Sound check: Take the Reins, Release(r), Hoodie Life play Fitz's
New songs are afoot for West suburban punk band Take the Reins. The band will roll out one Saturday at Fitz's Spare Keys in downtown Elmhurst. The fun, driving rockers will share the stage with Chicago four-piece Release(r) and The Hoodie Life, a recent project helmed by Stubhy Pandav. 9 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Fitz's Spare Keys, 119 N. York St., Elmhurst. $10. (630) 379-5007 or fitzssparekeys.com.
Blood People release
Blood People are bringing a new EP to see the light of day. The band -- featuring Aly Jados and Jeff Loehrke (both from Lake Zurich), Roselle's Mickey Molinari and Norm Burns of Peoria -- is following up last year's Riot Fest appearance with another set of solid rock, presented at the "Great Reactor" release show at Beat Kitchen this weekend. Hear the new tunes, as well as songs from Hawks and Doves and Denim Matriarch, who share the night's bill. 9 p.m. Friday, April 19, at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. $8. (773) 281-4444 or beatkitchen.com.
Penny Road Pub rolls out this year's edition of Midwest Springfest, an annual daylong celebration of hard rock and metal. The bands, most from the Chicago area, will be featured on two stages -- upstairs and downstairs -- with staggered schedules so guests can catch some of each set. The Miller Stage upstairs features headliner Alethia; A Dying Ultimatum headlines the downstairs Jager Stage, with a full complement of musical acts leading up to both: Dear Deadly, Genotype, No Clear Way, Monroe, Blacken the Day, Prison City Brigade, Rachels Bully, Toxic Ruin, Greywall, The Kringe, 20 Spot, Mudfish and Mary Vaughn. 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Penny Road Pub, 545 Penny Road, Barrington. $10 through the bands; $12 at the door. (847) 428-0562 or pennyroadpub.com.
Red Light goodbyes
Red Light Compliance, a four-piece punk rock outfit from the western suburbs, is playing its last set as a band at Evolution Music in Downers Grove this weekend. Don't miss this all-ages farewell show, which has a stacked lineup of the Chicago-area scene: The Linden Method, Fantastic Mammals, stop.drop.rewind, Qualia and Primark. 6 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Evolution Music, 923 Curtiss St., Downers Grove. $10. (630) 541-5022 or evolutionmusicstore.com.
Soul-inspired Northern Ireland rock singer-songwriter Van Morrison brings his hits "Gloria," "Brown Eyed Girl," "Wild Night" and more to the Chicago Theatre for three nearly sold-out nights. Catch him with the James Hunter Six Band as he tours to promote his "The Healing Game" deluxe edition, released in March. 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, April 23-25, at Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. Ticket prices vary. (312) 902-1500 or msg.com.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music fanboy. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @thatshamieguy. Brian also keeps tabs on the Chicago-area music scene at chicagosoundcheck.com.