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The best things to do in Chicago this month,
selected by our culture criticsMay 2016

Music
Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop

Whitney
Whitney Photo: Ryan Lowry

ELLIE GOULDING

5/6 at 7 Goulding built her name on danceable pop songs, but her latest release, Delirium, is a quiet departure. Its singles are catchy as ever, but beneath Goulding’s glitz is a new, digestible sorrow. $35–$60. Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim, Rosemont. allstatearena.com

THE KILLS

5/23 at 8 After a long hiatus pursuing solo projects, Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince return with Ash & Ice, the Kills’ synth-rocky fifth studio album. Its lead single, “Doing It to Death,” invokes the years Mosshart spent in the Dead Weather, a bluesy side project with Jack White, but the track is as slinky, sexy, and gothic as anything the band has penned. $30. Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. jamusa.com

GARY NUMAN

5/15–17 For decades, Gary Numan has walked the line between electronic and industrial music. In a residency tour sure to happen only once, Numan will perform three beloved albums (Replicas, The Pleasure Principle, and Telekon) over three nights. $71–$150. Metro, 3730 N. Clark. metrochicago.com

PALMS TRAX

5/6 at 10 The UK-bred, Berlin-based DJ makes a rare appearance in the United States as part of the Dekmantel Showcase. Expect a set spanning his vast career, plus selections from his latest EP, High Point on Low Ground, released in January. $15–$20. Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark. smartbarchicago.com

SPEEDY ORTIZ

5/19 at 8:30 Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis could save modern rock. Foil Deer, her band’s critically acclaimed 2015 album, proved Speedy’s staying power with noisy guitars, catchy hooks, and grungy undertones, more or less torpedoing today’s sedate indie-rock norm. $16–$20. Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport. thaliahallchicago.com

 

TORTOISE

5/10 at 9 The Chicago-based experimental band went nearly seven years without releasing a record, but little has changed sonically. Tortoise’s genre-smashing postrock bedecks its January release, The Catastrophist, a jazzy, electronic record that grew from a City of Chicago commission. $21. Metro, 3730 N. Clark. metrochicago.com

 

WHITNEY

5/10 at 8:30 This rising group is a who’s who of Chicago’s indie-rock scene, including former members of Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Smith Westerns. See “Smith Westerns Reborn as Whitney After Year in the Dumps.” $22–$25. Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport. thaliahallchicago.com

YUNA

5/6 at 9 The Malaysian singer returns to Chicago behind her third album, Chapters. The LP, out later this month, promises a duet with R&B singer Usher as well as the same delicately constructed rock and R&B that made Yuna an international star. $18–$20. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln. lh-st.com

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