Music Preview - September - Blog

Festival season is coming to a close. Many national acts have made their summer pass through Chicago. Our local gems have been playing street fests and are resting up for their fall tour cycles. At first glance, it would appear a light music month - not in Chicago. There are plenty of awesome shows to see in September. Here are my choice picks:

Catch ‘Em While They’re Here


While many deplore the effects the Internet has had on the music industry, the smart artists have learned to use viral success to their advantage. In the span of six months Canadian R&B sensation The Weeknd rocketed himself towards international praise with three full-length releases offered for free download. Returning for the first time since his Lollapalooza performance, he’ll be playing to the Congress Theater on Sept. 21. This all ages show begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are still available for $35. 

Few contemporary female artists have achieved the longevity and prolificity like Buffalo-bred, indie songwriter Ani DiFranco. With more than 20 albums under her belt, including Which Side Are You On? released early this year, her poetic guitar compositions are the perfect soundtrack for a late summer eve. Ms. DiFranco will be at the Vic Theater on Sept. 25Tickets are $40 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. 

Another 2012 Lollapalooza artist is back in town. Dry the River, a British-based folk rock act, was born from the emo and alternative movement that was first spurred here in the U.S. Catch them at Schubas on Sept. 28Tickets are $12. This is a late one (start time at 10 p.m.) and you'll have to be 18 or older to attend.


Go Local


Returning to Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion for their third annual September concert, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s revered music director Riccardo Muti will lead a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Grab your blanket for this free concert event and see why Chicago’s symphony has gained acclaim the world round. The Sept. 21 concert will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Playing off the same genre that mashup master Girl Talk pioneered, Chicago’s own The Hood Internet have been mixing rap and dance tracks over indie rock beats for years. However, their performance at the Metro on Sept. 20 should be one for the books. Their newest album Feat--which drops on Oct. 2--will be the DJ duos first original compositions. This will be your first chance to hear some cuts off the new record in a live setting. It's an 18+ show and starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15. 

Premier blues venue Buddy Guy’s Legends has been pumping out top-notch performances from both national and local artists for years. This Sept. 14, some of Chicago’s best will be hitting the stage. The Chicago Blues All Stars present the genre at its finest with hints of funk and classic Americana rock. Catch them at 10:30 p.m. There will be a $20 cover for the show. Buddy Guy's is a 21+ club.