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BIG EASY DOES IT

MELODY FAIR
Melody Fair has a busy week, with four major acts ranging from funk to soul to madcap comedy:

The Neville Brothers, "New Orleans' First Family of Funk," have some 30 years of singing and playing under their belts. Led by Aaron Neville, the tattooed dude with the angelic voice, the four brothers lay down smooth, soulful music. The Neville Brothers play Friday at 8 p.m.

Gallagher's brand of comedy may be wholesome, but it definitely ain't clean. With his patented Sledge-O-Matic device -- i.e., a very large sledgehammer -- Gallagher joyously destroys apples, oranges, cottage cheese, Big Macs and, of course, watermelons, sending the debris flying into the audience. He performs Saturday at 8 p.m. Bring your parkas.

Chicago has never thought small: The seven-member band debuted with a double album in 1969, released 19 more records over the ensuing years and sold more than 100 million of them. Though only four of the original members remain, Chicago has grown to an eight-man group and promises to satisfy audiences with a long list of favorites. Chicago plays Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Patti LaBelle began as a '60s girl-group singer, but bravely led her trio, Labelle, into the disco era wearing silver space suits and glitter makeup. (They were the ones who asked, "Voulez vous couchez avec moi?") After stints on Broadway, LaBelle re-entered the Top 10 in 1985 with the poppy soul song "New Attitude." Now 52, but looking slim and sexy for the '90s, LaBelle is touring in support of her latest album, "Flame." She performs Thursday at 8 p.m.

-- Rafer Guzman

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