The Beat Goes On

If it's in your music collection, it's on a stage in Chicago - sometimes every single day. In fact, you could visit a different music venue every week for a year and not repeat yourself. So let's get moving.

The House of Blues celebrates Southern Culture and African American artistic contributions to music and art with nightly shows in an intimate setting. The Crossroads at House of Blues Chicago restaurant also offers you the chance to fill up before you rock out.

Regularly voted as Chicago's best venue by locals, The Chicago Theatre provides a breathtaking backdrop for music, comedy and other famous performers and productions throughout the year. 

The Double Door feeds on rock and alternative music in a former liquor store space in Wicker Park, just west of the Loop on Milwaukee Avenue. Popular underground acts fill the weekend, and top local bands cover the week.

In all its aging glory, the Aragon Ballroom attracts big name talent who like to feel close to their audiences. The Doors once played there. Built in 1926 as a glorious dance hall, it's now 100% jam time in an eclectic neighborhood on Chicago's north side. President Obama celebrated a birthday there.

Nearby is the Riviera, another old movie theater transformed into a music space that offers close positioning to the stage. Groups like Wilco and Feist show up on the bill.

For something a little more modern, try Park West. There's more seating here than some of the jump-in-your-spot locations. You can sit back and enjoy a close relationship with the performer, almost like being in a large living room. Great for solo acts.

One of the most consistently innovative performance schedules in town appears at Schubas on Belmont. The room is small and friendly so you can relate to the folks on stage, and vice versa. Schubas features a lot of country and folk singer/songwriters, so it often feels like you're having a conversation with the performer. The sound is nearly perfect, too. Plus, they serve food. Don't miss their half-price mac n' cheese night.

The waiting list of talent who wanted to play Schubas was getting so long that the owners decided to open a second space, somewhat larger, but with the same close connection with the performers. They also wanted to widen their musical tastes. Welcome Lincoln Hall, just a few blocks away on Lincoln Avenue.

Well, there's a nice week of music in Chicago. One down, 51 to go.


Related Listings

Park West
322 W. Armitage
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 440-9191

101.9fm THE MIX
130 E. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 946-1019

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