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 the Zombies celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Odessey and Oracle album. 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
After a brief stint as Miley Cyrus' backing band, the Flaming Lips return to their psychedelic (to a fault) roots with Oczy Mlody. Striking a balance between the ambient drone of The Terror and the effervescent pop of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, the Oklahoma group's 15th album will fulfill your craving for synth-drenched arrangements and Wayne Coyne's falsetto philosophizing. Likewise, if your life is lacking spectacle, the Lips' gratuitous confetti, colorful costumes and hamster ball crowd surfing should fill the void.
After a chance meeting, Toro y Moi mastermind Chaz Bundick teamed up with identical twin jazz duo the Mattson 2 to record a secret album. The resulting collection of songs plays to all of its participants strengths, bolstering the Mattson's improvised riffs and cadences with Bundick's penchant for classic ‘70s psychedelia. The power trio is joined by the hazy melodies of Oakland singer-songwriter Madeline Kenney.
When he's not on tour, Tycho mastermind Scott Hansen works as a graphic designer—no surprise considering that the down-tempo compositions he favors sound like the product of a mind that obsesses over details. Each snare hit and vintage synthesizer tone on the group's latest album, Epoch, seems seems deliberately and painstakingly arranged to evoke a very specific mood (sometimes, to a fault). In concert, the trio blends instrumental post-rock structures with the atmosphere of trance and house music—you can dance if you want to.