Concerts in Chicago: February live music calendar

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

Photograph: Charles Petersen
The Sleater-Kinney reunion is one of the must-see concerts in Chicago in February.

April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot said. Whatever. That dude has not been in Chicago in winter. Tighten up your scarf and get used to the cold. The good news is there are many reasons to spend a cozy evening indoors beyond "fireplaces." The slate of pop, rock, country and indie shows is robust for such a short, frigid month. Take a look at our list of upcoming concerts in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete annual calendar of concerts in Chicago

Marilyn Manson

Critics' pick

Like all horror movie villains, in hindsight Marilyn Manson seems more cartoonish than frightening. His new record, The Pale Emperor, sounds like a Bowie persona turned Tim Burton, and that's hope. He peaks at his glammiest.

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Riviera Theatre Thursday February 5 2015

Billy Idol

Critics' pick

The man with the iconic sneer (no, not Elvis) hits town. Dance in rockin' ’80s leather fashion to hits such as "White Wedding," "Rebel Yell" and "Hot in the City" from the Generation X punk. The Oklahoma garage rock bros of Broncho open, with a sweet scuzz that should tickle fans of FIDLAR and the Black Lips.

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Riviera Theatre Saturday February 7 2015

Fleetwood Mac

Critics' pick

Though the band has been touring heavily for the last couple years, there's new reason to shell out the bucks. Sixteen years after leaving the band, Christine McVie returns to the eternally great Mac. This means we can hear her again sing sunshine like "Everywhere," "Hold Me" and "Think About Me," which is a very, very good thing. Oh, and Lindsey Buckingham is still the coolest.

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Allstate Arena Saturday February 14 2015

The Mary Onettes

Critics' pick

The Mary Onettes hail from Jönköping, Sweden, the same hometown of the Cardigans, where the water must be fortified with Vitamin ABBA. The quartet has been one of the consistent act on Labrador, the countries best indie label, delicately blending jangle-pop, romance and shoegazing.

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Empty Bottle

Zap Mama + Antibalas

Critics' pick

A fantastic double bill of world music, from the slick global grooves and harmonies of Zap Mama to the funky Afrobeat of Antibalas.

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Park West Saturday February 14 2015

John Mellencamp

Critics' pick

John Mellencamp has proven to be nothing if not direct over the course of his multi-decade career. Expect that spirit of frankness to carry over into two Chicago Theater shows, which covers his classic hits as well as cuts from his forthcoming Plain Spoken album.

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Chicago Theatre Tuesday February 17 2015 - Wednesday February 18 2015

Ariel Pink

Critics' pick

Weirdo pop scamp Ariel Pink approached maturity on, well, Mature Themes, a career peak performance that balanced the gross-out jokes with emotional sincerity. Now, with a public flashlight aimed at him, he is retreating into the dark recesses of the theater to craft his perverted B-movie bubblegum. Pom Pom, his new record, is all pink slime and poodle skirts, the sock-hop sounds of 1960 laced with LSD. As tunes like "Nude Beach a Go-Go" imply, the material is akin to Frankie Avalon as imagined by Troma Entertainment.

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Thalia Hall Tuesday February 17 2015

Sleater-Kinney

Critics' pick

Everyone reunites, so it's no surprise to have Sleater-Kinney back. But few comebacks are so welcome and needed. The trio trash and swing with a two guitar attack and offer a sound that is growing more uncommon—not just unfiltered rock but a headline act of all women. Corin, Carrie and Janet quietly recorded a noisy new album, No Cities to Love, due early in the new year. A funny thing has happened in the band's hiatus—Carrie Brownstein, once the secondary singer, is now indisputably the frontwoman, thanks to her surprising career as a television star. Porlandia means it is here voice you hear up front in new single "Bury Our Friends." But what makes S-K roar is that it is the work of three simultaneous voices.

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Riviera Theatre Tuesday February 17 2015

Swans

Critics' pick

Everyone knows that a swan can break a man’s arm with its wing, but did you know that New York noise rock band Swans were at one point capable of making entire audiences get spontaneously reacquainted their half-digested lunch?

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Thalia Hall Saturday February 21 2015

Theophilus London

Critics' pick

Kanye West serves as executive producer on his latest record, Vibes, and Karl Lagerfeld shot the album cover. The Brit's chillwave hip-hop has never quite matched his style, but sometimes cool is enough.

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Bottom Lounge

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