Releaser // Courtesy of Alex Zarek

Sound check: Releaser news, New Kids on the Block and a weekend of festivals

Hard-rocking Releaser drops a new single at Elmhurst Hall; New Kids on the Block’s nostalgia-packed show with Salt-N-Pepa, Rick Astley and En Vogue; plus more on Phillip-Michael Scales, Ribfest, Winnetka Music Festival, Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash, Q101’s PIQNIQ and a special Album Rebrews live podcast presentation.

Releaser release

A few years ago, Releaser was racing to a lofty tier on the Chicago scene. Now, the band is regrouping from the pandemic and back on the grind with the hard-rocking new single “Vicious Cycles” — out Friday — and a new video coming Monday, June 20. The trio, hailing from Elmhurst and Elgin, is celebrating the release with a show at the recently opened Elmhurst Hall Thursday, June 16, with Til Morning and Lever. 8 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at Elmhurst Hall, 119 N. York Road, Elmhurst. Free, with a two-drink minimum. (630) 517-4393 or

The New Kids on the Block “Mixtape Tour 2022” comes to the Allstate Arena Friday and Saturday, June 17-18. // Associated Press

Party with the New Kids

If you still remember the lyrics to “Hangin’ Tough” or sing “(You’ve Got It) The Right Stuff” on your ride to work, you’d best make your way to the Allstate Arena this weekend for the New Kids on the Block and their “Mixtape Tour 2022.” The catchy tunes and dance moves will be on full display when the New Kids hit the stage with Salt-N-Pepa, Rick Astley and En Vogue for two nostalgia-packed shows in Rosemont. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 17-18, at the Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Road, Rosemont. Tickets start at $19.95 for both shows.

Elle King helps kick off this weekend’s Ribfest in Wheaton with a main stage performance Friday, June 17.

Rackin’ up for Ribfest

The Exchange Club of Naperville’s Ribfest moves to its new home in Wheaton this weekend for four family-friendly days of music, food and carnival rides and games. Friday night’s headliner Toby Keith had to step out at the last minute for medical reasons, but the rest of the weekend’s lineup remains intact, putting hot acts such as Elle King, Halestorm, Candlebox, Brett Eldredge, Ashley McBryde and more in the spotlight. Gates open at noon Friday through Monday, June 17-20, at the DuPage Event Center and Fairgrounds, behind the DuPage County Complex at Manchester Road and County Farm Road in Wheaton. Ribfest admission is free, but carnival ride passes and concert admission is available for purchase; concert tickets start at $35. Get the lineup and tickets at

Making Lyrical Lemonade

Looking to squeeze some hip-hop into your weekend? The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival hits Douglas Park with more than 60 artists — including Post Malone, Playboi Carti, Wiz Khalifa, Trippie Redd, 2 Chainz, Flo Melli, Lil Tecca and many others — on three stages across three days. Gates open at 2 p.m. Friday, June 17, and noon Saturday and Sunday, June 18-19, at Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Drive, Chicago. Single-day general admission runs $95, with three-day GA passes going for $275; VIP packages are also available.

PIQNIQ season

Summer’s rolling in this weekend, so it’s time for a picnic. Or better yet, Q101’s PIQNIQ. The newly relaunched radio station brings a fun alt-rock lineup to the stage with headliner Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and featuring Bastille, Walk The Moon, Cold War Kids, Milky Chance, Cannons and Almost Monday. Noon Saturday, June 18, at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 19100 S. Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park. Tickets start at $20.

Dive-bar soul singer and former Chicagoan Phillip-Michael Scales plays the Winnetka Music Festival this weekend, but you can also catch him at Schubas and Hey Nonny as he tours the area early next week. // Courtesy of Bryan Higlesias

Winnetka Music Festival

ValsList spreads its music festival (formerly EMERGE Winnetka) across four stages throughout the downtown area, with food and beverage vendors, kids’ crafts and more. And don’t forget the music, with headliner Guster, The Record Company, former Chicagoan Phillip-Michael Scales, Melt, Minor Moon, Abby Hamilton, Free Range, Windser, Emmett Mulrooney, Next Week, Bed Heads, Rhythm Revolution and more. Noon Saturday, June 18, in downtown Winnetka. $50 for general admission, $25 for ages 11-16; free for kids 10 and younger.

If you miss Phillip-Michael Scales at the Winnetka Music Festival this weekend, you can also catch his dive-bar soul at two other shows while he’s visiting town:

• 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 20, at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. $15.

• 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. Seating is sold out, but a few standing-room tickets are available for $12 at

Underbelly Hours showcase

Adela and Dan and their West suburban-based underground music podcast The Underbelly Hours present up-and-coming artists BroJack, Jone of Art and Linda Therese at the June edition of the monthly Underbelly Hours Spotlight showcase. The three artists will perform at Wheaton’s Dry City Brew Works Saturday. 6 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Dry City Brew Works, 120 N. Main St., Wheaton. Free. (630) 456-4787 or

Zac Emry, Sarah Beidatsch and Dillon Daniels at a live presentation of the Album Rebrews podcast. Join them for a special Father’s Day presentation at Empirical Brewery in Chicago Sunday. // Courtesy of Cameron Bopp

Album Rebrews rebrewed live

A standard Album Rebrews podcast episode sees co-hosts Sarah Beidatsch and Zac Emry (with a special guest, often from the Chicago-area music scene) revisiting a favorite album — playing games, breaking down tracks and discussing its impact — all with a joyful glee and loads of humor. This Sunday, the podcast goes public with a live recording at Empirical Brewery in Chicago. The special Father’s Day edition will feature Beidatsch and Emry with guest co-host Dillon Daniels as they pair adult beverages with their dads’ favorite albums. Check out Album Rebrews at, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcast fix. 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 19, at Empirical Brewery, 1801 W. Foster Ave., Chicago. Free; get 15% off your beer tab when you preregister 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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