Tag Archives: Chicago

The Shams Band: A July Residency at Schuba’s

With all its history of greatness, you’d figure it takes a pretty special band to book a month-long residency at Schuba’s. Local favorites The Shams Band have done just that, in support of their sophomore album, Cold City.

The festivities kicked off last night, with backing from Shovel & Rope and Jeremy David Miller, and continues next Monday, July 16.

The Shams Band, if you’re not hip to them, rock a sly mix of blues and rock, bluegrass and most important, Americana. And it works. Really well, in fact.

So go ahead and extend your weekend by a day and check them out, along with some other great bands, listed in the schedule below. (Get tickets here.)

Also check out the video below–their new single from Cold City, “I’m Not Sorry.”

Monday, July 9: w/ Shovels & Rope and Jeremy David Miller (Rambos)
Monday, July 16: w/ Derek Nelson & the Musicians and Elephant Gun
Monday, July 23: Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes and Young Jesus
Monday, July 30: Archie Powell & the Exports and Young Hines


Ticket Giveaway: Keane in Chicago, at The Vic

Keane is coming to Chicago, and you could see them for free! Fresh off their latest release, Strangeland, Keane will hit up The Vic on June 22. Earlier shows in the UK have been selling out, so it’s shaping up to be a good tour.

To enter to win your free pair of tickets, head over to our partners at Chicago’s weekly newsletter, Windy City Weekly, and sign up for the free email newsletter. That’s it!

Winners will be notified via email on Thursday, June 14.

Nab your copy of Strangeland on iTunes, and check out the video for Silenced by the Night, below. Good luck!


Ticket Giveaway Time: The Avett Brothers!

We could hardly think of a better way to spend a fall evening than with The Avett Brothers, at Chicago’s Northerly Island.

So that’s where we’re headed, on Friday September 28. And you too, if you’re chosen as the lucky winner of two free tickets to see them!

To enter to win, visit our partners at Windy City Weekly (http://windycityweekly.com) and subscribe to receive the weekly newsletter. It’s free, and awesome. If you’re already a subscriber, you’re already entered.

The winner of the two free tickets to see The Avett Brothers at Chicago’s Northerly Island will be chosen in August, and you’ll be notified via email.

Good luck!

House of Blows

pickpocketTuesday night, we strolled into House of Blues–one of my favorite music venues in Chicago. The incense-laden air. The crazy shit on the walls. The soaring balconies. The intimate space. And, of course, the acoustics. We got there a little early to enjoy it all, and to get a good spot.

As I handed over my ticket, I grumbled about the “convenience” charge. Nine dollars–50 cents under half of the cost of the ticket itself. Not really “convenient” for me. We walked in and the crowd was sparse, and there was plenty of seating around the main floor. That’s convenient. We ordered $7 beers. Not so convenient. We picked a good spot, stage right, and found a couple of stools where we could perch for the evening. But there’s a sign taped to these stools. “See Security.”

“Hi. So what’s the story with these stools?”

“Oh hello. Tonight, we’re offering these seats for $20. Or, $30 for two seats.”

“You’re kidding.”


“That’s for every seat in the building?”


What the fuck?

To recap: I paid $18.50 per ticket. Plus, a $9 “convenience” charge for each ticket. For two tickets, that’s $55–$18 of which goes toward my convenience. But you know what’s not convenient? Paying more than the cost of the ticket… to sit down. In the venue you just paid to enter. Where, I’m buying one beer for the cost of a six-pack at the store. Now really, whose convenience am I paying for, exactly?

This is like paying to enter Wrigley field, only to discover that if you want to sit in your seat–the seat you just paid for–it’s going to cost you about the same amount as what’s printed on the ticket. Otherwise, you’re required to stand next to your seat for the next three hours.

I’ve always enjoyed you, House of Blues. I’ve always respected you, and I’ve never much minded your high-priced tickets and libations because you’ve always taken care of me. You’ve always made me feel welcome, and I’ve always left satisfied, sometimes even elated. I’ve always looked forward to coming to visit.


I feel nickel-and-dimed. I feel duped. You feel cheap. And you’ve cast a toxic black cloud that stinks up the place. Once, you were special. Now, you’re conniving. Greedy. And an all-around asshole.

You blew it.

Check out Chicago’s Mandy & the Bandits

It’s that time of the year–barbecues, beers, and a game of bags. And if you’re looking for a soundtrack to your splendid afternoon, check out Mandy & the Bandits.

This Chicago group is coming off their first tour of select Southern and Midwestern states, spreading the sounds from their latest release, When Darkness Glows. You’ll find some bluegrass and country, spots of jazz, and rock and roll; all accompanied with airy vocals and executed with purposefully loose precision.

Amanda Crumley pieced together Mandy & the Bandits, forming a talented crew of seven musicians, and two special guests including Nick Ascher, who provides an effortless pedal steel. For many bands, such a large group presents problems. Mandy & the Bandits, on the other hand, thrive.

When Darkness Glows showcases Mandy & the Bandits’ versatility, and deep commitment to their own style. Country can be a tough sell around here. But having already played some of Chicago’s best venues (Martyr’s, Uncommon Ground, Jerry’s), we expect Mandy & the Bandits to keep turning heads, and tapping toes.

Have a listen below to Heartless Man.

Million Dollar Quartet Ticket Giveaway!

We’re giving away a pair of tickets* to see the smash-hit musical Million Dollar Quartet at Chicago’s Apollo Theater! To enter to win your free pair of tickets, visit our partners at Windy City Weekly and subscribe to receive the weekly e-newsletter.

One night — December 4, 1956 — four legends in the making came together and made history. Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash converged on historic Sun Records Studios in Memphis for the first and only time, while Sam Phillips recorded what came to be the Million Dollar Quartet — a once-in-a-lifetime, impromptu jam session that will never be equaled.

Million Dollar Quartet is an absolute must-see show for any music fan. The extremely talented cast tells the story of that amazing night through live performances of some of the most important songs of rock and roll’s infancy, including “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Great Balls of Fire”, and “Folsom Prison Blues.”

Enter to win now by subscribing to Windy City Weekly, and tell a friend (who you wouldn’t mind sitting next to) to increase your chances of winning!┬áThe winner will be announced in the January 12 edition of Windy City Weekly.

A big thanks to Broadway in Chicago for providing this evening of unparalleled entertainment!

*Upon winning, a voucher for two tickets to a Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday evening performance of Million Dollar Quartet will be emailed to the winner, with instructions on how to redeem. The voucher is good between January 25 – February 23, 2012, excluding February 12, 2012.