The Music Box of Rockford, 218 E. State St., held a soft opening Thursday, May 16, 2024, in downtown Rockford. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)
By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — A new downtown listening lounge owned by musicians Kelly Steward and Miles Nielsen and their business partners has announced its inaugural show.

Kevn Kinney, the lead singer and songwriter for the Atlanta-based rock band Drivn N Cryin, will perform in the debut show for The Music Box of Rockford, 218 E. State St. “An Evening with Kevn Kinney” is slated for 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 17.

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Steward and Nielsen and their business partners Trea Mihalovich and Drew Gibson started holding soft-opening events at The Music Box last month as they geared up for the first show. Nielsen said Kinney had asked about performing in the first show since the early vision for the venue was being developed.

The Music Box has also slated an evening with Roger Clyne, from Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, and PH Naffah for July 3.

The  2,600-square-foot music lounge sits about 250 people in the space that formerly housed Midwest Rustic, which closed in September 2022. The new venue is designed to celebrate the city’s musical history while adding a more vibrant live music scene to downtown.

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The name pays homage to Ralph Nielsen’s Music Box Gift Shoppe, which Nielsen’s grandfather ran on Seventh Street for about four decades until the late 1990s.

If you go | Kevn Kinney at The Music Box

When: 7:30 p.m. (6 p.m. doors open) Monday, June 17

Where: 218 E. State St., Rockford

Tickets: Go HERE

About | The Music Box Rockford

Where: 218 E. State St., Rockford

Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday; closed Tuesday; 4 p.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday; 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

On the web:

On social: on Instagram; on Facebook go HERE

Contact: 815-986-7396

This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at or follow him on X at @KevinMHaas or Instagram @thekevinhaas and Threads @thekevinhaas

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