Back in Black: A Guide To Catching The Best Live Black Wednesday Music In Chicago On A Budget

Back in Black: A Guide To Catching The Best Live Black Wednesday Music In Chicago On A Budget

Black Wednesday... one of the biggest bar nights of the year in the city of Chicago. Tired of amateur hour at the bars?  Well, here are ten great ways to catch live music within the confines of some of the city's finest clubs.  Check out Flosstradamus at Lincoln Hall, Naked Raygun at Metro and much more... And in case that's not enough, how about five ways to get awfully drunk, awfully cheap, throughout Chicago, via trolley crawls, moustache parties, a turkey testicle festival, charity benefits and more...

(For a full rundown of all the concerts coming up between Black Friday 11/25 and Sunday 11/27 this weekend, click HERE)

Flosstradamus (9PM Black Wednesday, 11/23 at Lincoln Hall. $15, 18+) - Supreme Cuts and Calez also perform.  The incredibly successful, local DJ duo is made up of  J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci).  Catch them before they head out on tour with Kid Sister.

Naked Raygun (9PM Wednesday at Metro. $29, 18+) - The Falcon, My Big Beautiful, and Dan Vapid & The Cheats open.  Chicago's all-time best contribution to punk rock.  Enough said.

Thanksgiving Eve "FUN" Raiser:  Imposter Radio with Northside (9:30PM Wednesday at Abbey Pub. $10 or $5 with a toy. 21+) - Per the Abbey Pub website: "We’ll be collecting toys and raising money to help charities supported by Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2. Tickets are $10 with a portion of the proceeds going to help various local charities. Bring a new toy to donate and pay only $5! Kick-off the holiday season right by supporting a great cause while listening to some great music!"  Amen to that.  Imposter Radio covers everything from dance to pop from the sixties to the nineties.  Northside covers everything from Led Zeppelin and The Stones to U2 and No Doubt.

This Must Be The Band (9PM Wednesday at Martyrs'.  $14, 21+) - The finest Talking Heads tribute band in the land.  Can you dig it?

Carl Weathersby Blues Band and the Sam Goode Blues Band (8PM Wednesday at Kingston Mines. $12, 21+) - I'm not sure what else there is for me to say about Kingston Mines at this point.  One of the most fun and lively after hours spots in the city with great barbecue late.  For $12, you really can't go wrong catching so much great live blues.

Pistol Pete (8PM Wednesday at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted, 21+) - An even more intimate spot to catch live blues and it's across the street from the aforementioned Kingston Mines.  Expect a cover around $15.

Annual Green Mill Pre-Thanksgiving Cocktail Hour with Ollie O'Shea & John Rice "Uptown Underground" (5PM-8PM Wednesday at the Green Mill.  No Cover, 21+).  Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan (9PM-1AM. $6, 21+).  Frank Catalano Sextet (2AM-3AM, No Cover. 21+) -  Do you like jazz?  Well, it looks like for $6 you can basically watch it live, all night long, at one of the city's most storied venues. Tough to beat this deal if you're a live music fan.

Chances Dances (9PM at The Hideout. $5 at the door, 21+) - Chances Dances DJ's at Hideout quite frequently.  They spun an eclectic mix between live sets at the Hideout Block Party in September and I can only imagine it will be a good time inside Chicago's coziest small venue too.

Under Dover CD Release Party (8PM Wednesday at Elbo Room. $7, 21+ ) - The Queue, Abstract Giants, and The Paper Trail open... OR Mathew Tembo and Angela Kepley (9-11PM in the upstairs lounge. $5, 21+).

Thee Oh Sees and Total Control (7 and 10PM on Wednesday at the Empty Bottle. Each show is $12, 21+) - Paul Cary joins the bill for the 10PM show.

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HONORABLE MENTION _______________________________________________________________

Black Wednesday with DJ Mattloch at Delilah's (Country and insurgent country along the lines of Bloodshot Records) Open until 2AM in Lincoln Park.  $2 PBR longnecks, $2 Old Crow Bourbon ($3 cocktails). Get drinky and rock out... cheap.

Pioneer Tavern Group Black Out, Black Wednesday FREE Trolley Crawl-  Picks up at Lottie's in Bucktown at 7PM and at The Pony at 8PM.  Finishes at The Frontier for live music and a campfire. (Free trolley stocked with free Malibu Black cocktails & beer!) Sign up at the bar to guarantee a spot.  This could get messy.

The Turkey Trolley Trot - Join the trot in Lincoln Park at McGee's, Wrightwood Tap, Durkin's, Duffy's, Redmond's or Maeve.  The $20 meal package includes a food buffet, domestic drafts, pilgrim punch, and trolley transportation to all six bars.  Buy tickets online HERE.  This will be even messier.

Black Wednesday Moustache and Whiskey Party - Rockit Bar and Grill downtown.  Display your finest upper lip accoutrement  for a chance at prizes. Proceeds will benefit the Movember Foundation to raise awareness for prostate cancer.

Black Wednesday at Timothy O'Toole's - Featuring O'Toole's second annual "Turkey Testicle Festival" as well as a pumpkin pie eating contest starting around 9PM downtown.  Drink specials include $4 Jameson shots, $2 Miller Lite and Coors Light pints and half price Guinness BlackList drafts.

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    Jim Ryan

    Jim Ryan has written about music in print and online for a variety of Chicagoland publications for over fifteen years. In addition to duties filling in as Traffic Anchor on CLTV or in the helicopter on NBC 5, you can also catch him Sunday nights at 6PM central as host of "The Rock N' Roll Radio Program" on AM 1420 WIMS and AM 1060 WHFB (streaming at wimsradio.com and via the TuneIn Radio app for the smart phone or tablet). Jim has also worked locally for WXRT-FM, lives within walking distance of the Metro and is an avid White Sox and Blackhawks fan whose first live concert experience came at Comiskey Park in 1984 during the Jacksons' "Victory" tour.

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