Tucked away at the corner of Ada and Wabansia streets lies a shack-turned-speakeasy-turned-bar aptly called the Hideout. Off the beaten path and beating its own path one obscure drummer at a time, the Hideout promises an entirely unique concert experience, particularly since that the experience is rarely that of just a concert. It is a place simultaneously for those in the know and the utter unknowns, it is a place that, as “talent buyer”/booking man Michael Slaboch describes it, “defies all logic and should not exist, but fortunately it does.”
Defined as much by its location as its history (a flu-addled Jack White once threw up in their alley before rallying to play as only Jack White can), both are inextricably linked to the Hideout’s sense of community. From the annual Block Party in the parking lot across the street (host to round about 7,000 loyal party-ers) to the recently pioneered Bike-In Movie Nights (already attracting 150+ viewers), the location – and the sense of pilgrimage it fosters – creates a loyalty and camaraderie not often found in easily accessed or happened upon venues. This extends and enfolds everyone from house staff to musical talent to appreciative patron – many of whom where all three hats. The average outcast (it is, after all, the “last hold-out of the rebel club,” a haven for “irregular folk who don’t fit in, or don’t want to”) at the Hideout is just as likely to make the hike/drive/bike for the camaraderie as he or she is to be attracted to a star act.
This isn’t to say the Hideout lacks in attractions – many artists and musical front-men (Billy Corgan, Jeff Tweedy – to name two) often return to try out new bands and new ideas to a receptive audience. But it goes without saying – if you haven’t gathered this so far – that the Hideout is really the happy host to the aspiring artist. While they do deal with larger booking agencies, and see many comedians (Portlandia: the Tour tops Slaboch’s current list of favorite shows) and touring bands (such as Iron and Wine) pass through for special intimate shows, their first and foremost allegiance is to the pioneering local music scene. Attracted to those “who [are] doing something that no one else is doing no matter what genre or artistic practice they fall into,” the local loyalty sees musicians play the Hideout for “10+ years” says Slaboch. When it comes down to it though – placed above Fred Armisen and Sam Beam – “there’s nothing more moving and cozy than a Tuesday night with a band playing without amplification in the corner of the front bar.”
Scan the calendar here or pick any given Tuesday to make the trek.
Location: 1354 W Wabansia, Chicago, IL 60642
Tel: (773)- 227- 4433