Sound check: Chris Isaak brings rockabilly Christmas to Waukegan

  • Chris Isaak brings his holiday tour to the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan Saturday, Dec. 7.

    Chris Isaak brings his holiday tour to the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan Saturday, Dec. 7. Associated Press, 2016

Updated 12/5/2019 10:54 AM

Crooning Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak is all silky voice and rockabilly charm, whether he's singing his Grammy-nominated tunes or acting on the big and small screens. The California musician brings his smoldering ballads and a sleighful of holiday classics to Waukegan's Genesee Theatre as he stops here as part of his "2019 Holiday Tour." 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $40-$90. (847) 263-6300 or


Soul at Sleeping Village

The Chicago neo-soul rockers of the JC Brooks Band are bound to wake up the Sleeping Village stage when they unleash their aggressively fun set for funk-loving Chicago crowds this weekend. The bill, which also features "sinner-songwriter" Phillip-Michael Scales (fingers crossed he plays his latest smoking-hot release "O, Hallelujah") and Mo Manley (a regular at Soul Summit Chicago), is the show to see to kick off your weekend. 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. $12-$15. (773) 654-3971 or

Jingle bell pop

Pop into the holiday season as the B96 Jingle Bash brings pop favorites Katy Perry, Camila Cabello, Marshmello, MONSTA X and more to the Allstate Arena this weekend. 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont; $85-$175; $15-$25 parking fees, cash only.

So long for now, Elbo Room

The doors aren't yet closed at the iconic music venue, Elbo Room, but one thing is clear: It's time for a going-away show. The last gig in the downstairs venue (that we know of as of press time) presents a mix of Chicago-area original and cover bands -- including Local Jokes, Rhythm Method, Wilde, Pinch and The Shades -- as we bid adieu to the end of a 29-year chapter in Chicago scene history. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $7-$10. (773) 549-5549 or

Ugly sweaters with the Tasting Room

If you've been itching for an excuse to finally break out that ugly Christmas sweater, here's your chance: The Tasting Room Radio Show presents its second annual Ugly Sweater Party at West Chicago's Cairo Ale House this weekend. Primal Moon headlines the night, which also includes sets from Modern Daybreak, Xander Wolf and Confusion. Donations are welcome for Toys for Tots. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Cairo Ale House, 2009 Franciscan Way, West Chicago. $10. (630) 876-9600 or

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Christmas punk

Geek-punk pioneers Nerf Herder are packed and ready to visit Chicago for the first time in 17 years as they headline "A Merry Punking Christmas," a rock and benefit show at Reggies this weekend. Proceeds from the event -- which features The Copyrights, Dan Vapid & The Cheats and Cap Gun Heroes -- will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Also, nonperishable food and new or gently used toy donations will go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Toy Box Connection. Good tunes, good causes ... what could be better? 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Reggies Rock Club, 2105 S. State St., Chicago. (312) 949-0120 or

Merry Christmas ... Darling

Vocalist Debbie Taylor and her eight-piece band take guests on a trip through some of the Carpenters' greatest hits and most well-loved holiday favorites in "Top of the World: A Carpenters Christmas" at the Arcada Theatre. 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $29-$59. (630) 962-7000 or

Midweek rock break

Catch a great night of singer-songwriters and solid rock 'n' roll as the Montrose Saloon hosts the Rob Schulz Band for a midweek musical break. The full bill includes sets from The Dry Look, David Sebastian and recent Chicago-scene initiate Ben Vogel. 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at Montrose Saloon, 2933 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago. Free. (773) 463-7663 or

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck). Brian also keeps tabs on the Chicago-area music scene at

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