We love the fall. It's when the best books and films come out. The Blackhawks, Bulls and Bears are all back in action. And the record industry heats up with its hottest release season, which means bands hit the road (at least until Thanksgiving rolls around). This November, you can catch Seu Jorge playing David Bowie covers at Thalia Hall, see the band behind the Stranger Things soundtrack at the Empty Bottle or watch alt-country singer Lydia Loveless headline the Metro. Get off the streets and warm up in a music venue at one of the best concerts in Chicago in November.
RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar for concerts in Chicago
Concerts in Chicago in November 2016
St. Paul and the Broken Bones frontman Paul Janeway may look like a young Louie Anderson, but he's got a voice that sounds like Otis Redding. The retro-soul outfit has quickly gone from playing local bar gigs in Birmingham, Alabama to opening for the Rolling Stones on its 2015 tour. The group comes to the Chicago Theatre behind its sophomore record, Sea of Noise, which amps up the larger-than-life horn and organ arrangements. California indie rockers Diane Coffee open the show.
Detroit post-punks Protomartyr harness dark, bellowing guitars and the monotone (but no less impassioned) vocals of frontman Joe Casey on its 2015 album, Agent Intellect. There's an intensity and single-minded focus to the group's music that becomes even more palpable in the live setting, feeding off of taut melodies, unrestrained rhythms and Casey's hynotizing drawl. Philadelphia post-punk outfit the Gotobeds and local rockers Order of Night open the show.
With her 2014 release, Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Mitski Miyawaki transitioned from orchestral avant-pop to yearning indie rock—a transformation that highlighted her talents for emotive melodies and pointed lyricism. Her latest, Puberty 2, is another collection of dreamy, gut-wrenching ballads that explore deeply personal topics, such as the singer's struggles with depression and the constant uncertainty of adulthood. English dream-pop act Fear of Men and Toronto rockers Weaves.
Local punk label HoZac celebrates its 10th anniversary at Double Door, curating a bill that includes legendary Detroit rockers the Gories. Formed in the late ’80s, the trio (two guitarists, one drummer) fused blues licks with garage rock energy, creating the template for groups like the White Stripes, Thee Oh Sees and more contemporary groups. Heavy Times, Mike Rep's Last Call and the Sueves will also play upstairs, while Julian Leal, Cozy, the Jeanies and 1-800 Band perform in the basement.
North Carolina singer-songwriter M.C. Taylor goes full tilt Dylan on his most recent album, Heart Like a Levee, which wallows in soulful, pedal steel-drenched odes that feature contributions from members of Bon Iver and Megafaun as well as folk singer (and opening act) Tift Merritt.
If you enjoyed the retro, synthesizer-driven soundtrack of Stranger Things, you'll love the John Carpenter-inspired electronica of Austin, Texas quartet S U R V I V E. Band members Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein provided the eerie instrumentals for the popular Netflix series, which are reminiscent of the dark, analog melodies that populate the group's latest album, RR7349. Be prepared to fend off the Demogorgon as the instrumental outfit opens up a sonic portal to the Upside Down onstage at the Bottle.
A leader of New York City's burgeoning experimental electronic music scene, Nicolas Jaar has already headed a critically-acclaimed psych-jam duo (Darkside), soundtracked films, racked up an prolific series of singles and EP's, worked on audiovisual art installations and remixed an entire Daft Punk album. His latest record, Sirens, is another moddy exploration of atmopheric production and muffled beats—it's a shuffling record rather than a dance album.
The dreamy psychedelia of DIIV's 2012 debut, Oshin, has been nearly overshadowed by the indie rock tabloid headlines (heroin possession, sexist 4chan comments, etc.) that the group garnered in the years after the album's release. An awkwardly-titled new album, Is The Is Are, aims to take the focus off of the group's past transgressions, offering a fresh collection of woozy guitar lines and oblique lyrics for fans to pore over. Canadian indie pop duo Moon King open the show.
The members of Kansas post-rockers Caspian decided to form a band after having their minds blown by a copy of the Appleseed Cast’s 2001 release, Low Level Owl. Now the pair of likeminded acts has teamed up for a co-headlining tour that should sate your appetite for droning waves of distortion and cathartic instrumental breakdowns.
Perfectly coiffed English rockers the 1975 are a bit like the rebellious, Duran Duran-listening older brother of One Direction. The group may court a similar fanbase with its dashing boy band charm, but this quartet doesn't need a backing band (they have their own guitars). The band's sultry, ’80s-inspired pop-rock may be a bit derivative, but you can at least appreciate how genuinely catchy it is. Book Online
Fronted by the twangy vocals of Ben Bridwell, Band of Horses has gone from indie underdogs to Americana-tinged rock radio mainstays. Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle produced the band's latest, Why Are You OK, a record that simultaneously tries to recapture the plaintive strains of Everything All the Time and the big budget production of the group's more recent work. It's a tricky balancing act that results in flashes of the melodic grandeur that Band of Horses seems intent on capturing.
Brazilian singer and actor Seu Jorge is best known for his role in Wes Anderson’s 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, in which the musician sang David Bowie songs in Portuguese, accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Paying tribute the the recently departed musical legend, Jorge will dig back into Bowie's catalog during his new live show, backed by an intricate stage set modeled after a boat (complete with sails).
Philadelphia guitarist and songwriter Mike Polizze mines classic rock riffs and indie rock fuzz on his latest album, High Bias—a continued departure from the lo-fi trappings of Purling Hiss's early album. At this record release show, the group is joined by Drag City labelmates Axis:Sova and Indiana punks CCTV.
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, is a celebration of the stability he's found in sobriety and marriage. Local alt-country singer-songwriter (and Hideout regular) Robbie Fulks opens this benefit for the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry.
Blessed with a voice that's powerful enough to cut through the din of a rowdy dive bar, 25-year-old singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless is known for imbuing her country-tinged compositions with some punk rock energy. While there's plenty of alt-county balladry on her latest Bloodshot Records release, Real, the presence of tracks grounded in pop and disco reveal just how versatile (and unpredictable) Loveless truly is.
Bay Area punk artist John Dwyer—infamous for his prolific stints with Coachwhips and countless other groups—has channeled his raw aesthetics into something anyone could love in the badass garage-pop outfit Thee Oh Sees. The group's latest record, A Weird Exits, continues to channel prog arrangements and cascading guitars, backed by the propulsive rhythms of not one, but two drummers. Entrancing local kraut-garage-rockers Running open the show.
For the latest edition of its Prime Time after hours event series, the MCA teams up with taste-making online publication Pitchfork for an evening of music, performance art and activities. The lineup is decidedly local, featuring poet and rapper Noname, soulful singer Jamilia Woods and footwork pioneer RP Boo. DJ Audio Jack of Slo 'Mo will also be spinning tunes, while attendees walk through the museum while enjoying food and drinks.
Spend Thanksgiving weekend with everyone's favorite gelatinous DJ as Marshmello takes over Concord Music Hall for a three-night residency. The (still) anonymous producer is best known for remixing track by fellow EDM artists like Jack Ü and Zedd, all while wearing his signature, grinning mask. While his brand of progressive house tends to be a bit generic, the gigantic crowds that greeted Marshmello's set at Lollapalooza prove that he's struck a chord—expect to see plenty of club kids to dancing around this campfire.
My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James channels soul, electronica and country on his latest solo release, Eternally Even. Featuring songs about the current political climate, gun violence and global warming, there's no shortage of heavy themes—thankfully, production from Fiona Apple collaborator Blake Mills makes it all go down smoothly. Neo-folk trio Twin Limb open the show.
Best known for his work under the Bright Eyes moniker and for fronting groups like Desaparecidos and Commander Venus, Oberst’s has lent his plaintive voice to folk rock, emo, electro-pop and everything in-between. During this two-night stand at Thalia Hall, the singer-songwriter goes solo for a dive into his extensive oeuvre, including tracks from his latest LP, Ruminations. Pianist Anna McClellan opens on Nov 26 and singer-songwriter Miwi La Lupa opens on Nov 27.