To me, July is really the iconic month of summer. Everyone is out of school (yes, even including you weird college kids on trimester/quarter schedules), the weather is always gorgeous, and there’s never a shortage of things to do. From the weekend BBQs, to sailing on Lake Michigan, to the Fourth of July firework show at Navy Pier, no other city does July like Chicago. I don’t know about you guys, but July always seems to be the busiest month of the summer for me. So if you have some downtime in-between your hectic July schedule, there are a bunch of great musical acts to check out this July.
Whether you’re into rock, alternative, hip-hop, pop, or country, I guarantee there is a musical act that you will want to catch during the month of July. Some musical acts to consider seeing include: Lupe Fiasco at the House of Blues on July 1, Moe at House of Blues on July 2, Train with The Fray and Matt Nathanson at First Midwest Bank Amphitheater on July 3, Steve Miller Band at Ravinia on July 10, Aretha Franklin at Ravinia on July 10, Jason Aldean at First Midwest Bank Amphitheater on July 17, Milky Chance at the Aragon Ballroom on July 24, and many others.
And if those artist aren’t “mainstream” enough for you, the top artist of the year, Taylor Swift is performing at Soldier Field on July 18 for her 1988 world tour. Vance Joy and Shawn Mendes join her on stage as her openers. I’m not a huge Taylor Swift fan, but damn she makes some catchy tunes. If I could afford to go, I would because I’m sure her show is going to be filled with sparkly outfits, perfectly choreographed dance moves, maybe some fireworks, and images of TSwift’s cats. Basically, why wouldn’t you go?
And if you don’t want to limit yourself to just one musical act in one day, there’s a plethora of music festivals during the month of July. The first festival in July is the Taste of Chicago, a four day festival celebrating everything involving food. In addition to tasty eats from vendors from around the city, you can check out the awesome acts that close out each night of the festival. This year, Weezer, Erykah Badu, The Chieftains, Spoon, Maze ft Frankie Beverly, and many more are to perform. Taste of Chicago runs from July 8 to July 12 and is held in Grant Park. For all you beach bums, I highly recommend checking out Mamby on the Beach. From July 11 to July 12 at Oakwood Beach, you can check out artists such as Passion Pit, Empire of the Sun, Phantogram, Röyskopp, James Murphy and more. If you’re going to be at the beach all day anyway, you might as well enjoy some great music. If you’re a huge Chance the Rapper fan like me, go check out Pitchfork Music Festival which runs from July 17 to July 19 at Union Park. Other headliners include, Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, Mac Demarco, and Vic Mensa. I hope to see all you there. And lastly, the god of all music festivals, Lollapalooza, will close out the month of July. From July 31 to August 2, the up and coming, the current, and the legends will play at Grant Park. The notable headliners include: Paul McCartney, Metallica, Florence and the Machine, Sam Smith, Bassnectar, the Weeknd, Alt J, Alabama Shakes, Of Monsters and Men, Kaskade, Alesso, and A$AP Rocky. That list is less than a quarter of the line up, and the rest is just as amazing. For those of you who can afford Lollapalooza, hats off to you, I’m very jealous.
If you have spare time to kill during the month of July, and some spare change to spend, Chicago has no shortage of musical acts and I most definitely think you should take advantage of them.
Liz Byrom (PlaylistHQ Intern)