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Concerts in Chicago: Your month-by-month live music calendar

Keep up with the best concerts in Chicago in 2019 at the best shows and festivals hitting town each month
Destroyer Metro
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
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Chicago may not have a fancy nickname to express just how great of a music city it is, but the bounty of concerts and music festivals that take place here speaks for itself. When the weather is warm, there's at least one festival every weekend in Chicago. And no matter what time of year it is, a true music fan will appreciate the dive bars, dance clubs, blues clubs, amphitheaters, arenas and jazz clubs that host amazing performers every day. There's so much going on here that it can be hard to keep track of—that's where we come in. Before you go out to a show, take a look at our month-by-month picks of the best upcoming concerts in Chicago.

This month's best Chicago concerts

True Widow
Photograph: Courtesy Relapse Records
Music, Punk and metal

True Widow + Telekinetic Yeti + Rezn

icon-location-pin Sleeping Village, Avondale
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Half Acre celebrates the 10th anniversary of its ubiquitous Daisy Cutter Pale Ale with a concert at Sleeping Village, headlined by sludgy rock trio True Widow. The Texas act's 2016 release AVVOLGERE combines the heavy sounds of metal with the resolute rhythms and spacey atmosphere of shoegaze music, finding the eerie, captivating middle ground between the two disparate genres. Iowa doom metal band Telekinetic Yeti and local stoner rockers Rezn round out the bill at Half Acre's heady Decades celebration (which just happens to fall on 4/20).

Deerhoof
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Rock and indie

Deerhoof + Palm + Bleach Party

icon-location-pin Lincoln Hall, Sheffield & DePaul
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Endlessly catchy and boundlessly energetic, Deerhoof's two-plus decades of musical output is still full of surprises. The quartet's 2017 album, Mountain Moves, finds 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, the band returns to Lincoln Hall in celebration of the venue's 10th anniversary, joined by experimental Philadelphia rockers Palm and local outfit Bleach Party.

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Sunn O)))
Photograph: Ronald Dick
Music, Punk and metal

Sunn O))) + Papa M

icon-location-pin Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, University of Chicago, Hyde Park
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Named for the boutique brand of amplifiers they favor, Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson front Seattle drone collective Sunn O))), which is typically augmented by a rotating cast of collaborators. Donning monk robes, the group doles out thick slabs of distortion and feedback, blurring the line between the chaotic disarray of noise music and the brutal melodies of contemporary metal. Sunn O))) comes to the Rockefeller Chapel is support of Life Metal, the first of the group's two planned 2019 release, both recorded with Chicago's own Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studio. Pack your earplugs and show up early for a set from David Pajo's longrunning project, Papa M.

Diane Coffee
Photograph: Alexa Viscius
Music, Rock and indie

Diane Coffee + Woongi

icon-location-pin Schubas Tavern, Lake View
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A former child voice actor who played characters in animated series like Kim Possible and Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Shaun Fleming has continued putting on new identities through the albums he's release under the name of Diane Coffee. After portraying King Herod in the Lyric Opera's production of Jesus Christ Superstar last year, Fleming entered the studio to write an album that deals with the anxieties of life in a digital age. On Internet Arms, Fleming approaches contemporary electro-pop music with the theatricality of his glam rock alter-ego, creating soaring synth-dappeled anthems that recall the radio-friendly fare of Robyn and Lykke Li. During a special show commemorating the 30th anniverary of Schubas Tavern, Diane Coffee is joined by local synth-pop group Woongi.

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Billy Bragg
Photograph: Anthony Saint James
Music, Folk, country and blues

Billy Bragg

icon-location-pin Lincoln Hall, Sheffield & DePaul
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English folk singer Billy Bragg is best known for his collaborating with Wilco on the Woody Guthrie-penned Mermaid Avenue records, but he'll be focusing on some of his earliest songs when he brings his One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward tour to Lincoln Hall. During the three-night stand, Bragg will deliver a career-spanning set (April 25) before digging into his first three album, which marked his transition from a pub-rock frontman to a folk musician with a message (April 26). During this final show, Bragg will perform tracks from Workers Playtime, The Internationale and Don't Try This At Home, which are rife with overtly political lyrics.

Neko Case
Photograph: Courtesy Anti-Records
Music, Folk, country and blues

Neko Case + Shannon Shaw

icon-location-pin Vic Theatre, Lake View
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In the decades since she recorded her first solo EP in the kitchen of her Chicago apartment, Neko Case has established herself as a formidable country and rock troubadour (and an integral part of Canadian indie rock super group the New Pornographers). Co-produced with Björn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John, Case's latest album, Hell-On, plays to all of her strengths, filled with folk-rock ballads that showcase Case's powerful voice and her reliably dark sense of humor. During Case's two-night stand at the Vic, Shannon Shaw of Shannon and the Clams supports.

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Music, Rock and indie

Foals + Preoccupations + Omni

icon-location-pin Riviera Theatre, Uptown
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In a just world, UK rockers Foals would be as big as contemporaries like Alt-J and Mumford and Son, headlining an arena tour through the states. As it stands, the Oxford act has become one of Britain's most prominent alt-rock acts, with a major label record deal and the clout to release its sprawling new album in two parts. For the most part, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 sticks to what the band does best, melding tricky rhythms with driving synths and proggy guitar riffs across a series of larger-than-life anthems. While the exectution doesn't always live up to Foals ambitions (or justify its scale), seeing the band work out the material's kinks onstage should make for an invigorating evening. Make sure to get to the Riviera Theatre early to catch sets from Atlanta power-trio Omni and post-punk act Preoccupations.

Music, Punk and metal

The Original Misfits

icon-location-pin Allstate Arena, Suburbs
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Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein reunited onstage for the first time in 33 years at Riot Fest in 2016, but the Original Misfits are coming back to Chicagoland for another evening of classic punk rock. Expect to see plenty of smiling skull T-shirts in the crowd as you listen to renditions of classic horror-tinged tracks like "Night of the Living Dead" and "Skulls."

The best concerts each month

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