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.
Lollapalooza, the popular multi-day music festival, is being held in Chicago’s Grant Park this year between August 1-3. Founded by Perry Ferrell of Jane’s Addiction in 1991 as a traveling concert to showcase up and coming bands as well as established musicians, Lollapalooza has attracted attendees from all over the world.
This year you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite bands including Outcast, Eminem, Kings of Leon, Metallica, Foster the People, Zedd, Flostradamus, Lorde, Broken Bells, Nonono, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Cash Cash, Papa, Jungle, and more. You’ll see bands you never heard of but wish you had and maybe even some you didn’t like at first but whose performance might very well change your mind.
While you enjoy the music don’t forget about the free water stations, shade and cooling areas, as well as other features you’ll appreciate. When your stomach starts complaining head over to Chow Town; curator Graham Elliot, one of Chicago’s favorite chefs, presents an annual lineup of the most popular restaurants in the Windy City. This year’s vendors have not been announced but there were over 30 eating establishments represented in 2013 including Burrito Beach, Goose Island Brewpub, Grahamwich (serving lobster corn dogs), Tuscany on Taylor, Tiparos Restaurant, and Rock ‘n Roll Noodle Company.
You can stroll through the farmer’s market for fresh, hand made tamales and other tasty treats while you browse the organic produce and artisan products. Need a hat or sunglasses? Green Street sells eco-responsible products like hats, sunglasses, unique posters, and much more. You can store your purchases as well as personal items in lockers that are available for concert attendees.
As for taking your kids with you, Lollapalooza admits all children under the age of 10 at no charge. Kids will enjoy Kidapalooza, a safe and secure area where they can hear family friendly music, create their own music and art, make crafts and much more.
If you want to see more of Chicago you might like to visit the Chicago Cultural Center that offers performing arts, films, lectures, and art exhibitions. The Lincoln Park Zoo’s main park is free of charge and you can see beautiful landscaping and animals. The North Avenue Beach is the perfect place for a picnic and a swim and also offers free WiFi. Navy Pier’s Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows offers astounding workmanship in glass from 1870 to the present and admission is free. Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden should be on your list as well as the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium. Or float nearly 1400 feet above the city on the transparent Skydeck that hangs from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. The Underground Pedway system is also a unique experience you won’t soon forget.
All in all, Lollapalooza is three days of pure pleasure!
Check out some of the goings on from last year! Looks like fun.