Looking to get your live event fix? Chicago concerts and comedy are making a comeback. Many of the city’s most famed venues are opening back up, offering performances from the city’s best and brightest performers alongside national and touring acts.
The city has fully reopened without mandatory capacity limits, though some venues may have social distancing, masking, or vaccination requirements. Check with individual venues before heading out.
Check out where to catch live music, comedy, drag shows, and more in Chicago right now.
Live music in Chicago
The Bassment: Enter through a hidden door into this lounge/venue that will take you to a different era — in a good way. You can catch one of the in-house bands Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m, with reservations required for entry.
The Promontory: This popular Hyde Park haunt is back in action, with a full line-up of musical acts. Catch drag, R&B, afro fusion, jazz tributes, and more.
Tack Room: Located on the same property as Thalia Hall in Pilsen, Tack Room aims to bring approachable music to the neighborhood through its sidewalk patio and piano bar setup. Whether you know the words to every song or not doesn’t matter, as you’ll be having plenty of fun enjoying the ambiance and sipping specialty cocktails.
Blue Chicago: Blue Chicago is an intimate venue that has been welcoming audiences for over 35 years. The River North spot is reopening with a few acts on the schedule, so head that way if you want to see some incredibly talented blues musicians up close.
Bottom Lounge: Not many venues in the city host as wide an array of artists as Bottom Lounge. They’re set to resume live shows in late July with a sold-out All Time Low set. Keep in mind: most shows at Bottom Lounge are all ages or seventeen and over, which is great for young concertgoers, but maybe not quite the scene for a more mature crowd.
Hideout: Anyone looking for an iconic Chicago venue that’s a bit off the beaten path need look no further than the Hideout. It’s not a place for people who need something fancy; but it’s home to those who don’t need much beyond friends and great music. Most shows are still happening on the patio.
Kingston Mines: This legendary blues venue in Lincoln Park has recently reopened for the first time in a year. Grab your tickets for two stages of live music in one of the oldest clubs in town.
Martyrs’: Born out of a gritty but good-hearted spirt from which it gets its name, Martyrs’ near North Center has earned its place on the list of great Chicago venues. Many events on the patio are free admission, with music starting early. More ticketed events are scheduled for later in the year.
Sleeping Village: Located in the Avondale neighborhood, Sleeping Village is an amazing space whether you’re catching live music or just grabbing a drink. It’s always worth seeing who’s playing on $1 beer night, where you can discover some great bands for an easy-to-swallow price.
Radius: As one of the premier venues on the southwest side of the city, you want to be within this Radius in Pilsen if you’re looking to turn up. With some big upcoming names, including Tyga and Wiz Khalifa, Radius is great place to celebrate the city’s reopening.
Concord Music Hall: Few venues on the northwest side of the city have the capacity of Concord Music Hall. They’ve just announced several new concerts for the summer, with many already selling fast. Check out some of the exciting names on their calendar.
Metro: Right in the heart of a Wrigleyville neighborhood eponymous with sports, you’ll find one of the most storied stages in the whole city. Whether you’re looking to see a big name or a local favorite, Metro continues to be an integral piece of the Chicago music scene.
Hungry Brain: For 20 years, Hungry Brain has been showcasing some of the most progressive jazz and improvisational music in the city. It has expanded to other genres as well, but has followed its tradition of pushing boundaries. Now that Hungry Brain has reopened its doors, you can experience what this special venue has to offer for yourself.
Kaiser Tiger: With live music by Marty Sammon and Rick King in the beer garden every Wednesday evening, Kaiser Tiger offers a great place to hang in the West Loop. You can make a reservation for a table of up to six ahead of time.
Carol’s Pub: A long-time establishment for live country and western music, Carol’s Pub is open and ready for all you yee-hawers. Stop into this one-of-a-kind dive in Uptown for late-night shenanigans and live country music.
Rosa’s Lounge: Rosa’s is back with an awesome lineup of blues music. You can stream events from home, or reserve an in-person table for up to six people. This storied locale in Logan Square is one of the great places to catch blues in the city.
Jazz Showcase: The Jazz Showcase is a staple for seeing some of the best touring jazz acts right in the South Loop. You can now make reservations for their reopening weekend, April 1, for sets Thursday through Sunday nights.
Constellation: Offering a wide range of performance-based arts, especially jazz, experimental, and contemporary classical music, Constellation is a preeminent space for boundary-pushing material. They’re currently hosting live streamed performances, with tickets on sale for limited in-person shows.
The Green Mill: The Green Mill is a Chicago institution. This Uptown jazz club has been around for ages, and is back to hosting live music throughout the week from 8 p.m. to midnight. There are no reservations and they only accept cash. Come as you are and you won’t be disappointed!
Andy’s Jazz Club
Epiphany Center for the Arts: An eclectic performing arts space in a historic church, the Epiphany Center for the Arts is hosting socially distanced shows. Newly restored, the terra cotta facade and stained-glass windows make it one of the most unique places to catch a show in Chicago. Don’t miss their intimate candlelight series.
Reggies: In the South Loop, Reggies has been a staple of the Chicago entertainment scene for as long as most people can remember. They’re starting to get back into the swing of things with a variety of events on their main stage and rooftop space, including music, trivia, and comedy.
Lincoln Hall: There are few mid-sized live music venues in the city that do a better job than Lincoln Hall. The sound quality is so good, it’s easy to forget you’re not at home listening through high-fidelity headphones. Check out some of the upcoming shows on their schedule or tune into a live-streamed session from home.
Andy’s Jazz Club: The respected jazz institution in River North will be open Thursday through Sunday. There will be live music nightly, with two shows a night on Fridays and Saturdays. Make your reservations beforehand.
Live comedy, drag shows, and more
Zanies: Everyone could use some laughs right now. If you’re looking for a place to see some comedy, Zanies is a top choice. They’re taking strong precautions for the safety of patrons, such as temperature checks, spacing tables farther apart, requiring masks for all, and instituting a no cash policy.
Laugh Factory: The Laugh Factory in Lakeview is one of the most popular comedy joints in the city. The upcoming schedule includes weekends packed with local and touring comedians. Grab your tickets online, capacity is limited.
The Second City
The Second City: This legendary comedy club, known for working with the industry’s biggest stars, is back. The limited-capacity shows will be a mix of sketch, improv, and fan-favorite material.
Kit Kat Lounge: You won’t want to miss the divas at Kit Kat Lounge. You can catch them at the Northalsted/Boystown location for indoor and outdoor dinner Tuesday through Sunday, and for Divalicious Brunch on weekends.
Baton Show Lounge: The show goes on at Baton Show Lounge in Uptown. The iconic entertainment destination is offering outdoor and indoor performances Thursday through Sunday, with showtimes at 7 p.m., 9 p.m., and 11 p.m.
Lips Drag Dining: Meet all the talented ladies of Lips during this drag dining experience. The queens embody top celebrities from Cher to Taylor Swift to Nicki Minaj and more. The schedule changes throughout the week, with events like Las Vegas showgirls and boozy gospel brunch.