Live Cochlea Tickling Venues
Chicago is not only full of great live music, but also great venues. Exploring Chicago’s plethora of music venues is a never ending task, but here are a few suggestions to get started. Look for more suggestions on the blog in the future, and feel free to flag down one of the Mentor’s to ask where they like to go for cochlea tickling satisfaction.
The Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Ave.
The “Bottle” is a mainstay of Chicago’s indie scene, located just south of the Wicker Park neighborhood, that hosts live music seven nights a week. It is a stomping grounds for local bands that also hosts nationally touring acts. Tickets are usually available at the door, but they do sometimes sell out, so reserving tickets through the Empty Bottle web site is a good idea. Admission is reasonable, usually under ten dollars, and grants you standing room wherever you can find it. The sound system is good, and the Bottle’s small size means that every view of the stage is a good view. Arrive early to get in a game of pool in the front room, stay late and enjoy a tasty brew at the bar.
Check out the Empty Bottle Web site for more…
The Velvet Lounge
67 E. Cermak Road
In the South Loop you can find the Velvet Lounge, a must for Jazz fans. It was opened in 1982 by tenor sax legend Fred Anderson, who still graces the stage for late night sessions. Sunday night jam sessions feature young up-and-comers, and Tuesday through Saturday nights feature some of the best Jazz Chicago has to offer. The cover on Sunday is a steal at $5, weeknight covers are usually around $10, Friday and Saturday nights are closer to $20. Grab a cocktail at the bar, take a seat, and settle in for a night of awesome Jazz that tends to lean towards the experimental. Performances usually feature two sets, the first starting around nine. Be prepared for the second set to continue to fill your ears with Chicago’s finest Jazz until well past midnight.
Check out the Velvet Lounge web site for more…
7401 S. Chicago Ave.
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to go north of Hyde Park to get to great music venues! Fight the northern flight and head south to Lee’s Unleaded, my favorite blue’s joint in Chicago. Owner Stanley Davis runs a tight ship as he MC’s the night from his perch at the end of the bar, keys player Johnny Drummer keeps the blues flowing until the early morning hours, and house diva Brown Sugar keeps the crowd alive and on their feet all the way through her final number. Be ready for a full night of great Chicago Blues! On Friday and Saturday nights this small corner venue is usually packed tight with a well dressed crowd, so make sure to put on some sharp duds. There usually is no cover, just a two drink minimum, and the music doesn’t get started until at least 9pm. Street parking is available close to the door where the doorman will keep an eye on your vehicle (a helpful service in this location).
Lee’s Unleaded does not have a website, but here is a review to check out…