Mary J. Blige received a 2012 Soul Train Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Female Artist. | AP
Mary J. Blige’s “Liberation Tour” with D’Angelo and Melanie Fiona hits town at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison. Tickets are $27-$37. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com.
Comedian Eddie Griffin performs at 8 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Venue at Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino, Hammond Ind. Tickets are $29.50-$75. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com.
Headline act Robbie Fulks, performing with a full band at 4 p.m. Sept. 9 on the Main Stage, fires up the crowd during the Eighth Annual Lakeview East Festival of Arts on Broadway from Belmont to Roscoe. Other entertainers include Frank and Dave, 11 a.m. Sept. 8 (Main Stage); Magic Carpet, 4:30 p.m. Sept. 8 (Garden Stage); and Las Guitarras de Espana, 2:15 p.m. Sept. 9 (Garden stage). New to the festival is an exhibit of works by Project Onward’s Portrait exhibit. Patch Landscaping’s interactive garden featuring an oversized, live chess board is located on Hawthorne. Works by the more than 150 artists will be showcased. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 8; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 9. Admission is $5. Call (773) 348-8608; lakevieweast.com.
Sample more than 400 domestic and international wines during Binny’s Beverage Depot’s Taste at the Track event from 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 8 at Arlington Park, 2200 W. Euclid, Arlington Heights. Tickets are $30 (21+over). Visit Arlington park.com.
Bob Mould, with Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster, perform 1992’s “Copper Blue, Bob” in its entirety as part of Metro Bar’s, 3730 N. Clark, 30th anniversary celebration at 8 p.m. Sept. 13-14. Mould also performs tracks from his new album “Silver Age.” Tickets are $25. Visit metrochicago.com.
The 23rd annual Festival de la Villita Mexican Independence Day celebration takes place Sept. 7-9 in the Little Village neighborhood at 2600 S. Kostner. This year’s event pays tribute to the Mayan culture. Attractions include food, arts and crafts, carnival rides and children’s entertainment. Hours are 6-11 p.m. Sept. 7; 2-11 p.m. Sept. 8-9. Admission is free. Visit chicagoevents.com. And the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade steps off at noon Sept. 9, from 26th and Albany, then west to 26th and Kostner. Visit chicagoevents.com.
The 16th Annual Chicago Half Marathon (begins at 7 a.m.) and the Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5K (begins at 7:45 a.m.) share the same start and finish lines when they get under way in Jackson Park Sept. 9. Registration for the 13.1 mile Chicago Half Marathon is $100, at active.com/framed/event_details.cfm. Registration for the Hyundai Hope on Wheels is $40; hyundaihopeonwheels.org.
OPERA IN THE PARK
The Lyric Opera hosts its annual free concert “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph. The program includes Act One of Verdi’s “La traviata,” Act Four of Bizet’s “Carmen,” along with highlights from Wagner’s “Tannhauser.” Call (312) 332-2244; lyricopera.org.
The Rusted Root perform at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at Viper Alley, 275 Parkway, Lincolnshire. Lucy Stone opens. Tickets are $30-$50. Visit viper-alley.com; ticketweb.com.
The late Vivian Maier’s two passions were the love of her adopted city Chicago and photography. “Vivian Maier’s Chicago,” opens Sept. 8 at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark, capturing (in grand scale) some monumental moments in Chicago history. Museum hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12-$14. Call (312) 642-4600; chicago
Big Star restaurant partners with Metro Bar for the inaugural Dust Up Music Festival taking place in the parking lot of Big Star, 1531 N. Damen, Sept. 8. A record fair and DJ music starts at noon. Live entertainment, beginning at 4 p.m., including Disappears, Andre Williams, Old Baby, Quarter Mile Thunder, and Jeff Walroth band. Admission is free. Visit bigstarchicago.com; metrochicago.com.
Singing cowboy and comedian Rodney Carrington performs at 8 p.m. Sept. 8 at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena, Aurora. Tickets are $49.50-$59.50. Call (630) 896-6666; paramountaurora.com.
DON’T MISS IT
The annual Fall Design Center Sample sale, featuring up to 75 percent off select items, is Sept. 7-9 in the Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart on floors 6, 15, 16, 17 and 18. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 7; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 8-9. Admission is free. Visit merchandisemartdesigncenter.com/samplesale.