8 Pitchfork After-Shows With a High Probability of Absolute Musical Transcendence

Don’t miss the show everybody’s going to be talking about

July 12, 2022 7:00 am
Pitchfork after-show bands
Mark your calendar accordingly.
Schubas / Lincoln Hall/SLEEPING VILLAGE/Ticketmaster

After a 2020 cancellation and an out-of-the-ordinary set of September dates last year, Pitchfork Music Festival returns to its rightful place in the middle of July. Along with three days of indie rock/hip-hop/jazz/electronic music in beautiful Union Park come the after-shows, both official and unofficial. Don’t sleep on the after-shows — they’re often where the fun is at. 

All of the following after-shows cost money. Some of the official Pitchfork shows cost consumer data instead — Dreamer Isioma at Empty Bottle on Thursday, Questlove (DJ set) at Sleeping Village Saturday — but your willingness to trade data for entry is between you and your tech god. 

St. Paul and The Broken Bones at Thalia Hall (July 14)

For the person who wishes Pitchfork was four days

If you want to start things off with a positive jam, there’s no better option than St. Paul and the Broken Bones (mostly because The Hold Steady isn’t currently on tour). The eight-piece soul band out of Birmingham, Alabama, is the kind of act whose live shows transform casual fans into devoted followers. This is a great show for the friend you’re dragging along to the festival who could care less about The National. 8 p.m., 17+, $35+

THIS PARTY IS KILLING YOU: The Robyn Party – 10th Anniversary Tour at Subterranean (July 15)

For the person living in the recent past

Robyn was the last Pitchfork Music Festival headliner in the old world. She closed the Sunday night of 2019 and — well, you know what happened. If you prefer to dance on your own surrounded by other people dancing on their own, walk over to Wicker Park after The National closes out Friday night. It’s not that long of a walk. (Two miles is not far!). 10 p.m., $10 to $15, 17+

Jeff Parker & The New Breed at Constellation (July 15)

For the person who wishes indie rock was more avant garde

Chicago has one of the best free jazz scenes in the country, thanks to well-curated regular nights at places like The Hungry Brain, Green Mill, Constellation and others — and musicians like Parker. The Tortoise guitarist can be seen regularly at the aforementioned venues, and Chicago is all the better for it. If you’re not a regular aficionado of the sound, this is a good chance to figure out if you’ll enjoy the more experimental. 8:30 p.m., $20, all ages 

The Armed at Schuba’s (July 15) 

For the person who prefers a nighttime The Armed set

One of the first official Pitchfork after-shows announced this year, it sold out quickly — apparently there are at least 150 folks devoted to seeing The Armed in a small room. As of this writing, there are no secondary market tickets available on the typical sites — but you can still see The Armed at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday at Pitchfork. Schuba’s is small, so if you just hang out in the bar, near the bathrooms, you can probably see and hear most of the set from outside the venue area. 11 p.m., 18+, sold-out

Karate, The Numero Group at Sleeping Village (July 15)

For the person who remembers when Pitchfork used to be Intonation

Pitchfork Music Festival typically features at least one act to remind people that Pitchfork started as a website devoted to college and indie rock. (The first Pitchfork Music Festival in 2006 was actually the second time Pitchfork curated a fest; 2005’s Intonation Music Fest was curated by Pitchfork and featured Tortoise and The Decemberists as headliners.) This year’s reminder of what-once-was is Karate. The Boston group is playing their first shows in 17 years and touring behind their reissues from the excellent Chicago label Numero Group. See them at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday (the appropriate time to see musicians of a certain age practicing their craft) or too late on Friday in a club that’s only existed since 2018. 9 p.m., 21+, $25+

Spirit of the Beehive, Wiki at Lincoln Hall (July 16)

For the person who wishes they didn’t miss Animal Collective at Pitchfork 2021

Spirit of the Beehive’s newest, Entertainment, Death, learns into the dark side of psychedelic rock/electronica on tracks like “I Suck the Devil’s Cock.” If you, in fact, prefer the dark side of psychedelics — and didn’t get enough time to sway in a field during Japanese Breakfast’s Saturday evening set — the Philadelphia group’s Saturday night show is a good option. Spirit of the Beehive is playing Pitchfork on Friday at 2:30 p.m., but you probably won’t make that set because you probably have a job and Friday at 2:30 p.m. is when most people are at their job. 11 p.m., 18+, $22 to $25

NEO Reunion 2022 at Metro (July 16) 

For the person in all black everything 

NEO is long gone and never coming back. But the desire to dance/sway, wear black everything and listen to Ministry on a loud sound system is never going away. Good for the Mitski (Saturday Pitchfork headliner) fan who’s enjoying the more dramatic aspects of Laurel Hell. 8 p.m., 21+, $22+

L’Rain at Hideout (July 17) 

For the music fan living in the now

If you can’t make it to L’Rain’s 1:45 p.m. Sunday set, close out your weekend inside Chicago’s most pleasant room for music. This combo, L’Rain and Hideout, is a fine representation of both the city and the goal of the Pitchfork Music Fest: L’Rain sounds a little like every recent female headliner that’s performed at the festival over the last 10 years (this is a compliment). Hideout is one of the biggest champions of Chicago’s music scene. It’s a beautiful pairing to end a, fingers crossed, beautiful weekend of music. 10:30 p.m., 21+, $20

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