Concerts in Chicago this week
After more than three decades together, stalwart indie-rockers Yo La Tengo are still a band that is full of surprises. The group's latest album, There's a Riot Going On, features songs stitched together from old demos, rejected films scores and stream-of-conscious jams, resulting in one of the trio's most varied collection of songs to date, ranging from subdued folks ballads to droning instrumentals. By the same token, contemporary Yo La Tengo live sets are filled with unexpected moments—yes, they'll probably play "Autumn Sweater," but you might also hear a noisy Velvet Underground cover or a subdued acoustic rendition of a Painful track along the way. Pop rock outfit the Minus 5 (fronted by R.E.M. auxiliary member Scott McCaughey) open this Out of Space show at Temperance Beer Co.
Leaving behind much of the heady prog-rock trappings of its previous records, SoCal outfit Wand's new album Laughing Matter establishes them as the heir apparent to forward-looking, perpetually shape-shifting acts like Wilco, Radiohead and Spoon. Touching on various strains of psychedelia, frontman Cory Hanson and his band transition from noisy guitar and synth freakouts to elegant, spacey ballads that are more grounded than past Wand compositions, but just as adventerous. Seattle punk act Dreamdecay and ‘80s-indebted synth-rock act Wet Piss open the show.
Moving to Union Park for the first time this summer, Rudio Fest fills a notable void in Chicago summer festival calendar by championing the diverse sounds of Latin American pop, electro and rock en español. Headlining acts on the 2019 lineup include Californian norteño (Mexican polka music) band Los Tigres del Norte and a collaboration between Argentinian pop-rock group Enanitos Verdes and Spanish boy band Hombres G. Other notable performers include Mexican psych-rockers El Tri and experimental pop artist Helado Negro.
Just a few weeks after postponing its North American tour so that Mick Jagger could undergo heart surgery, the Rolling Stones have announced that it's back on again. Any other aging frontman might have taken a bit more time to recuperate, but Jagger is already posting Instagram videos of himself dancing and strutting like a regular "Jumpin' Jack Flash." The Stones will kick off their No Filter Tour with a pair of shows in Soldier Field, a venue that the band first played in 1978 on its Some Girls tour. The Chicago dates were originally slated to cap off the tour—now they'll serve as a taste of what the British quartet has in store for the rest of the country. Naturally, if you already purchased tickets to these shows when they were first announced, they'll be honored. As has been the case for the past decade, the Stones don't have any new music to promote (though the group recently released yet another greatest hits compilation), so you can expect a setlist that's heavy on the group's sizable trove of singles. Plus, the Stones are known for trotting out a few surprise guests—during the band's three-night stand at the United Center in 2013, Taylor Swift, Sheryl Crow, Taj Mahal and Mick Taylor joined the band onstage. It's anyone's guess as to who the band might rope in for its latest triumphant jaunt through the states.
Country music doesn't get a lot of love on major Chicago summer music festival lineups, but the annual Country LakeShake gives cowboy hat-wearing fans a place to see some of the favorite Nashville stars. Taking place at the Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, this year's edition of the county fest features headlining sets from Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan. Props to whoever programmed the event's Friday lineup, which is almost exclusively made up of female artists, including Maren Morris (who provided the vocals for Zedd's hit "The Middle") and American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina.
The Shedd Aquarium's weekly summer concert series presents a rotating lineup of jazz bands on its scenic lakeside terrace, where attendees can dance, have a drink and get a great view of the Navy Pier fireworks. Guests also get access to the Shedd's exhibition, meaning that you can gaze at the creatures that inhabit the Carribbean Reef, snap a picture of a cute sea otter or touch a sea star.