Show writeups by Keegan Goudie and Peter Hahn. That’s what the little initials stand for.
We’re technically cheating and posting this before it’s actually 2016, but things aren’t as simple when January 1st also happens to be a national holiday.
Better yet, a national holiday that isn’t made up bullshit.
Anyway, other than getting that weird feeling of writing the new year on the top of our papers (what’s up 2nd grade), 2016’s arrival also signifies Chicago concerts coming out of their two-week holiday slumber.
Aside from a stacked two-day lineup at Reaction NYE, the concert front was relatively quiet to close out 2015. But by mid-January, things will be back to normal.
The month’s slate includes a rock legend, an already sold out rap show, and plenty of rising or established names in the various genres of electronic music.
Per usual, our “must-see” Chicago concerts are all the ones we’ll be attending, and the ones we would be at if the world was perfect.
1/9 – DJ Mustard @ The Mid
Another artist that’s coming off of a notable showing at Lollapalooza 2015, producer DJ Mustard is a sure-fire bet for a damn great time. One of the co-producers behind Big Sean’s “I Don’t Fuck With You,” Mustard has watched countless productions climb the charts over the past few years. And based on personal experience, he knows how to perform outside of the studio as well.
1/13 – Muse & X Ambassadors @ United Center
So yeah, you probably know who Muse is. The ultra-popular progressive rock band behind hits “Madness,” “Uprising,” and “Starlight” released their seventh album Drones in June – which made Rolling Stone’s Top 50 albums of the year.
Expect Muse to play most of Drones as well as all their old hits for what should be a lively crowd at the UC. Especially with their opener, X Ambassadors, being quite popular themselves thanks to hits like “Renegades” and “Jungle.”
General admission tickets are sold out, but regular seats are still available.
1/15 – Laidback Luke @ The Mid
The veteran DJ is touring in support of his album Focus from last month, which has yet to blow up but looks to have at least one hit in “Let It Go.”
Worst case, Laidback Luke plays most of his jam singles like “Turbulence,” “Leave The World Behind,” and “Show Me Love” in what should be a fun Friday night show at The Mid.
The first tier of GA tickets are sold out, but two tiers are still left.
1/16 – G-Eazy & A$AP Ferg @ Aragon Ballroom
This superstar pair of hip-hop names will take over Aragon Ballroom on January 16th. G-Eazy is coming off of a fire performance at Lollapalooza, and A$AP Ferg’s most recent appearance to Chicago was an opening performance for Skrillex at Navy Pier. In the fall, it was A$AP Rocky and Tyler, the Creator’s show that we insisted all rap adorers should attend, but this winter it’s G-Eazy and A$AP Ferg.
Tickets are sold out, but if you can fork up the dough, that usually means it will be worth it.
1/19 – Bruce Springsteen @ United Center
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen. The Boss. An American Hero.
Whatever you call him, Bruce Springsteen and his trusty E Street Band will be at the United Center to evoke your patriotic feels on a chilly Tuesday night.
Springsteen’s current tour is in support of his renowned fifth album, The River. You’ll be paying no less than $100 to get in the door, but that should come as no surprise. It’s the goddamn Boss we’re talking about.
Plus, you know moms all over Chicago bought up those tickets right away.
1/21 – Savoy @ Concord Music Hall
I was pretty jacked to see Savoy on Concord Hall’s docket for January, as their show at Pygmalion Festival in Champaign was phenomenal and Concord is Chicago’s ideal venue for the electronic rock trio.
Intimate and loud, Savoy’s aggressive and unique sound – featuring live drums and guitar – should play perfectly in Concord. And their song from earlier this year, “Leaving You,” is an absolute jam.
General admission tickets are only $18 too.
1/22 – Borgeous/Morgan Page @ Concord Music Hall
Just like Savoy, Borgeous and Morgan Page get the benefit of playing their duo show in an ideal atmosphere at Concord.
I saw Jamie xx there earlier this year, and any show that relies on volume/doesn’t have a massive mainstream following should be at Concord. The veteran DJ Borgeous definitely relies on volume, and Morgan Page’s well-known light show should be awesome in the cozy hall.
GA tickets are still available and just $30.
1/23 – The Knocks @ Lincoln Hall
The first time we saw the Knocks, they were opening for RAC at Concord Music Hall. Now taking on their own headlining performance, this indie-electro pop duo from Chinatown will show why The Knocks are a name to keep an ear out for in 2016. Although it won’t hold the same-sized crowd as their show last November, Lincoln Hall should provide a more majestic and fitting setting for these modern age rockers.
1/23 – Kygo @ Navy Pier
Yeah, I don’t have to do much selling on this one. It’s Kygo at Navy Pier.
But seriously, a casual appearance by Kygo is a hell of a way to wrap up Chicago concerts in January. Although his show at Lollapalooza got cut short (and wasn’t live), we expect a much more in-depth performance from the 24-year-old rising star. Hopefully, he plays his remix of Marvin Gaye’s anthem “Sexual Healing,” because it’s fantastic.
Either way, if you haven’t seen him before, it’s worth paying up the $88 on StubHub. It ain’t gonna be any cheaper next time he’s in Chicago.