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Concerts in Chicago in April 2016

The spring season is in full swing, as April brings Rihanna, the Avett Brothers and more great concerts in Chicago

Photograph: Camilla Akrans

Winter is over! That wasn't so bad, was it? Celebrate the arrival of spring by eating at an outdoor restaurant, taking a walk in one of Chicago's best parks and seeing some of the best concerts around the city. Rihanna will be bringing her latest album to the United Center, the Avett Brothers are taking up residence at the Chicago Theatre and Father John Misty will serenade the Riviera. Check out all of the best concerts to see in Chicago this April.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar for concerts in Chicago

Concert in Chicago in April

David Gilmour

Now that Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour has put his former band to bed, the British musician is one more focusing on his solo career. His latest record, Rattle That Lock, serves up another helping of grandiose rock arrangements and indulgent guitar solos. In concert, Gilmour puts on a laser light show, accompanied by some selections from the Floyd catalog that should leave you comfortably numb. He'll play three nights in Chicago, splitting his time between the United Center and the Auditorium Theatre.

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United Center , Near West Side Monday April 4 2016 - Friday April 8 2016

Pusha T

Recently promoted to president of GOOD Records, Pusha T has gone from turning in featured verses on Kanye West tracks to running Ye's record label. Known for his novelistic crack-slinging tales and nimble flow, the Virginia-native MC has been teasing his latest record, King Push, for more than a year now—hopefully he'll offer up some new material in concert.

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Vic Theatre , Lakeview Tuesday April 5 2016

Iggy Pop + Joshua Homme

Perennially shirtless rocker Iggy Pop is about to release a new record, Post Pop Depression, which—in spite of its name—features some of his most vital songs to date. Assisted by Queens of the Stone Age frontman Joshua Homme, Pop fronts a band that features members of Arctic Monkeys and the Dead Weather. During this special engagment at the Chicago Theatre, the entire group will be in tow, performing sinewy new tracks as well as selections from Pop's formiddable catalog. Even if you saw him at Riot Fest last fall, you don't want to miss one of the last remaining embodiments of rock n' roll slinking across the stage while growling, "I'm gonna break into your heart."

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Chicago Theatre , Loop Wednesday April 6 2016

Dawn of Midi

Critics' pick

Brooklyn trio Dawn of Midi may appear to be a standard jazz outfit, but the incredibly taut arrangements favored by the group draw inspiration from contemporary electronica instead of from Red Garland. Its sophomore release Dysnomia highlights complex rhythmic interplay and synchronicity, showcasing three players truly performing together.

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Constellation , Roscoe Village Thursday April 7 2016


Critics' pick

Clad in black and peddling distortion-ridden anthems rife with angular melodies and existential angst, Savages have clearly studied the post-punk handbook. On its new album, Adore Life, the British foursome simultaneously crank up the volume and lyrical intensity, through a collection of songs that examine the dark yet empowering facets of love.

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Metro Chicago , Wrigleyville Thursday April 7 2016

The Mountain Goats + William Tyler

Even as John Darnielle's records have become more esoteric (the most recent, Beat the Champ, focused on professional wrestling) the Mountain Goats' fanbase has expanded. Armed with energetic folk rock songs and literate lyricism delivered with a nasal lilt, the once-cult act seems to have found its niche. American Primitive acoustic guitarist William Tyler open the show.

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City Winery , West Loop Monday April 11 2016 - Wednesday April 13 2016

Father John Misty

Critics' pick

Former Fleet Foxes drummer Joshua Tillman lends a sardonic touch to the folk ballads that populate his latest LP, I Love You, Honeybear, released under the guise of his alter-ego, Father John Misty. The bearded crooner is never without a witty retort in his back pocket, but Tillman's cynical tendencies are tempered by lush arrangements and a wry, self-depreciating sense of humor. ’70s pop devotees Tess & Dave, featuring singer-songwriter David Vandervelde, open the show.

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Riviera Theatre , Uptown Thursday April 14 2016 - Friday April 15 2016

Rihanna + Travis Scott

Critics' pick

RiRi has been teasing the release of her eighth album, Anti, ever since the beginning of 2015, when her Kanye West and Paul McCartney collaboration "FourFiveSeconds" hit the airwaves. Since then, the pop star has released a patriotic single ("American Oxygen"), an outrageous video ("Bitch Better Have My Money") and has even showed off lyrics and cover art—however, the record itself remains elusive. Hopefully Rihanna will drop the album (she's big enough to pull a Beyonce-style suprise release) before she hits the United Center with Travis Scott.

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United Center , Near West Side Friday April 15 2016


"I can't get enough of myself," Santigold declares on the opening track of her new LP, 99¢, announcing her return, four years after the release of Master of My Make-Believe. Santi is still firing on all cylinders, collaborating with producers such as Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij and EDM duo Zeds Dead on her most varied collection of energetic, upbeat pop tracks to date.

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Concord Music Hall , Logan Square Sunday April 17 2016

The Avett Brothers

Long before Mumford and Sons picked up banjos, Scott and Seth Avett were perfecting a blend of folk, bluegrass and pop balladry that made the brothers a critical and commercial sensation. The group recently recorded its ninth album with producer Rick Rubin—expect a taste of the upcoming record during this three-night stand.

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Chicago Theatre , Loop Thursday April 21 2016 - Saturday April 23 2016

Justin Bieber

He's been arrested, roasted and said that he's "Sorry," but the best reason to pay attention to Justin Bieber is, miraculously, his music. Purpose is an album that plays to his strengths as a maturing singer, filled with undeniably catchy EDM-inspired anthems and poppy R&B tracks that just might turn you into a bonafide Belieber.

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Allstate Arena , Rosemont Friday April 22 2016

Woods + Ultimate Painting

Critics' pick

On a nearly annual basis, Brooklyn folk-rockers Woods release another collection of jangly tunes. The band's latest, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, adds a horn section to the mix, resulting in a cinematic suite of songs that recalls the soundtracks of composer Ennio Morricone. At Lincoln Hall, the group will be joined by UK duo Ultimate Painting, who draw inspiration from ’60s and ’70s pop.

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Lincoln Hall , Lincoln Park Saturday April 23 2016

Courtney Barnett

Critics' pick

Young Aussie singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett recently received a best alternative album Grammy nod for her 2015 release, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit—a testament to just how quickly she has become an indie rock star. Her witty, monotone musings about everyday life are filtered though psychedelic guitar arrangements, exuding a casual charm that is amped up in a live setting. Though Barnett's music is frequently cast as the anthems of a slacker, she's no slouch: She is already hard at work on her next album, which will more than likely be released by her self-owned label, Milk! Records.

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Riviera Theatre , Uptown Thursday April 28 2016

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires

Critics' pick

A former James Brown impersonator who only recently achieved success performing his own songs, Charles Bradley is a goddamn inspiration. The 67-year-old singer is as authentic as they come, effortlessly inhabiting classic soul and R&B grooves on his new Daptone Records release Changes. They don't call him "The Screaming Eagle of Soul" for nothing.

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Thalia Hall , Pilsen Thursday April 28 2016

White Denim + Sam Cohen

Critics' pick

Austin-based White Denim is a band that enjoys playing with Southern rock tropes, crafting energetic songs with winding guitar solos that flirt with psychedelic, jazz and funk influences. On its recent album Stiff—recorded with Ryan Adams and Kings of Leon producer Ethan Johns—the band settles into an Allman Brothers-inflected groove. Former Apollo Sunshine frontman Sam Cohen opens the show.

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Thalia Hall , Pilsen Saturday April 30 2016