Sound check: Martin Garrix, Excision head Autumn Equinox electronic fest

Spring into Autumn Equinox

Once the lit fuse launching Chicago into summer festival season, this year's Spring Awakening is closing off the season with a bang. Opting to move to the fall as a cautionary measure against COVID, React Presents is re-imagining its annual electronic music festival as Autumn Equinox. More than 70 artists — featuring headliners Martin Garrix, Excision, Diplo, Galantis, RL Grime and Baauer — will drop dynamic house, dubstep, trap, trance and bass sets across five tricked-out, lit-up and dance-ready stages (what's that I hear about pyrotechnics?) throughout Chicago's Addams/Medill Park.

1-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2-3, at Addams/Medill Park, 1301 W. 14th St., Chicago. Two-day general admission is $189 plus fees, $105 for Saturday GA and $99 for Sunday GA; VIP passes are also available for $309 for both days, $169 for Saturday and $160 for Sunday at

New Nora Marks

When he was writing the recent Nora Marks single “Epiphany I've Had Before,” lead vocalist Michael Garrity said the song was built on a question: “Am I even going anywhere new or kind of just replaying the same thing?” That mindset permeates Friday's release of “Opt Out,” an album that sees the five-year-old indie-punk band taking on more grown-up themes through its music. And even though “Opt Out” gets a fresh coat of polish, courtesy of Wood Dale artists Kat and Tony Baker of Hot Mess Records and Broken Robots, the band's raw emotion burns through as Garrity, his brother Matthew, Robbie Bersano and Matt Galante tackle poignant ideas across an eclectic, punk-inflected soundscape. The day after the release, Nora Marks re-creates the lineup of the band's last pre-pandemic show, bringing Broken Robots and The God Awful Small Affairs to the Golden Dagger for a release celebration.

9 p.m. (doors at 8) Saturday, Oct. 2, at Golden Dagger, 2447 N. Halsted St., Chicago. $10; 21+ show; vaccinations and masks are required indoors. (773) 857-0166 or

All that shimmers

Break up your week when Fuel, the hard-rock band behind the late-'90s/early-'00s chart-burning hits “Hemorrhage (In My Hand)” and “Shimmer,” hits Palatine's Nellie's for a 101-WKQX Courtesy Show next Wednesday. The show is free, but admission is limited, so plan to get there early.

7 p.m. (doors at 6) Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. Free (but first-come first-served).

• 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). Brian also keeps tabs on the local music scene at

Nora Marks celebrates its new album, "Opt Out," with Broken Robots and The God Awful Small Affairs Saturday, Oct. 2, at Chicago's Golden Dagger. Courtesy of Sam Porter
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