4 Spots to Experience Chicago’s Live Music Scene

Chicago has long been fertile ground for blues, jazz, gospel, hip hop, punk, metal — and everything in between. Here's a look at four concierges' top spots to get a taste of Chicago's live music scene.

Kingston Mines
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John Dillon, Concierge, Langham Chicago

At the end of October, utilize your chance to see Nine Inch Nails at the Aragon Ballroom. The historic Aragon is nearly 100 years old and is designed to look like a Spanish Village on the inside. This particular show is something of an anomaly in today’s electronic world. Patrons had to line up and purchase physical tickets. Of course the resale market is alive and well, so ask your friendly neighborhood concierge to assist.

Judson Corrie, Chef Concierge, Waldorf Astoria

Kingston Mines is my tried and true option for live Chicago Blues in a gritty, authentic haunt perfect for tourists, locals, and musicians alike. With two stages for you to see two live bands in one night it isn’t uncommon to be running back and forth from room to room. You can witness Nellie “Tiger” Travis leave her heart on the stage with her powerhouse vocals and have your face melted by Joanna Connor’s guitar shredding in the next room all in one night.

Ramón Antonio Gómez, Chef Concierge, The Gwen

For live music, sans pretense, I love Martyrs’. For its relatively small size, this North Center favorite has played host to a laundry list of artists whose next trip to Chicago was a much, much bigger venue (i.e. Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, etc.). In other words, this place has made a habit of bringing in musicians who are on the verge of blowing up. The sound quality is superb and their drink selections offer something for everyone.

Fred Eberle, Concierge, Alta at K Station

Founded by Chicago Blues legend Buddy Guy, Buddy Guy’s Legends has hosted everyone from Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan to David Bowie and Lou Rawls. Today, local and national touring Blues players grace the stage every night. Needless to say, the music is always fantastic and you never know who will be in the audience. I once saw Mick Jagger there! It’s a live music “must do”, especially for fans of the genre.