Concert venue countdown

Celia Skaggs, Blogger

It’s no secret Chicago has one of the best music scenes in the country. However, it can sometimes be hard to navigate. With a seemingly endless list of bars, clubs and theaters, Chicago has great venues for every concertgoer’s needs. Yet in my time at Northwestern, I’ve found a few of these venues stand out more than others. Here’s a countdown of my five favorite concert venues in the Chicago area:

5. Evanston SPACE: For a chill concert experience any day of the week, check out Evanston SPACE. Located on Chicago Avenue near Dempster, SPACE offers concerts almost every night of the week, so if you’re looking to experience live music on a school night, SPACE has you covered. This quarter, SPACE will welcome well-known artists such as Kris Allen and Jon McLaughlin. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a fun way to experience a show right here in Evanston.

4. House of Blues Chicago: If you’re looking to have a romantic and musical night on the town, the House of Blues is the venue for you.  Grab dinner with your friends or a date before a show at the restaurant located in the same space as the concert hall. The venue is also right by the river in the heart of downtown Chicago, making it a great spot for an urban romantic stroll under the moonlight.

3. Metro Chicago: Chicago has undoubtedly produced some of the most popular and successful artists in music today, but the best place to catch them before they go big is definitely Metro Chicago. Metro has been an important part of the Wrigleyville scene since the 1980s, and it has set the stage for the rise of bands such as Kings of Leon and Yeasayer. This month, Kimbra and JD McPherson will grace the Metro Chicago stage. It remains a fantastic place to see great artists before they take on the national scene.

2. Congress Theater: In the next few months, A$AP Rocky, Afrojack and Matt & Kim will perform at the Congress Theater in downtown Chicago, my pick for the best variety venue in the area. The theater has shows fit for every taste and the building itself is visually stunning. The downside is students must spend a decent amount of time on public transportation in order to reach the venue, so figuring out how to get there ahead of time is important. That said, the Congress is one of my personal favorite concert venues in Chicago and I’m super excited to head down there for a show soon.

1. Riviera Theatre: I love going to concerts and during my time at NU, I haven’t found a better all-around venue than the Riviera Theatre for a number of reasons. First, the proximity to campus makes it a convenient destination for those wishing to experience the Chicago concert scene without getting too far away from home. The Riviera is easily accessible for students traveling from campus because it’s located right down the street from the Lawrence stop on the Red Line. Second, the venue itself provides both balcony seating and standing room on the floor, which allows concertgoers to recline and enjoy the show from a distance or get their party on in the pit. And last but not least, the Riviera puts on some of the coolest concerts in the Chicago area. It has previously played host to the NU A&O Ball and this fall will welcome some of the biggest upcoming acts in music, including Fun., GROUPLOVE and Of Monsters and Men. I’m already planning on attending as many of these shows as I can, so I hope I’ll see some fellow Wildcats in the crowd at the Riviera this fall.

— Celia Skaggs