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Concerts in Chicago in May 2015

Which of your favorite musicians are coming to town in May? Explore our list of upcoming concerts in Chicago and snatch up tickets now

Lana Del Rey

Summer is not technically here, but who cares about technicalities? We need to go outside as much as possible, considering the entire month of January was spent next to the heater. Good thing May marks the start of the summer music festival season, not to mention the outdoor concert season. The Do Division Street Fest is always a nice dry run for our imminent marathon of festivals. Elsewhere, Lana Del Rey heads to the shed in Tinley Park for her Endless Summer Tour. There are also some big gigs indoors, as well. The Who celebrate 50 years as a band. Explore our picks of the top concerts in Chicago in May.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar for concerts in Chicago

Ciara

Critics' pick

"Body Party" was one of the great singles of 2013, and now underrated R&B siren Ciara returns with Jackie, an album which screams "Janet" from its cover.

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House of Blues Until Sun May 3

Paramore

What a difference a No. 10 single makes. After "Ain't It Fun" brightened up summer 2014, Paramore is now getting all grown-up with that inevitable 'an intimate night with' stage of its career, with steep tickets to match.

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Rosemont Theatre Until Sun May 3

Crosby, Stills + Nash

Crosby, Stills & Nash was the Lollapalooza headliner of its time, a festival youth-magnet ringer. But these days, the trio of counter-culture survivors serves as counter-programming, a simultaneous reminder of what once was and a blatant riposte to what currently is.

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Chicago Theatre Until Tue May 5

The Jesus and Mary Chain

Critics' pick

Brothers Jim and William Reid bury their animosity and take the JAMChain back on the road for a 30th anniversary tour of Psychocandy.

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Riviera Theatre Until Tue May 5

Faith No More

Critics' pick

They appeal to Frank Zappa heads as much as headbangers.

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Concord Music Hall Until Thu May 7

Of Monsters and Men

Critics' pick

The breakout Icelandic folk-rock troupe returns with its buzzed-about sophomore album, Beneath the Skin, which should help acoustic-minded music fans forget that Mumford is basically the new Nickelback now.

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Riviera Theatre Saturday August 1 2015

Passion Pit

Critics' pick

Michael Angelakos returns with the third iteration of his Passion Pit project, Kindred, an album that streamlines his maximalist giddy-sad synth-pop into radio gems.

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Thalia Hall Until Thu May 14

The Who

Critics' pick

The Who, like Nike, turns 50 years old this year and so the hits are being wheeled out again, in addition to some new material. As long as Pete's arm can keep windmilling, there's life in them yet. Despite their age, and 50% survival rate, don't underestimate the live show.

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United Center Thursday October 15 2015

Azealia Banks

Critics' pick

After endless delays and a seemingly incurable case of Twitter Foot in Mouth Disease, Azealia Banks finally set things right and dropped Broke with Expensive Taste. It's a playful debut that cherry-picks ideas from M.I.A., Missy Elliott, Janelle Monae and, er, Ariel Pink.

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Concord Music Hall 15 May 2015

Ben Folds

Critics' pick

Happy-sack piano pop dweeb Ben Folds wants to take you to church. Taking some time away from judging a cappella singers on reality television, the twee-indie Elton John is trying something a little more progressive this time out, touring with new-music ensemble yMusic, the artist-in-residence at Duke University.

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Fourth Presbyterian Church Fri May 15 - Sat May 16

Tame Impala

Critics' pick

The Aussie act makes an anticipated return with its third album in 2015, and judging by "Let It Happen," you might want to clear some space off near the top of your Year's Best list. The vintage psychedelic merchants delve into electronics on the eight-minute cut, pouring mushrooms on the dance floor, in what could pass for a Daft Punk remix.

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Riviera Theatre 15 May 2015

Gerard Way

Critics' pick

The former main man of My Chemical Romance tours his glammy solo debut Hesitant Alien, which draws on a whole pool of influences—Britpop, Bowie and the brainy comic books he writes in his spare time.

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Vic Theatre 16 May 2015

Jenny Lewis

Former Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis is the picture of California cool on The Voyager, her third solo effort. Its songs attack sexism and aging with wit, couching the barbs in warm folk-rocky production.

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Vic Theatre Until Mon May 18

Slash

Cartoon guitar hero and erstwhile Guns N' Roses shredder Slash brings his top hat and hot licks to the Concord. Please refrain from yelling out about Axl.

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Concord Music Hall Until Mon May 18

Metz

The punky Canadian grunge-revival trio blasts Lincoln Hall with throat-reddening cuts from sophomore album II, which is appropriately out on Sub Pop.

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Lincoln Hall Until Wed May 20

Jeff Beck

While not the household name of Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page, guitarist Jeff Beck is right up there with the greats.

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Chicago Theatre Until Thu May 21

Judas Priest

Critics' pick

Over four decades later, the heavy metal pioneers are still hell bent for leather and breaking the law.

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Rosemont Theatre Until Thu May 21

Matt & Kim

Critics' pick

They happy, hyper, yelpy duo were kind of doing the "Everything Is Awesome" thing long before The Lego Movie came along.

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Riviera Theatre Until Thu May 21

NKOTB + TLC + Nelly

Hang tough and don't go chasing waterfalls, 'cause it's hot in herre. Go down the rabbit hole for three decades worth of nostalgia.

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Allstate Arena Until Sat May 23

The Sea and Cake

Critics' pick

The Sea and Cake have quietly, outside the fences of what is currently considered cool, worked and worked to a new career peak. The quartet's last record, Runner, was arguably its greatest, jumping from dreamy electronic pop ("Harps") to sun-dappled and sweet krautrock ("New Pattern").

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Portage Theater Until Sat May 23

Do Division Street Fest

Critics' pick

In its ninth year, Do Division, the street shindig booked by Empty Bottle and House Call Entertainment, holds down the last weekend in May, really kicking off the summer festival season. This year, the music lineup includes UK psych-rockers Temples, noisy weirdo Tobacco and soulful, dapper rocker Nick Waterhouse.

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Division St between Damen Ave and Leavitt St Until Sun May 31

Drake

Critics' pick

The 28 year old is arguably the biggest rapper in the game (well, the biggest rapper that people still like as a person). Instead of a headlining spot at a festival, we get the MC on his own at the United Center. Future opens.

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United Center Until Fri May 29

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Critics' pick

The talented one out of Oasis tours his second solo album, Chasing Yesterday, which branches even further from the "Sex Beatles" formula of his '90s juggernaut for something a little groovier, jazzier.

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Riviera Theatre Until Fri May 29

Vance Joy

Critics' pick

Think of him as the new, Aussie Jack Johnson. Catch him as he brings his ukelele-laden indie pop to the Metro.

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Metro Chicago Until Fri May 29

Ellie Kemper

Critics' pick

The adorable star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt gathers "friends" for four variety shows as part of The Onion's 2nd Annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival.

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UP Comedy Club Until Sat May 30

Little Dragon

Critics' pick

The haunting and esoteric Swedish electro-pop four-piece headline, fronted by radiant vocalist Yukimi Nagano and drawing on Portishead and Janet Jackson.

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Concord Music Hall Until Fri May 29

Sebadoh

Critics' pick

Lou Barlow mined the despair of his divorce for more melodic, sad power-pop on Defend Yourself, Sebadoh's 2013 comeback album and first record since the 1990s.

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Schubas Until Fri May 29

Built to Spill

Critics' pick

The Idahoans have finally released a new album, Untethered Moon, a bittersweet, rambling platter of perfect indie that recalls their mid-90s output.

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Metro Chicago Sunday September 13 2015

Lana Del Rey

Critics' pick

The backlash to the backlash came quickly for Lana Del Rey. After a rather disasterous debut performance on SNL and subsequent LOLs, the Jessica Rabbit–like crooner responded by selling over 5 million copies of Born to Die. Oh, and her stage chops grew stronger. Her bewitching performance at Lollapalooza 2013 won over those who expected some trainwreck spectacle. Now, she returns for her second lap of promoting Ultraviolence, the even more David Lynchian album recorded with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.

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First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre Until Sat May 30

Temples

Critics' pick

Analogue fetishists Temples play extremely retro psych-pop, like a drier, more period-authentic Tame Impala, from their Heavenly Records debut album Sun Structures.

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Subterranean Until Sat May 30

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