I don’t usually preview the street festivals in Chicago. There are a bunch of reasons why, but two big ones are: Not all of the people that read this site are from Chicago, so why would they care. The other one is that there are SO MANY street festivals in this city! At least four or five every weekend in the summer. That’s great, but sometimes it’s tough to know which ones to go to. Do Division is a great one, Taste Of Lincoln and Ribfest have been good the past couple years, and Taste Of Randolph is certainly one of the best.
This year there is an amazing lineup of musical talent that I wanted to just alert those that may be in the area over the next few days that this shouldn’t be missed.
Friday June 15th
The evening kicks off fast and furious at 6 with Those Darlins.
The real treat comes at the 8:30 slot on the West Stage as Los Campesinos! bring their dance-y Welsh jams back to the states. I’m on record as saying I didn’t think Hello Sadness lived up to the potential that Romance Is Boring promised, but it’s still a fun record to throw on. I will be missing this set, unfortunately, as I have tickets to see Aziz Ansari on Friday night.
Saturday June 16th
A couple really good Chicago bands play during the day, with Unicycle Loves You kicking the tires and lighting the fires at 1pm on the West Stage. Later, at 6:00 Right Now brings some sultry soul to what will already be a sizzling day on the East Stage, while over on the West, Empires takes the stage at 6:15 to show why they’re one of Chicago’s most popular rock bands. And the capper for the night is Mr. Black Crowes himself, Chris Robinson, on the West Stage with his new band The Chris Robinson Brotherhood. I imagine they probably play a lot of songs about how being married to Kate Hudson is like a really terrible romantic comedy, but I’ve seen The Black Crowes perform, and Robinson can bring the goods. If the band backing him up is any good, this should be a great night. Hopefully it won’t be too hot to handle.
Sunday June 17th
For Father’s Day the festival decided to make all dad’s happy by having one of my favorite Chicago acts close out the fest with the 8:30 slot. Ezra Furman currently sits atop my Top Ten Albums of 2012 list with his debut solo LP, and last year along with The Harpoons he put out another fine record called Mysterious Power. I’ve seen him a couple times, and his show is raw and powerful. He’s got some competition, though, because at 8 over on the West Stage America’s favorite bar band The Hold Steady will be rocking the night away.
Here’s some Furman from SxSw
And to be fair, some Hold Steady, also from SxSw
Early day picks for Sunday are Santah at 1 on the East Stage and Hollows at 5:30 on the West.