Don’t-miss picks for July 26 through August 1, 2017
1 Chic and Earth, Wind & Fire
Disco:Chic’s bandleader, Nile Rodgers, was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—an accomplishment for any artist, let alone a black producer of disco, a genre that for years was reviled in rock circles. Today, Rodgers’s influence is palpable in the music of performers from Daft Punk to Pharrell Williams to Bruno Mars. This rare live show should traverse Chic’s long career, offering something for fanatics and casual listeners alike.
7/26 at 8 p.m. $40–$125. United Center. ticketmaster.com
2 Kendrick Lamar
Hip-Hop:Without a doubt, 2017 is Kendrick Lamar’s year. The Compton rapper dropped his third major label album, Damn., in April, and the stunning collection of songs put him squarely back in the spotlight he occupied with 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly, his indictment of racism in America. On Damn., Lamar turns his gaze inward, to his family, his faith, and the anxieties that come with being a generation’s biggest rapper.
7/27 at 7:30 p.m. $105–$400. United Center. ticketmaster.com
3 Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!
Podcast:The beloved and Chicago-based NPR quiz show heads to Millennium Park for a special edition live show.
FREE 7/27 at 7 p.m. Jay Pritzker Pavilion. millenniumpark.org
4 The Newberry Book Fair
Books:Indulge your inner bookworm, whether that bookworm craves cheap Harlequin romance, award-winning contemporary fiction, or anything between. Chances are you’ll find it here—Chicago’s largest used book sale features more than 120,000 titles in dozens of categories, including movies and records.
FREE 7/27–30. 60 W. Walton. newberry.org
5 Fiesta del Sol
Festival:Celebrate Latino culture and social change with this massive four-day block-party-turned-festival, which is alcohol-free and family-friendly. Catch performances from Cumbia and Mexican regional artists, browse through educational booths, and grab your choice of food from more than two dozen local vendors.
FREE 7/27–30. 1400 W. Cermak, between Ashland and Morgan. fiestadelsol.org
6 Chicago Dance Crash
Dance:Each summer, this company “crashes” hip-hop and contemporary dance together in an evening-length narrative. This year’s show, The Bricklayers of Oz, dreamed up by lyricist Al Tamper, choreographer Jessica Deahr, and producer Mark Hackman, is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, about the laborers who laid the yellow brick road.
7/28–8/5. $15–$25. Ruth Page Center for the Arts. chicagodancecrash.com
7 Second Annual Chicago Poetry Block Party
Poetry:The Poetry Foundation, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and Crescendo Literary join forces for this day-long celebration of poetry. Start with a running tour of Pilsen’s murals led by graffiti historian Miguel Aguilar, then head over to the block party, which includes writing workshops and performances by Eve Ewing and Nate Marshall.
FREE 7/29. 19th Street and Wolcott Avenue. nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org
8 Cap’n Jazz, Hop Along
Rock:The all-around legendary emo act, active from 1989 to 1995, plays its first local show in seven years (the band reunited for a brief stint in 2010). Plan to arrive early, and not just for stellar openers Hop Along: The first-come-first served show is guaranteed to hit capacity.
FREE 7/29 at 7 p.m. House of Vans Chicago. vans.com
9 Grant Park Music Festival
Classical:The Grant Park Orchestra opens this program with the globetrotting pianist Stephen Hough playing Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The orchestra alone follows with 20th-century Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály’s Dances of Galánta and then marries themes from the first two pieces in three of Brahms’s Hungarian Dances.
FREE 7/26 at 6:30 p.m. Jay Pritzker Pavilion. gpmf.com
10 Wicker Park Fest
Festival:Chalk it up to the neighborhood’s identity as a cultural hub: Wicker Park Fest typically sports one of the more diverse, impressive lineups of Chicago’s street festivals. This year, that means a healthy blend of hip-hop (Doomtree) and indie rock (Guided by Voices, Jeff the Brotherhood) turning Damen Avenue into a beacon for music lovers of all stripes.
7/29–30. $10 donation. North and Milwaukee. wickerparkbucktown.com