Concerts in Chicago: April live music calendar

Which of your favorite artists are coming to town this April? Explore our list of upcoming concerts in Chicago to find out

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The National

The National Photograph: Bobby Talamine

Winter is over! That wasn't so bad, was it? Oh, right, it was the worst ever. Which means Chicagoans are going to go H.A.M. once the weather warms up—eating outside as much as possible, generally leaving the apartment, and going to see concerts, of course. Good thing there's a fantastic slate of gigs to choose from. Those theatrical, enigmatic Swedes in the Knife finally arrive with their outrageous Shaking the Habitual show. The gentlemen of National'll be on their suit and tie shit, as always, at Chicago Theatre. Canadian scamp Mac Demarco returns after touring with Phoenix. Check out all the top concerts in Chicago this April.


RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar for concerts in Chicago in 2014


The Orwells + Twin Peaks

  • Price band: 1/4

Two hot young Chicago bands, no foolin'.

  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Tue Apr 1
More info

Mac DeMarco

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Expect clever guitar licks and eye-winking shenanigans. We love this Canuck.

  1. Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Ave, at Cortez St
  2. Wed Apr 2
More info

David Guetta

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The French electro-house chart topper and superstar DJ Guetta rocks up to Uptown for one night of huge mainstream appeal.

  1. Aragon 1106 W Lawrence Ave, at Winthrop Ave
  2. Until Fri Apr 4
Buy tickets

London Grammar

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The band is led by Hannah Reid's mannered, Florence-ish vocals, and it has picked up plenty of comparisons to the xx for its downbeat instrumentals.

  1. Metro Chicago 3730 N Clark St, between Waveland and Racine Aves
  2. Until Fri Apr 4
More info

Tinariwen

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

One of the world's most enthralling live acts, the Tuaregs play two sets at the wine joint.

  1. City Winery 1200 W Randolph St, at Racine Ave
  2. Until Sat Apr 5
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John Newman [CANCELED]

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

He looks like an Arctic Monkey in bespoke black tie, but John Newman represents a newer kind of British rock star, one that blends blue-eyed British retro-soul with modern beats.

  1. Metro Chicago 3730 N Clark St, between Waveland and Racine Aves
  2. Mon Apr 7
More info

Emmylou Harris

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The American songbird celebrates the 20th anniversary of Wrecking Ball

  1. Vic Theatre 3145 N Sheffield Ave, at Belmont Ave
  2. Until Tue Apr 8
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The Jezabels

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Until Tue Apr 8
More info

The Julie Ruin

  • Price band: 2/4

Rock icon Kathleen Hanna returns, touring the long-awainted debut album of her Julie Ruin alia, Run Fast.

  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Wed Apr 9
More info

Fanfarlo

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Layering several genres such as folk, indie rock, and dream pop gives Fanfarlo's songs a calming, entrancing sound.

  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Until Thu Apr 10
More info

Juana Molina

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Argentine marvel Molina brings to mind the playful boundary pushing of South American trailblazers like Caetano Veloso and Os Mutantes

  1. Old Town School of Folk Music, Maurer Hall 4544 N Lincoln Ave, between Sunnyside and Wilson Aves
  2. Until Thu Apr 10
Buy tickets

Phantogram

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The coed keyboard-guitar duo plays a big ol' date at the Riv behind its brand-new Voices album

  1. Riviera Theatre 4746 N Racine Ave, at Broadway
  2. Until Thu Apr 10
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Tweens

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Crush, crush, crush. We are so smitten with this glitter-sleazy Cinci band. Fronted by Bridget Battle, a 21-year-old whippersnapper hybrid of Kim Deal, Kathleen Hanna and Elastica, the trio sinks its hooks deep into your sugar-caked aorta with their bubblegum-and-beer pop-punk.

  1. Schubas 3159 N Southport Ave, at Belmont Ave
  2. Until Thu Apr 10
Buy tickets

Ben UFO

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Co-founder of U.K. bass label Hessle Audio, Ben UFO has done more than most in recent years to rejuvenate DJing as an artform, proving his talents time and again as one of the foremost selectors on the planet. His record collection is bigger than Robin Thicke's ego, so prepare to boogie to anything from disco to dubstep to grimy house to grime to garage. Unlike his peers, he sticks to turntables, no production. A masterclass in DJing, simple as that.

  1. Spy Bar 646 N Franklin St, between Ontario and Erie Sts
  2. Until Fri Apr 11
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Tycho

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Producer and artist Scott Hansen crafts lush sonic landscapes under the name Tycho, joining electronic elements with more organic instrumentation (he writes most of his songs on guitar) to create atmospheric, leaves-rustling-in-the-sunny-winter-afternoons-of-your-mind-type music.

  1. Concord Music Hall 2047 N Milwaukee Ave
  2. Until Thu Apr 10
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Daley

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Starting as most artists do, creating music in his bedroom, Gareth Daley, has become known as the smooth-voiced soul singer with a sweetly quavering tenor that could make the sternest skeptic weak in the knees

  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Until Fri Apr 11
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Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Get ready to move, groove, and shimmy to the soulful tunes of Jones and her full funk band.

  1. Vic Theatre 3145 N Sheffield Ave, at Belmont Ave
  2. Until Fri Apr 11
More info

The Dillinger Escape Plan

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

A sweaty set that should leave your neck satisfyingly sore.

  1. Metro Chicago 3730 N Clark St, between Waveland and Racine Aves
  2. Until Fri Apr 11
More info

Dean Wareham

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

After almost two decades of performing as lead singer and guitarist in bands Galazie 500, Luna and Dean & Britta, Dean Wareham is finally a solo artist.

  1. Old Town School of Folk Music 909 W Armitage Ave, between Bissell and Fremont Sts
  2. Until Fri Apr 11
Buy tickets

Julianna Barwick

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Like Cocteau Twins, if you stripped away all those pesky guitars, basses and drums

  1. Constellation 3111 N Western Ave, Clybourn Ave
  2. Until Sat Apr 12
Buy tickets

The Men + Fuzz

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The Men are an amalgam of '90s underground rock. Ty Segall's Fuzz might be the better draw, as its name kind of sums up the entire genre succintly.

  1. Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Ave, at Cortez St
  2. Sat Apr 12
More info

Betty Who

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

It's pop music that doesn't willfully insult your intelligence. Frankly, she sounds remarkably like Katy Perry, if she didn't want to make you puke cupcakes.

  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Until Sat Apr 12
Buy tickets

The National + Daughter

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

See how the group's brooding songs and debauched elegance go down when they promote their recent release Trouble Will Find Me.

  1. Chicago Theatre 175 N State St, between Randolph and Lake Sts
  2. Until Fri Apr 18
Buy tickets

Riff Raff

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Reality TV B-lister, music critic troll, James Franco muse, the Pee Wee Herman of trap, Justin Bieber in 18 months, Ke$ha 18 months ago—Riff Raff is a lot of things and seemingly self aware of them all.

  1. Concord Music Hall 2047 N Milwaukee Ave
  2. Until Wed Apr 16
Buy tickets

Speedy Ortiz

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The Massachusetts neo-grunge act should tickle Chicagoans old enough to remember Veruca Salt

  1. Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Ave, at Cortez St
  2. Sat Oct 25
Buy tickets

John Cale

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Velvet Underground cofounder flips through his own back pages

  1. Old Town School of Folk Music, Maurer Hall 4544 N Lincoln Ave, between Sunnyside and Wilson Aves
  2. Until Thu Apr 17
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Tokyo Police Club

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Ontario's answer to Bloc Party.

  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Until Thu Apr 17
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Blondes

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Voguish duo Blondes offer the type of woozy, dancey electronica you'll love if you crib fashion from Morrissey and think the Mid is way too mainstream. Swisher, the New Yorkers' recent second album of muggy cybertropical downtempo, is a gorgeous work, reminiscent of Autechre's early ambient chillouts.

  1. Smart Bar 3730 N Clark St, between Waveland and Racine Aves
  2. Until Fri Apr 18
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G. Love and Special Sauce

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

When Philly singer, rapper and guitarist G. Love drops his jivey affectations, there's some real heat in his gangly acoustic hip-hop.

  1. Metro Chicago 3730 N Clark St, between Waveland and Racine Aves
  2. Until Fri Apr 18
More info

Lost in the Trees

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Lost in the Trees is a chamber-pop group from North Carolina fronted by a talented, dramatic singer-songwriter, Ari Picker. Expect to hear from the outfit's brand-spanking-new album, Past Life.

  1. Schubas 3159 N Southport Ave, at Belmont Ave
  2. Until Fri Apr 18
Buy tickets

Delta Rae

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

A North Carolina folk-rock six-piece, Delta Rae is positioned by record execs as an American answer to Mumford & Sons.

  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Until Sat Apr 19
More info

The Mountain Goats (solo)

  • Price band: 2/4

John Darnielle serves up literate, geek-chic alt pop

  1. Old Town School of Folk Music, Maurer Hall 4544 N Lincoln Ave, between Sunnyside and Wilson Aves
  2. Until Sun Apr 20
Buy tickets

Goo Goo Dolls

  • Price band: 2/4

"Iris," in a winery.

  1. City Winery 1200 W Randolph St, at Racine Ave
  2. Until Tue Apr 22
Buy tickets

Schoolboy Q

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Black Hippy member brings hip-hop back to the West Coast gangsta sounds of the '90s era, mixing Dre-like lean with modern darkwave bounce. It is the barbecue soundtrack of 2014.

  1. Metro Chicago 3730 N Clark St, between Waveland and Racine Aves
  2. Until Tue Apr 22
Buy tickets

S. Carey

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The pretty melancholy of Bon Iver meets the minimalist neoclassical stylings of Steve Reich.

  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Until Wed Apr 23
Buy tickets

The Knife

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Clear your calendar, call a babysitter, dial your dealer, thrift for a pastel tracksuit—the concert event of the spring is here.

  1. Aragon 1106 W Lawrence Ave, at Winthrop Ave
  2. Wed Apr 23
More info

Duke Dumont

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

British house producer Adam Dyment, a.k.a. Duke Dumont, cut his teeth remixing tunes for Lily Allen and Bat for Lashes. His first solo track, the soulful "Need U," hit No. 1 on the U.K. singles charts. His sound is right at home in Chicago, where this stuff of dancefloor dreams was invented.

  1. The Mid 306 N Halsted St, at Wayman St
  2. Until Fri Apr 25
Buy tickets

Lydia Loveless

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

As you might guess from the name, Lydia Loveless presents a modern take on ol' Loretta Lynn–style country. Her latest for Bloodshot, Somewhere Else, is more of a straightahead rock record, though such a bland description does little justice to the weilded knife of the 23-year-old's voice, which comes off as Stevie Nicks fronting the Replacements on these soulful bar rumblers.

  1. Schubas 3159 N Southport Ave, at Belmont Ave
  2. Until Sun Apr 27
Buy tickets

Black Lips

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The notorious Georgia rock brats continue to slowly grow up on the kudzu-spooky Underneath the Rainbow

  1. Logan Square Auditorium 2539 N Kedzie Blvd, at Albany Ave
  2. Until Sat Apr 26
Buy tickets

Black Milk

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Originally typecast as the sonic offspring of the late, great J Dilla, Detroit producer and MC Black Milk has since forged his own unique space within hip-hop.

  1. Subterranean 2011 W North Ave, at Damen and Milwaukee Aves
  2. Until Sat Apr 26
Buy tickets

Broods

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This young, photogenic Kiwi duo is bound to be compared to fellow Lorde. Same country, same producer, same slick, downbeat sound.

  1. Schubas 3159 N Southport Ave, at Belmont Ave
  2. Until Sat Apr 26
Buy tickets

Temples + Drowners

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Analogue fetishists Temples play extremely retro psych-pop, like a drier, more period-authentic Tame Impala, from their debut album, Sun Structures. Drowners mix the Strokes with the Smiths.

  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Until Sat Apr 26
Buy tickets

Waxahatchee

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Waxahatchee, the spare, vulnerable indie-pop project of singer-songsmith Katie Crutchfield, turned heads last year with Cerulean Salt. We think it sounds a lot like the Breeders.

  1. Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Ave, at Cortez St
  2. Until Sat Apr 26
Buy tickets

Iggy Azalea

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Hyped and rising ghetto-electro rapper Iggy Azalea brings her risqué rhymes, backed by dirty beats and pop hooks. And, hey, she finally has an album, The New Classic

  1. House of Blues 329 N Dearborn St, between Kinzie St and Lower Wacker Dr
  2. Until Sun Apr 27
Buy tickets

Pains of Being Pure at Heart

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

After the big 1990s Smashing Pumpkinsisms of their last record, Belong, Pains return a quieter, prettier, twee-poppier band with the new Days of Abandon

  1. Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Ave, at Cortez St
  2. Until Mon Apr 28
Buy tickets

Diana Ross

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The Supreme Supreme comes to the Loop with a stack of immeasurable, iconic hits.

  1. Chicago Theatre 175 N State St, between Randolph and Lake Sts
  2. Until Wed Apr 30
Buy tickets


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