Maybe it happened during Pitchfork, when you stood in hot air stickier than an Ann Sather cinnamon roll. Or perhaps it was at Lollapalooza, when you got soaked like 19-year-old, tequila-drinking coed in an Acapulco wet t-shirt contest. Or it occurred to you while battling terribly tattooed, stoned teenagers for personal space and a decent view of your favorite band.
Regardless of what triggered it, we’re willing to bet at some point during a summer music festival, you wished you were under a roof and surrounded by people who could at least vote, if not drink legally. (It’s also possible the your festival enjoyment-to-annoyance ratio turned sour several years ago, and you stopped attending festivals altogether.)
Luckily the two biggest and most talked-about outdoor Chicago music festivals have concluded, and anyone craving good bands in proper music venues can turn their attention to Chicago’s fall concert schedule. For those who haven’t quite shaken the summer music festival fog, we put together a little guide to help you navigate Chicago’s fall music scene. Admittedly, the proceeding concerts mostly feature indie bands and small-ish venues. Our preference is always intimate and semi-intimate spaces with not-quite-mainstream bands. If you’re looking for someone to preview the unnecessary money grab also known as the “Watch the Throne” tour, try the Red Eye.
We also apologize in advance. This guide is in no specific order, and as it became more unwieldy, it had to be broken in several parts. This is the first part of our Chicago Fall Concert Preview. Click here for part two.
Where: The Chicago Theater.
When: Friday, Sep. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1.Tickets: Starting at $38 and selling fast via TicketMaster. Also try Stubhub. And yes, there is something inherently odd about using Stubhub to buy tickets for guys who romanticize working in an apple orchard.
Why: They are the rare band whose sound is firmly set in a certain state of mind and place (hiking through the mountains, working in an apple orchard in the mountains), while their three part harmonies and rural, folksy sound would sound fresh during any decade.
Song to check out: Helplessness Blues.
Where: Lincoln Hall.
When: Thurs, Nov. 17.
Why: Its a French band that makes synth-driven make-out music and they created a whole album dedicated to being a child in the 80s. They’ll take you back to the days when you were a suave teenager seducing women to the sounds of Depeche Mode.
Songs to check out: Kim and Jessie and Midnight City.
When: Wed., Nov. 9 and Thurs., Nov. 10.
Why: Merill Garbus voice is as flexible as a Cirque du Soleil performer, and her music is infused with more delicious surprises than an Aviary cocktail. The sound you’ll hear is a delicate and choatic mix of funk, regae, pop, folk and more, and tickets to the show cost less than Cirque show (obviously) or a drink from Aviary (seriously).
Songs to Check Out: Gangsta, Bizness (candidate for video of the year), and Sunlight.
Where: Lincoln Hall.
When: Wed., Sep. 21.
Why: You need a new Brit pop “it” band in your life. And their song “Post Break Up Sex” will be pleasantly stuck in your head for a least a month.
Song to Check Out: Post Break-Up Sex.
When: Fri., Oct. 14.
Tickets: $24 (Currently Sold out… Stubhub options for $50 or more).
Why: Because you want to see Tyler, The Creator when he’s 100-percent and not on crutches. Because you cannot put a price on hearing Earls’ seamless and surly flow. And of course, because if you’re going to argue about them constantly, you mind as well see OFWGKTA in person.
Songs to Check Out: Yonkers (lyrics and content sort-of NSFW) and Novacane.
Where: The Riviera.
When: Tues., Sep. 20.
Why: You’re craving a sweaty, electro-pop dance party, but you don’t feel like heading to Berlin. Also, you, like other prominent members of the Chicago media, feel Cut Copy is headed for massive stardom, and this might be the last time you see them before the bandwagon gets a little crowded.
Song to Check Out: Lights and Music.
Where: Lincoln Hall.
When: Sun., Sep. 25.
Why: Once Brit-punk darlings, The Horrors updated their sound. Now there is less screaming and more shoegazing. We’d go just to hear the opening bass line from “Still Life.” Listen to it and pretend your walking in slow motion during an opening sequence to an ‘80’s movie.
Song to Check Out: Still Life.
Check out the second part of our fall music preview here.