CHICAGO SHOWS & more (click on artist name below to see full tour schedule)
Let valslist be your concert filter! Val hand picks Chicago shows she thinks you’ll love. Just Listen…
With an 18,500 reserved seating capacity and forty-eight luxury suites, the Allstate Arena is one of the largest indoor entertainment facilities in the Chicago area. Excellent sight lines from all seat locations, plenty of on-site parking and convenient public transportation unite to provide Allstate Arena’s guests with the ultimate fan experience. Brings in big stadium concert and shows.
Alpine Valley Music Theatre is a 37,000 capacity amphitheatre, in East Troy, Wisconsin. The seasonal venue was built in 1977 and it features a characteristic wooden roof, covering the 7,500-seat pavilion and a sprawling lawn. The theatre is located roughly equidistant between Madison, Milwaukee, Rockford, and Chicago, and therefore draws a wide regional audience. Alpine Valley is generally considered the Milwaukee stop on major tours and the Chicago stop when the act doesn’t perform in Illinois. Until 1993, when the San Manuel Amphitheater was built in California, it was the largest amphitheater in the United States.
The Aragon was built in 1926 by two brothers, William and Andrew Karzas, at an exorbitant cost of two million dollars (considering the price of admission was only .90c). The Aragon, named after a providence in Spain, was designed to replicate a Spanish palace courtyard with its crystal chandeliers, mosaic tiles, garishly painted plaster, terra-cotta ceiling and beautiful arches. When it opened in July, 1926 more than 8,000 people jammed the Aragon to enjoy its unprecedented beauty. It was dubbed the most beautiful ballroom in the world. The Aragon was a smashing success and soon became the most famous dance hall in America.
Regular dance schedules at the Aragon ended 9 February 1964, after several years of sagging attendance. The enormous ballroom simply could not compete against the rise of television, the younger generation’s concentration on family-building, and the decline of the Uptown neighborhood. Since then, the Aragon has hosted a wide variety of events, including wrestling matches, roller skating, rock concerts, and even a couple of disco nights. Today, it is used primarily for concerts and occasional dances.
The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University is an independent not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural and community programming to Chicago and to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre. What began as a masterfully-designed opera house that sprang from the minds of geniuses gradually fell into disrepair. For decades the Auditorium Theatre continued its decline before experiencing an astounding resurgence in the 1960’s, and ultimately returning to its former status as a jewel in American history.
With a bar/restaurant area in the front and a live music room in the back, Beat Kitchen caters to both music fans and locals stopping in for a quick beer and bite. During a typical weekend night, the tiny bar area is a flurry of activity. Patrons sidle up to the bar or sit in four-seater booths. But the music room is where all the real action occurs. Showcasing an array of indie bands and comic shows during the week and weekend, Beat Kitchen competes as one of the best underground venues in the city. Upstairs, the private party room, convenient for any occasion, awaits. It’s a bit more commodious than the downstairs bar, plus it has a nice view of the street below.
Northerly Island is a 91- acre peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan at the heart of the Museum Campus. It is located just south of the Adler Planetarium and east of Soldier Field. Northerly Island and Burnham Park were selected as the site of Chicago’s second World’s Fair entitled A Century of Progress, 1933-34. In June 2005, a temporary, yet state-of-the-art concert venue was built at the northern end of the island. The 7,500 seat Charter One Pavilion hosts concerts from some of today’s most popular artists along with family matinee events. The Pavilion also boasts an awesome view of the city skyline.
Built in 1921, The Chicago Theatre remains one of the oldest venues still apart of the Chicago music scene. Seating 3,600 people, this theatre remains a great place for concerts of all sorts. The Chicago Theatre is great for all music lovers, but expecially those who would rather not deal with fighting for position within a large croud.
- 1200 West Randolph st
- Chicago, IL 60607
Known for its wine, this venue has artist residencies throughout the year.
The Congress Theater was designed in 1925 for Lubliner & Trinz, who operated one of Chicago’s largest movie theater chains during the 1920’s. Besides showing movies, the theater also was a vaudeville house on the prestigious Orpheum Circuit. It features ornate exterior and interior design work, in a combination of the Classical Revival and Italian Renaissance styles. The 2094-seat auditorium, retaining its original color scheme of gold and burgundy, is dramatic in its expansive use of space. Oprah Winfrey used the lobby to shoot her intro of her daily TV show. Paramore recorded their 2008 album at the theatre. The enormous space echoes with old style and huge music.
Nearby Restaurant Suggestions:
Duchamp Cozy setting, can accomodate your group, great service (esp when they know you’re catching a show afterward) – Ask Suzu for description as well.
Double Door’s pedigree — it’s Metro’s smaller sister club — is easily identified by the impressive bookings and comfortable atmosphere. This is a primarily rock club for people who like to see live music in intimate quarters, though the club’s hip-hop, Latin, new-country, and electronic offerings are equally successful. Offering everything from local bands with promise to established touring acts to superstars like the Rolling Stones, Double Door’s booking power is unequalled for a club its size. With the feel of a rehearsal room/basement, the club’s sound system and layout are prime for music lovers (though sometimes harder on shorter music fans stuck in the back). You’ll stand, with drink in hand, but the raised stage, open view, and mostly excellent bookings are worth it.
Featuring local and national acts seven nights a week, this Lakeview music venue is one of the city’s most popular. The upstairs lounge, served by a full bar with microbrews and small-batch bourbons, is laid-back and dimly lit, with small cocktail tables, comfortable leather couches and an old-school Pac Man video game table. Downstairs is home to a roomy performance area with a rustic basement feel for bands playing rock, ska, soul, reggae and more. If a popular band is playing, the place fills up quickly.
In 1992 the Empty Bottle started out as a cat-ridden hole-in-the-wall bar in Ukrainian Village (just south of Wicker Park) where you could get any one of nine beers for a buck-fifty or less, play pool for 50 cents, and find everything from Monster Magnet to Bill Monroe on the jukebox. On Halloween of 1993, we moved two blocks up the street and threw open the doors to our new, sound-equipped, slightly larger hole with three nights of great shows, culminating with a SCRAWL performance that could have been a scene out of “Carrie.” We’ve been anything but empty since our great first year, thanks to the same low prices, lack of attitude, and dedicated regulars that made the original bar such a success.
FitzGerald’s is one of most famous bar-cum-club in the city. Built in 1920, the watering hole was renovated and re-modeled to cater to modern, young and suave patrons. With its casual and friendly ambiance teamed up with great music, it has managed to retain its old charm and popularity.
Capri Ristorante, the restaurant next door at 6613 W. Roosevelt, is old school Italian. You can order food to be delivered to the club
You can also do this at Autre Monde, 6727 Roosevelt. All things Mediterranean with a fresh,seasonal menu, old world focused wine list showcasing the best organic& artisan producers.
Furthermore, Big Guys Sausage Stand will bring their food out to you. Located at 7021 Roosevelt. Home made sausages of all sorts. Really good.
We also suggest Bohdi Thai Bistro, at 6211 Roosevelt for traditional Thai food, or Buona Beef, at 6745 Roosevelt for classic Italian beef.
- 126 E. Chestnut
- Chicago, IL 60611
A Light in the City
House of Blues
The 1,500-person-capacity restaurant/concert venue/bar consists of four levels: an innovative multimedia restaurant, a classically designed music hall showcasing an elevating stage, and a bi-level Foundation Room enhanced with opera-style skyboxes walls covered with folk art. The Back Porch Restaurant features Southern- and Cajun-inspired cuisine like jambalaya, as well as a selection of salads, sandwiches and pizzas, plus heartier pastas, steaks and ’cue. The Foundation Dining Room features an upscale menu in a quiet, refined atmosphere. Diverse live music, from Aretha Franklin to Ted Nugent, War to current pop alternative bands, is usually booked seven nights a week.
The building which houses Lincoln Hall first opened in 1912 as the Fullerton Theatre, a nickelodeon. Since then, the building has housed a garage and machine shop, the Crest Theatre and, most recently, the 3 Penny Cinema. In 1934, FBI sharpshooters were stationed atop what is now Lincoln Hall to prevent John Dillinger’s escape from the Biograph Theatre across the street on the night he was killed.
After 20 years as owner/operators of Schubas Tavern at 3159 N. Southport in Chicago, Mike and Chris Schuba opened Lincoln Hall in this historic building. “We’ve been looking three years for a building that would create a human-scale, intimate experience where we can put the music first."
The brick-walled and contemporary interiors of this bar may be nothing special, but the nights here are live and kicking. What sets this bar apart is the fact that it has been a concert venue for thousands of acts, such as John Hammond and Los Lobos, covering varied genres of music. Fresh talent can also contact the bar and arrange a performance. Diners can enjoy the music as they dig into the tasty spread of appetizers like Jerk Chicken Empanadas or Warm Goat Cheese Salad. Martyrs’ is known to serve a fabulous brunch on Sundays. Inexpensive and fun, this joint is a neighborhood favorite.
With a nod to the historic past of this grand facility, Mayne Stage features a restaurant (Act One Pub) and performance space that reflects the unique and diverse history of Rogers Park. Mayne Stage is happy to present a variety of terrific acts in its 230-seat multipurpose entertainment venue. The theater, on Morse Avenue at Wayne Avenue, opened as Morse Theater in 1912, a vaudeville and movie house house. In the 1930s, the facility was remodeled using an Art Deco theme and renamed the Co-Ed Theater because of its proximity to Loyola University. The Co-Ed closed in 1954, and from 1956 until 2008 the building served in various capacities from synagogue to a shoe repair store. Now, with a recent multi-million dollar restoration and renovation project, the entertainment and dining venue is poised to be a magnet for significant development in this north-side neighborhood.
Built in 1927 as the Swedish Community Center, the building was reborn in 1982 as what was known then as “Cabaret Metro”. Metro started out as a dance club, but very soon started booking live music acts — the first being a little known band from Athens, GA by the name of R.E.M. Since then, thousands of bands have passed through the doors, and Metro grew a reputation for being a starting ground for musicians to cut their teeth before making it big. From the early days of Ministry and Trent Reznor in the 80s, and Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Ice T, No Doubt and the Foo Fighters in the 90s, Metro is still going strong featuring current rock powerhouses like Fall Out Boy, White Stripes, Kanye West, and Moby. Iggy Pop, Prince, George Clinton, James Brown and Bob Dylan are among some of the legends that have also graced Metro’s stage. So if you’re traveling to Chicago and are a live music fan, you owe it to yourself to pencil in a visit to one of the true landmarks of the music scene.
The Old Town School of Folk Music teaches and celebrates music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities. Founded in 1957, the Old Town School of Folk Music provides a wide range of music, dance, theater, and visual arts courses to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. The School’s critically acclaimed concerts showcase some of the finest and most diverse local and touring artists in our intimate and acoustically superb hall. The Old Town School owns and operates two facilities situated in Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park that include 425-seat and 150-seat concert halls, 47 classrooms, two music stores, cafe, and resource center.
One of Chicago’s best equipped multimedia facilities, this historic theatre has been an integral part of the entertainment scene since it opened in the 1920’s. Years later the building became the Town Theater, a neighborhood movie house, until 1977 when it was transformed into Park West. Since then, Park West has been the premier concert location for nationally recognized entertainers and the favorite meeting place for top corporations.
Nearby Restaurant Suggestions:
Gemini Bistro Convenient walk to Park West. Intimate, hip setting – large windows with neighborhood view – cozy ambiance. Great food. Reservations suggested – tell them you’re going to show afterwards.
Frank Gehry, winner of the National Medal of Art and the designer of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and BP Bridge, applied his signature style to Millennium Park’s revolutionary outdoor concert venue. The Pavilion stands 120-feet high, with a billowing headdress of brushed stainless steel ribbons that frame the stage opening and connect to an overhead trellis of crisscrossing steel pipes. This state-of-the-art sound system, the first of its kind in the country, was designed to mimic the acoustics of an indoor concert hall by distributing enhanced sound equally over both the fixed seats and the lawn.
In 1904, the A.C. Frost Company created Ravinia as an amusement park intended to lure riders to the fledgling Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad. The prairie-style Martin Theatre (then called Ravinia Theatre) is the only building on the grounds that dates back to that original construction. Over 100 years later, Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in North America and is lauded for presenting world-class music. The festival attracts about 600,000 listeners to some 120 to 150 events that span all genres from classical music to jazz to music theater over each three-month summer season.
Located in Chicago’s historic Uptown theater district, at the intersection of Racine, Broadway and Lawrence the Riviera Theatre is a central part of the Chicago’s past and present.
Completed in 1917 by architects George and C.W. Rapp (Rapp & Rapp), it was built as a movie theater for the Balaban & Katz chain. Transformed into a private nightclub in 1986, the Riviera Theatre is now one of Chicago’s premier concert and special events venues.
Nearby Restaurant Suggestions:
Magnolia Cafe – Intimate room, beautiful food, wonderful wine, a perfect dinner before the show. The owner loves catering to the concert-going crowd and says their Sunday brunches are another specialty.
Like many of Chicago’s greatest bars, Schubas’ brick facade and neon sign hardly indicate the standout quality of the establishment inside. However, its jam-packed music calendar (seven days a week), plastered on the glass doors, alludes to one of the defining components of the neighborhood bar: The place attracts everyone from local punk bands and hip-hop acts to nationally touring folk and country acts to singer-songwriters, who perform just about nightly in the intimate back room. Groups like the Dave Matthews Band and Fastball performed here in their early days, and Schubas still continues to attract talented musicians like Chuck Prophet and Archer Prewitt to its chapel-like music stage (where Schlitz used to brew).
SPACE (The Society for the Preservation of Art & Culture in Evanston) provides a flexible creative canvas for the community. Serving as an ideal venue for music, dance, visual arts, theater, and literary arts, the versatile 3,000 square foot area offers exceptional sight lines and sound. The rustic urban décor is highlighted by the wood floor, made from the original timbers of an East Coast barn, as well as vaulted ceilings and exposed brick walls. With collapsible tables and chairs and portable staging and technologically advanced video and audio recording equipment, the S.P.A.C.E is versatile as well as stylish. By combining flexibility with functionality, it’s a venue that could easily be used for hosting a business meeting by day and showcasing an up-and-coming band by night.
A VALSLIST FAVORITE
There’s nothing underground about Subterranean; this popular Wicker Park hang is neither clandestine nor below ground. On the first floor bartenders fuel an urban-outfitted crowd that’s more likely to nod a head than shake a groove-thang to beats churned out by various deejays. Music acts of every flavor take the stage in the upstairs “Cabaret Room” where there’s a bevy of good sightlines from the back of the room to the balcony above.
Nearby Restaurant Suggestions:
Gunner’s Bar and Grill – this Wickerpark establishment opened in 2010 by the brothers that have brought the sandwich to a whole new level. Nothing like a serious sandwich and cocktail to kick off a night of music.
The grandeur of The Chicago Theatre often leaves its visitors breathless. The elegant lobby, majestic staircase and beautiful auditorium complete with murals above the stage and on the ceiling, are components of an amazing building called “the Wonder Theatre of the World” when it opened on October 26, 1921. During its first 40 years, The Chicago Theatre presented the best in live and film entertainment, including John Phillip Sousa, Duke Ellington, Jack Benny, and Benny Goodman. The Chicago Theatre was redecorated in preparation for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and “modernized” in the 1950s when stage shows, with few exceptions, were discontinued. In the 1970s, The Chicago Theatre was the victim of a complex web of social and economic factors causing business to sag. It became an ornate but obsolete movie house, closing on September 19, 1985. With new ownership and restorations, The Chicago Theatre reopened on September 10, 1986 with a gala performance by Frank Sinatra. Since then the theatre has remained a staple of the Chicago entertainment scene.
Nearby Restaurant Suggestions:
the Wit – Three options in one place, all are hip and across the street from the Chicago Theatre. There’s more upscale, more casual, and rooftop options.
In recent years, The Cubby Bear (established in 1953) has evolved from a baseball season-only bar to a year-round entertainment complex. Located directly across the street from Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field, the bar hosts live music acts, DJs, and a range of charity functions and events. The 30,000 square foot venue is complete with five full-service bars along with one beer bar and can accommodate anywhere from 20-1200 guests. Live bands play nightly and on Sunday evenings the bar hosts live salsa bands. Guests may also take salsa-dancing lessons by Latin Street Dancing. Only paid parking is available. If you plan on taking the L, the bar is a short walk from the Red Line stop at Addison.
Meet The Mid, located in Chicago‘s meatpacking district in the West Loop, it meets somewhere in the middle of the city between Chicago‘s downtown and the neighborhoods within the city; somewhere in the middle of a live music venue and an upscale nightclub. The Mid seems to be in tune with live music and nightlife to give music lovers the ultimate concert experience.
The 801-person venue is located at 306 N. Halsted. Outside the doors of the club, the great views of the downtown skyline remind you of the wonderful city of Chicago. Inside The Mid, you will find three full service bars, ample room for dancing, cozy booths and table seating, and a VIP room equipped with its own bar and DJ booth. With the second floor balcony and seating, there is not a bad seat in the house, and the dual-floor bathrooms that are bigger than some apartments. Simple modern touches like exposed brick and dark wood floors make the place look rich yet relaxed. All of these elements keep with the venue’s direction to pave the way for music-centric clubs in Chicago.
In 1988, William Wirtz, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Jerry Reinsdorf, majority owner and Team Chairman of the Chicago Bulls, formed a new partnership to create an arena that would take sports and entertainment into the 21st century.
The United Center, home to the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls, is the largest arena in the United States. Construction was begun in April of 1992, with the ribbon cutting ceremony being held on August 18, 1994.
Since opening, the United Center has hosted over 200 events each year. Some of the events the United Center has been proud to host include the 1996 Democratic National Convention, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Paul McCartney, U2, The Who, The 3 Tenors, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Great Eight Classic, Illinois College Basketball, and Champions on Ice. The United Center has hosted over twenty million guests since its opening in 1994.
The Vic, like the Metro or the Riviera, has the clout to attract popular musical acts in a space that maintains the intimacy that’s usually trounced in arena shows. Unlike those other venues, however, the Vic is host to an event that is strictly a Chicago phenomenon: the mighty Brew-and View.
But first, the Vic itself: The structure is somewhat similar to the Riviera with a big floor where fans of body-on-body action congregate (or just stand if the show is low-key) and a balcony that provides both refuge and a better view. General admission typically necessitates early arrival, should you want the coveted best seat (or plot of floor) in the house. Majestic columns border the sides and hold seats where the press and other special people sit. All in all, the Vic is a good place to see a show.
Nearby Resaurant Suggestions:
DMK Burger Bar – literally best burgers you’ve ever tasted, very cool hip ambience, friendly waiters, serve fast because they know you might be going to the show, park once – for dinner and show, good price point, crowded and alive
Viper Alley in Lincolnshire, IL is brought to you by the creator of theWit hotel in downtown Chicago, credited by Chicago magazine for singlehandedly reintroducing nightlife to Chicago’s Loop. Viper Alley’s mission sets the bar equally high. With three distinct sections, it brings you an unparalleled boutique concert venue, high-energy nightclub, and private event space that’s the nightlife destination for the Northwest Chicago suburbs and for the North Shore.
Established in 1994, Webster’s Wine Bar is Chicago’s oldest and finest wine bar. We serve more than 40 wines by the glass and over 500 reserve wines from around the world, focusing on artisanal and family-owned wineries. We also serve a selection of fine beers and spirits and offer a variety of small plates, artisanal cheeses, and regional dishes that are specifically chosen to complement the wines that we offer.
From the beginning, we have aimed to share our passion for wine by offering classes and wine tastings for beginners and “experts” alike. Our goal, quite simply, is to provide high-quality, hand-crafted, unique wines in a comfortable, casual, and unpretentious setting and to spread the joys of fine wine.