Thalia Hall illustration
Illustrations: John Kenzie

Thalia Hall

1807 S. Allport St., Pilsen
Despite the increasing number of people in plaid here, this towering South Side hot spot boasts artists ranging from Grammy winners to blogger-approved pop singers.

Capacity: 1,100
Average ticket price: $25
The crowd: Discerning—everyone from college profs to Pitchfork devotees
Best of the bill: Cecile McLorin Salvant


The Promontory illustration

The Promontory

5311 S. Lake Park Ave. W., Hyde Park
The neighborhood’s first new music venue in half a century celebrates the city’s long-standing history of jazz, blues, and soul. A lineup featuring Roy Ayers and Stanley Clarke is a good start.

Capacity: 400
Average ticket price: $35
The crowd: A mix of ’70s-soul lifers and University of Chicago hipsters
Best of the bill: Otis Clay on October 4


Concord Music Hall illustration

Concord Music Hall

2047 N. Milwaukee Ave., Logan Square
This electronic-heavy North Side behemoth is Chicago’s rowdiest new venue, as evidenced by its bass-induced ceiling collapse back in February. Rage at your own risk.

Capacity: 300 to 1,500
Average ticket price: $20
The crowd: Neon-clad 20-somethings
Best of the bill: La Roux on October 1