Chi-Live Music Fall Preview: Shows to Warm the Body and Soul as the Weather Heads South

I spent a summer wasting…”* my time at rocks shows that morphed into dance parties, watching the young minds of another generation relishing, gyrating, and breathing in the beats and rhythms of indie, punk, pop, dance, electronic (and sundry other eclectic styles) music’s past, present, and future. It was totally life-affirming. Despite seeing more live shows than ever (77 shows and counting), I’ve yet to tire of the experience and euphoria. #therewillbeplentyoftimeforsleepinglater

Highlights?  So many but to name a few…

  • Watching the ladies (and gents) of Lucius embrace a late night crowd, wooing us with their harmonies, impressing us with their backwards crowd surfing duet, and serenading us with an intimate acoustic set. They didn’t need to steal any hearts, we gave them willingly. 
  • Sharon Van Etten on a sun-drenched Friday afternoon at Pitchfork bearing her deeply intimate songs and weaving a magical spell on a crowd of attentive and thankful listeners.
  • Lykke Li whose onslaught of dense, layered pop and flair for the dramatic put to shame (for this listener) the headlining efforts of Eminem and Arctic Monkeys who despite the billing felt dated and sleepy.
  • Watching The Front Bottoms bring a room of 500 teens and 20-somethings to feverishly sing and shake with every note; confirming that the kids still love rock n roll.
  • Angel Olsen returning to Chicago casting us in her gorgeous dream-like world.
  • The National (as always) getting the entire crowd at the Chicago Theater revved up with fists in the air, voices to the wind, and reminding me that they are the best live act out there.

Despite this pleasing past as prologue, the Fall offers some equally grand potential. See the list below. I’ll definitely be at the “Purple Bold” ones but strongly considering all other dates. Feel free to make me join you for more…



26th – Anthony Saint and the Downers @ Schubas

27th – the Lemons at Empty Bottle

29– 30 – North Coast Music Festival at Union Park



4th – Owen Pallet at the Metro. 

5th – Hideout Block Party Day 1 w/ Death Cab For Cutie & Hamilton Leithauser (from the Walkmen)

6th – Hideout Block Party Day 2 w/ War on Drugs, Dismemberment Plan, Marc DeMarco, Sylvan Esso, Valerie June, etc.

12th – Riot Fest Day 1 w/ Jane’s Addiction, Pussy Riot, NOFX, Gogol Bordello, Pity Sex, The Hotelier . . .

13th – Riot Fest Day 2 w/ The National, Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang, Taking Back Sunday, Get Up Kids, The Afghan Whigs, Dashboard Confessional, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, The Orwells, The World is a Beautiful Place…, Lemuria

14th – Riot Fest Day 3 w/ The Cure, Weezer, Tegan and Sara, Patti Smith, Superchunk, Billy Bragg, The Hold Steady, Lucero, Kurt Vile, The Front Bottoms, Dads….

16th – Spoon and EMA at Chicago Theater

19th – Bonobo (DJ Set) at Metro

21st – Andy Stott an Demetre Stare at Thalia Hall

23rd – Justin Townes Earle at the Vic or Ty Segall and La Luz at Thalia Hall

25th – Slow Club at Schubas



5th – Tennis & Pure Bathing Culture at Lincoln Hall

6th – Buke & Gase at Empty Bottle

7th – Banks at the Metro

8th – Lucius at the Metro

10th – Sharon Van Etten with Tiny Ruins at Thalia Hall

13th – Charli XCX at Lincoln Hall

16th – Foxygen at Lincoln Hall or Ryan Adams at Chicago Theater

22nd – Tune Yards at the Riv

25th – Rhye at the Vic or Speedy Ortiz at the Empty Bottle

27th – Courtney Barnett & San Fermin at the Metro

30th – St. Paul and The Broken Bones



2nd – Alt-J at the Riv

13th – FKA Twigs at the Metro 

14th – Peter Hook at the Metro

21st – Stars at the Vic

22nd – First Aid Kit at the Vic

28th – Lydia Loveless at Lincoln Hall


See you at the venue!

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