There are a wide array of bus tours focusing on topics like architecture and history in Chicago, but a more recent addition will leave music fans especially excited. Founder Phil Rockrohr’s Chicago Music Tours includes a series of bus tours that cruise the city, giving riders a background of Chicago’s musical roots.
Pick your poison: Chicago Music Tours offers rock, soul, jazz and blues site seeing tours. Each gives a visual history of how the genre came to be a staple in the city.
The Chicago Rocks 1980-2005 Tour, Rockrohr’s baby, is a must for any alternative rock fan, whether you’re in Chicago for a weekend or you’ve lived here for years. After spending decades in local bands rubbing shoulders with some of Chicago’s biggest rockstars, Rockrohr does an excellent job of combining factual historical accounts and personal stories.
As the name implies, this particular tour takes you through the 25-year rise of punk, hardcore and industrial rock in the city. You’ll make stops at notable spots in the histories of big-name bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, Ministry and Wilco but you’ll also likely learn a little something about some of our lesser known Chicago-bred influential rockers along the way.
The best part about the Chicago Music Tours is their balance of drive-by site seeing and actual stops along the way. For instance, along the “Rocks” tour route stops include renowned whiskey and punk rock bar Delilah’s in Lakeview and rockstar hangout The Rainbo Club in Wicker Park. And, yes, you’ll have plenty of time to grab a brew if you’re feeling parched.
Enjoy all the tours from Chicago Music Tours’ heated bus which blasts appropriate tunes from artists discussed on the tours between landmarks.
The rock and soul tours are offered on a weekly basis, jazz and soul every other weekend. Music fans should note that the rock and jazz tours are limited to riders 21 and older. Tickets for all tours range from $35 to $45. Visit Chicago Music Tours’ website for full schedules and details.