Sound check: Old Dominion, Fletcher Rockwell play double-feature in Rosemont
"Make It Sweet," the latest single from Old Dominion, is driving the chart-burning country band's tour around the country and Canada the next few months. The "Make It Sweet Tour," also featuring Jordan Davis and Morgan Evans, kicks off from the Allstate Arena this weekend. Make the show part of a double feature with one of the Chicago-area's hottest Americana bands, Fletcher Rockwell, as they play an Old Dominion After-Party show at Joe's Live in Rosemont. Old Dominion: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. Tickets start at $32.50; limited tickets still available. (800) 745-3000 or rosemont.com/allstate/events/. Old Dominion After Party featuring Fletcher Rockwell: 11:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Joe's Live, 5441 Park Place, Rosemont. Free with ticket reservation online; $5 at the door; free at the door with Old Dominion ticket stub. (847) 261-0392 or joesliverosemont.com.
Rejoice with the Blind Boys
The Blind Boys of Alabama, the long-running, Grammy-winning collective of gospel artists originally founded in the 1930s, packs an uplifting punch whenever they perform. The band brings its jubilant sound to Aurora's Paramount Theatre for a Friday night show sure to set your weekend off on the right foot. 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) Friday, Jan. 18, at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $30-$50. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.
Hip-hop's Highest Low
Aurora native Snotty Pippen and Chicago's Just Wise -- better known as hip-hop duo The Highest Low -- bring their catchy beats to Bottom Lounge this weekend, headlining a four-act lineup also featuring Andro and Chicago emcee The Ewokk. Be sure to get there on time to catch Elgin's Watch City as Andrew Moore, Aaron Kasz, Angrous Jeffries, Dave Stone, Gary Phakosay, Joel Feliciano and Kyle Cole warm up the stage. 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago. $10. (312) 666-6775 or bottomlounge.com.
Tomorrow Never Knows
As Chicago-area concerts tend to slow down a bit while we recover from the holidays and musicians hole up writing new music, Tomorrow Never Knows shines as a bright spot in the gray days of January. The five-day music festival, spread across the stages at six Chicago venues, brings together some of the best up-and-coming musicians the area has to offer, along with comedy acts and national musical artists. This year's fest -- which includes Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Metro, Smartbar, Hideout and Sleeping Village -- features acts such as Girl K, Charly Bliss, WAND, Negative Gemini, Neil Hamburger, Varsity, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, Shortly, Yoke Lore, David Bazan and many more. Five-day passes are sold out, as are some of the shows, so check on the schedule at lh-st.com. Wednesday, Jan. 16, through Sunday, Jan. 20, at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., (773) 525-2501 or lh-st.com; Schubas Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, (773) 525-2508 or lh-st.com; Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., Chicago, (773) 549-4140 or metrochicago.com; Smartbar, 3730 N. Clark St., Chicago, (773) 549-0203 or smartbarchicago.com; Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., Chicago, (773) 227-4433 or hideoutchicago.com; and Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, (773) 654-3971 or sleeping-village.com.
Westmore, Elder Light, Havens, stop.drop.rewind, Over The Sun: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Wire, 6815 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. $12-$15; 18-and-older show. (708) 669-9473 or wireismusic.com.
Sublime with Rome: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. Free, but tickets are limited for this WKQX Courtesy Concert, so arrive early. (847) 358-9150 or durtynellies.com.
Super Neutral, Demetrius N Vince featuring the Lunch Room Rejects, The Sinclair Express: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Moe's Tavern, 2937 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. RSVP online. (773) 227-2937 or moestavernchicago.com.
Sin MG, Papi Le Gusta, Falling From Forever: 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at BrauerHouse, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. $7-$10. (630) 495-2141 or brauerhouse.com.
Tonic Freight Train: 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Ballydoyle Aurora, 28 W. New York St., Aurora. Free. (630) 844-0400 or ballydoylepub.com.
A Benefit for the Ferguson/Shaheed Family featuring El Famous, Speaking With Ghosts, Contra, Tanzen, Capital Vices, Qualia and Color Me Amused: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago. $10. (312) 666-6775 or bottomlounge.com.
When the Sun Sets, The Liars' Club, Misstep Forward, Adam Linder with Chris Smith: 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at RocHaus, 96 W. Main St., West Dundee. $10-$13. (815) 482-2870 or rochaus.com.
Innocent X, Myllhouse, Nathan Graham: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago. $10. (312) 940-4400 or virginhotels.com.
BiG SUiT -- A Tribute to Talking Heads: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $28-$39. (815) 356-9212 or rauecenter.org.
Novo Showcase with Faux Co, She Rides Tigers, The Thin Cherries: 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Montrose Saloon, 2933 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago. $5. (773) 463-7663 or montrosesaloon.com.
Plastic Fantastic Lobster Telephone -- A Tribute To The Cult, Black Market Grenades: 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at BrauerHouse, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. $10-$12. (630) 495-2141 or brauerhouse.com.
Jacob Tolliver & Friends, Blacklist Regulars: 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at Mainstage Theater at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. $15. (630) 584-6300 or pheasantrun.com.
Bryan Bowers: 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at Grayslake Village Hall, 10 S. Seymour Ave., Grayslake. $13-$18. thelakecountyfolkclub.org.
Annie's Takeout, Torch The Hive, Sorry, No Sympathy, Late., The Skies Are Shifting: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Wire, 6815 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. $12-$15; 18-and-older show. (708) 669-9473 or wireismusic.com.
East Avenue, The Illogical, Short Story Inc., Mooney Park: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Wire, 6815 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. $10; all-ages show. (708) 669-9473 or wireismusic.com.
The Rewrites, SpaceWolves, Machin, Around The Fur: 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at Wire, 6815 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. $10; all-ages show. (708) 669-9473 or wireismusic.com.
Ludlow, One More Moon, Poor Calvin: 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $10. (773) 404-9494 or martyrslive.com.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music fanboy. You can follow him on Twitter at @thatshamieguy. Also check out some of the bands that surprised and excited us in 2018 on Spotify's "2018 Chicago Sound Check vol. 11 -- Surprises from 2018" playlist.