Don’t-miss picks for July 12 through July 18, 2017
1 Queen and Adam Lambert
Rock:Following a guest performance on American Idol in 2009, Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor enlisted runner-up Adam Lambert for a series of shows that gradually grew into a worldwide tour. Lambert’s no Freddie Mercury, but his expansive vocal range and glamorous stage sensibilities make for a nostalgic revisitation of the band’s hits.
7/13 at 8 p.m. $50–$777. United Center. ticketmaster.com
2 Xenia Rubinos
R&B:Part of a new wave in contemporary R&B and a clear heir to Erykah Badu, this Brooklyn singer weaves punk and noise rock into her jagged vocal tunes, which cover everything from police brutality and wage disparity to unrequited love. Catch one of America’s most dynamic new voices on her way up; next year she’s likely to be playing one of Chicago’s bank-breaking music festivals.
FREE 7/13 at 6:30 p.m. Jay Pritzker Pavilion. cityofchicago.org
3 Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil
Classical:The Grant Park Chorus travels from its usual loft in Millennium Park to the South and West Sides for twilight performances of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, one of the monuments in the repertoire of a cappella. Often referred to as Vespers, the piece ruminates on old Slavonic chants from Russian Orthodox vespers, matins, and first-hour services, twining long lines around held notes and summoning the quintessential Russian choral sound (extraordinarily bass-heavy).
FREE 7/13 and 7/18 at 7 p.m. July 13: South Shore Cultural Center; July 18: Columbus Park Refectory. gpmf.com
4 SummerDance in the Parks
Dance:The popular downtown dance party expands to Chicago’s neighborhoods on Thursdays and Saturdays, offering free dance lessons and live music. Among the eight parks participating: Humboldt, Portage, Jackson, and Ping Tom Memorial. This Thursday, it’s DJ Myron and the Majestic Gents at Washington Park Refectory.
FREE 7/13–9/14. Various venues. nightoutintheparks.com
Theater:Pegasus Theatre, a longtime champion of new works, unveils its annual smorgasbord of world premieres. This year, black women writers are center stage in a program that varies nightly, featuring storytelling duo In the Spirit, musician L11, and more. Readings, talk-backs, and panels fill out the packed schedule.
7/13–7/23. $10. Pegasus Theatre at Chicago Dramatists. pegasustheatrechicago.org
6 Pitchfork Music Festival
Festival:While other festivals scramble to stand out in a saturated market, tacking on extra days and stages to already overstuffed affairs, Pitchfork takes a subtler approach. Case in point: the new series of film screenings, dance parties, and pop-up sets scheduled throughout the city after festival hours, curated by headliner Solange Knowles. Also playing Pitchfork this year: LCD Soundsystem, A Tribe Called Quest, George Clinton, Thurston Moore, Mitski, Danny Brown, Vince Staples, and more.
7/14–7/16. $75–$365. Union Park. ticketfly.com
7 Windy City Smokeout
Festival:Chicago is home to a fair share of Southern expats, so it makes sense that barbecue gets its own festival. If you’re not a fan of pop-country from the likes of Jake Owen, Brandy Clark, and the Eli Young Band, steer clear. The food alone, however—crayfish, whole roasted hogs, and mountains of ’cue—may be worth the ticket price.
7/14–7/16. 560 W. Grand. $40–$175. windycitysmokeout.com
8 Chicago Open Air
Festival:Enjoy the not-quite-soothing sounds of Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Korn, Slayer, and many more. This one is a can’t-miss for Ozzy fans, given that his gigging days may be numbered (Black Sabbath finished what they say will be their final tour in February).
7/14–7/16. $60–$400. Toyota Park. chicagoopenair.com
Art:Once kidnapped and tortured by militia in his home country of Syria, photographer Omar Imam now lives as a refugee in Amsterdam, where he documents his and others’ struggles. Edelman Gallery pairs his work with that of Garrett O. Hansen, a Kentucky-based photographer who adorns his photos with used targets from shooting ranges, and Colleen Plumb, who photographs animals trapped in zoos.
FREE 7/14–9/1. Catherine Edelman Gallery. edelmangallery.com
10 Soulful Chicago Book Fair
Festival:Self-styled as Chicago’s only “author-centric” lit fest, the Soulful Chicago Book Fair gathers a vast collection of authors, poets, and musicians to celebrate literary achievements within the African Diaspora. Mill about the street and browse the works of dozens of authors organized by genre, or catch performances from the likes of Funkadesi and spoken word artist Joy Elan.
FREE 7/16 at 10 a.m. 61st Street between Cottage Grove and Martin Luther King Drive. soulfulchicagobookfair.com