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Concerts in Chicago in June 2016

Tame Impala and the Cure headline a packed month of concerts (and festivals) in Chicago

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Tame Impala turned in a set in front of a crowd of thousands at Lolllapalooza on August 1, 2015.

Summer is finally upon us! We need go outside as frequently as possible, considering the entire months of January and February were spent under a comforter. Good thing the summer music festival season is now in full swing, not to mention all the great stuff happening indoors at Chicago rock venues and arenas. When you're not spending your days on a rooftop bar, you can see the Cure, Tame Impala and more great acts. Explore our picks of the top concerts in Chicago in June.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar for concerts in Chicago

Concerts in Chicago in June

Do Division Street Fest

Critics' pick

Do Division, the street shindig booked by Empty Bottle and Subterranean, kicks off the summer festival season during the first weekend of June. Spanning 10 city blocks, the annual celebration brings a selection of local vendors and restaurant to Division Street, as well as family activities, a sidewalk sale and a runway fashion show. The music lineup is solid (as usual) including noise rockers A Place to Bury Strangers, retro-styled singer-songwriter Diane Coffee and instrumental hip-hop act BADBADNOTGOOD.

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Division St between Damen Ave and Wood St , Ukrainian Village Friday June 3 2016 - Sunday June 5 2016

Blonde Redhead + Ryley Walker

Critics' pick

The rightly adored New York institution Blonde Redhead returned in 2014 with Barragán, an album which veers confidently into dark French pop territory. It marks a huge shift away from the band's forays into trip-hop and dream-pop, but the versatile group handles the shift with ease. Opening is local guitarist Ryley Walker, who combines rambling, psychedelic arrangements with understated style of a ’70s folk singer-songwriter. This free concert kicks off the 2016 Millennium Park Summer Music Series.

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Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion , Loop Monday June 6 2016

Tame Impala

Critics' pick

These psychedelic Aussie have somehow become everyone's favorite band—even Rihanna covered a Tame Impala track on her new album, Anti. 2015's Currents merged electronics with thick guitar riffs, dropping mushrooms on the dance floor while channeling vintage R&B grooves. Now, Kevin Parker and company are bringing their heady melodies to an arena, where even more people will be able to loose their minds.

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UIC Pavilion , Chicago Thursday June 9 2016

Lee Fields & The Expressions + Makaya McCraven

Critics' pick

Veteran crooner Lee Fields cut his first single in 1969 and is still a consumate performer, thanks to four decades spent playing in countless styles. Assisted by the Expressions, Fields combines aspects of classic soul and R&B, creating music that's far more genuine than most retro devotees. Rising Chicago-based jazz drummer and producer Makaya McCraven opens the show, digging into the complex grooves of his recent In the Moment LP. This free concert is part of the 2016 Millennium Park Summer Music Series.

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Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion , Loop Thursday June 9 2016

The Cure + The Twilight Sad

Apply some eyeliner and prepare to sing along to all of Robert Smith's mopiest pop songs (don't call it "goth rock") as the Cure come to the UIC Pavilion for a two-night stand. The band was last seen headlining Riot Fest in 2014, but this pair of shows promises to be a career-spanning event, looking back on the group's 37-year career, complete with a new stage production. For longtime fans (or angst-ridden teens) it should be just like heaven. Scottish post-punk act the Twilight Sad will be supporting at both shows.

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UIC Pavilion , Chicago Friday June 10 2016 - Saturday June 11 2016

Chicago Blues Festival

Critics' pick

The largest free blues festival in the world brings living legends and local 12-bar regulars to Grant Park for three days of music. Those expecting Blues Brothers cover bands should steer clear (though you're likely to hear a few renditions of "Sweet Home Chicago")—past editions have brought artists such as Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, Shemekia Copeland and Syl Johnson to the stage. 2016's lineup is yet to be announced, but we're expecting something special.

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Grant Park , Loop Friday June 10 2016 - Sunday June 12 2016

Florence and the Machine + Of Monsters and Men

Critics' pick

English singer-songwriter Florence Welsh knows how to belt out a refrain—for proof, just listen to any song from her solid 2015 release, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Backed by the Machine, she's also a sight to behold in concert—during her headlining set at Lollapalooza last summer she pranced across the stage in front of a flowing sequin backdrop, seemingly unperturbed by the lightning flashing in the distance. On this stop in Tinley Park, she'll be joined by Icelandic indie-folk juggernauts Of Monsters and Men.

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Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre , Tinley Park Sunday June 12 2016

Rodrigo Amarante + Leyla MaCalla

Imagine a Brazilian version of Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas who favors quirky folk-pop over glossy garage rock—that's the easiest way to describe Rodrigo Amarante. Best-known for fronting Rio de Janeiro rock group Los Hermanos, Amarante recently embarked on a solo career, composing a varied collection of tunes sung in his native Portugese on the 2013 release, Cavalo. Haitian-American cellist Leyla McCalla opens the show. This free concert is part of the 2016 Millennium Park Summer Music Series.

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Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion , Loop Monday June 13 2016

LakeShake Festival

Critics' pick

After a successful first year, the LakeShake Festival returns to Northerly Island for three days of country music. This year, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw and Brooks & Dunn headline a Nashville-rich bill. The lakefront hoedown also features Martina McBride, Travis Tritt and Thomas Rhett—dust off your cowboy hat and polish those boots. (Note: There are no single-day tickets available for this festival)

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FirstMerit Bank Pavilion , Downtown Friday June 17 2016 - Sunday June 19 2016

Taste of Randolph

Critics' pick

On the same streets as some of Chicago's (and America's) best-known restaurants, this West Loop fest boasts six blocks of food, drink and music. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the event is welcoming 20 restaurant, including Belly Q, Gus's Fried Chicken, Publican Quality Meats and Cemitas Puebla. Swedish indie-pop act Peter, Bjorn and John, electro duo MS MR and Australian rockers Atlas Genius headline the music lineup.

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Randolph St , Chicago Friday June 17 2016 - Sunday June 19 2016

Paul Simon

Though he achieved fame as one half of Simon and Garfunkel, Paul Simon cemented his place in popular culture with a string of seminal solo albums in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The South African-influenced melodies of Graceland have inspired modern acts like Vampire Weekend and St. Lucia—how many artists have that kind of impact with just a single record? The adult-pop titan comes to Ravinia behind his latest, Stranger to Stranger.

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Ravinia Pavilion , North Suburbs Saturday June 18 2016

Julianna Barwick

Critics' pick

Few artists can match the ethereal allure of Barkwick, a Southern-born, Brooklyn-honed artist who layers her voice into wordless soundscapes. Her latest, Will, was partially recorded at the Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina, introducing synthesized textures to her sonic palette.

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Constellation , Roscoe Village Saturday June 18 2016

Flight of the Conchords

Though its HBO show (sadly) remains dormant, New Zealand comedic folk duo Flight of the Conchords is returning to the stage with some new songs in tow, as well as its beloved odes to the Hiphopopotamus and post-apocalyptic robots. This is one outdoor show that you'll want to be present for this summer.

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Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion , Loop Sunday June 19 2016

Steve Gunn

Critics' pick

Once a guitarist in Kurt Vile's band, Steve Gunn struck out on his own to craft a signature blend of acoustic Americana, bluesy boogie and deep, nomadic jams. His new album, Eyes on the Lines, showcases both jangling guitar chops and growth as a singer-songwriter.

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Schubas , Lakeview Thursday June 23 2016

Bob Dylan + Mavis Staples

Critics' pick

The venerable Bob Dylan and his band come to the Ravinia Festival, bringing his signature gruff folk lyricism to the pavilion stage. Last year, Dylan released Shadows in the Night, a collection of traditional pop ballads that were originally recorded by Frank Sinatra. However, you shouldn't expect a concert that sticks to his latest tunes. Dylan's performances are notoriously erratic, reaching back into various corners of his catalog in the same fashion as the singer's regular Bootleg Series releases. Chicago gospel legend Mavis Staples (who once received a marriage proposal from Dylan) will open up the evening.

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Ravinia Pavilion , North Suburbs Friday June 24 2016

Phish

After fronting the Grateful Dead's gigantic Fare Thee Well performances last summer, Trey Anastasio returns to the head of jam band titan, Phish. While even hardcore fans are quick to pan the band's studio work, its live shows are a potent coktail of extended instrumentals and thick clouds of pot smoke. In short, it's probably the trippiest night you'll ever experience in Wrigley Field.

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Wrigley Field , Wrigleyville Friday June 24 2016 - Saturday June 25 2016

Logan Square Arts Festival

Critics' pick

Last year, the Logan Square Arts Festival (formerly the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival) moved back to the Illinois Centennial Monument square for three days of local art, food, cocktails and music. This year, the event boasts headliners such as soulful R&B singer-songwriter Xenia Rubinos, punk trio Screaming Females and Americana rockers Blitzen Trapper.

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Logan Square Monument , Humboldt Park Friday June 24 2016 - Sunday June 26 2016

Minor Victories

Formed from members of British acts Slowdive, Mogwai and Editors, Minor Victories is a supergroup with pedigree to spare. Predictably, the band's self-titled debut swims with dreamy shoegaze melodies and grandiose post-rock refrains.

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Lincoln Hall , Lincoln Park Sunday June 26 2016

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