The annual HoZac Blackout festival returns for the second time since being reincarnated in 2011 after a four-year hiatus. This year the Blackout—and likely the actual blackouts of the many inebriated garage-rock fans attending—will stretch over three days, Fri 5/18 through Sun 5/20, at the Empty Bottle. (There's also a preview event Thu 5/17, about which more in a sec.) Two dozen acts are scheduled to play over the course of the weekend: Friday's highlights include Puerto Rican scuzz poppers Davila 666, San Diego neo-protopunks Spider Fever (fronted by Off! and Hot Snakes drummer Mario Rubalcaba), and reunited Chicago trash-punk outfit SYZ (formerly Screaming Yellow Zonkers). Saturday's lineup, headlined by Redd Kross, also includes Atlanta power-pop concern Gentleman Jesse & His Men, lo-fi Texas druganauts Fungi Girls, and local sibling duo White Mystery. On Sunday night, psych legend Roky Erickson headlines, and among the opening acts are Blackout staple Human Eye, postpunk-inflected Connecticut quartet Estrogen Highs, and Chicago rock-scene supergroup Bare Mutants. Tickets for Friday night's show are $20, and Saturday and Sunday are $25 apiece; they'll definitely sell out, so advance tickets are a must. With so many bands on every bill, the music starts early: Friday and Saturday at 5 PM and Sunday at 7 PM.
Thu 5/17 at 7 PM there's a prefestival art show upstairs at the Bottom Lounge, with work by SYZ's Colin Smith and Criminal IQ Records cofounder Darius Hurley, among others; the event also features performances by reunited Chicago noise punks Mentally Ill and gothy locals Cemetery, and tickets are $5. On Sun 5/20 at 3 PM, HoZac hosts a barbecue behind the Continental (2801 W. Chicago) featuring pulled pork and smoked brisket by Brimstone BBQ, aka Arman Mabry and Mike Tsoulos (both of Rabid Rabbit) and Stacey Egan; don't get there late if you want to eat, because the meat will go fast. Admission is free and food is $5.