Chicago is perhaps best known for two traits: cold-as-hell winters and music-packed summers. As it looks like we can finally pack away our snow boots for a few months, it’s high time Chicago kicks off its summer vacation with that live music we’ve been waiting all year for.
The Summer Concert Series at The John Hancock Center’s outdoor plaza is that springboard into summer music.
Music Dealers teamed up with leading real estate company HEARN to host the second annual free Summer Concert Series, featuring the hottest local acts from our global independent artist community. Catering to music fans of all ages and of all tastes, two hand-selected artists will perform every Thursday night from 5pm to 7pm for 11 weeks until September 10th.
The Summer Concert Series kicks off next week on Thursday, June 18! Peep the lineup below and check out this playlist of some of our favorite songs by these rising Chicago artists.
2015 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES SCHEDULE
Thursday June 18
5pm: Fue Fue (pronounced “few”), an alternative indie rock/pop band conceived in 2009, blends the power of modern alt while capturing ears through the intense emotional vocals of lead singer Joanna Rutzky.
6pm: Crow Moses
Crow Moses walks the line between Indie-Blues and Urban Americana, while borrowing elements of Experimental Folk and broken-down Orchestral music.
Thursday June 25
5pm: Draft Week Draft Week’s unique sound encompasses elements of alternative, grunge, rock, emo, and even traces of pop.
6pm: Carbon Tigers
Carbon Tiger features a lush, atmospheric, and reverb-ridden sound and will be releasing a full-length record this year!
Thursday July 9
5pm: The Evening Attraction
The Evening Attraction is a four-piece Indie Rock and Roll band whose songs are written to stand the test of time with swinging beats, excitingly catchy melodies, and a rock and roll drive.
The Hemmingbirds, an indie, rock pop band, has been included on CMJ’s Top 200, and picked by Indie Rock Cafe as a band to watch.
Thursday July 16
5pm: Tall Walker
Citing influences like early U2 and Tame Impala, as well as Fleetwood Mac and Death Cab For Cutie, Tall Walker has created an EP that walks the line of indie rock and unadulterated pop music.
6pm: North by North
North by North’s sound has been meticulously crafted to feature the juxtaposition of infectious melodies, haunting lyrics, and bombastic live instrumentation.
Thursday July 23
5pm: Mike Golden & Friends
Chicago band Mike Golden & Friends have been called genre-bending, industrial indie, an artist that needs to be heard, and an inspiring and extraordinary talent by some of the biggest names in rock and hip hop today.
Self-described as Sweaty Blue-Eyed Soul music for the hungry at heart. Lead singer Avi Dell’s has a romantically charged style that naturally accompanies polished lyrics with the raw energy of the band.
Thursday July 30
Santah is an indie rock band hailing from Chicago. The group formed while attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
At Zaramela’s foundation is a tight blues rock/pop rhythm section. On top of that base sits an equally versatile, powerfully soulful horn section, and a lead vocalist adept at jazz, rock, pop and hip hop lending to a sound that is unlike any other.
Thursday August 6
Living in the Windy City has given RAURA new perspective and has empowered a new sense of self-discovery. With total creative freedom, her soon-to-be-released EP will prove to be the most significant collection of songs she has ever unveiled.
6pm: The Way Down Wanderers
Fast-emerging Midwestern Americana act, The Way Down Wanderers, draw in audiences with soulful generosity, soaring instrumentals, lively harmony vocals, and foot-stomping sing-alongs.
Thursday August 13
5pm: Lance Lipinsky & the Lovers
Lance Lipinsky, with his Chicago based group “the Lovers”, take on a modern evolution of a timeless throwback style combining such sounds as Rockabilly, classic Country, and 60’s pop in a pumpin’ piano unforgettable live concert.
6pm: Todd Kessler and The New Folk
Todd Kessler was a Season 3 contestant on NBC’s hit show, The Voice. Music legend Blake Shelton has said “The upper, upper echelon of male vocalists, [Kessler] could have a record deal tomorrow.”
Thursday August 20
5pm: The Lulabelles
Five-piece folk band, The Lulabelles are making emotional, heartfelt, and genuinely passionate music that resonates deeply with all audiences. With a diverse line-up of incredible musicians and instruments, this band has focused on writing meaningful songs with true substance, catchy hooks and clever lyrics.
5pm: The Ivorys
Through influences ranging from The Stooges and The Rolling Stones, to The Strokes, The White Stripes, and Arctic Monkeys, there is no doubt that this power trio developed a retro but catchy sound that is sure to enrapture your interest in more ways than one.
Thursday August 27
5pm: North By North
Their sound has been meticulously crafted to feature the juxtaposition of infectious melodies, haunting lyrics, and bombastic live instrumentation, all of which have been lauded by audiences and critics throughout the U.S.
6pm: Jamie Lono
Jamie Lono is a rocker turned blue-eyed soul singer/songwriter who has faced a turbulent musical journey with a smile and turns out feel-good music as a result. Along the way, he’s received praise from the likes of Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Rolling Stone, Yahoo! Music, Entertainment Weekly, and others.
Thursday September 10
Njomza is an Albanian-American up-and-coming artist from the Chicago area. She was discovered by Mac Miller’s team via YouTube and later signed to his label, REMember Music. Currently, Njomza has been touring the United States and working on her upcoming album.
Music Dealers Founder & President Eric Sheinkop says, “Following last year’s huge success, we’re delighted to continue our partnership with HEARN and celebrate the very best homegrown musical talent. Music is at the heart of every Chicagoan and our free Summer Concert Series not only provides local bands with live performance revenue but also a fantastic stage to share their music with new fans.”
Stephen Hearn, President & CEO of HEARN says, “As owners on Michigan Avenue, lovers of music and patrons of the arts, we want to do our part and provide unique experiences to residents, tenants, shop owners, and visitors to our great city. We look forward to another great summer filled with music and fun in our plaza.”