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Concerts in Chicago in November

This November, we're thankful for Yo La Tengo, Janet Jackson and more of the best upcoming concerts in Chicago

Photograph: Dusdin Condren
Yo La Tengo

We love the fall. It's when the best books and films come out. The Blackhawks, Bulls and Bears are all back in action. And the record industry heats up with its hottest release season. Which means bands hit the road. Janet Jackson comes back to the Chicago Theatre on her first tour in four years, Yo La Tengo hit the Vic for a special acoustic set and Miley Cyrus kicks off her latest tour at the Riv (a Thanksgiving miracle). Get off the streets and warm up in a rock venue at one of these shows.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar for concerts in Chicago

Concerts in Chicago in November 2015

The Lone Bellow

Hotly tipped Brooklyn country-soul rockers the Lone Bellow have their real roots in the South (Georgia and Virginia). The group celebrates its sophomore record, Then Came the Morning, an eclectic mix of gospel energy and heartfelt folk. Anderson East opens the show.

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Until Sun Nov 1

Jethro Tull

One of the kookier classic rock bands of the 1970s, returns in the proggiest way possible. Flute playing, tights wearing lead singer Ian Anderson has constructed a meta-conceptual rock opera based on his group's namesake, 18th century agriculturalist Jethro Tull. Songs from across the Tull catalog, including the hit "Aqualung", are reworked into this narrative. Codpiece cosplay is probably encouraged, I guess?

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Until Sun Nov 1

Janet Jackson

Critics' pick

It's a little bit sad to think that for an entire generation, Janet Jackson is better known for baring her breast on live television than for her relentless stream of late '80s hits. The upcoming Unbreakable World Tour marks her first outing in four years, in conjunction with a yet-to-be titled record. The 49-year-old pop star probably can't pull off the "Nasty" choreography anymore, but that's what backup dancers are for.

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Allstate Arena , Rosemont Saturday June 4 2016

Jimmy Whispers + Twin Hits + Tim Kinsella

Critics' pick

After serenading a crowd at the Pitchfork Music Festival while wearing a dress last summer, local lo-fi pop crooner Jimmy Whispers returns to the stage to present a selection of new material with the help of a backing band and some special guests. Whispers promises that the show will be a "one time only theatrical experience"—perhaps he's written a rock opera? Local supergroup Twin Hits (which features members of Twin Peaks and Today's Hits), Joan of Arc frontman Tim Kinsella and elctro-folk act Fee Lion open the show.

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Until Wed Nov 4

Yo La Tengo

Critics' pick

On Stuff Like That There, indie-rock cornerstone Yo La Tengo reimagines tracks from its deep catalog and throws in covers of tunes by Hank Williams and the Cure for good measure. A country-tinged revamp of classic track "Deeper Into the Movies" shows that the veteran band is still searching, refusing to coast on what it already has figured out. At this special acoustic gig, the New Jersey band will be joined by its former lead guitarist, Dave Schramm.

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Until Thu Nov 5

Kendrick Lamar + Jay Rock

Critics' pick

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. Kendrick Lamar just turned in a headlining set at 107.5 WGCI's Big Jam at the United Center, but he's already coming back to Chicago. The acclaimed emcee brings his intimate Kunta's Groove Sessions Tour to the Concord Music Hall, backed by a live band and his labelmate Jay Rock. Expect plenty of tunes from his lauded To Pimp a Butterfly LP as well as (according to the tour's poster) some dancing.

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Until Thu Nov 5

Zombi + Pinkish Black

Named after the title under which Dawn of the Dead was released in Italy, Pittsburgh prog-rockers Zombi have a predilection for spooky, synthesizer-driven soundtracks. Armed with a drum kit, a bass guitar and an array of vintage electronics, the duo composes twisting instrumentals that wouldn't sound out of place in a John Carpenter film. The pair is joined by Relapse labelmates Pinkish Black, who share an interest in crafting retro-styled cinematic soundscapes. Pelican guitarist Trevor de Brauw opens the show.

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Until Thu Nov 5

Shakey Graves + Those Darlins

Critics' pick

Austin song man Alejandro Rose-Garcia, the musical force behind the buzzy Shakey Graves, has amassed quite the cult following with his modest yet intricate fingerpicked melodies and raw vocals. On his Die Hard Tour, the songwriter is joined by Nashville country rockers Those Darlins.

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Until Fri Nov 6

The Weeknd + Banks

Abel Tesfaye (a.k.a. The Weeknd) released three free albums online in 2011, bundling them for commercial sale as Trilogy, garnering critical acclaim for his hazy R&B slow jams and much love from his Canadian homie Drake. After a headlining set at Lollapalooza this summer, the crooner is hitting the United Center in support of his latest full-length, Beauty Behind the Madness. Californian synth songstress Banks and Kanye associate Travis Scott open the show.

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Until Fri Nov 6

City and Colour

Juno-winning City And Colour (the alias of former Alexisonfire vocalist and guitarist Dallas Green) mixes a calm, dulcet tone with a distinct melodic restlessness. He has collaborated with a good number of Canadian indie rockers like Attack in Black's Daniel Romano and Spencer Burton, and his most recent record, The Hurry and the Harm, was certified Platinum in Canada, which bodes well for him stateside. Hurray for the Riff Raff supports.

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Until Fri Nov 6

New Found Glory + Yellowcard

The snotty Florida lifers New Found Glory celebrate a new LP, Resurrection, its first as a four-piece after the departure of guitarist-lyricist Steve Klein. The record continues their emo-tinged, pop-punk mission. The band is joined by Yellowcard who promotes its latest, Lift a Sail. So don those Dickies, secure your Vans and tuck in that wallet chain—after all, you don't want to accidentally strangle someone when you crowd surf.

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Until Sat Nov 7

Mac DeMarco + Alex Calder

Critics' pick

Mac DeMarco's tongue is no stranger to his cheek. Like Jonathan Richman, the Canuck crooner's jangly pop muddies the line between campy and candor with ease. On his latest EP, Another One, the Brooklyn musician devluges his home address and welcomes listeners to come over for a cup of coffee. Is the indie rock prankster turning over a new leaf? We'll have to wait and see how many fans are actually able to drink a cup of joe with their idol. Alex Calder and the Courtneys support.

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Until Sat Nov 7

Wand

Critics' pick

Los Angeles’ Wand released its fuzzed-out psych-rock debut on Ty Segall's God? Records in 2014, quickly followed by its sophomore release, Golem, which dropped earlier this year. The group is already back with 1000 Days, which strips away some the band's heavy riff-age in favor of heady synth jams.

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Until Sat Nov 7

Beirut

Critics' pick

Band chief Zach Condon, a multitasker who performs vocals, trumpet and ukulele, mines sounds from foreign lands, giving color to his Morrissey-like vocals and Magnetic Fields–like songs.

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Until Tue Nov 10

The Polyphonic Spree

You must know what to expect from the Spree by now: An alphabet's worth of members; flowing choir robes; buoyant, Jesus-is-my-homeboy (but they're officially secular, really!) symphonic pop ditties; pure divine chaos onstage. Sonically, the collective sounds positively Partridge-esque in its sunny energy. The collective is celebrating its 15th anniversary, so expect a career-spanning set.

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Until Wed Nov 11

Ryn Weaver

Twenty-three-year-old singer Ryn Weaver is an art school drop out who seems to be making ends meet as a pop star. Last summer, her single "OctaHate" was co-signed by the likes of Charli XCX, Harry Styles and Jessie Ware. Fresh off of an appearance at Lollapaplooza, the California singer is back in town playing behind her debut album, The Fool.

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Until Thu Nov 12

Drive-By Truckers

Stalwart Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers bring their epic live show to Thalia Hall, playing behind their 2014 release, English Oceans. The band's profile has only grown since signing with Dave Matthews' ATO Records—expect a packed house during this twangy two-night stand.

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Fri Nov 13 - Sat Nov 14

BØRNS

Critics' pick

Professional magician turned psychedelic pop rocker Garrett Borns (better known as BØRNS) pulled off an astonishing trick this summer, landing on several prominent festival bills based on the strength of his single, "10,000 Emerald Pools." For his next act, he'll be taking his show on the road, touring behind the woozy rock of his debut record, Dopamine. Fellow psych devotee Avid Dancer opens.

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14 Nov 2015

The Fab Faux

The popular Beatles tribute act tackles Abbey Road in its entirety. But "The End" is not the end—they'll wag their heads to other Fab Four hits, too.

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14 Nov 2015

The Dandy Warhols

The Dandy Warhols were never anyone’s idea of visionaries—the Portland, OR, quartet once functioned as a dapper sponge, soaking up the culture and funneling various trendy sounds through its drone. In the ’90s, this meant paying homage to the ’60s; the early ’00s brought the band up to Reagan-era pop. Now, the Dandies look back to their own past, touring behind their first live release, a complete performance of their 2000 breakthrough album, 13 Tales From Urban Bohemia.

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19 Nov 2015

EL VY

The National frontman Matt Berninger and Ramona Falls mastermind Brent Knopf have been friends for nearly a decade, but the pair have only recently started making music together. Assuming the moniker EL VY (pronounced: elle-vye), Knopf creates radiant, upbeat backing tracks while Berniger provides his gloomy baritone—it sounds a little like the National hopped up on antidepressants.

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19 Nov 2015

Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz

Critics' pick

Miley's Bangerz tour boasted solid pop songs surrounded by a wild menagerie of foam fingers, outlandish costumes and oversized stage props. The music on latest record, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, may prove to be stranger than the trappings surrounding it. With the Flaming Lips acting as her backing band, the controversial popstar's 90-minute LP is packed with trippy space rock and tender odes to her deceased goldfish and dogs. If her recent SNL performances are any indication, the accompanying tour will be a weird, dreadlock-clad trip.

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19 Nov 2015

Natural Child + Alex Bleeker and the Freaks

Critics' pick

Fuzzed-out Nashville boogie-punk throwbacks Natural Child—think of ’em as Jerry Lee Lewis gone garage—riff up a storm on their latest album, Dancin' with Wolves, on Burger Records. The group is joined by Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, which finds the Real Estate bassist indulging in noisy folk rock.

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19 Nov 2015

Fuzz

Critics' pick

Ty Segall continues his prolific tear by reuniting with Fuzz, a group featuring Ty Segall Band guitarist Charles Moothart and bassist Chad Ubovich. The outfit's latest record, II, offers up another collection of heavy, riff-filled tracks that occupy the middle ground between the heady prog of King Crimson and the primal power chords of Black Sabbath. Dig out your earplugs (and some black light posters) for this one.

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20 Nov 2015

Jeff Tweedy

Critics' pick

Local rock icon Jeff Tweedy has been busy lately, releasing a surprise Wilco album, touring with son behind last year's Tweedy record and producing a new set of Richard Thompson songs. Here, he steps away to turn in a solo gig benefitting the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. Expect to hear classic Wilco tracks, new Tweedy tunes and a handful of Uncle Tupelo songs at this intimate acoustic performance.

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Vic Theatre , Lakeview Friday May 13 2016 - Saturday May 14 2016

King Khan & BBQ Show

Critics' pick

Hundreds of acts revive the garage-rock sounds of the '60s, but few manage to remember the B-movie kitch and switchblade danger of the genre quite like this duo. Becaped howler Khan is fun on his own, but it's only with his better half, BBQ, that this trash-the-tiki-bar punk shake really soars. It will play behind its latest, Bad News Boys released this year.

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20 Nov 2015

The Menzingers

The Menzingers, a melodic Pennsylvania pop-punk act, brings its heart-on-sleeve, post–Get Up Kids emo, as heard on 2014's Rented World, to the Metro. Me Without You opens the show.

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Fri Nov 20 - Sat Nov 21

Beach Slang + Lithuania + Worriers

Critics' pick

The blistering track "Too Late to Die Young" is an apt summation of fortysomething punk rocker James Snyder's outlook on life, which he elaborates upon throughout Beach Slang's debut record. The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, is a concise (only 26 minutes) missive to the weirdos and outcasts who have persevered and embraced their passions, channeling the ramshackle energy of the Replacements. Lithuania and Worriers support.

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21 Nov 2015

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) + Stereolad

Critics' pick

The band's name is still unpronounceable (we just call 'em 'chk chk chk') but !!!'s new record As If is another slice of disco-tinged dance rock that doesn't take itself too seriously. Opening the show is Stereolad, which features members of !!! covering Stereolab tunes—a couple of them even wear cute dresses.

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21 Nov 2015

Glen Hansard

Critics' pick

A former street performer who appeared in the hit indie movie Once, former Frames frontman Glen Hansard specializes in raw, emotive folk rock. It's in his solo work, though, that he truly bares his soul, here showcasing songs from his latest record, Didn’t He Ramble. Don't worry, he'll probably throw in a rendition of his Oscar award-winning song "Falling Slowly." Folk singer Aoife O’Donovan opens the show.

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21 Nov 2015

Sinkane

To an extent, Sinkane is the work of one man—ex-Yeasayer member Ahmed Gallad. The Sudan-born multi-instrumentalist has toured with Caribou, Of Montreal, and Yeasayer, and specializes in hooky extravaganzas, anthemic choruses and Afrobeat flourishes. We can attest that Sinkane’s live sets are soul-rocking, body-moving and not to be missed. His crooning, silky smooth falsetto made waves on his most recent Mean Love released in 2014, proving him an able artist apt to exploring an array of musical ventures.

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21 Nov 2015

Moon Taxi

Nashville indie rockers Moon Taxi continue to inch closer to arena rock on its latest album, Daybreaker, which is littered with electronic hooks and anthemic choruses. The group headlines Thalia Hall, returning to town after playing at Lollapalooza earlier this summer.

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Until Sun Nov 22

Grimes

The last few years of Claire Elise Boucher's (better known as Grimes) career have been filled with artistic angst. After releasing two singles, the experimental pop singer scrapped her planned follow-up to 2012's Visions, starting from scratch on a brand new record. Those expecting upbeat tracks like "Oblivion" and "Go" may be disappointed— Boucher seems intent on covering new ground. Dream pop singer-songwriter Nicole Dollanganger supports.

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Until Wed Nov 25

HEALTH

Experimental Californian quartet HEALTH got its start doing remixes, before transitioning to full-length records and video game soundtracks. The group's latest record DEATH MAGIC, produced by Björk-collaborator the Haxan Cloak, softens the edges of its harsh industrial tones, offering up a surprisingly accessible collection of noisy electro pop backed by intense rhythms.

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Until Sat Nov 28

Car Seat Headrest + Varsity

Hailing from Virginia, 23-year-old Will Toledo self-recorded 11 albums in five years before moving to Seattle and forming his first real band, Car Seat Headrest. His work didn't go unnoticed by Matador Records, who signed the young musician and will be releasing his indie label debut, Teens of Style. Delivering sprawling, complex pop songs that feature smart and direct lyrics, Toledo's music is clearly the work of a very experienced musical mind.

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Until Sun Nov 29

Comments

1 comments
Morgan H
Morgan H

Great list of shows -- very excited for Magic Man at House of Blues on 11/6!