Guardrail // Courtesy of Alex Zarek

Sound check: Don’t snooze on Saturday’s SNUZFEST; Bitter Jester applications are open


Break out the PJs! SNÜZFEST is back this weekend with its annual punk-rock pajama party. This year’s edition at Chicago’s Beat Kitchen features some of the most fun punk, pop-punk, emo and alternative rock acts from the region, including Keep FlyingGuardrailThe Day AfterCut Your LossesLeisure HourGoofThe Run Around and The Freedom Paradox. SNÜZFEST, started in 2017 by Kevin Andrew and his Guardrail bandmates, has always been a concert for a cause, and a portion of this year’s ticket sales will benefit The Hope for Us Network in its mission to address risk factors for mental health crises in the Chicago area. 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. $15-$18 at 17+ show.

Bitter Jester applications

The Bitter Jester Music Festival is back. Applications opened last week for this year’s edition of the festival, a Highland Park highlight for 17 seasons presenting up-and-coming regional acts in a battle of the bands competition for fortune and glory. (OK, for some cool prizes and useful feedback from industry pros.) The early application deadline is March 15; the application window closes April 30.

Free Webstirs show

Chicago-area indie-pop band The Webstirs marks its latest album — 2021’s self-titled “The Webstirs” — with a free show celebrating the album’s release on vinyl this weekend. The show will feature two sets at FitzGerald’s Sidebar, along with new merch, a few surprises and, of course, the vinyl for sale. 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at FitzGerald’s Sidebar, 6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. Free.

Anything release party

Chicago-based Anything Is Everything is currently pushing out an edgy rock sound, but the band’s pop-punk roots still seep through in their latest tunes. The foursome drops its newest album, “a tragic optimism,” Friday, Feb. 10, marked by a release party, supported by some of the best bands growing on the Chicago scene right now — Totally Cashed, OK Cool and Nora Marks. 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. $12 at 17+ show.

Josh Turner’s hits

Country star Josh Turner brings his Southern charm to Waukegan’s Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St. The actor, six-time Country Music Awards winner and Grand Ole Opry inductee will play his hits (“Time Is Love,” “Your Man,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance”) and many others from his catalog of favorites. Tickets are $35-$65 at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10

Gospel Extravaganza

The Voices of Praise Gospel Choir celebrates Black History Month with local college choirs, spoken-word artists, praise, worship and other performances at Grace United Methodist Church, 300 E. Gartner Road, Naperville, for North Central College’s 35th Annual Gospel Extravaganza. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free for students and kids. 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11

Throw the horns for Ozzy

Relive the heavy metal and hard rock of OzzFest as Afterlife Entertainment and Swizzle Steve Presents host a tribute to the long-standing tour at Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill in Bolingbrook. The night features sets from Killer of Giants (Ozzy), Giznad (Danzig/Misfits), Reign in Blood (Slayer), Pale Grey Sky (Sepultura) and Zero Signal (Fear Factory). 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Tailgaters, 431 W. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook. General admission starts at $15, with table packages available at and

The Giving Moon

West suburban-native alt-rock band The Giving Moon heads up a stellar lineup at Chop Shop this weekend. The bill, which includes a mix of genres, also features Robot Heart Throb, soul-funk from Wyatt Waddell and the rocking The Fundamental Kink. 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave., Chicago. $20.

Symphonic love

Hinsdale native Lucia Ticho returns to town with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, making a Valentine’s Day visit to Chicago’s Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave. The program will feature Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet, along with selections from Moussa and Lalo. Tickets are $45-$199 at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14

Blues with Ana Popovic

Billboard chart-topping blues guitarist Ana Popovic presents her own definition of American music with a dynamic, genre-blending, midweek show at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Tickets are $22-$35 at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15

Americana night

A stalwart on the Nashville songwriter scene of late, Matt Hires brings his heartfelt Americana to Hey Nonny for a night with fellow singer-songwriter (and former suburban artist) Brian Allison. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. $15-$35.

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at or follow him on Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck). He also keeps tabs on the Chicago music scene at

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