I love live music. Whether it’s a local band I’ve never heard of playing radio covers at a bar or Stevie Nicks at the United Center; there’s something so incredible about music that dictates your feelings, creates a sense of community, and produces a high that’s unlike anything else. I’ve seen a lot of live music in my lifetime so far, but living in Chicago the past year and half has given me more opportunities than ever. Here are five of my favorite artists I’ve seen in Chicago.
Seeing Wilco in Chicago was one of my main priorities when I moved here. They’re one of my favorite bands, they’re from Chicago, and they put on one hell of a show. Seeing them at Chicago Theatre with my equally music-obsessed friend Tatum is to date one of my favorite nights of all time. When “Jesus, etc.” came on I think the stars aligned and I was right where I needed to be in the world. I spent a little more on tickets than I normally would for a show, but it was well worth it.
Father John Misty
I’ve seen my main man Misty twice now. First on my birthday last year at Riviera Theatre and again a year laterat Chicago Theatre. Riviera was a dream, the setlist was a mixture of I Love You Honeybear and Fear Fun. This year, Pure Comedy got added into the mix and there was a lot more Josh Tillman commentary. Let’s not forget the encore of Real Love Baby (heart eyes). He puts on an incredible show every. single. time. and this is one person I always assume I’m going to see when in town.
The entire reason I bought a Lollapalooza ticket my first year in Chicago was to see Leon Bridges. While I’m very glad I did(I hate Lolla and I’ll probably never go again unless I somehow fall into VIP tickets), Leon was put on a large stage (as he should be) in the scorching hot weather but was still dressed to the nines and danced around like he was at home in his air conditioning. He is equally as good live as he is on his album, and hearing “River” after listening to it on repeat for months was 110% worth dealing with half naked, drugged up youths running around Grant Park all day.
If you haven’t heard of Citizen, you’re welcome in advance. This is one of my favorite shows I’ve been to because I got to see two friends play a live show in an awesome venue. I’ve known Nick and Eric since my Toledo days, and I’d been trying to make it to one of their shows for years but scheduling had never worked out, until this past year. The energy in Beat Kitchen was incredible, and there’s nothing cooler than seeing a whole crowd of people gushing over and singing word for word your friends’ music. If Citizen is ever in your city, you won’t regret being in attendance. You can hear some of their music here.
Honne/Foster the People
In boycotting Lolla this year, I decided to go to aftershows instead. When I realized that a show was happening with both Honne and Foster the People I couldn’t have been happier. I was turned on to Honne by one of my best friends who I usually always go to shows with (Hi Chris) and I’ve been in love since. The number of times I’ve listened to “Someone That Loves You” could equal a decade of my life. Not to mention, Foster the People put on one of the best shows I’ve seen all year. A non-fan would become a fan. For a $30 show, this one was perfection.
What’re your favorite live shows you’ve ever been to? What’re your favorite venues?