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updated: 7/4/2011 12:46 PM

Where to catch the best music at suburban fests

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Live music is the rule as suburban festivals head into the long Fourth of July weekend.

Rock 'n' roll, performed by young up-and-comers as well as a few big-name bands, has become a common -- some would say essential -- component of most suburban summer festivals. This year is no different. Live music options exist on every night of the weekend.

With that in mind, here is a rundown of some of the bigger acts making appearances in the suburbs. For a complete list of the bands, consult the appropriate festival websites.

Saturday, July 2

Lucky Boys Confusion enjoyed huge mainstream success in the past decade with its driving rock sound and hits like "Atari" and "Hey Driver," but they haven't forgotten their DuPage County roots. The band will perform at 9:30 p.m. on the Main Stage at the Taste of Lombard. Go to

Other Saturday shows of note:

• At Naperville's Ribfest, blues singer, songwriter and guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd hits the South Stage at 8:30 p.m. For information, go to

• Kansas, which rose to the top of the arena-rock pack in the 1970s with hits like "Dust in the Wind," performs at 8 p.m. on the Main Stage at Frontier Days in Arlington Heights. See

Sunday, July 3

• Gurnee resident Don Wilson once belted out a karaoke version of John Mellencamp's song "Pink Houses" at a bar, and people kept telling him how much he sounded like the Indiana rocker. So Wilson formed Mellencougar, a tribute band that has since played venues big and small all over the Midwest. The band will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday on the Main Stage at the Palatine Jaycees Hometown Fest. Go to

Other Sunday shows of note:

• Grand Funk Railroad plays at 8:30 p.m. at Naperville's Ribfest. Go to

Monday, July 4

• Bruce Hornsby exploded onto the music scene in the 1980s with his hit song "The Way It Is," which included one of the catchiest and most propulsive piano riffs to appear in a pop song. Since then, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has explored everything from jazz to bluegrass. He will perform with his current band, the Noisemakers, at 5:30 p.m. on the North Stage at Naperville's Ribfest. Go to

Other Monday shows of note:

• American English performs at 7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage at Frontier Days in Arlington Heights. See

• A series of tribute bands will perform Monday at the centennial festival hosted by the Great Lakes Naval Station in North Chicago. Mellencougar will play at 12;30 p.m.; Kashmir, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, will perform at 4 p.m.; and Beatles tribute BritBeat will take the stage at 6 p.m. Go to