Are you usually a coach potato in the winter, headed home right after work because it’s dark outside, it’s cold outside, and, let’s face it, that electric blanket and bowl of potato chips sound awfully tempting? Well, use this new year to break the habit and shake up your routine!
ZED451, a River North hot spot, is offering a new Acoustic Line-Up every Wednesday night, beginning on January 11th. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., a select musician will grace ZED451’s cozy Fireside Lounge. And the best part about it: no cover charge!
So come early for dinner (ZED451 has a unique menu that pairs up the soup, salad, and bread and cheese offerings on their communal Seasonal Harvest Tables with an unlimited sampling of meat, fish, and more served tableside) or come later exclusively for house-infused spirits and a large wine menu, smaller bites off the Cravings menu (we recommend the Spiced Chicken Samosas or the Pad Thai Tacos), and the live music, of course.
Blackstone Renaissance concierge Amanda Cooper gives us the low down on where you can skate in the sky (yes, really), take in some of the city’s best live country music and where to find the most extensive collection of athletic head-wear in town.
Tags: Amanda Cooper Concierge Picks, blackstone hotel, Blackstone Renaissance, Chicago Sports, Country Music Chicago, Ice Skating Chicago, Joe's Bar, John Hancock Observatory, live music, Loop Shopping, New Era Flagship Store, Skating in the Sky, Weed Street, What to do in Chicago
The orchestra and the a capella group Rockapella will be performing on Wednesday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (50 E. Congress Pkwy.). They will be performing new takes on old classic Christmas songs, and also play some original music. The audience can sing along to a few songs, and Santa Claus will even be there.
The Boston Pops are possibly the country’s most famous orchestra, performing outdoor concerts throughout the year, over 100 albums, and appearances in 44 states. Keith Lockhart has been their conductor since 1995, and he has conducted over 1,200 concerts, and has led 38 new programs and 33 national tours.
Rockapella is a pop vocal group that does 80 concerts a year and has performed worldwide. As their title hints, they sing a capella, and use no instruments.
Let’s be honest with each other: we all know you sing in the shower. Standing there, belting out some of Madonna’s greatest hits (and, to be fair, some of Britney’s too), we even know you contemplate trying out for the next season of American Idol or practice accepting your first Grammy award. But the fantasy ends when the water stops running, right? Wrong.
Back by popular demand, Rockit Wrigley (3700 N. Clark) is helping make your sing-along dreams come true, rock n’ roll style. Every Friday night, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., you can rock your favorite tune on Rockit’s stage, while your friends sit back, enjoy the late-night food and drink menu and take pictures to honor your talent forever. And maybe, after some drink specials—$4 Bud Light pints, $5 Hornito Tequila shots, $6 UV Vodka cocktails—your pals will be ready to join you in the spotlight center stage…right in the middle of the dining room!
And to introduce you to your screaming fans, Rockit is bringing in special hosts, including American’s Next Top Model’s Sarah VonderHaar and American Idol’s Aly Jados (both Chicago natives!). More special guests will be announced soon for August and the rest of the year.
So if you’ve exhausted the song books at your other favorite Chicago-karaoke haunts, or are just looking to stretch your vocal wings (in a place with an audience that isn’t made up of shampoo bottles and a shower curtain), we know you’ll be up on stage at Rockit Wrigley on Friday nights. Break a leg, friends.
To learn more about the event, or to just make sure they have your go-to song, call 773-645-4400 or visit their website and get ready to karaoke in Chicago at Rockit Wrigley.
Though Chicago’s famous Shedd Aquarium may have all of the Stingrays, Freshwater Rays, Cownose Rays, and Mangrove Whiptail Rays that you could possibly imagine, the Lincoln Park Zoo will have a special kind of ray on its grounds this week: Sugar Ray.
The well-known ‘90s pop rock band will headline the newest segment of the summer concert series—Jammin’ at the Zoo—this Friday, July 22 at 7 p.m. Mark McGrath and his band will treat listeners to favorite hits that (warning!) may induce a bit of pre-millennium nostalgia: “Fly”, “Every Morning” and “When It’s Over”. Sugar Ray will be joined by indie rock band Bronze Radio Return.
Guests are encouraged to come early to check out the various animal exhibits—new this summer? A baby White-Cheeked Gibbon, Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth, and European White Stork!—before grabbing their blanket and spreading out on the zoo’s sprawling South Lawn. Gates will open at 6 p.m. and food and beverage will be available for purchase once in the zoo.
Purchase tickets ahead of time (the last concert, with OneRepublic, was sold out!) for $23 by calling the box office or purchasing online here (lpzoo.org). Tickets can also be bought at the gate for $28, if still available when Friday rolls around.
Can’t make it out to this show? The final installment of Jammin’ at the Zoo will be held on August 26 with Colbie Caillat.
Jammin’ at the Zoo is sponsored by 101.9 The MIX, United Airlines and Pepsi and all proceeds from the concert will support the programs and animals at Lincoln Park Zoo, and help keep it free and open every day of the year.
For questions about the event or to purchase tickets, contact the Lincoln Park Zoo box office at 312-742-2283.
The Pitchfork Music Festival is a three-day celebration of over 40 of music’s most renowned indie bands, including headliners Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes and TV on the Radio. Bands and artists will take over three stages in Union Park on July 15-17 from 12 to 10 p.m.
For $45 per day (compare with Lollapalooza’s $90!), concert-goers will be treated to an unbeatable musical line-up, over 50 unique food and merchandise vendors and other various outdoor activities.
And though Pitchfork Music Festival attracts over 50,000 fans to the city, it does its part in giving back to the community by showcasing local businesses, supporting the local economy and promoting the Chicago arts community as a whole. The fest also strives to be as ecofriendly as possible in a big city by encouraging attendees to ride bikes to the event, rather than drive.
So if you’re just a hipster just passing through town or if you have been counting down the days to the indie-rock festival or if you just can’t wait until August (read: until Lollapalooza), you know where you need to be this weekend.
To check out the full lineup or buy tickets, head to the festival’s website.
If you’re a bit worn out from smoky grills, barbecued food and booming fireworks, head on over to Benny’s Chop House for an evening of refreshing drinks and soothing music.
Beginning on Friday, July 8, international entertainer and singing sensation Greta Pope will be serenading diners every Friday of the month from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. in the North Lounge with everything from lively Brazilian to operatic tunes. While sipping on some of the world’s most eclectic wine selections at one of Chicago’s most sophisticated gathering spots, guests can experience a musical trip around the globe as Pope performs in various languages, such as Italian, Portuguese, Yiddish and even Gypsy.
With Paul Coscino on piano, the two-time winner of the International Music Festival is no stranger to the spotlight, previously sharing the stage with notables like Dick Van Dyke, Ramsey Lewis and more.
And when Pope is resting her pipes, she is an author, motivational speaker and radio show producer, with her own show: Jazz and More!…with Greta Pope. “We are thrilled that the extremely talented Greta has chosen to join us,” said Benny’s Chop House director of operations, Mitchell Schmieding. For more information, please call (312) 626-2444 or visit Benny’s Chop House.
As if you needed an excuse to indulge in delicious margaritas, fajitas, guacamole and more. Cinco de Mayo is here and all three of Zapatista’s Chicago-area locations are celebrating in style, offering plenty of freebies in addition to a great lineup of live entertainment. Here’s a look at what’s in store – whether you’re on the North Shore or in the South Loop, a traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration is just around the corner.
Luchadores (the term for a Mexican wrestler) will take their lucha libre identities outside the ring as they head to Zapatista Lincoln Park (444 W. Fullerton Pkwy., 773-525-4100) on Wednesday, May 4 to sign autographs and pose for photos with patrons. Sponsored by el Jimador Tequila, there will be plenty of tequila and a t-shirt giveaway at 8 p.m. On Cinco de Mayo, Herradura Tequila presents Mariachi Oro y Plata who will be performing live at 8:30 p.m.
Zapatista’s South Loop location (1307 S. Wabash Ave., 312-386-7221) will feature live music with Son del Viento and an art display from Son Jarocho from Veracruz Mexico.
Zapatista Northbrook (922 Willow Rd., 847-559-0939) will be offering their regular menu in addition to live music by Hermanas Cuevas and $4 Dos Equis drafts all day long.
On Tuesday, March 8, the Hard Rock Café at the corner of Clark and Ontario will be celebrating Mardi Gras with a benefit concert supporting the new, feature-length documentary ‘Let There Be Life.’
This event, which aims to raise awareness for organ donation, will exude glamour with a red carpet for celebrities and VIP arrivals. There will be a meet-and-greet with the director and subjects of the film, a silent auction of donated goods, services and memorabilia; and so much more that will make it a night to remember. It will also have the fun of a traditional New Orleans celebration, with the Hard Rock dishing out complimentary New Orleans fare and drinks.
The entertainment lineup is incredible, featuring the Backstreet Blues Band, the BS Brass Band, Funkadesi and special guests like Grammy Award winning spoken word artist Malik Yusef. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on the documentary website: www.lettherebelifedocumentary.com
Chicago has had plenty of famous blues names, and a lot of big-time blues clubs – but only one famous name who is also a big-time club. Buddy Guy began carving his legend in the rough-and-tumble 50s, and when his records started appearing in the 60s, his aggressive guitar virtuosity quickly captured the attention of fledgling rock guitarists; Eric Clapton later said that “Buddy Guy was to me what Elvis was for others,” adding that his “total freedom of spirit . . . really changed the course of rock-and-roll blues.”
All of that has contributed to Guy having won five GRAMMY awards – with another nomination this year – and to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. But none of it has taken him out of Chicago, where Guy ensured his place on the nightlife scene by establishing his club, the funky and inviting Buddy Guy’s Legends, in 1989. (The club moved to its current and grander location at 700 S. Wabash in 2010.) While the club offers a full schedule of local and visiting artists, Guy also uses it as his occasional home base.
This month it’s been more than “occasional,” however: Guy has been appearing every week, Thursday through Sunday, in a string of sold-out shows which extend to month’s end. In fact, tickets ($50) remain for only three of Guy’s performances, which will be his last Chicago dates until spring. Sunday (Jan. 23), Guy hits at 9 PM, following a 7:30 opener from Larry McCray. The following Wednesday and Thursday (Jan. 26-27), the Legend starts at 10:30, with supporting acts starting at 9. And by the following weekend, it’s all sold out once again.