Petrillo Music Shell lineup
Armed with a sharp wit and a penchant for shredding, Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett has quickly become one of indie rock's guiding lights, graduating to increasingly large festival stages and collaborating with the likes of Philadelphia rocker Kurt Vile. Her latest album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, reflects on the trials of being a woman in the music industry, clapping back at critics and anonymous internet commenters through a collection of empowered anthems. During her performance at Taste of Chicago, Barnett will be joined by young New York rockers Sunflower Bean.
Blending the rhythms of traditional cumbia and salsa with electronic production, Columbian duo Bomba Estéreo were putting a contemporary spin on Latin music long before Latin trap and reggaeton entered the mainstream (the group's 2015 song "To My Love" became a nightclub fixture last year thanks to a remix from Puerto Rican DJ Marcos "Tainy" Masís). And while the group has spent much of its career bringing its buoyant live set to stages across the globe, it hasn't forgotten about its home—Bomba Estéreo is currently spearheading a campaign to stop deforestation in its native Columbia. During the band's concert at Taste of Chicago, they'll be joined by Puerto Rican reggae act Cultura Profética.
Long Island trio De La Soul's 1989 debut 3 Feet High and Rising is among the rap genre's most vaunted records, harnessing an inspired collection samples and introducing comedic skits to the hip-hop vernacular. Even 30 years after its release, it's an album that sounds ahead of its time—albeit one that you can't easily stream, thanks to the group's fractured relationship with its label, Tommy Boy Records. While younger audiences likely know Posdnuos, Trugoy and Maseo for their collaborations with Damon Albarn's Gorillaz project, we're hoping that De La Soul digs into the classics during their Taste of Chicago set, which features an opening set from local rapper Taylor Bennett.
Trafficking in the same blend of impassioned folk rock and sleek pop balladry that sent acts like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers to the top of the charts, Ontario outfit the Strumbellas just want you to sing (and stomp) along to its anthemic refrains. Headlining a bill that includes Los Angeles pop-rock act Lovelytheband (they wrote a song about Coachella) and synth-pop group Joywave, this might be the best Taste of Chicago show to attend if you merely want some pleasant background music to enjoy while you focus on digging into your meal.
It has been nearly two decades since India.Arie's debut record Acoustic Soul tore up the charts, went double platinum and garnered a boatload of Grammy nominations. In the years since, she's released a steady stream of R&B albums, collaborated with Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock and performed aboard "inspirational cruises" organized by Oprah Winfrey. At Taste of Chicago, she'll perform with support from soul singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello and R&B singer Bilal.