The work week has come to an end (for most of us) and the weekend is just getting started. Welcome to Friday, a day that is brimming with possibilities. If you just want to take it easy, you can stop by a bar for an after-work drink or a quick bite to eat. Looking for a way to blow off some steam? We recommend a concert or some theater. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Live music this weekend
DAMN. With just one word, the title of Kendrick Lamar's latest album encapsulates the excitement and disbelief of fans and contemporaries alike. Nimbly bobbing between topics like race, politics and the pressures of success, Lamar's latest LP is a showcase of not only his rapid-fire poetic flow, but his ability to mold each stanza into a small piece of a sprawling hip-hop narrative. It's a feat that promises to be equally impressive when pulled off in front of an audience. Texas trap emcee Travis Scott and "Cha Cha" rapper D.R.A.M. open the July 27 show, while YG joins D.R.A.M. at the August 20 concert.
The man who is at least partially responsible for "Uptown Funk" comes to United Center for a sprawling three-night stand at the arena. The fact that Bruno Mars can easily fill an arena three times over is a testament to the enduring popularity of the Motown, soul and doo-wop music—three genres that he borrows from liberally. Mars' latest, 24K Magic, continues the singers winning streak, packed with tracks like "That's What I Like," which provide the perfect backdrop for a glitzy, tightly-choreographed dance number.
In July and August, Hideout is bringing the music out of the back room and putting on a show on the venue's porch. The Picnics on the Porch series features performances from local acts like Big Sadie, Ryley Walker and Kelly Hogan accompanied by delicious picnic boxes available for purchase from Local Foods. It's dinner and a show in the great outdoors, which is exactly what we're looking for when it's warm outside. Take a look at the complete lineup of Hideout Picnics on the Porch concerts below: July 7 – Big Sadie July 14 – Lady Parts (Kelly Hogan and Nora O’Connor) July 21 – Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker July 28 – The Lowest Pair Aug 4 – Kelly Hogan and Scott Ligon Aug 11 – Peter Oren Aug 18 – Jack Klatt Aug 25– Lawrence Peters Outfit
Things to do this weekend
Don't be surprised if you get a neck ache from looking up during this two-day event. Join throngs of people at North Beach and surrounding areas to catch air and watercraft demonstrations, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.
Come for the festival fare, stay for the Butter Cow—the fair's unofficial icon and Paula Deen's life-long dream, a life-size cow sculpture made of 500 pounds of butter. Watch tractor pulls, horse races, parades and musical acts. Some events require additional tickets. The music lineup this year includes John Mellencamp, Jason Derulo, Brad Paisley and more.
Have a jolly olde time and butcher your favorite European accent as you engage in live-action fantasy play, enjoy interactive riddles, cheer on your favorite jousting knight or revel in period performances from 1574. The festival takes place Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day in July, August and early September.
There are a lot of beer festival that serve craft brews but most of them create a considerable amount of waste. That's not the case at the Oak Park Micro Brew Review, which prides itself as being the largest zero-waste craft beer event in the Midwest. Head over to Oak Park to sample more than 200 beers at an event that goes easy on the environment. Proceeds benefit Seven Generations Ahead.
All ages and skill levels are welcome at this annual series of jives, twirls and jumps. The dancing breaks out Thursday through Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. A professional instructor conducts dance lessons for the first hour before you cut a rug. This year, SummerDance branches out with events in eight neighborhood parks, including the first SummerDance-Off competitions, which will find the city's best amateur footwork and steppin' dancers.
Tinley Park's 350 Brewing Company celebrates its two year anniversary with a festival at the Tinley Park Convention Center, where it will join forces with a stacked lineup of local brewers. The event also draws upon the founders' roots in the Midwest punk scene, tapping Bayside and MXPX as musical guests.