Chicago’s a musical town. Big bands, little bands, nobody-yet bands, they all want to play in Chicago. Outdoor concerts in Millennium Park and summer festivals bring several hundred-thousand music fans.
Howl at the Moon, River North
Good fun with dueling pianos. Beach bucket slushies look straight out of Disney Land. Find a pen and bit of paper if you want to throw a request in the queue.
Congress Theater, Wicker Park/Bucktown
Buddy Guy’s Legends, South Loop
Green Mill, Uptown
The jazz place. Not to get up and dance, but to witness Ron Burgundy’s rendition of Aqualung.
Schubas Tavern, Lakeview
House of Blues, Downtown, Central, Smack-dab on the river
Empty Bottle and Double Door are everything the small-venue, alternative rock fan could hope for. They sit at one end of Wicker Park’s basement joints showcasing novice acts. The Dive bar type.
The Hideout, Noble Square
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, The Loop
Millennium Park’s outdoor amphitheater hosting summer’s biggest concerts.
Alhambra Palace, West Loop
Aragon Ballroom, Uptown
The Vic, Lakeview
Bad movies on the weekend at Brew and View. Concert hall when the right bands hit town (Black Keys, Jackson Browne). A vintage five-story mansion doubles as a theater. Locals flock to the Vic, even if it makes a better haunted house than charming antique.