A pair of aces: Here's one of the biggest shows headed to the area this spring ... a double-whammy affair featuring ageless outlaw Willie Nelson and hometown girl Alison Krauss, at 7:30 p.m. May 22 in the U of I's State Farm Center in Champaign. The concert site has meaning for both headliners: Champaign is where Krauss grew up, of course, and the U of I is where Nelson (who turns 85 just several weeks prior) chose to stage the first of his legendary Farm Aid concerts back in 1985. Tickets start at a modest $26 and max out in the VIP range at an immodest $246.50. They're now on sale via the venue's box office.
Aldean update: As noted here a month ago, Jason Aldean is bringing his "High Noon Neon Tour" to the Peoria Civic Center Arena on May 11, with openers Luke Combs, Lauren Alaina and Dee Jay Silver. Ticket details have finally been released, with seats for the 7:30 p.m. show going on sale at 10 a.m. Friday via the PCC box office and Ticketmaster. Prices range from $48.50-$97.95.
Summer's best Brett: Speaking of Champaign natives (see above), there's another big success story from that vicinity headed to the area this summer. Brett Eldredge, who grew up in nearby Paris, has been added to the Illinois State Fair grandstand lineup ... as the headliner for Aug. 17. An opening act and on-sale date for tickets will come later this spring.
Blues for a cause: Added to the burgeoning slate of Peoria's Monarch Music Hall — just several weeks away from its first offering under the Castle Theatre group's ownership — is an April 13 stand for veteran bluesman Walter Trout. The 7:30 p.m. show, also featuring area favorites Dexter O'Neal & Funk Yard, is a Center for Youth & Family Services Blues for a Cause fundraiser. Tickets are $20-$35 at the Monarch box office.
Always say Neverly: If you missed The Neverly Brothers at their recent Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts show, good news: the dynamic retro-rocking trio from Chicago is headed back to the area, this time at 7 p.m. Saturday as part of the monthly music series in the Melvin Community Hall in Melvin. Tickets are $10 at 217-388-2853; a Melvin Youth soup-sandwich dinner will precede the show at 5:30 p.m.