Where you can see Billy Idol, Melissa Etheridge and more this week in the suburbs
Year round, music fans shell out big bucks to catch their favorite acts. Come summer, many of those same artists perform for far less -- or free -- on suburban festival stages.
And the week of July 4 brings out the best.
Here's a look at how you can catch six big-name acts in the suburbs over the next few days:
Where to go if ...
You want to revel with a Rebel: Ribfest draws big acts to Knoch Park, and this year -- the fest's last in Naperville -- is no exception. Punk rock pioneer Billy Idol headlines the first night of the four-day fest, taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. His hits, dating back to the early '80s, include "Rebel Yell," "Dancing With Myself," "Mony Mony" and "White Wedding." Individual tickets start at $45. See ribfest.net.
You want to impress your rap-loving kids: You'll need to head back to Ribfest on July 4 to see rapper Flo Rida, the Miami native and four-time Grammy nominee behind such hits as "My House" and "Low." He plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Individual tickets start at $30. See ribfest.net.
You want to rock out (for free!) on the Fourth: Melissa Etheridge headlined a Ravinia Festival show in Highland Park a little more than a week ago. She's back in the 'burbs this week -- and you can see her for free at 7:30 p.m. at Elk Grove Village's Rotary Green as part of the Village's Mid-Summer Classics Concert Series. Settle in early and stay for the fireworks. See elkgrove.org for parking options.
You want to rock out (for free!) after the Fourth: Bring your bandanna and head to Arlington Heights' Frontier Days on Saturday to see Bret Michaels. The Poison frontman, solo singer and reality TV star performs at 8 p.m. on the Main Stage at Recreation Park. Don't plan on packing a picnic, though: No outside food or drinks are allowed. See frontierdays.org.
You want to catch Southern rockers: Also free? 38 Special at Naval Station Great Lakes on Thursday. The band behind such hits as "Hold on Loosely," "Caught Up in You" and "Second Chance" goes on at 6:15 p.m., followed by the Navy Band Great Lakes at 8:45 p.m. and fireworks. See www.mwrgl.com for fest and parking details.
You want to relive your alt-rock college days: Soul Asylum brings Saturday night to a close at Eyes to the Skies at Lisle Community Park. The Grammy-winning alt-rock band, which rose to fame in the '90s with "Runaway Train" and "Black Gold," plays at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, after local rock from AM Taxi. The concerts are included in the festival admission price of $10. Get more details at www.eyestotheskies.org.