Featured events in October 2018
More than 200 vendors hawk their antique housewares, furniture, ephemera, clothing and more at this indoor-outdoor festival. Stop in for vintage clothes and jewelry, a vinyl swap meet, a fancy food market and global goods bazaar or bring your own items for appraisal. This event typically occurs on the last weekend of each month. During the warm-weather months of May–September, the market adds an outdoor area, offering even more vintage shopping and a beer garden.
Concerts in October 2018
Endlessly catchy and boundlessly energetic, Deerhoof's two-plus decades of musical output is still full of surprises. The quartet's latest album, Mountain Moves, find the group collaborating with artists like Lætitia Sadier and Xenia Rubinos, providing a contrast to the chirpy vocals of lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki and the band's blistering funk-punk arrangements. Here, Deerhoof squeezes back into the Empty Bottle in celebration of the venue's 25th anniversary, joined by Speedy Ortiz singer Sadie Dupuis (under her Sad13 moniker) and effervecent synth-pop duo Lily and Horn Horse.
While James Murphy and all his friends embrace a glitzy, nostalgic take on dance rock, Canadian collective Holy Fuck finds the genre's sinister edge. The songs that populate the group's 2016 album Congrats combine menacing rhythms with foreboding waves of distortion, lending post-punk energy to the upbeat tempos. Here, the group sets up in the middle of Thalia Hall's floor for one of the venue's signature "in the round" performances, which should allow plenty of space for you to show off your most aggressive dance moves.
If you've ever watched an episode of Friday Night Lights, you've probably heard the triumphant, guitar-driven strains of Explosions in the Sky. The Texas post-rock outfit has been mining grandiose, soundtrack-worthy melodies and slowly building arrangements for more than 15 years. One of the band's first gigs took place on the Empty Bottle's stage, so it's fitting that Explosions is returning to celebrate the venue's 25th anniversary.
No longer saddled with the status of folk rock poster boy, folk rocker Robin Pecknold gets downright introspective on Crack-Up. Returning to Fleet Foxes after a brief stint in college, Pecknold treats his third LP like a thesis, constructing intricate suites of songs that allow him ample room to tackle weighty themes and confront the momentous changes in his life. While it lacks the immediacy of Fleet Foxes past work, it's all the more impressive for its lofty ambitions.
If you fell in love with Future Islands' romantic electro-pop and the meme-worthy dance moves of frontman Samuel T. Herring through the group's 2014 release, Singles, you're probably going to dig its latest album. Seasons may change, but the Baltimore outfit's new LP, The Far Field, opts for more of the same, featuring plenty of pleasant synth melodies and Herring's earnest vocal delivery. At this special show celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Empty Bottle, the band is joined by dark indie pop band Jenny Besetzt.
Under the moniker of Four Tet, Kieran Hebden blends jazz, rock and electronic, in addition to remixing tracks by the likes of Radiohead, Sia and the xx. You can expect his eclectic tastes to be on display as he takes over the decks at Smart Bar for an all-night DJ set, in honor of the venue's 35th anniversary.
Yep, it's already been 20 years since "MMMBop" introduced us to the trio of kids with the shaggy haircuts and irresistible pop harmonies. Now the Hanson boys are all grown up, have started a brewery and are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the band on its Middle of Everywhere tour. Get ready for an evening of perky power pop and a couple pints of the Hanson Brothers Beer Co.'s MMMHops Pale Ale.
The Pixies could easily be a nostalgia act at this point in its career, cashing in on the anniversaries of albums like Surfer Rosa and Doolittle or the mere presence of "Where is my Mind" on the Fight Club soundtrack. Instead, frontman Black Francis continues to treat the reunited group like his primary creative outlet—not even the departure of longtime bassist Kim Deal has dampened his spirits. On the latest Pixies album, Head Carrier, Francis departs from the loud-soft dynamic template he employed on the group's best records, opting for a punk rock assault that lacks any subtlety. It might be a difficult change to stomach for longtime fans, but there's little doubt that you'll hear "Here Comes Your Man" if you you tough it out. Indie rock singer-songwriter Mitski opens the show.
It's been more than since Florida folk singer Sam Beam recorded a cover of the Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" that was nearly inescapable for a few years. After a few records that ditched the restrained and hushed songcraft of Beam's original records, the latest Iron and Wine album, Beast Epic, smartly dials back the studio gloss and focuses on captivating lyricism. Listen closely, and you'll hear Beam grapple with the ceasless march of time as well as the joys and indignities of aging. On October 12, local trio Ohmme opens the show, while alt-country singer-songwriter John Moreland supports of October 13.
Chicago-based instrumental metal act Pelican returns to the Empty Bottle's stage to mark the venue's 25th anniversary. The band hasn't released a studio album since 2013's Forever Becoming, but the group's members have remainder busy with side projects in the interim. If the creative juices are flowing, perhaps you'll hear a couple of new, floor-shaking tunes. Experimental rockers Grails and eerie folk rocker Jaye Jayle open the show.
Comedy in October 2018
"Bye Bye Liver" combines two robust Chicago traditions: comedy and heavy drinking. The show opened ten years ago for a three-week run, then kept getting extended. It centers on common party situations most Chicagoans can relate to, and incoroprates interactive audience games like "Would You Rather." If you're looking to get drunk, quick, and have a great time doing so, "Bye Bye Liver" is always a solid bet.
Now in its 15th year, Whirled News Tonight has become an institution at the iO Theatre, hence its prime time slot. Improvised scenes are based on news articles from that week, which audience members post to the back wall of the stage. The show boasts alumni including Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show, The Opposition with Jordan Klepper), Sarah Haskins (Trophy Wife), Arnie Niekamp (Hello From the Magic Tavern) and more.
Selling Fast in October 2018
With the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, Sir Elton is saying a final goodbye to the touring life. That's right—this is your final chance to catch the rollicking songman live in person, as he takes the audience on a massive visual journey spanning his entire 50-year career. Swoon along to "Tiny Dancer," make juvenile hand gestures to "Crocodile Rock" and smile meaningfully at your folks during "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" here for one last time.
Now in its 43rd season, most folks can’t remember an adulthood without Saturday Night Live. What’s more, the majority of Americans grew up on (or are growing up on) the late-night sketch show; it’s played, to varying degrees, a role in most viewers’ understanding of our political and cultural surroundings. “SNL: The Experience” was crafted for those fans, for the people who revere the comedy goliath’s space in American culture and in their personal lives, too. Chicago is the first stop on the exhibit’s traveling tour—it just wrapped two years in New York City, and will be at the Museum of Broadcast Communications for the next 14 months. Chicago was a natural second stop for the exhibit. With so many SNL cast members and writers hailing from our city (and the Second City), producers sought to honor the show’s Chicago ties. The exhibit is spread over two floors of the museum and is structured like a week at SNL. If you’re not familiar, the show has a very rigid schedule; each day of the week has a specific purpose and goal. The first room of “SNL: The Experience” is Monday (with Lorne Michaels’ desk and a replica of the original 1975 set), the next is Tuesday (with videos screening late-night stories from writers including Seth Meyers and Paula Pell), and so on. It concludes, of course, with Saturday: a complete replica of Studio 8H. Three stages flank the audience (for the monologue, musical act and rotating sketch), as well as a remake of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s 2004 Wee
Even if you didn't catch his controversial cameo on Game of Thrones, you've surely heard "Shape of You" blasting from a car at least a hundred times this year. Taylor Swift's good friend Ed Sheeran is still winning (adolescent) hearts and minds, so of course he's also headlining Soldier Field Stadium.
Bye Bye Liver combines two robust Chicago traditions: comedy and heavy drinking. The show opened a decade ago for a three-week run, then kept getting extended. It centers on common party situations most Chicagoans can relate to, and incorporates interactive audience games like “Would You Rather.” If you’re looking to get drunk, quick, and have a great time doing so, Bye Bye Liver is a solid bet.
While a rough Super Bowl appearance and the questionable roll-out of his latest album weren't great looks for J.T., the pop superstar's swagger and charisma have gotten him through worse scrapes. For better or for worse, Man of the Woods is more of what Timberlake does best, combining taut pop production with nods to funk, electronica and country. The merch stand will probably look like a Pendleton catalog and you'll probably be subjected to that camo-deer suit jacket again, but that's price you'll have to pay to hear "SexyBack" live.
The Field Museum's latest exhibition examines the ancient tradition of mummification under new light. In 2014, the institution received a temporary, on-site CT scanner, allowing researchers to peer into these tombs without touching and potentially damaging the fragile artifacts inside. Those findings inspired this exhibition, which focuses primarily on ancient Egyptian and Peruvian mummies. In total, 22 mummies—14 humans and eight animals—from the museum’s collection will be on display, plus two lifelike, 3-D renderings of Egyptian mummies.
Our planet’s changing climate and geology is explored in this new exhibition, which displays newly-discovered fossils of dinosaurs who roamed Antarctica 200 million years ago—when the region was covered by a lush forest. Visitors will be able to follow the journey that Field Museum scientists took to make these discoveries while battling extreme weather on the South Pole.