Hello again! I’m back with a new post about some upcoming performances in Chicago that I think are worth checking out. I’ve narrowed it down to ten for the sake of clarity and I tried to keep the shows upcoming in February and early March. I will definitely do another post for shows coming once Spring is finally here since there’s always new shows in Chicago worth talking about.
I’m going to a handful of the shows I’ve mentioned below and even more that I didn’t mention in the post (there’s seriously so many to choose from!) Thanks for reading and enjoy.
Why? First Aid Kit – two sisters by the names of Johanna and Klara Söderberg – is one of the best folk pop duos in the game right now and they just released a new album, Ruins. The album has a 73 rating on Metacritic and has been praised by Paste Magazine as a more mature move from the duo, commenting on the tone’s “gentle weight of experience that permeates the album’s lyrics, a freshly-sharpened edge of cynicism.” Pitchfork compliments the sister’s vocal abilities, which mesh “so naturally and so gracefully that it’s easy to forget how much craft there is in these songs, and how much ingenuity they put into their vocals.” I saw FAK at Lollapalooza in 2015 and I’m looking forward to seeing an entire headlining set by them later this week.
Why? Flor released one of my favorite albums of 2017, and it’s also amazing to note that it was their debut album (read what I wrote about it here). This is their first headlining tour and I would definitely be going if I didn’t have tickets to see Rostam the same night! (Read more below). With support from Handsome Ghost, another group that I’ve enjoyed, it will sure to be a great show. Want a tip? The Subterranean has a weird layout and is very small, so if you’re going, get there a little early!
Who: Rostam ft. Joy Again
Genre: Dream Pop
Where: Lincoln Hall
When: February 10. 17+ up.
Price: $17. Tickets are sold out and unfortunately, tickets are all will call so you can’t find any on Stubhub. I have met with people at the venue before who have given me their tickets that way. There is always hope! Check the Facebook event page.
Why? Rostam Batmanglij – formerly a member and producer of Vampire Weekend, has worked with superstars including HAIM, Carly Rae Jepsen and Charli XCX. His highly acclaimed debut album, Half-Light, will be an interesting body of work to hear live – and he’s playing at one of Chicago’s smaller venues (which happens to be my personal favorite place to see live music). What more can you want?
Who: Portugal. The Man
Genre: Indie Rock
Where: Aragon Ballroom
When: February 16. All ages.
Price: The price isn’t visible and it’s also sold out. When I started crafting this list, it wasn’t sold out! I’m sorry guys. But you can get tickets on StubHub.
Why? PTM has been cruising the indie rock scene for YEARS – like, at least six years (I remember discovering them in high school) – and they are coming off of a Grammy win for their smash hit, “Feel It Still.” They’re going to only continue growing from here – so seeing them at the Aragon is a great opportunity. But don’t fret too much, I’m betting that they will be at Lollapalooza later this year.
Why? hippo campus has been creating an interesting, cohesive and overall pleasing style of music for years – the release of their debut album, Landmark, in early 2017, put them on the map of rising bands to watch. The band is starting 2018 strong after a long touring schedule and a handful of festival dates during 2017, and I’m sure that their momentum is only getting started.
Who: Elliot Root
Genre: Indie Folk/Rock
Where: Schubas Tavern
When: February 16. All ages.
Price: $10. Click here to buy tickets.
Why? I’m not even entirely sure how I discovered this band, probably because of the beautiful tool that is Spotify, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I first heard their music before their debut album came out, so it was really exciting to be able to follow their career leading up to that point. Conjure is full of rock moments immersed into R&B and soul and is the perfect group for fans of James Bay and John Mayer. Schubas is a super tiny venue and would be the perfect place to see these guys perform.
Why? I originally got a ticket to see this show solely because of Gabrielle – and it was before the supporting acts were announced. I haven’t had the chance to listen to Hudson Taylor yet, but it turns out that John Splithoff is actually EXTREMELY successful and talented, which is cool to see from an opening act. Gabrielle has released two full length albums and a handful of EPs – her songs boast over 150 million streams on Spotify – so I’m sure it will be a show not to miss.
Why? Because you should be supporting Chicago artists! Shallou (real name Joe Boston) is a local Chicago producer who has been making music under Shallou for over three years – but his first EP, All Becomes Okay, was released in 2017. His sound is unique to anything else that is featured on this post, and his relocation to Chicago was inspired by the city’s connection to house music.
Why? I’ve been raving about Declan Mckenna for over a year now, and it’s really exciting to see this 19-year-old from London to be embarking on a headlining tour in America. He’s selling out a lot of his dates and it’s really exciting to see someone at the start of their career succeeding at such exemplary levels. I find it interesting that he’s performing in Evanston (north of Chicago) – for two dates – and a date in DeKalb, IL – I would like to see where he would be able to perform in the city the next time he’s here. Either way, I think that his performance is worth the venture out of the city – get your hands on a ticket if you can! I’ll be there on March 9.
Genre: Indie Rock
When: March 23
Price: $25. Click here to buy tickets.
Why? Alvvays flew up to the top of my list after I fell in love with their 2017 album, Antisocialites, an album that ended up on a handful of publication’s “Best Albums of 2017” lists. The Guardian gave it their #29 slot, commenting on the album’s nod to indie rockers of the past, but its ability to give the listener a “blast of fresh air.” Alvvays recently performed at Thalia Hall – and their quick return to Chicago is one to not miss.
Thanks for reading! I will do another one of these posts for the spring and probably the summer. Are you going to any of these shows or any that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear what your plans are! Drop a comment below.