Concerts in Chicago this week

Who's playing Chicago this week? Get listings for the very best live music in the Windy City, and find a recommended gig near you over the next seven days

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Lose yourself to music at our picks of the best concerts, club events and live shows in Chicago this week.

Lose yourself to music at our picks of the best concerts, club events and live shows in Chicago this week. Photo: cousindaniel.com

In the mood for a concert? Whether you want to mosh, sit or gently sway back and forth while standing, we have the event for you. Dig through our picks of the top rock & roll, electronic, pop, soul, jazz and blues shows taking place over the next seven days. Soak up some of the city's best live music this week and discover the top gigs and festivals on offer.

Nine Inch Nails + Soundgarden

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Two titans of classic rock (feel old, that's what we're calling '90s alternative now) and Lollapalooza regulars, Nine Inch Nails (Lolla '91, '08, '13, Chile '14) and Soundgarden (Lolla '92, '96, '10, Chile '14) bro down for the summer in a coheadlining tour. Both started out a little funkier in the 1980s, both released their seminal albums on the same day in March of 1994, both released comfortably familiar comeback albums over the last couple years. The pairing makes a lot of sense to some degree, but it's also a bit surprising. Trent Reznor has thrown some shade at Chris Cornell on Twitter in the past. After original opening act Death Grips imploded, Oneohtrix Point Never fills in. What, were Candlebox and Stabbing Westward not available?

  1. First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre 19100 S Ridgeland Ave
  2. Thu Jul 24
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Jack White

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Two years after headlining Lollapalooza, Mr. White returns to Chicago to wail and shred. The neo-bluesman has a new record to promote, Lazaretto, another slab of retro-rock pressed into thick, multicolored vinyl no doubt. No word yet on whether the former White Stripes man—now deep into his blue period—will again tour with two backing bands. But you do have a choice of ornate theater to see him in—Chicago or Auditorium.

  1. Auditorium Theatre 50 E Congress Pkwy, between Michigan and Wabash Aves
  2. Thu Jul 24
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Beyoncé + Jay Z

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

After smashing it at United Center in summer 2013, the one and only Beyoncé Knowles is back in Chicago. With Mr. Carter in tow. Oh, and (no biggie) she also surprise-released a self-titled new album, with one track even featuring baby Blue Ivy Carter on guest vocals. It means that Bey’ll have plenty of brand new songs to bust out at these stadium shows, not to mention some of the definitive pop and R&B tracks of the last 20 years. All in all it should be a typically Yoncéan hurricane of full-throttle tuneage, combined with stuff-strutting moves to leave the audience breathless, let alone her backing dancers. Would anyone argue that Jay Z isn't the undercard here? In recent years he's been graciously sharing the spotlight with Kanye, JT, his wife. Or maybe he needs them after buttfumble of Magna Carta Holy Grail.

  1. Soldier Field 1410 S Museum Campus Dr, at McFetridge Dr
  2. Thu Jul 24
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Jurassic 5 + Dilated Peoples

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Dilated Peoples and J5 were the last wave of conscious rap to make it on major labels. The movement began with De La Soul in the late '80s and pretty much died in 2006, with their respective albums 20/20 and Feedback. Now, Cut Chemist, Chali 2na and the rest of the laid back, daisy age–style hip-hop crew J5 reunites for a headline tour. With Kendrick Lamar and his Black Hippie crew the hypest thing going, Los Angeles is hot, and these SoCal crews are due for a comeback. It's nice to have them back. 

  1. Aragon 1106 W Lawrence Ave, at Winthrop Ave
  2. Fri Jul 25
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Camera Obscura + Laura Cantrell

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Lindsay Boyd and her Camera Obscura crew do their misty Glaswegian indie-pop thing, playing from their rich and lovely latest album Desire Lines. Early champions included both John Peel and Belle And Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, who produced Camera Obscura's debut album.

  1. Thalia Hall 1807 S Allport St, at 18th St
  2. Fri Jul 25
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Taste of Lincoln Avenue

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The 31st annual fest in the heart of Lincoln Park features more than 250 vendors and almost 40 music acts. A free standalone carnival entertains the kids while the Lill Street Craft Fair brings handmade goods to Lincoln Avenue.

  1. Lincoln Ave between Fullerton and Wrightwood Aves Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton and Wrightwood Aves
  2. Sat Jul 26 - Sun Jul 27
More info

Diarrhea Planet

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The Nashville pop-punk group is coming to Chicago to make some noise on Belmont. Their moniker may be crude, but it's totally made up for with their explosive sound found in their 2013 LP I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams. 

  1. Beat Kitchen 2100 W Belmont Ave, at Hoyne Ave
  2. Sat Jul 26
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John Fogerty

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Throughout his solo career, John Fogerty has had a tempestuous relationship with his old band Creedence Clearwater Revival, but we're glad he's made his peace with his back catalog—so much so that his recent album, Wrote a Song for Everyone, has Fogerty teaming up with Kid Rock, Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket and Jennifer Hudson to sing CCR and solo hits including "Bad Moon Rising" and "Proud Mary." On this tour, he'll play his greatest hits. The press release also proclaims him to be "the Father of the Flannel Shirt." Sure, okay.

  1. Chicago Theatre 175 N State St, between Randolph and Lake Sts
  2. Sun Jul 27
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The Pool House

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

House heads can take a plunge into the deep end on Sunday nights as resident DJs Bisharat and Jordan Bernardo spin that classic Chicago sound. Guests settle in each week to serve up sultry groove. All that's missing is the pool.

  1. Primary 5 W Division St, at State St
  2. Sun Jul 27 - Mon Jul 28
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Crocodiles

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Charles Rodwell and Brandon Welchez have been the center of the psych-punk group. Their sound rages from fuzzy psychedelic to raging punk. The two rip into tunes from last year's underrated Crimes of Passion , which was given a coat of candy and dirt by producer Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes. Milwaukee's dumb-fun punk Jaill and Chicago's very own Heavy Times get the PBR bottles poppin' early, so throw on a Canadian tuxedo and expect velocity, hooks and riffs all evening.

  1. Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Ave, at Cortez St
  2. Tue Jul 29
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Courtney Barnett

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Young Aussie singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett perfectly describes a Monday, "it's a Monday, it's so mundane," in her track "Avant Gardener." This tune has created lots of buzz for her pyschedelic melodies combined with her monotone, witty lyrics. The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas is a compilation of her first two releases.

  1. Schubas 3159 N Southport Ave, at Belmont Ave
  2. Wed Jul 30
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Jazzin’ at the Shedd

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Shedd Aquarium's weekly concert series presents a rotating group of jazz bands on a lakeside terrace. Guests can sip on cocktails and listen to music or go inside and explore the aquarium, including popular exhibits like "Jellies" and "Stingray Touch".

  1. Shedd Aquarium 1200 S Lake Shore Dr
  2. Wed Jul 30
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Locally Sourced

  • Critics choice

Summer Wednesdays got a bit more exciting with this gathering of local art, food and entertainment hosted at the Lincoln Park Zoo. 

  1. Café Brauer, Lincoln Park Zoo 2021 N Stockton Dr, between Dickens Ave and LaSalle Dr
  2. Wed Jul 30
More info

Lollapalooza 2014: Interpol

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Now considered a legacy act of the early 2000s, Interpol quickly rose to fame with their debut album Turn on The Bright Lights. The album was hailed by both NME and Pitchfork as one of the best of 2002. Since then, the band has struggled though expectations, member splits, complacency, growing apathy, solo projects. But don't count them out. Paul Banks and his crew have freshly pressed suits and are looking to prove the G in GQ stands for gothic.

  1. House of Blues 329 N Dearborn St, between Kinzie St and Lower Wacker Dr
  2. Wed Jul 30
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Lollapalooza 2014: Chvrches

  • Critics choice

Scottish electro-pop trio Chvrches caused a serious stir with its single “The Mother We Share,” a shimmering, gothic synth cut that fuses singer Lauren Mayberry’s vulnerable Glaswegian vocals with corrugated samples. Coming at No. 5 in the BBC Sound of 2013's ranking of the most promising music acts, Chvrches has made serious headway in the U.K., and we're excited as hell to know that they're creating a solid fanbase in the States and Windy City.

  1. Vic Theatre 3145 N Sheffield Ave, at Belmont Ave
  2. Thu Jul 31
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Lollapalooza 2014: Broken Bells

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Broken Bells is the hot pairing of Danger Mouse, who can do little wrong these days, with Shins singer James Mercer. While it's not as "super" as the supergroup label might suggest, "The High Road" from their self-titled debut, is undeniably hook-laden and smooth. There sophmore album After the Dico was released in February of this year, so expect to it during this Lolla aftershow. Beforehand, the electro-tinged, Wild Club warms the crowd with its very of-the-moment, Mumford-the-People-ish pop, off the LP Youth.

  1. House of Blues 329 N Dearborn St, between Kinzie St and Lower Wacker Dr
  2. Thu Jul 31
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Lollapalooza 2014: Portugal. the Man

  • Critics choice

Who would've thought that a band all the way from Wasilla, Alaska, would get a record deal from Atlantic Records and grow a major fan base? You betcha they did. The group is climbing still higher thanks to the career peak of Evil Friends, the 2013 album crafted with Danger Mouse, who does his trademark Danger-Mousey things to the quirky prog-rock. Brighton blues-rock duo (hey, there's an idea) Royal Blood opens this Lolla after-show.

  1. Lincoln Hall 2424 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Thu Jul 31
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Lollapalooza 2014: Grouplove

  • Critics choice

Grouplove crafts extroverted pop-rock that fuses Fun. and Pixies at their sleekest. Always a giddy live act, the California act will jump and shout through the varied tunes of 2013's Spreading Rumors. Fans of Nirvana and Yo Gabba Gabba will both smile. Warming up for 'em is Joywave, an eclectic indie-pop group from New York, landed a record deal off a mixtape.

  1. Metro Chicago 3730 N Clark St, between Waveland and Racine Aves
  2. Thu Jul 31
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CHVRCHES (DJ set)

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Scottish electropop trio Chvrches caused a serious stir with its single “The Mother We Share,” a shimmering, gothic synth cut that fuses singer Lauren Mayberry’s vulnerable Glaswegian vocals with corrugated samples. They'll probably sample a few of these songs to get you excited for Lolla. Since this is at the Berlin however, expect this to be a really dancy set.

  1. Berlin 954 W Belmont Ave, between the El tracks and Sheffield Ave
  2. Thu Jul 31
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Lollapalooza

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Set between breezy Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, Lollapalooza is the city's largest music festival, boasting numbers of attendance well in the six digits on a regular day (though it can feel like seven), mostly consisting of throngs of high school and college kids. Large stages, large acts and large crowds, Lollapalooza is one of the best festivals in the country with one sweet bonus—no camping. Journey to the after-shows, late-night bars, or your hotel room after a long day of sweating and jamming. 

  1. Grant Park 337 E Randolph St, at Columbus Dr
  2. Fri Aug 1 - Sun Aug 3
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