Live Music Venues Throughout Chicago Rock Every Night of the Week

The power of live music is on full display at a host of Chicago clubs, music theaters and even in restaurants. If listening to bands and vocalists show off their skills is how you like to spend an evening, you'll find that Chicago does it up right. Multiple options let you tap into the venues that 10Best readers favor, like Lincoln Hall or longtime favorites like Green Mill. While the local music scene can’t be found in one particular area, it’s not hard to find your favorite sound since hundreds of venues play live music almost every single night from blues and jazz to rock and roll and folk.

Great bands can be found playing in small, divey venues to elegant, old-world speakeasy lounges like Green Mill and Untitled Supper Club. Just outside the city’s borders, fans head to FitzGerald’s in Berwyn to hear the best in Americana and Zydeco and Evanston SPACE for its intimate experience.

Most people know the Old Town School of Folk Music for its outstanding offerings of music classes but its line up of alt-country and world music draws sold-out crowds to its elegant and acoustically appealing concert hall.

Whatever your taste in live music, you can easily find first-rate performers and a comfortable venue to enjoy it in Chicago. 

Lincoln Park


Small enough for an intimate listening experience, Lincoln Hall never feels overcrowded even when the show is a sell out. It's just a great place to enjoy a diverse line up of bands. Fans love the solid acoustics and sight lines from both the...  Read More



The 350 capacity venue is a neighborhood gathering spot where locals linger for coffee, wi-fi, snacks and beer by day and everyone comes for live music and beer by night (the bar has 56-draft lines of local, regional and international ales,...  Read More



Don't let the name of the place fool you - while it has folky performers, this excellent, intimate concert hall offers shows ranging from African music to a full Cuban salsa band (with dancing!). The venue recently hosted Steve Earle, Lucinda...  Read More



Who better to design a space to play than musicians themselves? That was the goal when creating SPACE (which stands for Society for the Preservation of Art & Culture) located just north of Chicago in Evanston. Every part of the venue, from...  Read More



Untitled Supper Club is an upscale dining and entertainment spot with a prohibition-era atmosphere. In addition to an American supper club menu, the venue boasts the country's largest collection of curated American Whiskeys (more than 550)...  Read More

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago


Trendy folks and jazz aficionados regularly flock to this cool joint. Once a hangout of Al Capone, Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson, the place has tons of character. It was also a speakeasy during Prohibition, meaning that Green Mill retains a...  Read More

Thalia Hall


Modeled after the Prague opera house and designed as a public hall for the community in 1892, Thalia Hall hosts live music practically every night of the week. The landmark space welcomes barn dance tunes to well known singer-songwriters, 80's...  Read More

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Photo courtesy of 4/09 Image emailed from CSO. - Lisa


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Symphony Center is a grand space with great acoustics and beautiful architecture. Add to that one of the country's best orchestras (they've won more Grammy Awards than any other ensemble in the world) and seeing...  Read More



The venue that the New York Times calls "a musical gem" is standing room only but even when it's packed it's a fabulous room for live music. Some of the biggest names as well as emerging artists in folk, swing, Zydeco, big band, country, blues...  Read More



Jay Pritzker Pavilion is not only an architecturally stunning venue in downtown Chicago, but it has an outstanding sound system and provides a wide variety of high-caliber concerts for free, if you sit on the lawn. The Grammy-nominated Grant...  Read More


Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky