10 Must See Concerts of Summer 2017

It’s no secret that there’s great live music around every corner in Chicago. And when summertime comes, the level of talent in the city only increases with the amazing acts that tour through the city. That’s why we’ve got your go-to list of acts you gotta see this summer, right here!

Aretha Franklin
Date: Saturday, June 17th

Where: Ravinia

Tickets Start At: $38

The Queen of Soul may be retiring, but she is headed back to Chicago once again, and that is something you can’t miss. We all have “hearing “Respect” sung live” on our bucket lists, and here’s our chance to cross it off! While the tickets don’t come super cheap, it’s hard to put a price on witnessing the 75 year-old living piece of music history perform right in front of you. 

Feist
Date: Wed./Thurs.,  June 14 & 15th
Where: Vic Theater

Tickets Start At: $45

Leslie “Feist” is back in Chicago for a two-night stint at the Vic Theater, which means you have double the odds of snagging a ticket. Feist delivers an etherial indie pop performance that only a truly talented singer-songwriters can. Her new album, Pleasure, is out April 28th, so you can be sure that you’ll hear her latest songs. Fingers crossed her shows will be as good as her performance on Sesame Street

Hurray for the Riff Raff + Matthew Santos
Date: Thursday, June 22nd
Where: Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion

Tickets Start At: $0

Concerts in Millennium Park are nice, but this summer the shows have upped their game! Make sure you catch self-taught singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra front Hurray for the Riff Raff. Enjoy traditional folk/country melodies sung by the young and talented front woman. The show will open with local grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, Matthew Santos who won’t disappoint. The best part of all? All this talent is a part of FREE show!

Big Thief + Overcoats

Date: Monday, July 1st

Where: Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion

Tickets Start At: $0

Start July off with some fun! Catch Folk-rockers Big Thief in Millennium Park. The quartet calls Brooklyn home, but will be stopping by Chicago to grace us with singer Adrianne Lenker’s haunting and beautiful vocals. Opening for Big Thief is New York electro-soul duo the Overcoats. If you caught Caroline Smith’s show at Lincoln Hall in January, you saw these harmonious females open for her. This is yet another FREE show, so don’t miss it!

Summerfest 2017

Tickets Start At: $13

Where: Summerfest Grounds, Milwaukee

While Summerfest in general has an amazing 11-day lineup this year, there are a few days you should really make the trip up to Milwaukee. Check out the amazing artists both old and new, that you can see at the ground stages of Summerfest:

Date: Saturday, July 1st

Who You Can See: Bleachers, Blues Traveler, John Waite, The Naked & Famous, The Last Bandoleros, Tonic, Shinedown, and Collective Soul

Date: Sunday, July 2nd

Who You Can See: Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Ziggy Marley, Car Seat Headrest, Big Theif (again!), Dreamers, and The Bright Light Social Hour

Date: Friday, July 7th

Who You Can See: Huey Lewis & The News, Michelle Branch, Ben Rector, Vinyl Theatre, Los Lonely Boys, and Walk The Moon

Date: Sunday, July, 9th

Who You Can See: The Shins, Walk Off The Earth, Mondo Cozmo, Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and Blackberry Smoke

The Beach Boys & The Temptations
Date: Sunday, July 2nd
Where: Ravinia
Tickets Start At: $33

Wouldn’t it be nice to see The Beach Boys and The Temptations together, (pun intended)? Well it’s happening people. Whether you’re a baby boomer or a twenty-something, this show is a must for any true music fan. We could list out artists that have been influenced by these two groundbreaking acts, but we’d get carpal tunnel before we’d finish. Even with lawn seats, you can walk away with a once in a lifetime experience, so why not?

Queen & Adam Lambert
Date: July 13th
Where: United Center
Tickets Start At: $50

They did it once, and now they’re doing it again. The living legends that are Queen will be rocking the United Center again with vocal powerhouse Adam Lambert at centerstage. Though Freddie Mercury is irreplaceable, Adam Lambert puts his own goosebump-giving twists on Queen classics. Don’t pass up your chance to see the legend himself, astrophysicist Dr. Brian May thrash on his guitar with the rest of Queen. Once you’re there, sit back, and let them blow your mind to pieces.

The Mountain Goats
Date: Monday, July 3rd
Where: Empty Bottle
Tickets Start At: $31

This summer indie rock band The Mountain Goats are playing a venue that is no stranger to XRT. The band first played the Empty Bottle back in 1994, and will mark their 7th show there! The group, fronted by the serious but witty John Darnielle, tend to have full instrumentation on stage for their live performances. Next month, their 16th studio album, Goths, will be released on May 19th, so don’t miss your chance to miss some new and old tunes from the North Carolina-based band.

LCD Soundsystem: Day 1 of Pitchfork
Date: Friday, July 14th
Where: Union Park
Tickets Start At: $175

Day one of Pitchfork will be quite an opening. Headliner LCD Soundsystem will be a show to see without a doubt. James Murphy still hasn’t lost his edge after all these years, and that’s what audiences are still left saying every time they catch an LCD show.  This one is a must-see, and while you’re there, you’ll be able to catch other acts, like the Dirty Projectors, and the Thurston Moore Group! The two-day pass is currently on sale for $175.

Margaret Glaspy
Date: Wednesday, July 27th
Where: Lincoln Hall
Tickets Start At: $20

Who isn’t a big fan of Margaret Glaspy? She’s back in Chicago this summer for what is sure to be another phenomenal show, at Lincoln Hall. The edgy singer-songwriter from California is a must-see live act. Her ability to perform so intensely and with attitude while delivering such personal lyrics, is something that you gotta witness in person! This summer is your chance, so grab yourself a bargain of a ticket.

More from Alex Restrepo
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