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Concerts in Chicago in February 2019

February may be brief, but it's not short on great Chicago concerts, including sets from Cher, Ólafur Arnalds and more
Cher
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
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February may be the shortest month of the year, but you shouldn't let the final month of winter in Chicago fly by without seeing some live music along the way. Whether you're looking for a romantic gig to attend with your sweetheart (or solo) around Valentine's Day or just want an excuse to get out of the house when there's snow on the streets, you've got options. Catch legacy acts like Cher and Elton John, see Ólafur Arnalds tickle the ivory at Thalia Hall or attend Pitchfork's new Midwinter music festival at the Art Institute. Plot out your month of music with our guide to Chicago's February concert schedule.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar of concerts in Chicago

Concerts in Chicago in February

Elektra
Photograph: Robert Kusel
Music, Classical and opera

Elektra

icon-location-pin Civic Opera House | Chicago, IL, Loop
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Want to experience a night at the opera without the three-hour runtimes and multiple intermissions? Richard Strauss's one-act Elektra is an excellent production to start with, telling the the dramatic tale of a princess who seeks revenge after her father was murdered by her mother. At just 100 minutes (shorter than a contemporary blockbuster film), the Lyric's production is packed with stirring songs and moving orchestration that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the violent finale.

La Traviata
Photograph: Todd Rosenberg
Music, Classical and opera

La Traviata

icon-location-pin Civic Opera House | Chicago, IL, Loop
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Set amid the lavish surroundings of Paris at the beginning of the 19th century, La Traviata follows courtesan Violetta as she falls in love with a young man named Alfredo. But the romance is not meant to be, as Alfredo's father forces him to leave Violetta, setting the stage for a tragic romantic tale. Featuring detailed costumes, oversized puppets and Giuseppe Verdi's rousing score, the Lyric's production of this classic opera seems extravagent in all the right ways.

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lollapalooza 2018, travis scott
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Travis Scott

icon-location-pin United Center | Chicago, IL, United Center
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Houston rapper and Kanye West protege Travis Scott brings his WISH YOU WERE HERE tour back to the United Center for another evening of hard-hitting hip-hop hits. His latest tour comes in the wake of his album, ASTROWORLD, on which Scott presides over a cavalcade of famous friends on his recent record, trading verses with Drake, harnessing the psychedelic production of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and making way for guitar riffs provided by John Mayer. There's no word yet on the show's opening acts, but we're guess that Scott will bring his portable roller coaster back to Chicago for another upside-down ride in the Madhouse on Madison.

Ty Segall and White Fence
Photograph: Denée Segall
Music, Rock and indie

Music Frozen Dancing: Ty Segall and White Fence + Negative Scanner + Plack Blague + Glyders

icon-location-pin Empty Bottle, Ukrainian Village
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Every February, the Empty Bottle ignores the freezing temperatures, sets up some heat lamps in the street and stages an outdoor concert in the midst of a Chicago winter. If you're willing to bundle up and stand outside in the cold for a few hours, you can catch a headlining set from the dynamic garage rock duo of Ty Segall and White Fence. Punk rockers Negative Scanner, leather-clad industrial act Plack Blague, twangy local trio Glyders and psychedelic drone band Weather Warlock join in on the frigid festivities. If you need to warm up, you can huddle beneath a heater with some Goose Island beer or just head inside the Bottle and listen to the music from afar. It's absolutely free to attend, so spend a few bucks on some hand warmers. 

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Alex Cameron
Photograph: Chris Rhodes
Music, Rock and indie

Alex Cameron & Roy Malloy + Lola Kirke

icon-location-pin Thalia Hall | Chicago, IL, Lower West Side
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The music industry is a sleazy business filled with shady characters, but nobody embraces its seediness quite like Alex Cameron. The Australian singer-songwriter (who formerly fronted Sydney electronic act Seekae) performs in character, writing self-aware songs from the perspective of internet porn addicts and wanna-be alpha males. Accompanied by saxophonist and business partner Roy Malloy, Cameron takes his musical satire seriously, building ‘80-inflected synth-pop arrangements that are as compelling as the narratives he weaves. During this special "in the round" performance at Thalia Hall, Cameron and Malloy will perform as a duo with support from singer-songerwiter Lola Kirke.

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