21 Outdoor Concerts You Should Not Miss This Summer

The top outdoor shows for music lovers of every stripe

By The Editors
May 16, 2016 9:00 am

Music festivals. Chicago’s got ‘em by the fistful.

But they’re not the only way!

Whether you reside on the Northside, Southside or anywhere in between, one thing’s for certain: somewhere in hearing range, there will be live music.

Thusly, we’ve rounded up 21 outdoor concerts you won’t wanna miss this summer, eclectic in aggregate but specific in use case.

No big music festivals here. They belong in their own category. What you’ll find below are the outdoor shows worth seeing at the street festivals worth attending. Also the free downtown shows you should pack a picnic for. And the one-off concerts worth shelling out ducats for (if you see “sold out,” make sure you check Stubhub).

Happy listening.

Peanut Butter Wolf
For crate diggers who still spin vinyl
Peanut Butter Wolf at Do Division Fest, June 3

For followers of soul’s glorious revival
Lee Fields and the Expressions at Millennium Park, June 9

For rockabillies who prefer their rock billied in a garage
Shannon and the Clams at Remix Chicago, June 12

For those who must know up-and-coming talent before all their friends do
Eryn Allen Kane at Taste of Randolph, June 18

Langhorne Slim
For folk fans in search of a new summer troubadour
Langhorne Slim at Green Music Fest, June 18 and 19

For the bucket-list concertgoer, part one
Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples at Ravinia , June 24

For self-aware conscious listeners who dig self-aware conscious rap
Open Mike Eagle at Logan Square Arts Festival, June 25

For Phans who’ve got one acid tab left
Phish at Wrigley Field, June 24 and 25

For people with two left feet who don’t give a s***
Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra at Millennium Park, June 27

For box-wine drinkers who love the symphony
Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights by the Grant Park Orchestra at Millennium Park, July 6

The Roots
For old school hip-hop heads wondering if it’s still worth it
The Roots at Taste of Chicago, July 6

For slackers who still tell the same jokes they did in junior high
Diarrhea Planet at West Fest, July 12

For stoners who need a reason to headbang
Death From Above 1979 at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion, July 20

For punks who call sausages “bangers”
The Tossers at Dog Dayz of Summer, July 25

For the bucket-list concertgoer, part deux
Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy at Ravinia, July 31

Ray Lamontagne/Facebook
For people who want to convince their friends country blues is cool
Ray LaMontagne at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion, August 6

For anyone who’s ever said “legalize it”
Lee “Scratch” Perry at Reggae Fest, August 13

For music academics for whom quality is a function of obscurity
Tortoise at Millennium Park, August 25

For Chicagoans, etc.
Wilco at Millennium Park, August 31

Lauryn Hill/Facebook
For R&B lovers who miss That Thing
Ms. Lauryn Hill at Ravinia, September 1

For whistling enthusiasts
Andrew Bird at Millennium Park, September 7

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