Fall Culture Guide

Ten Must-See Concerts

On our list of can’t-miss music shows: Cat Power, The XX, Grimes, and Ninety Miles and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and more

Ninety Miles and Gonzalo Rubalcaba

1. Ninety Miles and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Symphony Center
In 2010, three jazz virtuosos traveled to Cuba to make a landmark recording. Their Cuban-American collaboration, Ninety Miles, inspired an album, a documentary, and now a tour. The pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba kicks off this terrific night of Latin jazz. 220 S. Michigan Ave., cso.org. Nov. 30

2. Cat Power, Riviera Theatre
Chan Marshall–a.k.a. Cat Power–sounds stronger than ever on Sun, a mix of soulful melody and rock, her first release in six years. Marshall has a reputation for erratic concert behavior, so this show could be a train wreck or a triumph over adversity. Here’s hoping for the latter. 4746 N. Racine Ave., jamusa.com. Oct. 28

3. The King’s Men, United Center
Four gospel greats in the city that elevated the genre to an art: Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin, and Israel Houghton team up, putting their ecstatic singing to a mix of old-school holy rolling with funk, R&B, and dance music. 1901 W. Madison St., ticketmaster.com. Oct. 10

4. Perfume Genius, Logan Square Auditorium
Under the moniker Perfume Genius, the Seattle solo artist Mike Hadreas creates brooding piano ballads that will break every heart in this intimate room. 2539 N. Kedzie Ave., emptybottle.com. Oct. 3

5. Kurt Elling, City Winery
He cut his considerable chops during his many years in Chicago; now based in New York, the jazz baritone is back with songs from 1619 Broadway, his new album. 1200 W. Randolph St., citywinery.com/chicago. Oct. 21 and 22

6. Grimes, Metro
The Vancouver native (née Claire Boucher) is a Tumblr princess and cyberpop star who culls influences from hip-hop, house, and electronica. Her rise in popularity has been nearly meteoric; catch her while she still exudes underdog charm. 3730 N. Clark St., metrochicago.com. Oct. 23

7. Rockie Fresh, Metro
This local artist’s blend of alt rock and soulful hip-hop–delivered with a Cali-smooth style–had the major labels vying to sign him before he even put out an album (he went with Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group). This is his homecoming show after months of touring–and, at $15, a bargain. Oct. 20

8. The XX, Congress Theater
Back with their sophomore effort, Coexist, this moody British alt-rock duo always create a stir. 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., venue.congresschicago.com. Oct. 20

9. Jeff the Brotherhood, House of Blues
Their lyrics don’t stray much beyond six-packs and girls. But these brothers are first-rate musicians, and their fist-pumping garage sound will fill every inch of the House of Blues. 329 N. Dearborn St., livenation.com. Nov. 19

10. Smashing Pumpkins, Allstate Arena
Admit it. Oceania is the band’s best album since the 1990s. Corgan may be the only original member left–but he’s best when he has something to prove. 6920 Mannheim Rd., Rosemont, ticketmaster.com. Oct. 19

Share

Advertisement

Submit your comment

Comments are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, abuse, and irrelevancies.

Note: To serve its readers better, Chicago has migrated its comments to Disqus, a popular commenting platform. Please feel free to contact us with any feedback.