Photo: Courtesy of Steve Earle
9/13 at 8 Chris Smither. The veteran folk bluesman combines masterful finger picking and profound songwriting. $22–$28.
9/15 at 8 Glenn Tillbrook. The former lead singer of the British pop band Squeeze continues his way with elaborate melody and wry wit as a solo artist. $30–$40.
9/22–23 at 8 Marianne Faithfull. Just a teen when she recorded her hit version of “As Tears Go By” nearly half a century ago, Faithfull went on to date Mick Jagger, battle a severe drug addiction, record the postpunk classic “Broken English,” and use her craggy voice in a theatrical mix of folk and rock. For these acoustic shows, she’ll be accompanied by the guitar virtuoso Mark Ribot. $45–$65.
9/30 at 8 Suzanne Vega. Best known for her fluke mid-80s hit “Luka,” the singer-songwriter casts a spell with her hushed delivery, moody melodies, and scene-painting lyrics. $40–$55.
City Winery, 1200 W Randolph. citywinery.com.
STEVE EARLE Critic’s Pick
9/21 at 8 The veteran roots rocker once again finds common ground between the sounds and populist sentiments of honky-tonk, roadhouse, and the coffeehouse on his latest record, The Low Highway. With help from his fine touring band, the Dukes, and his hard-belting spouse, Allison Moorer, a.k.a. the Duchess. $34. Vic Theatre, 3145 N Sheffield. jamusa.com or etix.com.
EARTH, WIND & FIRE
9/20–21 at 8 Originating in Chicago, the horn-fueled, sweet-voiced R&B ensemble gave a smooth pop gloss to funk music, which translated into a string of smash hits in the ’70s. A few members of the band’s classic lineup, including the lead singer Philip Bailey, will be on hand for these shows, which coincide with the group’s first record of new songs in eight years. $50–$91. Chicago Theatre, 175 N State. ticketmaster.com.
9/7 at 7 He can lay on the weirdness too thick for his own good at times, but at his best the British indie-pop songwriter captures the absurdity of existence and tempers it with gorgeous melody. This show is a solo acoustic performance that presumably will draw from the casually assured songs on Hitchcock’s new record, Love from London. $30. $28 school members. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln. oldtownschool.org.
9/21 at 9:30 The experimental-rock band’s sound mixes proto-punk, industrial rock, pure pop, and various forms of arty eccentricity at the direction of the lead singer and sole original member David Thomas. The group’s latest record, The Lady from Shanghai, combines dance rhythms with scintillating strangeness. $15. Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western. emptybottle.com.
PET SHOP BOYS
9/28 at 8 The British duo helped usher in electronic pop at the beginning of the ’80s. Its new album, Electric, shows the group hasn’t lost a dance step since then, pairing propulsive grooves Daft Punk might envy with Neil Tennant’s doleful singing. $49.50–$125. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress Pkwy. ticketmaster.com.
RIOT FEST Critic’s Pick
9/13–15 This year’s edition of the increasingly ambitious punk-rock fest boasts a lineup for the ages—or at least for ages 35 to 55—with a schedule heavy on ’80s and ’90s punk legends, including the first reunion of the Replacements since their final concert here in 1991 and the return of the Pixies. Other icons: the Violent Femmes, Motorhead, Blondie, hip-hop troupe Public Enemy, X, and local punk-pop superstars Fall Out Boy. $54.98–$124.98. Humboldt Park, Augusta to Division, Sacremento to Kedzie. riotfest.org.
9/28 at 8 Brashness is a key ingredient in rock. The Welsh band has plenty of it. Expect roof-raising anthems filled with whiplash rhythms and Kelly Jones’s explosive guitar riffs. $27.50. Vic Theatre, 3145 N Sheffield. jamusa.com or etix.com.
9/27 at 8 The Scottish band makes a welcome return with Where You Stand, its first new album in five years, adding a healthy dose of arena rock grandeur to its pastoral folk and Fran Healy’s lovely, yearning melodies. $40. Vic Theatre, 3145 N Sheffield. jamusa.com or etix.com.
More Classic Rock and Soul in September
THE EAGLES 9/20 at 8. $49–$189.
LIONEL RICHIE 9/29 at 7:30. $39.50–$125.
United Center, 1901 W Madison. ticketmaster.com.
Theatre: Comedies, Dramas, Musicals | Music: Classical, New Music, Opera | Music: Jazz
Best of the Rest | Music: Rock, Pop, Hip Hop | Dance | Music: Classic Rock, Blues, Soul
Music: Folk, Country, World | Art Fairs and Galleries | Museums