Chicagoans are some of the luckiest music fans in the country. Not only are we home to one of the country’s biggest mainstays, Chicago has been coined as the Music Festival Capital—rightfully so. Every summer weekend, sweaty crowds gather ’round to witness great music. Here are a few must-see artists coming to town the rest of the summer.
Willis Earl Beal – Pitchfork
The one-time homeless Chicagoan, Willis Earl Beal, made quite the name for himself after his 2012 debut record, Acousmatic Sorcery. Beal’s rugged vocals and fuzzed recordings are like old-timey blues tunes. His mix of gospel, experimental, folk and blues can never be explained as modern, and that’s what makes his music so interesting. Playing a mid-afternoon set on July 13, Beal’s performance is worth skipping out of work early for.
Cloud Nothings – Pitchfork
Earning a near-perfect 4.5 ‘stache rating for their most recent release, Attack on Memory, Cloud Nothing’s raw punk-rock should not be missed live. All the fuzzy angst Dylan Baldi exudes as the band’s front man and mastermind is undoubtedly one of the best albums of the year. “Wasted Days,” a nearly nine-minute track, is a progressive lo-fi tune that encompasses all that is Cloud Nothings. Check this act while it’s still on a smaller stage.
Big Science – Wicker Park Fest
Four piece post-punk rockers, Big Science, have had a name in the local scene for a few years now and the energetic bunch is sure to put on a great show at the local fest. Their most recent release, Difficulty, is poppy enough to dance, but hard enough to rock out. The band prides themselves on their live performances, and with the killer lineup they are performing with this year, they’re going to bring it.
The Kickback – Wicker Park Fest
Originally from South Dakota, The Kickback is now based in Chicago. The four-piece indie rock outfit spent time on the road differently than any other band of their stature: creating a podcast. Diary of a Disas-tour started in December 2010 and is currently on Episode 51. But the podcast isn’t just an empty gesture, the poppy beats are an ideal match for the hot summer sun and an ice cold beer.
Kid Color – Lollapalooza/North Coast
Former SmartBar resident DJ, Kid Color, blends a funky-disco breed of electronic music that is undeniably infectious. Making his mark on two of the biggest Chi-town festivals this year, Kid Color, is quickly becoming more than just a local act. From the very beginning in 2006, Kid Color aka Kyle Woods, had a close connection with disco and never let go.