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Concerts in Chicago in September 2016

The end of summer is filled with Chicago concerts, including music festivals and acts like Andrew Bird and Sigur Rós

Billie Joe Armstrong once sang, "Wake me up when September ends." Thanks, but we'd rather be lucid this month—our favorite outdoor restaurants are still open and it's still acceptable to drink a mint julep. The summer music festival season is not over yet, as Riot Fest and North Coast Music Festival take advantage of the last gasps of warm weather. Plus, Andrew Bird plays Millennium Park, Sigur Rós comes to the Chicago Theatre and Glen Hansard turns in two nights at the Vic. Explore our picks of the top September concerts in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar for concerts in Chicago

Concerts in Chicago in September 2016

Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago is known for its blues musicians, but these days it's more of a jazz city. The annual Chicago Jazz Festival celebrates contemporary improvisers and legendary players with four days of concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park. Highlights of the 2016 lineup include the avant-garde leaning Liberation Music Orchestra and modern jazz combo the Bad Plus, playing Ornette Coleman's Science Fiction.

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Chicago Cultural Center , Loop Thursday September 1 2016 - Sunday September 4 2016

North Coast Music Festival

Ah, Labor Day weekend, the end of summer. Curated and run by local club promoters React Presents, North Coast arguably delivers the most diverse bill of any Chicago music festival. This year, EDM acts such as Bassnectar, Odesza and Zedd top the bill, which also includes artists like Action Bronson and Sleigh Bells. Later, the party spills over into several afterparties at local dance clubs. It all goes down September 2-4.

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By: Zach Long

Andrew Bird

After a few years spent dabbling in folk music, layered instrumentals and covers of Handsome Family songs, Andrew Bird makes a return to violin-driven rock on Are You Serious. Filled with clever wordplay and jaunty whistled melodies, the album signals a return to the experimental pop songcraft of 2007's Armchair Apocrypha without sacrificing Bird's artistic growth in the subsequent years. Expect a career-spanning set (and his signature spinning speakers) that takes advantage of the finely-tuned acoustics of Pritzker Pavilion.

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Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion , Loop Wednesday September 7 2016

Russian Circles + Cloakroom

Critics' pick

Local instrumental metal trio Russian Circles returns to Metro behind its new LP, Guidance—a serpentine collection of atmospheric segues and heavy anthems drenched in propulsive rhythms and sludgy riffs. Grunge-inflected Indiana rockers Cloakroom open the show.

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Metro Chicago , Wrigleyville Friday September 9 2016

William Tyler

Nashville guitarist William Tyler gets lumped in with American Primitive finger pickers, but his latest album, Modern Country, is an adventurous, genre-blending affair, filled with sprawling instrumentals that draw upon psychedelic krautrock rhythms and the contemporary arrangements of Steve Reich.

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Constellation , Roscoe Village Wednesday September 14 2016

Gold Panda + Open Mike Eagle

British producer Derwin Schlecker strings together hazy samples to create low-key electronic music informed by his travels in Japan, where the beat-maker drew inspiration from the country's crowded urban centers and rural vistas. Alt-rapper Open Mike Eagle opens the show, with a set of his darkly comedic hip-hop.

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Lincoln Hall , Lincoln Park Friday September 16 2016

Riot Fest

Riot Fest returns to Douglas Park on September 16–18 after a successful first year in the new location. Headliners include a reunited lineup of the Misfits, Morrissey, Ween, Death Cab For Cutie and Rob Zombie. Whether you prefer punk rock, indie bands or hip-hop, you'll probably find something worth checking out on the extensive lineup.

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By: Zach Long

AAHH! Fest

Critics' pick

Common's locally-focused hip-hop showcase returns to Union Park after skipping the crowded festival season last summer. This year, the festivities take place over the course of two days, beginning with the free Community Showcase on Saturday, which allows local talent to audition for a spot on stage the following day. On Sunday, it's the Main Stage event, which will feature a (yet-to-be-announced) lineup of hip-hop and R&B performers. Don't expect Kayne West to show up unannounced again this year—he'll be busy with his own tour.

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Union Park , Near West Side Saturday September 24 2016 - Sunday September 25 2016

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Critics' pick

Each fall, Hyde Park comes alive with wailing saxophones and walking bass lines as jazz performers fill the neighborhood's venues at this two-day festival. Highlights of this year's lineup include pianist Randy Weston, rising Chicago trumpeter Marquis Hill and a collaboration between acclaimed saxophonist Miguel Zenón and the Spektral Quartet.

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Various venues , Chicago Saturday September 24 2016 - Sunday September 25 2016

Bill Callahan

Ever since he shed his Smog alias, Bill Callahan has put out some of his most strikingly beautiful albums to date, including 2014's Have Fun with God. Armed with a warm baritone and wry sense of humor, the songwriter weaves folk ballads that sound like sage advice from a world-weary traveler.

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Constellation , Roscoe Village Sunday September 25 2016 - Monday September 26 2016

Angel Olsen + Rodrigo Amarante

Critics' pick

Acrobatic-voiced singer-songwriter Angel Olsen splits the difference between the energetic rock songs and slow-burning balladry of her previous two releases, grappling with self-identity and unrequited romance on her fiery new album, My Woman. Brazilian singer-songwriter Rodrigo Amarante—who frequently covers Olsen's track "Unfucktheworld"—opens the show.

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Thalia Hall , Pilsen Tuesday September 27 2016

Sigur Rós

After years of increasingly grandiose records and tours, ethereal Icelandic post-rock outfit Sigur Rós is pumping the breaks on its latest tour. The group will be touring as a trio— without any opening acts or backing band—to road test a batch of new songs, harkening back to the years it spent developing the songs that eventually comprised () in front of live audiences. While this configuration of Sigur Rós will be smaller than usual, the band promises an even more elaborate stage show, developed by the same team responsible for the complex projections and lights of its previous tours. Taking place in the ornate Chicago Theatre, this is bound to be a special show.

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Chicago Theatre , Loop Friday September 30 2016

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