Wayward but still beloved singer and songwriter Chris Mills, a former Chicagoan now based in New York, returns on Saturday to his old stomping grounds at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, in support of his new album “Living the Aftermath,” a more stripped-down and immediate effort than his last ork-pop offering. American Mars opens at 10:30 p.m., and the cover is $12; for more information, call (773) 525-2508 or visit www.schubas.com.
Hip-hop legend Jay-Z was on fire when he performed an underplay at the House of Blues last fall upon the release of “American Gangster,” and if “Growing Pains” isn’t the strongest disc Mary J. Blige has ever given us, the so-called “queen of hip-hop soul” never fails to deliver onstage, where she remains the strongest female voice in R&B today. The two pair up for the Heart of the City tour coming to the United Center, 1901 W. Madison, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $59.75 to $300 via www.LiveNation.com.
Though the U.S. won't get a chance to see the Led Zeppelin reunion this summer (if ever), Chicago fans can console themselves with the knowledge that, a.) That isn't really Zep anyway (it can't be, since John Bonham is dead), and B.) Bruce Lamont, Paul Kamp (of Yakuza and Busker Soundcheck fame, respectively) and the killer rhythm section of Ian Lee and Chris Klein bill themselves as Zep2, and they do as good a Zep as Zep ever did back in the day. They perform at Martry's 3855 N. Lincoln, at 10 p.m. Saturday, playing a similar set to their heroes' at Earls Court in 1975. Buy tickets in advance at http://www.martyrslive.com/ ('cause the show will sell out), or call (773) 404-9494.