While Wrigley Field will always be, first and foremost, the home of the Chicago Cubs, the North Side ballpark has become a popular venue for summer concerts in recent years. The 2017 slate of shows is the largest to date, with eight different acts performing in the Friendly Confines this season, including pop superstar Lady Gaga and adult contemporary mainstay James Taylor. Even Billy Joel is bringing his piano back for the fourth straight summer. You won't find names like these on the bill at summer music festivals, so make plans for a day in Wrigleyville with our guide to all the summer concerts at Wrigley Field.
Wrigley Field concerts
One of the most successful rock icons of our time, Tom Petty celebrates the 40th anniversary of his long-running backing band, the Heartbreakers, by kicking off the summer concert season at Wrigley Field. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has settled into senior rock stardom comfortably, releasing the occasional new record (most recently, 2014's Hypnotic Eye) and hosting his own satellite radio show. Of course, Petty's live show is still the "Free Fallin'" experience you'd expect it to be. Southern rocker Chris Stapleton supports.
If you thought the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well shows at Soldier Field marked the end of the legendary jam band... you were wrong. Made up of surviving core members of the Dead and fronted by guitarist John Mayer, Dead & Company reheats the familiar catalog of genre-blending, psychedelic tracks. Our only question: With all the construction in Wrigleyville, where will diehard fans find room to hawk homemade tie-dye shirts and merchandise?
No name is more synonymous with island-themed restaurant chains and tropical menswear than Jimmy Buffett, a former country artist best known for his beach bum anthem, "Margaritaville." You'll know you've showed up to the right place when you see the Parrotheads (clad in Hawaiian shirts) tailgating in parking lots ahead of Buffett's concerts—we're not exactly sure where they'll find the space to kick back with tiki drinks in Wrigleyville. ’80s pop rock act Huey Lewis and the News (immortalized in American Psycho) open the show.
Adult-contemporary mainstay James Taylor returns to the North Side ballpark for the second summer in a row, still touring behind Before This World—his first album of original songs since 2002. He'll be joined by legendary blues singer-songwriter Bonnie Raitt and her band.
Can we start calling this an annual residency yet? For the fourth summer in a row, piano man Billy Joel returns to Wrigley Field. The 67-year-old singer-songwriter hasn't released a new album in more than a decade, but he's still playing the hits on a monthly basis at his always sold out Madison Square Garden residency. You may even run into some famous faces at this gig—in 2015, Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence danced atop Joel’s piano in the Friendly Confines.
After snarling their way through the Bush administration, everyone's favorite snot-nosed pop-punks are setting their sights on Trump. Green Day's latest album, Revolution Radio, was recorded before the election, but its economical power chord anthems are riddled with lyrics about homegrown terrorism and the search for truth. A hostile administration might not make the band's music any better, but at least it gives Billie Joe Armstrong and company a target to focus their rage on. UK alt-rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen open the show.
Back when she was engaged to Chicago Fire heartthrob Taylor Kinney, Lady Gaga almost seemed like an honorary Chicagoan, but ever since the pair ended their relationship, Gaga hasn't paid too much attention to the city that once served as her second home. She'll make her triumphant return in August as the first woman to headline Wrigley Field. Expect a theatrical, immaculately choreographed performance filled with pop hits (and probably a few of the well-worn standards she crooned with Tony Bennett). Perhaps she'll jump into the ballpark suspended from wires and surrounded by flashing drones, just like at her recent Super Bowl halftime show?
Georgian country-rock superstar Zac Brown brings his amiable good ol' boy boogie to the Friendly Confines. After experimenting with EDM and pop on their last record, Brown and his band get back to basics on Welcome Home—expect plenty of twangy ballads and Southern rock anthems.