Chicago Children's Choir // Courtesy of Elliot Mandel

Sound check: Chicago Children’s Choir, Pino Farina, Brontë Fall, MER, The Mild West with Marina City and more

The Dropkick Murphys celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early; the swing revival hits Raue Center with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy; The Mild West and Marina City play a benefit concert; plus, local appearances by Brontë Fall, MER, Pino Farina, Brad Redlich and more.

Dropkick bash

Get ready to get rowdy as The Dropkick Murphys bust out an in-person “St. Patrick’s Day Tour” stop in Chicago after two years of livestreaming celebrations. The tour, which features The Bombpops, The RumJacks and Jess Ahern, will stop at Chicago’s Radius for an early Irish celebration this weekend.

6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Radius, 640 W. Cermak Road, Chicago. $38.50. (312) 767-1355 or

Swing away at Raue

With a boost from placement on the 1996 comedy “Swingers” soundtrack, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy injected some jazzy, brassy lightheartedness into the grunge-driven ’90s. Decades later, the original core members — co-founders Scotty Morris and Kurt Sodergren, Dirk Shumaker, Andy Rowley, Glen “The Kid” Marhevka, Karl Hunter and Joshua Levy — are still bringing the swing revival to fans around the world. This weekend, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy puts its vibrant, toe-tapping show on the Raue Center stage in Crystal Lake.

8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. Ticket start at $37 ($25.90 for RaueNOW members). (815) 356-9212 or

The Pino Farina Band

Pino Farina in person

After nearly a decade away from the music scene to focus on family and personal growth, Pino Farina re-entered the spotlight in 2020, dabbling in outdoor performances during the pandemic and building up a sizable livestream audience with his Pino Farina Band. Since then, the acoustic and rock artist has played sold-out shows at local venues, released new music and toured with the Luminare Christmas show, which played the Des Plaines Theatre in December. The band — now with a new following as well as reclaimed fans from its earlier incarnation — is heading to Palatine for a headlining show (along with Forever Flannel) at Nellie’s this weekend, just one of many appearances Farina and the group are planning for 2022.

9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Nellie’s, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. $8. (847) 358-9150 or

The Mild West/Marina City benefit show

Chicago indie rock band The Mild West are teaming up with Plainfield’s soul-rock outfit Marina City for a benefit concert at Joe’s on Weed St. this weekend. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Special Olympics Chicago, Special Children’s Charities and the Chicago Polar Plunge.

8 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at Joe’s on Weed St., 940 W. Weed St., Chicago. $25. (312) 273-5118 or

Brad Redlich acoustic

Following on the heels of last weekend’s release “Saturday,” Bolingbrook country singer-songwriter Brad Redlich heads to O’Neill’s Pub in Lombard for a folksy, acoustic set of originals and a few of his favorite covers.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at O’Neill’s Pub, 236 E. St. Charles Road, Lombard. No cover. (630) 627-1600 or

Brontë Fall times two

In anticipation of her upcoming studio project “Winter,” Chicago-raised and classically trained indie-pop artist Teri Bracken and her musical act Brontë Fall brings a crisp and beautiful musical soundscape to two area stages this weekend. On Saturday, Feb. 26, Brontë Fall plays Chicago’s Hideout in a concert with Kiely Connel and Colin Peterik. Catch her act in the suburbs Sunday with Kiely Connel at Yorkville’s Law Office Pub and Music Hall.

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., Chicago. $12. (773) 227-433 or And 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27, at The Law Office Pub and Music Hall, 226 S. Bridge St., Yorkville. (630) 882-9559 or


MER’s Music Showcase

Returning after COVID put a pause on his regular musical performances, Winfield native Edmar Abante is bringing his acclaimed MER’s Music Showcase back to Chicago stages. A longtime favorite among homegrown suburban and Chicago artists, this edition of MER’s showcase — Thursday, March 3, at Beat Kitchen — features Stephen Francis of Model Stranger, Malo Kolodziej of wht.rbbt.obj, Melody Angel and Pino Farina in a Nashville-style round-robin format, taking turns swapping stories and sharing songs with the audience. A portion of the night’s proceeds will benefit Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health, a Chicago organization helping to bring food and mental health assistance to those in need.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. $15. (773) 281-4444 or

In other news …

• Garth Brooks, America’s top-selling solo country artist, announced his spring “Stadium Tour” will be playing at Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana, on May 7, with no other Illinois shows scheduled … for now. If you want to see Brooks this year, tickets ($98.95 each) will go on sale at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at, (877) 654-2784 or on the Ticketmaster app.

• The Chicago Children’s Choir’s Black History Month concert — featuring young musicians from a citywide network of schools — has shifted to a virtual event this weekend. “Remembering, Reclaiming, Reconnecting” aims to share the vibrant African diaspora through music from Nigeria, Peru, Jamaica and the United States to connect fans with the joy and pride of African musical culture. Tune in to the virtual program at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, through YouTube, Facebook or the Chicago Children’s Choir website 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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