Music Venues in Chicago
5 March 2020
As a cultural destination, Chicago is naturally home to an astounding array of music venues, each with their own deep-rooted history and distinct vibe. Today, we’re diving deep into the music venues in Chicago to discover what makes our local scene so standout, and the best places to experience it:
The architecture of Aragon Ballroom is reason enough to get tickets to see a show. Built in 1926 in the Moorish architectural style, the expansive ballroom interior resembles that of the Spanish courtyard palace from a region namesake to the theater. In Chicago’s gritty-gangster-filled-past Uptown neighborhood, it’s rumored the Aragon Ballroom basement is connected by underground tunnels to the Green Mill, prohibition bar and legendary hangout of Al Capone. Frank Sinatra, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Nirvana and more have graced these hallowed halls — today, expect still to catch big names on the marquee.
Aragon Ballroom is located at 1106 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60650.
House of Blues
The iconic House of Blues name makes its Chicago mark on the downtown riverfront. A state-of-the-art music hall, restaurant and bar with live blues nightly, House of Blues is far more than a venue for Top 100 touring bands. Chef-inspired Southern cuisine at the in-venue restaurant is made all the more authentic with weekly gospel brunches, and all performances, even the big-name ones, have an intimate and up-close feel. The venue even keeps a box of Delta Mississippi mud underneath its stage, a gesture ensuring each performer has the “spirit of the South” beneath their feet.
House of Blues is located at 329 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654.
A historic landmark and one of the hottest places to be on a weekend night, Thalia Hall is a Pilsen-neighborhood staple. Built just before the Columbian Exposition, the venue is designed in the ornamental and gilded Romanesque Revival style, creating a beautiful setting for a night of music. The theater originated as a meeting hall, then transitioned into a live entertainment and movie house destination. While there, wile away time before or after a show at the attached Dusek’s Board and Beer, punch house or tack room.
Thalia Hall is located at 1807 S Allport St, Chicago, IL 60608.
In Chicago’s uproarious Wrigleyville neighborhood is the equally uproarious Metro Chicago. With punk beginnings, the venue brought in out-of-towners to perform, such as Sonic Youth, the Ramens, The Replacements, New Order and Billy Idol — just to name a few. As the venue’s reputation expanded, so too did its impressive roster, including names like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica, Iggy Pop and more. Today, this alternative spot is still the go-to locale for independent performers and big-name tours alike.
Metro is located at 3730 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613.