This Ridiculous Weekend Of Music In Chicago


We still have a lot of time before Lollapalooza brings some of the biggest acts in music to our fair city, but festival season is already well underway. It kicked off with the Do Division Fest last weekend, and tonight the city takes it up a notch with Ribfest.

I don’t know who the person was who came up with the idea of plotting festival around music, drinks, and ribs, but they deserve some kind of genius award. The only problem I have with this festival is that it’s way up on the north side. It may as well be in Evanston! But I went last year and the lineup is great again this time.

Not only does it start with a rib eating contest featuring “world eating champion” Joey Chestnut, but Chicago’s own billion-piece rock n roll marching band/gypsy army Mucca Pazza is headlining the Chicago Reader stage at 8pm. If you’re looking for a good time, that act is tough to beat.

The fun continues tomorrow night with California Wives headlining the Bud Light stage at 7:45 and Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit over on the Reader stage at 9. I haven’t seen California Wives live since 2010, but they recently opened for Stars across the US, so I’m sure they’re even better now.

Sunday night presents the best bang for your buck. At 745 on the Reader stage Bobby Bare jr will delight with his country-tinged rock. At 9 We Were Promised Jetpacks close out the festival! I’ve been a fan of theirs since about 2008 and its great to have them back here in Chicago. They seem to pop up around these neighborhood festivals pretty often, but every show is a can’t-miss event.

Don’t like listening to music while standing in the sun eating a half-rack and paying $8 for a beer? No problem! Chicago’s indoor music venues also have a lot to offer this weekend. A veritable smorgasbord of talent awaits music fans of all genres.

Tonight: Archie Powell & The Exports play Schubas, Rachael Yamagata hits Lincoln Hall, and Baths gets Metro groovin’ and swayin’.

Saturday: Recent winner of the Red Eye’s Rock N Vote contest Michelle McGuire will be playing at Beat Kitchen, The Uncluded (Kimya Dawson & Aesop Rock) are at Old Town School
of Folk Music, Glee’s Darren Criss performs at House Of Blues, bring your dancin shoes to Bottom Lounge for !!!, and local psych rockers Secret Colours celebrate their record release at Empty Bottle.

Sunday: Glen Hansard plays a sold out solo show at Metro, hardcore punk legends Black Flag will be at Reggie’s Rock Club, and 60’s icon (or coattail rider depending on who you ask) Joan Baez will play the Ravinia Festival.