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14 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 3, 2017 5:11PM

Photo courtesy of West Fest

It's our nation's birthday week. Celebrate with fireworks and more of our favorite events for the week.


BUCKINGHAM MCVIE: They’re both strong songwriters of Fleetwood Mac fame, but Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie just put out their first collaboration album this year. And now They’re on the road touring with their new material (and we’d bet a few classic Fleetwood Mac tunes), making a Chicago stop at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Tickets start at $30.

LITERARY INDIE ROCK: The Mountain Goats write intricate pop that mixes sophisticated but playful musical arrangements with leader John Darnielle's literary wordplay and melodic lyrical delivery. The band's latest album Goths deals with just what you think it would—goths. But it's done so in a way that humanizes icons from that scene, placing them in everyday situations, and somehow making them focal points that anyone could conceivably relate to. A song with a title like "Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds" could easily have been played as a one-note joke, but Darnielle and crew use it as an entry point to explore a mind-space that is sweetly melancholic, and could capture the emotion of anyone's return home after a long journey. The Mountain Goats play The Empty Bottle as part of the clubs anniversary #EB25 concert series on Monday night.

MOVIE MONDAY: While the Millennium Park movie night takes the week off, take the elevator up to ROOF on theWit for another free movie night. Fantastic Beasts is this week’s feature beginning at dusk. Popcorn included.


Image via Navy Pier's Facebook page.

FIREWORKS: Navy Pier is ground zero for fireworks viewing on the Fourth of July. The usual show gets an upgrade for the Independence holiday with bigger booms and a longer show. For VIP viewing and a live DJ, buy advance tickets for $30 for Freedom Fest on Navy Pier’s rooftop. 9:30 p.m. Free.

HISTORIC CELEBRATION: The Chicago History Museum hosts their 58th Annual Fourth of July Celebration from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be a keynote address from Cook County state’s attorney Kimberly M. Foxx and fun for the little ones with face painting, patriotic crafts, a juggler and a children’s parade led by the World’s Tallest Uncle Sam. Museum admission is free to Illinois residents all day.


Image via Taste of Chicago's Facebook page.

TASTE OF CHICAGO: The Taste. It’s legendary in Chicago. The downtown festival showcases the best eats that Chicago restaurants have to offer, but it's more than just food. There’s dance performances, cultural experiences, family programming and a live music lineup that rivals any music fest in town. This year has Alessia Cara, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Passion Pit and The O’Jays all performing at Petrillo Music Shell. Taste of Chicago runs July 5 to 9. Admission to Taste of Chicago is free, but tickets for the seating area at the Petrillo Music Shell start at $19.

WINE TASTING: Play "Sommelier for a Day" with the experts at III Forks from 5 to 7 p.m. Sample six French wines and vote for the featured wine for the month. Hors d'oeuvres will also be served. Tickets are $20. To RSVP, call 312-938-4303.


HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC: Take a glimpse inside the life of a legendary rock critic at Steppenwolf’s run of “How to be a Rock Critic.” Named after an article that Lester Bangs himself wrote, the one-man play chronicles his life using his own adapted words, from traveling with bands like The Clash to his overdose death in 1982. Each show is followed by performances from local musicians either playing Bang’s favorites or music influenced by his work. Tickets are $30.

LET'S GET CRAZY: The first time I saw A Giant Dog, I thought they were joking. The songs were so over-the-top energetic and frontwoman Sabrina Ellis was so all over the stage I figured this had to be a parody of an out of control rock show. And then I realized it actually was an out of control rock show! I had grown so used to people pantomiming the moves expected from rawk that when the real thing was happening right in front of me, it took a minute to actually register. Last year's Pile was a garage-glam-pop shredder of an LP, and Toy—out at the end of August—adds a dollop of polish to the chaos to create a balance between the band's more anarchic tendencies and their honest internal struggle to create things that are pretty and beguile the ears. If you want to see one of the best live shows of this summer, then don't miss the band when A Giant Dog plays The Empty Bottle on Thursday night.

ZOO NIGHT OUT: Lincoln Park Zoo hosts their monthly after-hours Adults Night Out this Thursday from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Stroll from cash bar to animal exhibit without the usual crowds. Tickets are $15.


RUIDO FEST: Ruido Fest is two years old and going strong as Pilsen’s Latin Alternative Music Festival. This year’s headliners at Adams/Medill Park this weekend include Cultura Profetica, Molotov and Intocable. The popular Bomba Estéreo also perform. Keep the party going after each day of the three-day fest with after-parties at Cobra Lounge. Tickets are $149 for a three-day pass. Single day tickets start at $94.

WEST FEST: Could West Fest have the best street fest lineup this summer? We certainly think so, with bands like local rockers Local H, punk disco-funk group ESG, and “'90s-style indie guitar revivalists” Speedy Ortiz topping the bill. And that’s not even counting Cymbals Eat Guitars, Woods, Durand Jones & The Indications or Har Mar Superstar. Sounds like rock and roll fans in the city have their weekend plans set. Admission is a $5 gate donation benefitting The West Town Chamber of Commerce.

Image via Square Roots's Facebook page.

SQUARE ROOTS: Square Roots has everything a street fest should: music, food and beer. The Craft Brew & Music Festival in Lincoln Square shows off some of the neighborhood’s culinary options over three days, plus brews from more than 30 regional craft brewers. The festival is also arm in arm with Old Town School of Folk Music, celebrating their 60th anniversary with performances and programming for the whole family. Entry is a $10 suggested donation supporting Old Town School of Folk Music and Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber programs.

IRISH FEST: It’s time again for the weekend-long Irish Fest benefitting the Irish American Heritage Center. The weekend festival is packed with Irish culture including Irish and American food and drink, cultural exhibits, children’s activities and artisans. They’ve also got a huge music lineup featuring Gaelic Storm, We Banjo 3, Michael McDermott and many more. Tickets are $10 until July 5 and $15 thereafter. Children 12 and under are free.