Winter is over! That wasn't so bad, was it? Celebrate the arrival of spring by eating at an outdoor restaurant, taking a walk in one of Chicago's best parks and seeing some of the best concerts around the city. The Flaming Lips debut new tracks at the Riviera, Bastille blasts synth-pop at the Aragon and Jeff Tweedy returns to the Vic for his annual solo shows. Check out all of the best concerts to see in Chicago this April.
RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar for concerts in Chicago
Concert in Chicago in April
When Prince passed away, he left behind a towering musical legacy and a host of musicians who collaborated with him throughout his career. Drummer and singer Sheila E. played on Prince's Sign ‘O’ the Times, Black Album, and Lovesexy LPs while Minneapolis funk outfit Morris Day and the Time appeared in the film Purple Rain, which featured their song "Jungle Love." At Auditorium Theatre, the two acts join forces to pay tribute to his Purple Majesty with an evening of music and celebration.
When Uncle Tupelo broke up in 1994, it's founding members embarked on very different paths. While Jeff Tweedy started Wilco and eventually broke away from his alt-country roots, Jay Farrar founded Son Volt and embraced traditional Americana. As its title suggests, the group's latest, Notes of Blue, adds some lonesome Mississippi melodies to the Farrar's musical vocabulary while comparing the state of the modern world to the trying times of the past. Versatile American singer-songwriter Anders Parker opens the evening.
British synthpop act Bastille pumped up the melodrama on its 2013 debut, Bad Blood, updating the New Romantic polish of the ‘80s for the EDM generation. The group's latest LP, Wild World, ditches some of the throwback sheen in favor of more straightforward, guitar-driven alt-rock (though singer Dan Smith still retains his well-coiffed look).
Holy throwback soul! Dressed to the nines in matching suits, L.A. quartet Chicano Batman combine Brazilian Tropicalía with the effortless swagger of ‘70s soul music. The group's latest album, Freedom is Free, gives its retro tunes some contemporary context, with nods to political and social unrest amid the growling organ riffs and romantic lyrics.
Melding moody post-punk melodies with glossy new-wave production, the Psychedelic Furs captured the shifting musical tides of the ’80s. Here, the English rockers return to the hometown of John Hughes, who named one of his seminal films after the group's songs, "Pretty in Pink." They haven't recorded any new album since reuniting in 2001, so you're gonna hear all of the hits. Prolific British singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock (who once fronted neo-psychedelic act the Soft Boys) opens the show.
Few modern guitarists have a signature, but the colorful, sometimes-cartoonish riffs favored by Steve Marion are nearly unmistakable. As one man band Delicate Steve, he's created his own musical language, translating the joy of goofy, aimless noodling into succinct nuggets of joyful rock and roll. Local rockers Max and the Mild Ones open the show.
London producer Sam Shepherd isn't the first person to blend the tenets of jazz and electronic music. Recording under the moniker of Floating Points, Shepard uses the looping beats and motifs of electronic music as a source of inspiration for winding compositions that are performed rather than programmed. Joined by a small band, the live incarnation of Floating Points promises not only to replicate the warm tones of the its latest record Elaenia, but the human touch that defines it. Young Icelandic producer and singer JFDR (Björk is one of her biggest fans) opens the show.
Blues nerd, Deadhead and notorious guitar solo facial contortionist John Mayer returns to the United Center in support of his latest album, The Search for Everything. Attendees can expect three distinct sets throughout the evening: one with his full band, one solo and another as part of his blues rock trio. If you're still craving more guitar noodling, you can catch mayer when he plays Wrigley Field with Dead and Company this summer.
Made up of Tuaregs from the Sahara who perform in traditional robes and sing in French and Tamashek, Tinariwen effortlessly slips into entrancing desert blues grooves that transcend language boundaries. The band's latest album, Elwan, is filled with songs that reflect on political turmoil and the harsh realities of desert life, all without losing a sense of hope for the future. Los Angeles-based Dengue Fever, who create psychedelic rock inspired by Cambodian pop music, open the show.
As part of the initial waves of the British Invasion, the Zombies mined the same blues and R&B influences as their peers before embracing psychedelia. Recorded at Abbey Road Studio on equipment used by the Beatles, Oracle and Odessey puts a baroque spin on the Zombie' lush vocal harmonies and pop sensibitlies. Here, the surviving members of the group celebrate the 50th anniversary of that record with an in-sequence performance—purportedly the final time it will play these songs.