The Top 10 Music Scenes in Chicago to Check Out This Summer (Infographic)
Chicago has a lot to offer in the way of entertainment for the music enthusiast. We’ve pulled together 10 venues and events that you’ll want to be sure to check out when in town. And, in case the infographic doesn’t load, we’ve written out our list for you right here.
1. Empty Bottle
The Empty Bottle is the place to be if you want to see bands before they make it big. This Ukrainian Village dive’s intimate space fits 400 and in August you can in their awesomely experimental Million Tongues Festival.
Names like The Smashing Pumpkins, Eddie Vedder, and Guns N’ Roses are synonymous with the Metro. Aside from the name-dropping, the Metro’s 1,000-capacity room is plain and simple an awesome way to take in a show. The sound is crystal clear and the rock club vibe is the perfect combination of edgy and cool.
3. The Hideout
If you don’t have a good time at The Hideout, you’re something different. Located in an 1890s balloon-frame house, its live music room, poetry readings, and bingo nights make it feel like something right out of your parents’ basement in all the right ways.
4. Thalia Hall
Modeled after Prague’s opera house, Thalia Hall offers a diverse lineup that includes the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Neurosis, and Lake Street Dive. Take in the show from an Abe Lincoln-esque balcony then head next door to the Michelin-starred restaurant Dusek’s or sample the punch bowls at its downstairs bar, Punch House.
5. Schuba’s Tavern
Schubas is an awesome corner bar with an adjacent dining room serving up some serious mac & cheese. But all the action is in the back room, where up-and-coming artists — often of the quieter singer/songwriter persuasion with an occasional wild rock show or hip-hop gig – can be seen on stage most nights of the week.
6. Green Mill
When the concert is over but you’re still jonesing for some music, skip the club in favor of this former Al Capone hangout where you can catch an after-hours live jazz party with Sabertooth in a swanky setting until 5am. Not really a difficult choice if you ask us.
7. Wickerpark Fest
Large music fests like Lollapalooza are great and all, but to truly experience a Chicago summer is to attend a city street festival. When it comes to music, none is finer than this long-running neighborhood event featuring 40 artists on three stages all for a $10 donation.
Perry Farrell’s annual Grant Park throw-down is always full of fun surprises and you’re always guaranteed to run into at least three random people you know from high school. All around, it’s a good time had by all.
9. North Coast Music Festival
In all of the hoopla over Lolla, this Annual Labor Day weekend festival tends to be overlooked, but it really shouldn’t. The North Coast Music Festival’s music lineup is consistently eclectic and the vibe is wonderfully laid-back and easy, like any good festival should be.
10. Riot Fest
In recent years, Riot Fest has slowly risen to the top to become known as the best music festival in Chicago. With uniquely excellent lineups that include names like Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, M.I.A., and the Wu-Tang Clan Riot Fest is sure to be three of the most fun days you can take attend in the Windy City.