In the 3rd largest city in the U.S… sometimes smaller & cheaper is better for exploring live music venues, here is a list of our favorite little concert halls for you to discover….
The Empty Bottle is nestled in Bucktown on Western Ave. & Thomas St. This place embodies the essence of a comfortable divey bar with a great sound quality, cheap drinks, and uncommonly friendly staff & service. The pool table, an old couch, some vintage arcade machines, whiskey specials, bathroom graffiti, and solid bands are huge pluses. In addition, Bite Cafe is part of the Bottle and serves up some unique yet savory munching options.
If you’re looking for that non-abrasive bar for a good drink and and some live music, Lilly’s Bar is the place to hit up. Wednesday evenings are ideal, FREE JAZZ and $5 Long Island Ice Teas, this joint is just a couple minutes walk from the hostel at 2515 N. Lincoln Ave. Other nights of the week Lilly’s opens its doors for live blues, funk, and rock bands as well…for cover charges that stay around $5.
Love metal, rock, or punk music? Sure you do, which is why Reggie’s Rock Club is the place to be. Shows here range from free to around 20 bucks. Some shows are all ages and some are 18 or 21 and over. Be sure to check their website for information such as pricing and age restrictions. Another reason why we enjoy Reggie’s is because of the record store adjoined to the rock club. You can find new or used vintage records at great prices. It’s about a 30 minute travel south on the CTA Red line from our hostel.
Another great venue is the Metro, located a block down from the historic Wrigley Field. The Metro opened in 1982 and has been playing all sorts of music. Although, they mainly attract alternative music such as Alkaline Trio, The Arctic Monkeys, Fall Out Boy, Interpol. This venue has a balcony that increases the venues capacity to 1100 people, making it a well sized venue. This venue also incorporates the famous Smart Bar that has decent drink specials all the time. Since the Chicago Cubs compete just a block away, anyone could have a whole day of entertainment within walking distance.
Are you looking for a smaller venue with dirt-cheap drinks, underground music, and mainly free shows? Then the Red Line Tap is your venue. You know you’re in for a unique treat when they have a quirky music line-up that can encompass bluegrass, hip-hop, jam, and alternative. Every day they have pocket change drink specials. For instance, every Wednesday they have $1 Mill High Life drafts. Now that’s a steal! This place is located in Rogers Park, which is about 30 minutes north of our hostel on the CTA Red Line.
Its difficult to not praise this place. Home to our Free Monday Blues Outing, the historic Kingston Mines proves to be one of the most enjoyable music venues in the city. The performers are not only top-knotch musicians, but most excellent entertainers as well, they will have you singing and/or grooving in no time. Swing by our front desk for a discounted pass or FREE admission on Sunday/Monday.