Chasin' Jason: Country superstar Jason Aldean is headed back to Central Illinois this spring, this time via the Peoria Civic Arena in Peoria. According to the singer's website, the show is set for May 11, and features special guests Luke Combs and Lauren Alaina, with ticket information still TBA as of press-time. It'll mark Aldean's first pass through Central Illinois since his two-night stand two Januarys ago here in B-N, via the former U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
Fair-weather Trace: It's the dead of winter, but we can still dream of summer, can't we? Helping us along is what appears to be the first major fair-weather grandstand announcements of the new year, on behalf of the Champaign County Fair in Urbana and the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. In Champaign-Urbana, it's country veteran Trace Adkins, set for a 7 p.m. July 27 concert, featuring special guests Tracey Lawrence and Confederate Railroad. Ticket information is at www.champaigncountyfair.cc. In Springfield, it's country-rocker Brantley Gilbert, set to headline the Aug. 19 grandstand show, with ticket info and opening act still TBA.
Monarch takes wing: Peoria's Monarch Music Hall, formerly the Limelight Eventplex, is readying to emerge from its cocoon under the auspices of its new owners ... the crew who run Bloomington's Castle Theatre. The venue's new website is up and running at www.monarchmusichall.com and lists its first four dates: Spring String, a WTVP benefit with area favorites Chicago Farmer, Phanie Rae & The Soul Shakers, Woodland Remedy and Deep Hollow, 7 p.m. March 10 ($25-$35); rockers All Time Low, with Gnash and Dreamer, 7 p.m. April 7 ($28-$40); more rock from Nothing More, 7:30 p.m. April 20 ($20-$25); and metalcore band Parkway Drive, 7:30 p.m. May 11 ($25-$28).
Castle stormers: Two more shows have been added to the early spring slate of Bloomington's Castle Theatre: Chicago's Ike Reilly Assassination, no strangers to the venue, at 8 p.m. March 15 ($12-$15); and Arizona rockers The Maine, 8 p.m. April 18 ($23-$25).