Vocalist Bernard Sumner of New Order | GETTY IMAGES
Good news: New Order is back on the road, playing set lists spanning their entire career (first as Joy Division, then as ’80s new wave heroes). Bad news: The member whose playing contributed more than a little to the band’s signature sound, bassist Peter Hook, isn’t along for the ride for the first time — well, ever. Kinda like the Smiths without Johnny Marr. But hey, the tunes will still be something. . . . At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence. Tickets: $50. Call (800) 514-ETIX; jamusa.com. — Thomas Conner
The current lineup of ye olde Pumpkins — leader Billy Corgan with guitarist Jeff Schroeder, bassist Nicole Fiorentino and drummer Mike Byrne — solidified in 2010, while some critics (myself included, regrettably) still bemoaned Corgan’s stubborn, Pretenders-like continuation of the band name. But the quartet truly gels on their new album, “Oceania,” emerging as a solid, cohesive force for the first time. The shows, if recent history holds, are punishing and exciting. At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Rd. in Rosemont. Tickets: $50. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com. —TC
There are many Elvis impersonators out there — men, women, children, pets — but few pack a punch quite like El Vez, the Mexican Elvis. Merging the hysteria of Elvis worship with a fierce Latin pride, El Vez reinvents Presley’s power and mystique from a socialist Hispanic perspective. His shows are entertaining and empowering, regardless of your cultural background — as he himself is fond of saying: “When you come to an El Vez show, you walk away proud to be a Mexican. Even when you’re not.” At 8 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $21-$25. Call (773) 728-6000; oldtownschool.org.
A 15th anniversary edition of “Too Far to Care,” the major-label debut from alt-country-pop band the Old 97’s, was just issued, and the Dallas band is on the road again with a triple-threat bill — playing the album in its entirety, playing a second set of hits, and with singer Rhett Miller opening the show from his solo catalogue. That’s a lot of nerdy, aw-shucks goodness. At 8 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield. Tickets: $25. Call (800) 514-ETIX; jamusa.com. — TC
Vancouver native Grimes (Claire Boucher) headlined the smaller stage at last summer’s Pitchfork Music Festival but siphoned off a massive crowd from the main stage, bewildering as many as she entranced with her soft, skittering ballads and glitchy, gauzy pop fragments. She knows how to craft a hook, but she casts them into strange, murky waters. Myths and Elite Gymnastics open at 9 p.m. Oct. 22-23 at Metro, 3730 N. Clark. Tickets: $19. Call (800) 514-ETIX; metrochicago.com. — TC