Concerts in Chicago in January 2019

Kacey Musgraves, Snail Mail and an indoor music festival kick off January's slate of Chicago concerts
Kacey Musgraves performed at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island during Farm Aid 30, September 19, 2015.
Photograph: Max Herman
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It's 2019 and it's time to make good on your New Year's resolution to see more live music at some of Chicago's best music venues. If music festivals are your thing, there are a couple to choose from, including the city-spanning Tomorrow Never Knows and punk rock celebration Ian's Party. The weather outside may be a little bit frightful, but the tunes inside will be extra delightful—fill out your calendar with our guide to Chicago's best concerts in January.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar of concerts in Chicago

Concerts in Chicago in January

Photograph: Ryan Bourque
Music, Folk, country and blues

Buddy Guy

icon-location-pin Buddy Guy's Legends, Loop
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January in Chicago is Buddy Guy season, when the legendary bluesman picks up his polka-dot guitar and takes the stage for a series of shows at the South Loop blues club that bears his name. The month-long residency takes place on Thursday through Sunday during January, pairing Guy with a different supporting act each night, including young Mississippi guitarist Kingfish and CTA bus driver Toronzo Cannon. Tickets to Guy's January residency aren't cheap, but seeing a blues icon perform in his hometown is the kind of experience that's worth splurging for.

Snail Mail
Photograph: Audrey Melton
Music, Rock and indie

Snail Mail

icon-location-pin Metro Chicago, Wrigleyville
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Predictably, 19-year-old indie-rock wunderkind Lindsey Jordan writes from the perspective of a teenager, but there's a clarity and confidence to her lyricism that transcends her age. The songs that populate her debut album, Lush, are relatable to anyone who grew up in a small town, yearned for new horizons and grappled with the looming transition into adulthood. Backed by stabbing guitars or tranquil riffs, Jordan captures the uncertainty and excitement of figuring out who you are and who you will be, one ballad at a time.

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The Lemon Twigs
Photograph: Autumn de Wilde
Music, Rock and indie

The Lemon Twigs

icon-location-pin Metro Chicago, Wrigleyville
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Young Long Island duo the Lemon Twigs don't just look like they've stepped out of another era; the pair's conceptual new album Go to School harkens back to a time when sprawling rock operas outfitted with orchestral arrangements and whimsical narratives were in vogue. Thankfully, Brian and Michael D'Addario have the chops to compellingly deliver a collection of songs about a monkey that goes to school, unabashedly mining the classic rock tropes attributed to the Beatles, Big Star and the Beach Boys.  

Kacey Musgraves
Photograph: Kelly Christine Sutton
Music, Pop

Kacey Musgraves

icon-location-pin Chicago Theatre | Chicago, IL, Loop
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Hailing from Texas, singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves made a name for herself with twangy tunes about small-town living, romance and staying true to yourself. On Golden Hour, Musgraves frequently moves beyond country music, experimenting with bouncy disco arrangements and vocoder-aided vocal melodies that exhibit her usual pristine pop sensibilities. The catchy hooks and harmonies are infectious, but the most striking element of Musgraves' music is its raw emotional honesty.

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