Downtown Sound, the cutting edge, indie rock and pop music series, kicks off the 2013 summer concert season at Millennium Park at 6:30 p.m. on May 27 (Memorial Day) with the Lee Renaldo Band.
The ten-week series will continue, every Monday, through July 29, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Pritzker Pavillion. Highlights of the series include: An Evening with Glen Hansard, Daniel Lanois, the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Handsome Family. Downtown Sound is one of three summer concert series presented in Millennium Park.
Monday, May 27
Lee Ranaldo Band + Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog
Lee Ranaldo’s guitar skills, ranked number 1 by Spin Magazine, will highlight his performance on the Pritzker Pavilion. Joining him are his Sonic Youth band mate Steve Shelley, Alan Licht and Tim Luntzel. Opening this evening and performing from their latest album, Your Turn, is Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog.
Monday, June 3
Sharon Van Etten + Speck Mountain
In just a few short years and only three albums, New Jersey born and raised singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten has established her vision and voice. She’s performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Radio Music Hall and the Pitchfork Music Festival, and now adds the Pritzker Pavilion to her resume. The Chicago-based, psychedelic rock band Speck Mountain opens the show.
Monday, June 10
An Evening with Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan and members of The Frames
Glen Hansard’s first ever solo album, Rhythm and Repose, has achieved great critical success. While the singer-songwriter and guitarist realized great notoriety around his Oscar® winning Best Song ”Once”, he was part of one of the most influential bands in Ireland, The Frames--members of which are with him at this performance. Joining them is Irish singer and musician Lisa Hannigan.
Monday, June 17
Daniel Lanois + Brokeback
A celebrated producer for artists such as Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel and U2’s The Joshua Tree, Daniel Lanois also has a large catalog of his own albums, first recording in 1989. The songwriter and musician now has a large body of recordings that reflect his distinct sound of pedal steel. Chicago and Thrill Jockey recording artists Brokeback are the opening act.
Monday, June 24
Carolina Chocolate Drops + Angela James
The Grammy® Award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops reflects the influence of its regional Piedmont background with fiddle and banjo-based music, but to merely call the group bluegrass would ignore the band’s constant evolution as members seek to highlight the central role African-Americans have played in shaping our nation’s popular music. Opening this evening is classic country music artist and transplanted Chicagoan, Angela James.
Monday, July 1
Lee Fields & The Expressions + Theo Huff and The Platinum Band
Lee Fields is on his fifth decade of making soul music. With a prolific catalog of albums and having toured the world over, Fields continues to evolve, recording on Truth & Soul Records with its house band, The Expressions. The group has been touring the world opening for such acts as Wilco and The Black Keys. Kicking off the evening is young, up and coming Chicago R & B/ Gospel singer, Theo Huff and The Platinum Band.
Monday, July 15
Fatoumata Diawara + Alasdair Roberts and Friends
Fatoumata Diawara’s debut album, Fatou, is almost entirely her own work: self-composed and arranged, with her own backing vocals and percussion. The artist, raised in Mali, but now based in Paris, creates her own sound with a distinctly African spin. Inspired by Wassoulou tradition, jazz and blues, Diawara has overcome cultural prejudice faced by women to make her own music that is well-received by giants in the industry. Opening the stage this evening is Irish Folk group and Drag City Recording artists Alasdair Roberts and Friends.
Monday, July 22
The Handsome Family + AZITA
The Handsome Family is actually the husband and wife songwriting team of Brett and Rennie Sparks who have been collaborating for 20 years. Their latest release is The Handsome Family’s Wilderness which intertwines the wonders of nature with unusual moments in history. Their music invokes Appalachian holler, psychedelic rock, Tin Pan Alley and medieval ballads. Chicago’s piano songstress and multi-instrumentalist AZITA opens for the band.
Monday, July 29
Dessa + Psalm One
Dessa is still a rapper and poet, but her new album, Parts of Speech, scheduled for a late June release, reveals an elegant singer with a multi-platform voice. The recording involves multiple narratives of love, loss, connections and communion. Hearing it performed live will be a real treat. Chicago’s own underground hip-hop artist Psalm One opens the show.
Location and Parking
Millennium Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph St. to the north, Columbus Dr. to the east and Monroe St. to the south. Parking is available in the Millennium Park Garage (entrance on Columbus at Monroe or Randolph), Millennium Lakeside and Grant Park North.
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