5 places to catch big-name concerts in the suburbs around Fourth of July
Concerts are as much a part of summer festival season as carnival rides and cotton candy. But organizers typically stage the best -- and the biggest -- right around the Fourth of July.
Here's a look at five fests with bands sure to draw fans from the suburbs and beyond:
For rock/rap fans
Head to: Naperville Ribfest
Draws: Rockabilly band Stray Cats, rocker Melissa Etheridge, rapper Pitbull, and Steven Tyler with the Loving Mary Band (with "American Idol" star Haley Reinhart just announcing she'll be opening for them). Tyler is best known as Aerosmith's flamboyant frontman, a former "American Idol" judge and rock's "Demon of Screamin.'" But with the Loving Mary Band, he's giving country a bit of a go.
When: Etheridge takes the stage at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, followed by Stray Cats at 7:30 p.m. Pitbull performs at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 5, and Tyler performs at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 7.
Cost: Varies by day and package; ribfest.net
For star gazers
Head to: Arlington Heights' Frontier Days at Recreation Park
Draw: Dennis Quaid and the Sharks. While he's mainly known as an actor, Quaid is also his band's lead singer and rhythm guitarist. And don't be surprised if he hits the keyboards for "Great Balls of Fire!" He did, after all, play Jerry Lee Lewis on the big screen.
When: 8 p.m. today
Cost: Free; frontierdays.org
For local music loyalists
Head to: Lisle's Eyes to the Skies
Draw: Lucky Boys Confusion, the pop-punk/rock band that rose out of DuPage County in the late 1990s, returns to its roots to play a fest where hot-air balloons are the big stars (that also happens to be near 53 and Ogden). Lucky Boys Confusion draws a mix of ages, from established Gen Xers who grew up with their music to millennials who got hooked during their recent resurgence.
When: 8:45 p.m. Saturday, June 30; get there early for other acts
Cost: $10 admission; eyestotheskies.org
For country music lovers
Head to: Elk Grove Village's Mid-Summer Classics Concert Series
Draw: Big & Rich. The country duo of Big Kenny Alphin and John Rich plays Elk Grove Village's Rotary Green before the fireworks. They first recorded together in 2004 and made headlines when they were booked to perform at the Trump pre-inauguration gala. (A bit of trivia: Rich won "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2011.)
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 4
Cost: Free; elkgrove.org
For funk-loving boomers
Head to: Elgin's Festival Park
Draws: Kool & the Gang and the Commodores. Dance along to "Celebration," "Brick House" and a whole lot more when these two bands -- who rose to fame in the 1970s -- take turns on stage. Fireworks follow.
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 4; gates open at 5
Cost: $35-$75 in advance, $38-$78 at the gate; grandvictoriacasino.com