Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Stage Buzz: Hozier, Supernatural, Time Zone, SWAK, Riot Fest, Smashing Pumpkins

| September 11, 2023

Cecy Santana performs with Supernatural at Des Plaines, Theatre.


Irish singer-songwriter Hozier, may be known for his groundbreaking single “Take Me to Church,” but that was just the beginning. He comes to Chicago’s Huntington Bank Pavilion on Tuesday, September 12, after a triumphant pop-up show at Metro in June. AKA Andrew Hozier-Byrne’s third album Unreal Unearth dropped in August – he proves himself to be a prolific musician and songwriter willing to approach any topic, no matter how grim and dark, in a way that will connect with listeners. The album went to #1 on the US and UK Billboard charts shortly thereafter, including key songs “Eat Your Young” and “All Things End,” released on his Eat Your Young EP earlier this spring. As expected, This show has been sold out for a while, but the resale market can remedy that.

Janelle Monáe is never afraid to unapologetically be herself. Everything from her style to her activism for social justice and the LGBTQA+ community makes her one of the most important modern musicians of our time. She returned this year with her critically acclaimed album The Age of Pleasure, and to celebrate, Monáe is bringing her unforgettable live show to the Aragon Ballroom this Thursday, September 14th. Tickets are still available here.

Formerly the Lotus Kings, Chicago’s Midwest Santana tribute, Supernatural, comes to the Des Plaines Theatre on Friday, September 15. Performing a classic catalog of Carlos Santana’s tunes (“Black Magic Woman, “She’s Not There,” “Oye Como Va”) to deeper cuts (“Smooth,” “Maria Maria,” and “The Game of Love”), the band is debuting a stunning version (from Santana’s most recent album) of “Whiter Shade of Pale” for this show. Supernatural is powered by Steve Kikoen’s Grammy-winning band (including Paul Wertico on drums), including their secret weapon, amazing vocalist Cecy Santana.

Chicago’s hometown music festival Riot Fest returns this year with a massive lineup on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Sept 15, 16, 17) – perhaps their biggest ever. With three days of punk, pop, rock, and metal music on five stages with over 90 diverse acts, Riot Fest is a top-notch Midwest musical destination. Despite some opposition from area residents over the past several years, Riot Fest returns to Douglass Park. The three-day fest is loaded with over 30 acts per day, with star-studded headliners closing the show each night. Following the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins last year and the release of the band’s 11th full-length album in June, the Dave Grohl-led Foo Fighters will headline night one, while Baltimore’s melodic hardcore punkers Turnstile also receives top billing. Day two’s headliners will feature singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard pulling double duty with The Postal Service/Death Cab for Cutie—who will be performing albums Give Up and Transatlanticism, respectively, in their entirety—along with stoner rock veterans Queens of the Stone Age, who’s last Riot Fest headlining performance was in 2017. Day three will end with gothic rock progenitors and Riot Fest 2014 returnees Goth/darkwave legends The Cure, as well as Texas progressive rockers The Mars Volta. There will be something for every music fan, with an eclectic mix of styles and genres. Other big-name acts include The Breeders (performing Last Splash), Parliament Funkadelic featuring George Clinton, Mr. Bungle, Sleep Token, Pennywise, Insane Clown Posse, Corey Feldman, AFI, Flogging Molly, and many more. — Kelley Simms

Stalwart Chicago rockers SWAK (Sealed With A Kiss) is wrapping up a busy summer with an appearance at Schaumburg’s Hops & Props Festival Saturday – a vintage aircraft, food, beer, wine, and music festival that’s become a highlight in the Northwest Suburbs. Tickets are only $5.00 in advance. The band mixes female vocal-powered classics from the AOR-rock and MTV radio eras (“Barracuda,” ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “One Way or Another,” Keep on Rolling”) to the modern age (“Raise Your Glass”).

Smashing Pumpkins’ 1993 album Siamese Dream arguably remains their most iconic album. Often hailed as one of the best of the 1990s, the album saw them pushing their boundaries and getting more personal. Featuring hit singles such as “Today,” “Disarm,” and “Cherub Rock,” the album continues to resonate with new fans to this day. To celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary, The Smashing Pumpkins will play a special intimate acoustic show at Madame Zuzu’s Tea House in Highland Park on Sunday, September 17. You can still get tickets here.

Speaking of the aforementioned Kikoen, he debuts his newest jazz-influenced project (“jazz-meets-rock-meets-pop sensibility” according to the band), Time Zone, at City Winery on Monday, September 18. Deacon Blues founder Kikoen, with Grammy winner Paul Wertico, keyboardist Ben Lewis, and bassist Dave Farley. The group will also be presenting a salute to the music of jazz icons Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays at their debut performance.

-Ashley Perez Holingsworth with David Gedge and Kelley Simms

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz

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