Kansas carries on
Bands named after geographical places were a hit in the 1970s -- America, Chicago, Boston. Not to be forgotten is Kansas, which combined classic guitar rock with some progressive-rock touches, like strings and keyboards. Kansas scored huge arena-rock hits with songs like "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind." The 2012 version of the group, which features several original members, hits the suburbs this weekend.
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $39 to $79. Go to oshows.com.
Back to basics
The Smithereens emerged in the mid-1980s with a classic debut record, "Especially for You," that featured stripped-down garage rock with a '60s-pop flair. Their sound is loud and guitar-heavy, but with a romantic sense supplied by frontman Pat DiNizio's vocals. The band took a long hiatus at the end of the 1990s, but it's back on the road in support of a new record, "The Smithereens 2011." The band is known for its energetic (and very loud) live act, so this show is a good bet for the weekend.
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at Viper Alley, 275 Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire. Tickets start at $20. Go to viper-alley.com.
The youngsters in punk band the Orwells -- all of them teenagers from Elmhurst -- are getting praise all over the country and even in the U.K. for their infectious brand of snotty punk-pop. The group, recently written up in the Los Angeles Times after doing a show out there, will play next week in the city.
9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Crown Tap Room, 2821 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. For info, go to facebook.com/crowntap.