This is your guide to catching the best live music in Chicago both in the city and throughout the suburbs. This weekend, the festival season gets underway with Shemekia Copeland, Irma Thomas, James Cotton and more at Blues Fest. Plus area appearances by Sting, Jason Isbell, Sophie B. Hawkins, The Smithereens, Pitbull and Ke$ha, ReBirth Brass Band, Son Volt, The Dandy Warhols, Black Flag, Rachael Yamagata, Wayne Shorter, Glen Hansard, Joan Baez and The Indigo Girls. All of this plus much more...
In The City...
Chicago Blues Festival (Thursday in Millennium Park. Friday through Sunday in Grant Park. All Ages, FREE) - Shemekia Copeland and Quinn Sullivan perform on Thursday. Bobby Rush, Irma Thomas, Earnest "Guitar" Roy, John Primer and more perform on Friday. Saturday performers include Eddie Taylor Jr., Eddie Shaw, Larry McCray, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Otis Clay, The Bar-Kays and more. Sunday performers include Linsey Alexander, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Jimmy Johnson, James Cotton, Matthew Skoller, Billy Branch, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Billy Branch, Deitra Farr, Kenny "Beedyeyes" Smith and more.
Ribfest Chicago (Friday through Sunday on Lincoln Ave. between Irving Park Rd. and Berteau Ave. All Ages, $5 suggested donation each day) - The Features, Mucca Pazza and more perform on Friday. Saturday performers include California Wives and Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit. Performers Sunday include We Were Promised Jetpacks and Bobby Bare Jr.
Wells Street Art Festival (Saturday and Sunday on Wells St. between North Ave. and Division St. All Ages, $7 suggested donation each day) - Sophie B. Hawkins, The Smithereens, Trippin' Billies and more perform Saturday. American English headlines Sunday.
ReBirth Brass Band (Two shows at 7 and 10PM on Friday at Martyrs'. Each show is $25, 21+) - Great Divide opens the 10PM show
Son Volt (8PM Friday at Park West. 18+) - Colonel Ford opens
SWV and Ce Ce Peniston (Doors open at 9PM Friday at The Shrine. 21+) - DJ Ron Carroll also performs
Tomahawk (8:30PM Friday at the Vic Theatre. 18+) - Buke and Gase open
Wayne Shorter Quintet (8PM Friday at Symphony Center. $65-110, All Ages)
Rachael Yamagata (9PM Friday at Lincoln Hall. $20, 21+) - Sanders Bohlke opens
The Stranglers (Two shows at 8PM on Friday and Saturday at Cobra Lounge. 21+, SOLD OUT) - Mike Marlin, Radkey and The Crombies open on Friday. Mike Marlin, Death & Memphis and Big Sur open on Saturday.
!!! (7PM Saturday at Bottom Lounge. $20, All Ages) - Sinkane opens
The Dandy Warhols (8PM Saturday at the Vic Theatre. $33) - The Shivas open. *** 13th anniversary of Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia - Live ***
Black Flag (Doors open for two shows at 8PM Saturday and 6PM Sunday at Reggie's Rock Club. Saturday is 18+, Sunday is All Ages. Both shows are SOLD OUT) - Good For You opens
Flobots (7:30PM Sunday at Mayne Stage. $22, All Ages) - Wheelchair Sports Camp and SamIAm the MC open
Glen Hansard (8PM Sunday at Metro. $35, 18+) - Lisa Hannigan also performs
Redgrave (8:30PM Sunday at Subterranean. $8, 21+) - Big Harp and Mouth Captain also perform
In The Suburbs...
Nazareth (8PM Friday at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. All Ages)
Sting (Two shows at 8PM Friday and Saturday at Ravinia in Highland Park. Each show is $43-120, All Ages)
The Flat Five (8PM Saturday at SPACE in Evanston. $15-27, All Ages) - Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, Kelly Hogan, Nora O'Connor and Alex Hall
Full House Festival (9PM Saturday in both the club and SideBar at FitzGerald's in Berwyn. $15, 21+) - The Waco Brothers, Randy Franklin, Churchwood, Yarn and Cannonball
Joan Baez and The Indigo Girls (7PM Sunday at Ravinia in Highland Park. $32-65, All Ages)
Kenny Loggins (7PM Sunday at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. $59-125)
Pitbull and Ke$ha (7PM Sunday at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park. $25-140, All Ages) - *** This event was originally scheduled at 7:30PM and is now scheduled at 7:00PM. Refunds available at point of purchase if requested ***
- Jim Ryan
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