A Brief Guide to the Art of the Concert Date in Chicago

A Brief Guide to the Art of the Concert Date in Chicago

Dinner. Drinks. Live music. Repeat.

THE CONCERT DATE is a key one for several reasons:

  1. It is a guaranteed change from the norm and thus more memorable. Memorable is good.
  2. Hitting a music venue in a 'hood you might not typically visit otherwise is an excellent opportunity to explore said 'hood. See above re: change from the norm.
  3. Loud music leads to close talking. If done right, close talking leads to canoodling.

With these in mind, we bring you Night Moves*, a series of curated date night itineraries based around some of the best upcoming shows Chicago has to offer.

Three easy steps to get you and your sweetheart rolling on some tasty eats, frosty libations, and tunes for every taste.

Canoodling is up to you.

*Regrettably, the Detroit legend himself had no upcoming shows in the area and thus is not featured in this piece. IH acknowledges the irony and hopes to remedy the issue in future editions.

If you're in the mood for ...
A FUNK-SOUL DANCE PARTY
ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF TOWN

If you're in the mood for ...
A FUNK-SOUL DANCE PARTY
ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF TOWN

A Brief Guide to the Art of the Concert Date in Chicago

TUXEDO
AT THALIA HALL

TUXEDO
AT THALIA HALL

JUNE 13 • BUY YOUR TICKETS

A funkified duo consisting of Detroit DJ and soul crooner Mayer Hawthorne and Seattle-based beat conductor Jake One, Tuxedo is the kind of band made for date nights — that is, a sexed-up evening out that’ll have you two-stepping through Pilsen whether you know the jams or not.

YOUR PRE-SHOW DINNER
Show at Thalia Hall? Dinner at Dusek’s is a no-brainer. Not only is it right next door, it’s tried-and-true. For the express interest of keeping your date light on their feet, stick to small plates — the black truffle and foie gras fondue served with crusty bread followed by the ham sampler and cheese plate sound right.

YOUR POST-SHOW DRINKS
Up the road from Thalia Hall you’ll find Moody Tongue's tasting room, home to the city’s best culinary-driven brews and a food menu that has two things and two things only: German chocolate cake and fresh daily oysters. That’s what we call closing a date. Order up a slice of cake and something barrel-aged and end the night by the fireplace.

If you're in the mood for ...
AN INDIE ROCK FAVORITE
IN A STORIED CHICAGO ROCK CLUB

If you're in the mood for ...
AN INDIE ROCK FAVORITE
IN A STORIED CHICAGO ROCK CLUB

A Brief Guide to the Art of the Concert Date in Chicago

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
AT THE EMPTY BOTTLE

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
AT THE EMPTY BOTTLE

JULY 3 • BUY YOUR TICKETS

Fans of the Mountain Goats know what they’re getting into with frontman John Darnielle — for one, staying power. Last month saw the release of the band’s 16th full-length studio album Goths, a conceptual collection of catchy tunes on growing up … well, goth. The show — a part of a series of concerts celebrating the Empty Bottle's 25th anniversary — is the perfect opportunity to swap some war stories. Pro tip: that photobooth. Get in there.

YOUR PRE-SHOW DINNER
Before the show, grab a Pub Burger from Publican Anker in Wicker Park. Nothing kicks a night of music off better than a can of Hamm’s and a shot of Rittenhouse Rye, but if you’re not ready to show your hand, there’s always the Drugstore Cowboy — a cocktail of Fernet Branca, vermouth, lemon, demerara salt and mint. And don't forget the pork rinds.

YOUR POST-SHOW DRINKS
Best way to keep the no-frills vibes going? Up the street at EZ Inn, a gem of an old neighborhood dive bar recently refurbished with a fresh coat of paint, new seating and upgraded beer selection. Also boozy sodas. So, something for everyone. Grab a seat on the pine and order up a few cold ones and enjoy.


 

LET'S TALK SCENTS ...

FROM OUR PARTNER

So you’ve booked the restaurant. Concert tix firmly in your billfold. You’ve even got a plan for where to grab a nightcap afterward. Seems as though you’ve thought of everything, you date wizard you.

Well, almost everything. Don’t forget that an evening spent leaning in close to be heard over the band is a chance to impress your date with a scent they’ll appreciate as much as the music.

To wit: Mr. Burberry Eau De Parfum, the newest men’s fragrance from the storied British fashion house. A robust scent with an amber-and-vetiver base that recalls a classic English gentleman’s eau de toilette, it’ll keep you shipshape long after the last note’s been played.

 


If you're in the mood for ...
SEEING HOW A CARTOON BAND
PULLS OFF PLAYING A LIVE OUTDOOR CONCERT

If you're in the mood for ...
SEEING HOW A CARTOON BAND
PULLS OFF PLAYING A LIVE OUTDOOR CONCERT

A Brief Guide to the Art of the Concert Date in Chicago

THE GORILLAZ
AT THE HUNTINGTON BANK PAVILION
AT NORTHERLY ISLAND

THE GORILLAZ
AT THE HUNTINGTON BANK PAVILION
AT NORTHERLY ISLAND

JULY 8 • BUY YOUR TICKETS

Cartoon characters aside, The Gorillaz remain one of music’s most peculiar acts. The virtual group — created by Blur lead singer Damon Albarn and indie comic book artist Jamie Hewlett nearly 20 years ago — has always defied genre conventions, and not without the help of a rotating cast of guest collaborators. Their latest Humanz includes appearances from tourmates Vince Staples and Danny Brown, as well as hometown soul singer Mavis Staples. Given the venue, and the fact that it’s the band’s first U.S. tour in seven years, this one should be a treat even for casual listeners.

YOUR PRE-SHOW DINNER
With over 50 taps spread across two floors, the dizzying selection of craft brews isn’t the only reason to visit Centennial in River North. You’re also here for fuel up for the night with elevated bar food. Load up on the Smoked Brisket, and don’t be afraid to throw in a few sides. Best part? You’re close enough to Northerly Island that your pregame buzz won’t wear off.

YOUR POST-SHOW DRINKS
The last thing you want after a outdoor concert is a post-show drink in the dark recesses of a bar. What you do want: the back patio at Maria’s. Your date will appreciate the chill, welcoming atmosphere, and you need to visit Bridgeport more often, anyway. In case anyone gets hungry, remember you can order Polish-Korean street food from Kimski next door.

If you're in the mood for ...
HIP-HOP’S MOST
TRANSCENDENT VOICES

If you're in the mood for ...
HIP-HOP’S MOST
TRANSCENDENT VOICES

A Brief Guide to the Art of the Concert Date in Chicago

KENDRICK LAMAR
AT THE UNITED CENTER

KENDRICK LAMAR
AT THE UNITED CENTER

JULY 27 • BUY YOUR TICKETS

Loyalty loyalty loyalty. While many in the rap community rank Kendrick Lamar as one of hip-hop’s greatest, we can say for certain the man puts on one helluva show. With his fourth studio album DAMN., the Compton's laureate poet extends his sociopolitically conscious flow into the mainstream. If you miss him in July, he'll be back in August. Either way, plan for some serious head nodding.

YOUR PRE-SHOW DINNER
Nearby Honey’s has got a lot of things going for it, especially as an opener to Kendrick Lamar. One, the menu offers sophisticated fare that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Two, you’ll be dining in one of the most stylishly understated dining rooms in the city. And three, you’ll be a five-minute ride away from the United Center. Win-win-win.

YOUR POST-SHOW DRINKS
How do you follow up the most buzziest artist in recent memory? A Latin-inspired speakeasy with a dance floor. That’s what you’ll find at Esco Bar, the new nightlife spot above Ronero’s in the West Loop. It’s only open three nights a week, and lucky for you, it’ll be open tonight just in case you’d like to keep the party going.

If you're in the mood for ...
SWEET INDIE LULLABIES FROM
THE COMFORT OF A PLUSH THEATER CHAIR

If you're in the mood for ...
SWEET INDIE LULLABIES FROM
THE COMFORT OF A PLUSH THEATER CHAIR

A Brief Guide to the Art of the Concert Date in Chicago

BELLE & SEBASTIAN
AT THE CHICAGO THEATRE

BELLE & SEBASTIAN
AT THE CHICAGO THEATRE

AUGUST 16 • BUY YOUR TICKETS

If Belle & Sebastian was the lonely soundtrack to your late-’90s self, then you might be happy to hear they’re still serving up their distinct style of ‘60s folk meets indie pop. They’ve been around so long, in fact, their first record Tigermilk turned 20 last year. That’s a lot of wistful melodies — ones that you can enjoy from the comfort of the Chicago Theater.

YOUR PRE-SHOW DINNER
If you’re looking for a quiet, romantic spot to match the mood of the night, make your way to the Cherry Circle Room in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. You can’t go wrong with the food (get the steamed bouchot mussels), and since you’ll be walking distance from the venue, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t stick around for the after-dinner amaro cart.

YOUR POST-SHOW DRINKS
Apogee — the 26th floor rooftop lounge at the Dana Hotel — would a great closer to any date. Because cocktails help conversation. And cocktails like these will be the conversation. Mad cocktail scientist Benjamin Schiller (The Sixth) brings his most opulent creations to the fore, and you can enjoy ‘em with sky-high views of the city.

If you're in the mood for ...
A RAMBLIN’ SINGER-SONGWRITER
TYPE AKIN TO BOB DYLAN

If you're in the mood for ...
A RAMBLIN’ SINGER-SONGWRITER
TYPE AKIN TO BOB DYLAN

A Brief Guide to the Art of the Concert Date in Chicago

KEVIN MORBY
AT LINCOLN HALL

KEVIN MORBY
AT LINCOLN HALL

SEPTEMBER 1 • BUY YOUR TICKETS

If there’s anything we know about Kevin Morby, the former bassist of noise-folk band Woods, it’s he knows how to write a damn good tune. The young man from Texas might be a budding troubadour who sounds way beyond his years, but he’s proven he’s got the poise to pull it off. Expect songs off of Dead Oceans, out this month. 

YOUR PRE-SHOW DINNER
The newly revamped Gemini Bistro might have dropped the “Bistro” from it’s name, but you can expect the same delicious standards from the beloved Lincoln Park staple. The place has got a new horseshoe bar. Sit there. Then kick off the night with an order of Duck Confit Nachos. The rest of the meal is up to you.

YOUR POST-SHOW DRINKS
Cool-kid crowds be damned — DeadBolt is too good of a dive bar to pass up. A quick ride down Fullerton, once there, you’ll kick back in a no-frills atmosphere with better-than-your-average cocktails. And hey, if the place gets too packed — you’re in Logan Square. You’ve got options.

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