Chicago is a magical place for live music, there’s no doubt about it. Through world-renowned festivals, grimy but consistently packed concert venues, and even bars only big enough to seat the band’s family and close friends, our lovely city has evolved into a Mecca of high-quality and diverse live music. But sometimes having the world at your finger tips is a bit overwhelming, and for that, we’re here to help. This is Chicago Monthly’s weekly concert preview. Taking everything from the day of the week to the venue into account, we sift through the hundreds of weekly shows and detail a few of the most notable, so you can avoid the duds and enjoy Chicago summer concerts to their fullest.
Monday, July 16
Nicki Minaj, Chicago Theatre
After last week’s three nights of Barry Manilow, Pitchfork Music Festival, and a handful of free outdoor concerts, it’s understandable this Moday starts off a little slow. The only show worth mentioning is Nicki Minaj, who will be playing at the Chicago Theatre with 2 Chainz as a part of her Pink Friday Tour.
Tuesday, July 17
Further, Charter One Pavilion
In 2009, former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh teamed up with keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, drummer Joe Russo, and guitarist John Kadlecik to form Further, a jam band deeply rooted in the sound and vibes of many Grateful Dead classics. They’ll be stopping by Chicago to play lake side at Charter One Pavilion this Tuesday.
Diana Krall, Ravinia Pavilion (Highland Park)
Diana Krall has often been considered on of the best jazz musicians alive today. Billboard magazine named her the second Jazz Artist of the 2000-2009 decade, and she’s the only jazz singer to top the Billboard Jazz charts eight separate times. You aren’t going to want to miss this Canadian maestro play Highland Park’s Ravinia Pavilion.
Wednesday, July 18
Bhi Bhiman & Justin Robinson, Uncommon Ground
Singer/songwriter Bhi Bhiman will co-headline a show with eclectic musician Justin Robinson of Justin Robinson and The Mary Annettes at Uncommon Ground on W. Devon Ave this Wednesday.
Aaron Lewis, Joe’s Bar
Aarron Lewis, best know as the hypnotically deep, smooth lead singer of the once-popular Staind, is taking a stab at the solo circuit and will be stopping by Joe’s Bar right next to Goose Island this Wednesday. Lewis’ distinctive style– epitomized in his newest hit, ”Country Boy”– is sure to produce an intimate, solo acoustic guitar-fueled, seemingly one-on-one performance.
Thursday, July 19
Def Leppard & Poison, Allstate Arena (Rosemont)
Sure, Def Leppard and Poison have seen better days, maybe their relevancy isn’t at an all time high, but that doesn’t mean seeing tattooed rock starts who are dressed in skin tight leather and pushing 50 years old isn’t a good time.
Lost Lander, Empty Bottle
Synth-heavy indie rock quartet Lost Lander debuted their innovate first album, DRRT, this past January. Don’t miss them at Empty Bottle this Thursday while they’re still up-and-coming. It won’t be long.
Friday, July 20
O.A.R., Charter One Pavilion
With Rebelution starting their set, O.A.R. will serenade Chicago on the Lake this Friday. Can’t beat those jam band vibes on a Lake Michigan summer’s night.
Heart, New Lenox Commons (New Lenox)
The Ann and Nancy Wilson-headed famous rock ensemble of the 70s is making a bit of a comeback. They hit New Lenox Commons– located just East of Joliet– this Friday.
Smoke DZA, Bottom Lounge
If a trip down memory lane via Heart or a lighthearted jam on the lake isn’t your thing, Friday night will see veteran MC Smoke DZA spittin’ at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge.
Saturday, July 21
“Roscoe Village Burger Festival,” Chicago
Located at Belmont & Damon, this year’s Roscoe Village Burger Festival will feature, Rusted Root, The Trippin’ Blues (Chicago’s Dave Matthews tribute band), Liquid Soul, Van Ghost, Scott Lucas & The Married Men, Rego, Red Jr, and The Break. Not to mention, this packed day of live music will be accompanied by some of the city’s best burgers.
“Summer Celebration,” New Century Park (Vernon Hills)
Seventies legends Dave Mason of Traffic fame and Heartsfield will headline this year’s Summer Celebration located in Vernon Hills. If you have time, show up early for a day packed full of fun, food, and festivities.
Lil Jon, The Mid
If 70′s rock or the acoustic lineup of Roscoe Village Burger Festival doesn’t sound too good, Lil Jon might be your thing. The ostentatious rapper (can you even call him a rapper?) is sure to put on a show this Saturday at The Mid.
Sunday, July 22
Seal w/ Macy Gray, Ravinia Pavilion (Highland Park)
The ridiculously suave Seal will be bringing some style to this Sunday night via a performance at the infamous Ravinia Pavilion. Not to mention, Macy Gray will be opening for him. Now that’s a show.
Anita Tijoux, Empty Bottle
French-Chilean rapper Anita Tijoux, who raps entirely in Spanish, will be making Empty Bottle hers with a sure-to-be powerful performance. Don’t let the possible language barrier throw you off, though. Listen to her popular “1977″ to get a representative slice of her foreign energy. Whether you can comprehend what she’s saying or not, a Tijoux show is not to be missed.
Elephant Revival, Lincoln Hall
No matter the size, the elegant and down to earth Colorado-based quintet always find a way to transform any venue into their own temple of quiet and meaningful grass-roots music. It’s a really inspiring sight. Don’t miss an opportunity to close out your week with Elephant Revival.