Wrigley Field will always be the home of the Chicago Cubs, but when the North Side team is on the road, it also makes a pretty great music venue. The 2018 slate of summer shows is stacked with acts that can fill a stadium, including the Foo Fighters, Fall Out Boy and Journey. These are the kinds of bands that could conceivably headline a summer music festival, but if you want to see them in Chicago, you’ll need to take a trip to the Friendly Confines. Keep tabs on these ballpark gigs with our guide to Wrigley Field’s summer concert lineup.
Wrigley Field concerts
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.” For the second summer in a row Buffett and the Coral Reefer band will pack Parrotheads into the Friendly Confines for an evening of songs about drinking (and eating cheeseburgers) by the beach. ’70s soft-rock icon Boz Scaggs opens the show.
Classic rock titans Journey and Def Leppard both started in the late ’70s, released career-defining singles in the ’80s and have spent the ensuing decades shifting their lineups. But thanks to ubiquitous songs like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” both bands are still touring and introducing audiences to songs that haven’t become karaoke staples. Catch a midnight train to Wrigley Field for one hot, sticky sweet night of triumphant stadium rock anthems.
Dave Grohl saw his very first punk rock show at the Cubby Bear in 1983, so the Foo Fighters’ return to Wrigleyville is a homecoming of sorts. Last time he was in Wrigley, Grohl had a cast on his leg and had to play the show from atop a throne. This time, he’ll have the run of the Friendly Confines—imagine “Best of You” performed while rounding the bases or a version of “Learn to Fly” sung from atop the scoreboard.
The last time that Pearl Jam played Wrigley Field was during the season that ended with the Cubs winning the World Series for the first time in 108 years. We don’t want to jinx anything, but we’re going to interpret the Seattle rockers’ return to the Friendly Confines as a good omen. No matter what happens, you’re probably going to be subjected to a rendition of Eddie Vedder’s schmaltzy Cubs anthem, “All the Way.”
Bro-country poster boy Luke Bryan may object to the label being applied to his music, but there’s really no easier way to describe twangy songs with titles like “She’s a Hot One” and “Drinking Again.” On the heels of his new gig as an American Idol judge, Bryan brings his What Makes You Country Tour to Wrigley Field, with fellow Nashville singers Sam Hunt, Jon Pardi and Carly Pearce in tow.
Can we start calling this an annual residency yet? For the fifth summer in a row, the “Piano Man” returns to Wrigley Field. The 68-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. As long as there are people who want to sing along to “Uptown Girl,” we expect Joel will continue packing the ballpark every summer.
While there’s always been a theatrical flair to Fall Out Boy’s music, the band’s latest record, MANIA, takes those overwrought inclinations to their logical conclusion. While the Wilmette quartet seems to have left behind its emo anthems in favor of amped-up, EDM-influenced power-pop, the group certainly isn’t above indulging in a bit of nostalgia. A Wrigley Field gig seems like the perfect opportunity for the band to placate fans that know all the words to “Dead on Arrival.”