0 Love It
Save it

Concerts in Chicago in February 2016

Which of your favorite artists are coming to town this February? Explore our list of upcoming concerts in Chicago to find out

Photograph: Roger Kisby
Eleanor Friedberger

The shortest month of the year has arrived, but February isn't lacking in live music. You'll have know trouble find a (somewhat) romantic show on Valentine's Day or sweet gig to commemorate Presidents' Day. The weather outside is frigid (welcome to winter in Chicago) but the slate of pop, rock, country and indie shows is robust. Sample the weird indie rock of Animal Collective, dance to St. Lucia or raise the horns at Slayer. Take a look at our list of February concerts in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete annual calendar of concerts in Chicago

Concerts in Chicago in February

Sam Prekop

Recommended

Last year, Sea and Cake frontman and Chicago music scene stalwart Sam Prekop released his latest solo album, The Republic, which coaxed melodies and noise from a modular synthesizer. Expect to hear some new synth tunes and songs from his catalog at this special solo performance—we expect that Prekop will be accompanied by frequent collaborator Archer Prewitt. Jeremy Lemos and Peter Speer will open the show.

Read more
Until Mon Feb 1

Holly Herndon

The Museum of Contemporary Art new after-hours series offers up an evening of live music, performance art, film screenings and local food. In February, the museum teams up with indie tastemakers Pitchfork to present a headlining multimedia performance by electronic artist Holly Herndon.

Read more
Until Fri May 6

The Soft Moon + Ritual Howls + Running

Recommended

Moody synth-punk act the Soft Moon plays one of Thalia Hall's intimate In The Round shows, performing on a stage set up in the middle of the venue. Quasi-industrial act Ritual Howls and and local garage rockers Running open the show. *This show was original scheduled to feature the Killing Joke, but the band recently canceled its North American tour

Read more
Until Tue Feb 9

Daley

Recommended

He shares a surname with some of Chicago’s most infamous mayors, but Gareth Daley is a British R&B crooner who started, as most artists do, creating music in his bedroom. Daley's 2014 debut, Days & Nights, contrasts classic influences and modern production, sounding like Al Green serenading a drum machine.

Read more
Until Thu Feb 11

Des Ark

Recorded after North Caroline singer-songwriter Aimée Argote dealt with multiple, serious family illnesses, Everything Dies has every right to be a morose, soul-searching record. While the subject matter is weighty, Argote's songs are imbued with levity and hope—not to mention titles like "French Fries Are Magical." Witness this below-the-radar talent in an intimate venue while you still have the chance. Local indie rock act Options opens the show.

Read more
Until Thu Feb 11

Disappears

Recommended

Chicago krautrock act Disappears return to the Empty Bottle, taking a well-deserved victory lap in the wake of its 2015 record, Irreal. Most recently, the group released a recording of its reinterpretation of David Bowie's seminal 1977 release Low which lends visceral post-punk energy with hazy atmospherics to the moody album. Negative Scanner and Hide support.

Read more
Until Fri Feb 12

Metric + Joywave

Pagans in Vegas, the latest album from new-wavey indie rockers Metric doesn't break the mold—it's another collection of upbeat anthems with soaring refrains. Sharing members with Broken Social Scene, the Canadian outfit has seen its profile rise in recent years, thanks to tours with acts like Imagine Dragons and Paramore. The kids must be alright with dance-rock these days. Brooklyn electro act Joywave opens the show.

Read more
Until Fri Feb 12

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Recommended

Canadian outfit Godspeed You! Black Emperor's records are seminal entries in the post-rock cannon, but the group's live shows have achieved a legendary status among genre fans. Backed by black and white film loop projections, the band stretches its already expansive instrumental compositions into lengthy medleys that blend triumphant guitar symphonies and cacophonous noise.

Read more
Until Sun Feb 14

Parquet Courts

Recommended

Brothers Max and Andrew Savage, along with their bandmates, are doing the once-a-generation job of stripping rock & roll back to something tight and brilliant. The band's latest EP, Monastic Living, presents a selection of sprawling instrumental tracks, injecting taut power chords with a bit of motorik intensity. Here, the prolific, fruitfully quirky band headlines Thalia Hall—don't forget your jean jacket at home.

Read more
Until Wed Apr 20

AC/DC

Recommended

Returning to Chicago after a sold-out gig at Wrigley Field last summer, AC/DC takes its classic rock indoors at the United Center. The band is still touring behind its 2014 album Rock or Bust, which sounds like all the rest, with stiff blues riffs and enough juvenile puns to fill a college ruled notebook ("Emission Control" is one of the more clever ones). Expect to see cannons, pyrotechnics and the shortest shorts that longtime-guitarist Angus Young can squeeze into.

Read more
Until Wed Feb 17

Fetty Wap

If you found yourself in a club during 2015, you most likely heard a version of "Trap Queen" blaring from the speakers. New Jersey's rapper Fetty Wap's ode to slinging drugs with his girlfriend was a strong "song of the summer" contender, followed by equally ubiquitous hits such as "679" and "My Way." Chart-topping singles aren't the only accolades that Fetty Wap can brag about—the young emcee was recently included on Forbes' 30 under 30 list. Post Malone, the guy behind "White Iverson," opens the show.

Read more
Until Fri Jun 17

Lizzo

Minneapolis-based alternative hip-hop artist Lizzo had a huge year in 2015. First, she was tapped to open a string of dates for reunited indie rockers Sleater Kinney, exposing a whole new audience to her rapid-fire flow and equally impressive singing. She capped the year off with the release of Big Grrrl Small World, a collection of body-positive songs recorded at Justin Vernon's April Base with the help of producer BJ Burton (the same guy who produced Low's latest LP). Watch the throne, Nicki Manaj.

Read more
Until Thu Feb 18

Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Recommended

Alt-folk oddball Will Oldham (better known as Bonnie "Prince" Billy) has been unusually quiet as of late, save for a few singles. After reworking one of his more recent records, the usually prolific singer-songwriter is reaching back into the past once again, debuting a compilation of songs we recorded with longtime BBC DJ John Peel, entitled Pond Scum. Returning to the Vic, Oldham is likely to trot out plenty of old tunes (and probably a couple of new ones for good measure).

Read more
Until Fri Jun 17

Future

Recommended

Five years ago, Future (the stage name of Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn) was releasing independently-produced mixtapes. Now he's debuting joint-tapes with his buddy Drake—What a Time to Be Alive, indeed. The Atlanta-native comes to Chicago behind his latest studio-album, DS2, which straddles the line between R&B and rapping, laying woozy trap beats beneath his Auto-Tuned Southern drawl. Ty Dolla $ign and Lil Donald support.

Read more
Until Thu Feb 18

Slayer

Raise the horns and salute of the legendary metal bands whose logo once graced your high school notebooks. The last time Slayer was in Chicago, the group tore through Reign in Blood in its entirety during a very soggy headlining set at Riot Fest. This time, the band comes to town behind its latest, demonic album Repentless its first release since the passing of longtime guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 2013. Fellow head-bangers Testament and Carcass support.

Read more
Until Sat Feb 20

Tycho (DJ set)

Recommended

Producer and artist Scott Hansen crafts lush sonic landscapes under the name Tycho, joining electronic elements with more organic instrumentation (he writes most of his songs on guitar) to create atmospheric, leaves-rustling-in-the-sunny-winter-afternoons-of-your-mind-type music. Hansen comes to the Mid for a special DJ set, spinning dance tunes and atmospheric house tracks that mesh with his own sonic identity.

Read more
Until Fri Feb 19

Jason Isbell + Shovels and Rope

Born in Alabama where he was raised listening to the Grand Ole Opry, Jason Isbell came to prominence as a member of country rock act the Drive-By Truckers. Since leaving the group, Isbell has become a prolific Americana troubadour, writing songs that reckon with his Southern heritage and his struggles with addiction. His latest album, Something More Than Free, serves as a celebration of the stability he's found in sobriety and marriage. Rootsy South Carolina duo Shovels & Rope open the show.

Read more
Until Sat Feb 20

TEEN

Recommended

TEEN is the brainchild of former Here We Go Magic member Teeny Lieberson along with her sisters and longtime friends. The all-female Brooklyn five-piece balances seductive R&B with taut vocal harmonies, creating kaleidoscopic arrangements. The quartet's latest, Love Yes, dials up the synthesizers and channels Pleasure Principle-era Gary Numan. Local synth-pop trio Songs for Gods opens the show.

Read more
Until Sun Feb 21

Poliça

Recommended

Poliça's seductive blend of trip-hop and synth-pop bought the Minneapolis band high-profile fans including Jay Z and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. The latter had a guest vocal spot on Poliça's follow-up, Shulamith, which went even further towards perfecting their languid sound, with Channy Leaneagh's vocals drifting hazily over Portishead-like beats. The group will come to Chicago twice, touring behind its new album United Crushers, first for an intimate gig at Schubas in February and then at Thalia Hall in April.

Read more
Until Sat Apr 16

St. Lucia

Not from St. Lucia—nor Brooklyn, where he now resides—Jean-Philip Grobler originally hails from Johannesburg, and creates euphoric, synth-driven pop that bears the lineage of Wham! Grobler and his band return to Chicago for a two-night stand in support of the band's 2014 electro-pop opus, When the Night. Australian pop rockers Tigertown support.

Read more
Until Fri Jul 29

Eleanor Friedberger

Recommended

While Chicago über-indie darlings the Fiery Furnaces sustain their not-broken-up hiatus, Eleanor Friedberger carries on with tunes from her latest solo album. New View, her third record, is another helping of jaunty, sophisticated pop which blends Friedberger's buoyant vocal melodies with the simple accompaniment of her backing band, Icewater.

Read more
Until Wed Feb 24

Wavves + Best Coast

Recommended

Wavves and Best Coast team up for another co-headlining tour—it helps that the lead singers of each band (Nathan Willams and Bethany Cosentino) are currently in a relationship. The Summer is Forever II tour will feature Wavves' punchy surf-punk and the melancholy indie pop of Best Coast. Expect numerous allusions to cats (the bands' favored pet) and professional wrestling. Fellow LA rockers Cherry Glazerr will open the show.

Read more
Until Wed Feb 24

Wolfmother

Born out of the retro-rock craze of the early aughts, scruffy Aussie trio Wolfmother are still churning out riffed up, chugging psych rock in the vein of Sabbath, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. The band returns to town behind its latest LP, Victorious, another collection of tracks sporting powerful refrains and gratuitous guitar solos.

Read more
Until Thu Feb 25

Salonen & Yo-Yo Ma

Acclaimed conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a program featuring Shostakovich’s notoriously complex Cello Concerto No. 1.

Read more
Until Tue Mar 1

Animal Collective + Ratking

Recommended

Made up of a group of friends with nicknames like Panda Bear, Avey Tare and Geologist, Animal Collective seems destined to become indie rock's Phish equivalent. The band has become known for its dense glitchy beatscapes, oddly stretched-out melodies and the synthesized digital mayhem of its epic live shows—all that's missing is a few mini-trampolines. Animal Collective's latest album, Painting With, seeks to rein in the band's more expansive tendencies without sacrificing its eclectic, strange sonic palette (case in point: The Beach Boys harmonies and springy synths of lead single "FloriDada").

Read more
Until Sat Feb 27

Hoodie Allen

Steven Markowitz—the frat boy turned Google employee turned rapper who releases tunes under the moniker Hoodie Allen—brings his glossy, hipster hip-hop to town, touring behind his latest album, Happy Camper. Rising Southern Californian rapper (and Chance the Rapper collaborator) SuperDuperKyle and Blackbear (the guy who co-wrote Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend") tag along to open the show.

Read more
Until Sat Feb 27

Music Frozen Dancing

Recommended

Well, here's a crazy idea. The Empty Bottle thumbs its numb nose at Jack Frost by throwing a block party in the dead of winter. Headlining is psychedelic garage rockers the Black Lips, who most recently released the Patrick Carney-produced album Underneath the Rainbow, but are still perhaps best known for their boisterous 2007 single, "O Katrina!" Joining the band out in the cold are Michigan punks The Spits, local post punk outfit Meat Wave and angular Atlanta act Muuy Biien. Goose Island will provide the booze and Dark Matter will have coffee to keep you warm. Did we mention that it's free?

Read more
Until Sat Feb 27

Comments

0 comments