While you are visiting the Windy City you might want to investigate some of the famous Chicago music venues. The city is a major center for music in the Midwestern United States, although many associate it solely with Blues and Jazz.
It was the blues that provided the major influence in developing today’s Rock ‘n Roll. By the 80s and 90s those forms of music had evolved into rock, punk, and hip hop as well as alternative rock.
The Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, Liz Phair and others got their start amid the Chicago music venues. The founders of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Rage Against the Machine all grew up in Chicago, leading way for the death metal and industrial metal groups that formed in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Chicago is the most prominent music festival city in the country. Lollapalooza has been held there since 2005 and annual events include the Chicago Blues Festival, Riot Fest, and many others. There are dozens of major Chicago music venues and several hundred smaller venues for rock, blues, opera, and many other performing arts.
There are, of course, many other major rock music scenes in the country. Cleveland is home to The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. The very first rock concert was there in 1952, hosted by legendary DJ Alan Freed (who coined the term “rock ‘n roll”). The Beatles have performed in Cleveland as well as the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and nearly every major rock band that’s ever sold a gold album. It continues to draw the most popular bands from around the world.
You would not think that Memphis would be a major rock music scene but the city has been a continual influence on rock ‘n roll. Most famous performers got their start there in Beal Street recording studios. Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others who influenced the genre originally started their careers in Memphis. Tennessee has one of the country’s largest annual rock festivals, the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester.
Another major rock ‘n roll scene is Los Angeles. Name a famous contemporary rock band and at least one of their members will probably be from LA. The city has given the world timeless bands like the Beach Boys, The Doors, Guns ‘n Roses, and Maroon 5. It is the home of Capital Records, a major player that has had contracts with Pink Floyd, Queen, Radiohead, and Coldplay. There are huge musical venues scattered throughout the city.
Chicago, however, is one of the original birthplaces of rock ‘n roll and all its varied branches. Check out some of the fantastic Chicago music venues next time you visit the Windy City.