If you're new to Chicagoland, you'll quickly learn that the area has some of the best places to take in a musical performance and prides itself on attracting some of the top artists in the world. The following four live music venues, in particular, virtually guarantee a satisfying experience regardless of who takes center stage:
Located just north of Wrigley Field, The Metro has hosted Prince, Nirvana and James Brown. It also proudly introduced two bands that went on to achieve major musical success: The Smashing Pumpkins in 1988 and REM in 1982. With a just-right capacity of 1,150 seats, you're assured to have a good view from stage-side, the main floor, or the balcony.
Reggie's can feel a bit crowded, but try asking anyone if they notice while a hard-driving hip-hop, punk, rock, or metal band dominates center stage. Reggie's has become another go-to venue that has developed a loyal following for its ability to spot talent—look no further than Rockie Fresh and Chance the Rapper. So even if you don't recognize a name on the bill, it might be only a matter of time before the star performer lands a spot in Reggie's upstairs music shop.
If a cozier musical venue gets your feet stomping, you'll probably make a beeline for Schuba's Tavern. With only 200 seats in the music room, this family venture is known for hosting up-and-coming musical talent—both mainstream and indie—before word spreads and the groups move on to its sister venue, Lincoln Hall. The tavern's comfy confines are enhanced by compelling comfort food.
If symphonies don't suit your musical speed, don't let that keep you from visiting Symphony Center. It hosts a wide range of music beyond classical, including jazz, pop, bluegrass and country. The center is well worth visiting for the sheer joy of experiencing an acoustically perfect music venue, and it's well worth visiting again to see how the experience can change from the vantage point of the main floor, box seats, and lower and upper balconies.
What are your favorite live music venues in Chicagoland? Let us know in the comments below.