Champaign, Illinois's finest indie rockers Headlights come to town on the heels of their blissful third album on Polyvinyl, Some Racing, Some Stopping, a seamless, uniformly compelling work that has been shamelessly overlooked by critics this year. Though their mixed-gender melodies often inspire comparisons to other boy/girl outfits like sometimes-tourmates Mates of State and the Essex Green, the group's tendency toward breezy-sounding ballads tinged with despair more precisely recall erstwhile 'Sota pop outfits like the Jayhawks and the Hang-Ups. These touring warriors have not yet received the mainstream adoration they deserve for their CDs (2006's Kill Them with Kindness was another underappreciated gem), but their live shows are known to be high-energy, transcendent affairs. Captained by the lovely, ever-enthusiastic singer/keyboard player Erin Fein—who splits the vocals duty with guitar player Tristan Wraight—a Headlights show is likely to be as sparkling and inspiring as anything else you'll see this summer. With Scout Niblett. 21+.
Tue., June 24, 9 p.m., 2008