The best fall concerts in Chicago

Get ready for a busy season this fall, with shows from arena heavy-hitters to indie gems—plus one trio of middle schoolers
We are itching to see Unlocking the Truth, Charli XCX, FKA Twigs, Julian Casablancas, Stromae and the Black Keys on tour.
We are itching to see Unlocking the Truth, Charli XCX, FKA Twigs, Julian Casablancas, Stromae and the Black Keys on tour.
By Time Out staff, edited by Kate Wertheimer |
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Our favorite part about autumn is the insane number of shows that come through town. Our new lady crushes (FKA Twigs, Charli XCX) will both play behind swoonworthy new albums, and well-loved bands like Interpol and the New Pornographers are gracing us with their first new work in years. There are also lots of reunion tours tugging at our heartstrings, namely Fleetwood Mac, Slowdive and a slightly more grown-up Culture Club. Throw in a few newcomers such as rising stars Rhye and mini metalheads Unlocking the Truth, and we'll have a full schedule through November. Check out our top picks below and click on the tour dates for more info, including ticket links.

RECOMMENDED: See more things to do this fall in Chicago

Music, Rock, Pop & Hip-hop

Unlocking the Truth

Unlocking the Truth are junior high metalheads who garnered attention with their performances in Times Square, earning themselves a record deal with Sony Music and a set at this year's Coachella—they're the youngest group to ever play the fest. The pint-sized Brooklynites aren't just talented "for kids," they're legitimately blowing faces off everywhere they play. They're on tour with Lollapalooza '91 vets Living Colour.

Music, Pop

Stromae

If you still haven't heard of Stromae, get ready—he's about to be everywhere. The electro-songsmith (real name: Paul Van Haver) specializes in soulful bangers that sound at once sophisticated and bombastic. He's a huge star in his native Belgium, has collaborated with Kanye West and made his US television debut this June on Late Night with Seth Meyers. The mania only seems to be spreading, judging by the high demand for tickets to his North American tour.

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Music

The Black Keys + Cage the Elephant

After the sleek, commercial sound of El Camino, the Black Keys return to a more soulful groove on the new Turn Blue. Produced again by Danger Mouse of Broken Bells, the former Ohioans float through some nifty psych on the record. It's mellower, for certain, but lest you think that won't fare well inside a stadium, there is a fresh spritz of Pink Floyd to the affair, and they did just fine in arenas. Kentucky's Cage the Elephant opens with its modern garage-rock melange of Strokes, Pixies and Black Lips influences.

Music, Rock and indie

Fleetwood Mac

icon-location-pin United Center | Chicago, IL, United Center
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Though the band has been touring heavily for the last couple years, there's new reason to shell out big bucks for the eternally great Mac. Sixteen years after leaving the band, Christine McVie returns for the aptly named On With the Show tour. This means we can again hear her sing "Everywhere," "Hold Me" and "Think About Me," which is a very, very good thing. Oh, and Lindsey Buckingham is still the coolest.

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Music, Rock, Pop & Hip-hop

Charli XCX

Charlotte Emma Aitchisonknown by her stage name, Charli XCXerupted onto the music scene after penning Icona Pop's smash hit "I Love It" in 2012 and most recently sang one hell of a chorus on on Iggy Azalea's "Fancy." She'll tour this fall behind her second official album, Sucker (slated for release on October 21), and both the record and her shows are sure to be full of her specialtycatchy pop with a dark underbelly.

Music, Rock, Pop & Hip-hop

Rhye

Mysterious LA-based electronic duo of Danish instrumentalist Robin Braun and Canadian singer Mike Milosh fooled a lot of ears when they released their early Rhye tracks. "Open" and "The Fall" were dead ringers for Sade, and many took Milosh's lush falsetto to be female. Alas, the mellow bedroom soul of debut album Woman is all male. The band (one of our best acts of 2013) has always been enigmatic with its publicity photos, so we're excited to see them in the flesh, and this time at the beautiful Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian to boot. Singer-songwriter Lo-Fang (one of our bands to watch in 2014) opens, in support of his recent debut Blue Film.

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Music, Rock, Pop & Hip-hop

Slowdive

After a round of reunion gigs at festivals—including a lovely set at Pitchfork—the most appropriately named shoegaze band of the early '90s heads indoors for more nostalgic dreamweaving. Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell float their opium vocals over sun-on-lake guitar shimmer. They'll mostly draw from the seminal album, Souvlaki, though we'd love to hear the crystal minimalism of Pygmalion at a glacial pace—as long as we can sit.

Music, Rock, Pop & Hip-hop

Interpol

Now considered a legacy act of the early 2000s, Interpol quickly rose to fame with their debut album Turn on the Bright Lights, which was hailed by both NME and Pitchfork as one of the best of 2002. Since then, the band has struggled through unmet expectations, a changing roster, complacency, growing apathy and solo projects. But don't count them out: Paul Banks and his crew have a summer of festival shows behind them, their first global tour in three years ahead of them and a revitalized new record out on September 9, El Pintor.

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Music, Rock, Pop & Hip-hop

FKA Twigs

London alt-R&B enigma FKA Twigs is bubbling just under superstardom. Like labelmates and fellow eschewers of capitalization the xx, Twigs makes super soulful electropop, with a sound that's lush and just as dramatic as her appearance. Expect to hear songs from her debut full-length, LP 1, which debuted earlier this month, including the pretty (and pretty nasty) "Two Weeks."

Music, Rock and indie

The New Pornographers

It's been four years since the last album from beloved Canadian crew the New Pornogaphers (which launched the careers of A.C. Newman, Neko Case and Destroyer's Dan Bejar), and we've been waiting patiently. Their sixth, Brill Bruisers, drops in August and has been a long time coming, as has a cross-country tour.

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Music, Rock, Pop & Hip-hop

Julian Casablancas & The Voidz

Strokes frontman slips on the leather and lets his hair go greasy for his new solo venture, the Voidz. Five years after the ornate compositions of his wonderful debut, Phrazes for the Young, Casablancas dips into '80s punk and metal (with a touch of Brazilian rhythms and Radiohead) while keeping his melodic knack on Tyranny. Think First Impressions of Earth gone Iron Maiden. Not that the Strokes fanboys and fangirls need more reason than "Julian" to show up.

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