover a new artist to love. The fest also includes the 56 Artisan Fix art fair and sale from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Lions Park Band Shell, 411 S. Maple St., Mount Prospect.

2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Aug. 20; noon to 2 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 21; and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 22. Free. See for the lineup of venues and schedules.

California-born and Chicago-raised ShyTown brings a little tropical-pop flavor to Mount Prospect’s 56 Music Fix this weekend.

Vince Neil at VetFest

VetFest 2021, the annual Oswego festival celebrating our heroes in the military, first-responder and front-line medical professions, will have a special guest headliner this year — Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil. The legendary vocalist will perform Saturday, Aug. 28, with Matthew and Gunnar Nelson of Nelson kicking off the evening. The concert is just one part of the four-day festival and carnival, which also features Shawn Barker’s Johnny Cash tribute and Hillbilly Rockstarz on Thursday, Locash and Jacob Bryant on Friday and 7th heaven and One of These Nights playing Sunday. The fest benefits local charities for veterans and education. And through the 1-for-1 ticketing program, a free ticket will be provided for veterans, active military, first responders and front-line medical staff for each ticket purchased.

5-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 26-27; 1-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28; and 1-9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, at Oswego Entertainment Venue, 1010 Station Drive, Oswego. Visit for details and tickets.

10 concerts to watch this week

• Buckcherry with True Villains, Ignescent and Unlikely Souls: 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at Afterlife Music Hall at BrauerHouse, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. $12.50-$350.

• Prizefighter acoustic rooftop show: 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at Nellie’s, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. Free. (847) 358-9150 or

• Kings of Leon “When You See Yourself Tour” with Cold War Kids: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 19100 Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park. $27 for lawn, pavilion seats start at $36. (Read our interview with Jared Followill.)

• EGxBH, Cartoon Graveyard and INPO: 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at RocHaus, 96 W. Main St., West Dundee. $10-$50. (815) 893-9768 or

Lee DeWyze “Ghost Stories Tour” with D’Arcy: 8 p.m. (doors open at 7) Friday, Aug. 20, at Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston. $20-$40 at

• Lindsey Stirling “Artemis Tour” (rescheduled): 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago. $29.50-$129.50; VIP and meet-and-greet packages are also available at (Read our interview with Lindsey Stirling.)

• The Beach Boys with John Stamos: 7:30 p.m. (gates open at 5) Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 21-22, at Ravinia Festival, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park. $43-$53 for lawn; $60-$105 for reserved pavilion seats; prices increase by $5 at the door. Each ticket purchased includes a download of Mike Love’s latest album, “12 Sides of Summer.” (847) 266-5100 or

• Little River Band with John Ford Coley: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $30-$80. (847) 263-6300 or

• Jon Anderson of Yes with the Paul Green Rock Academy: 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $59-$99. (630) 962 7000 or

• Joanna Connor: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. $10-$30. (224) 202-0750 or

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