21 Chicago Concerts You Should Not Miss This Summer

Black Star. Journey. The Pixies. Let’s review.

By The Editors
May 17, 2018 9:00 am

This is but one installment of 37 Things a Man’s Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September. Stay tuned all month for more.

Chicago is not hurting for big-ass music festivals. And by all means, go enjoy one.

But if you, like us, prefer one-off outdoor gigs and smaller street festivals, we’ve got you covered.

Herewith: the 21 outdoor concerts you won’t wanna miss this summer, eclectic in aggregate but specific in use case.

We’ve got summertime surf rock. Foot-stomping, old-timey bluegrass. The best classical overtures to enjoy under the stars. And the return of hip-hop’s greatest duos.

Happy listening.

Because they bring the surf-rock party wherever they go
La Luz at Do Division Fest, June 1

Because he just won the Pulitzer Prize for Music
Kendrick Lamar with Sza at Hollywood Casino Ampitheatre, June 15

Because this’ll turn into on helluva foot stomper
The Devil Makes Three at Taste of Randolph, June 15-17

Because they complement each other so well
Ray Lamontagne with Neko Case at Huntington Bank Pavilion, June 16

Because we can’t think of anyone better to pay tribute to Bill Withers
Jose James Tribute to Bill Withers at Millennium Park Summer Concert Series, June 18

Because you can’t go wrong with either
Jill Scott with The Roots, Ravinia, June 22

Because rock ‘n’ roll, as it was meant to be played
Strand of Oaks, Logan Square Arts Festival, June 22-25

Because local nostalgia
Joan of Arc at Logan Square Arts Festival, June 22-25

Because we’re suckers for catchy pop rock
Best Coast at Tour de Fat, June 30

Because there’s nothing better than Gershwin under the stars
Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at Pritzker Pavilion, July 4

Because two legendary indie bands, one bill
Weezer and the Pixies at Hollywood Casino Ampitheatre, July 7

Because it’s the return of the best alliance in hip-hop, way-oh
Black Star at Taste of Chicago, July 13

Because she don’t use jelly, she don’t use cheese …
The Flaming Lips at Taste of Chicago, July 14

Because “Don’t Stop Believin’” at Wrigley will be awkward, amazing
Def Leppard and Journey at Wrigley Field, July 14

Because here’s something we can thank Russia for
Tchaikovsky Spectacular by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia, July 21-22

Because old school, meet new school
Slick Rick and The Cool Kids Temperance Beer Company, July 21

Because we all had an emo phase
Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday at Huntington Bank Pavilion, July 26

Because your ladyfriend will thank us later
Indigo Girls and Lydia Loveless at Canal Shores, July 28

Because duh
Jay-Z and Beyonce at Soldier Field, August 10-11

Because anthemic southern rock is summer personified
Whitney at Millennium Park Summer Concert Series, August 12

Because it’s the perfect show for a picnic
The Sea and Cake Millennium Park Summer Concert Series, August 16

Main image: Sam Gehrke Photography

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