February concert calendar: 10 shows to check out


CHICAGO — Traditionally, January can be barren for live music following the holidays. Have no fear though, several great artists are coming through the city in February to get live music off to a hot start in 2023.

Here are ten of the best coming to venues small and large throughout the city.

2/2 – Fitz and the Tantrums, The Vic

You don’t need to be in your teens or 20s to start a band. Michael Fitzpatrick was 38 when he wrote his first song for Fitz and the Tantrums and they’ve been going strong ever since.

Listen in: Out Of My League

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 30: Fitz and the Tantrums perform during halftime in the Capital One Orange Bowl between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Clemson Tigers at Hard Rock Stadium on December 30, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

2/4 – Mavis Staples, Symphony Center

Chicago native and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mavis Staples tours the world but also makes sure she’s performing in her hometown.

She plays the iconic Symphony Center downtown, which opened in 1904.

Listen to her wonderful cover of the Talking Heads’ “Slippery People” below.

Listen in: Slippery People (Talking Heads cover)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 13: Mavis Staples performs onstage at the Hudson River Park Friends 2022 Gala at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on October 13, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Hudson River Park Friends)

2/6 – Jeff Rosenstock, Lincoln Hall

Longtime New York artist Jeff Rosenstock embarked on a solo career in 2012 after years playing in DIY punk bands. His solo music is a bit lighter than that, but some of the lyrics lean on the depressing side of things.

Listen in: 9/10

2/7 – Ride and The Charlatans, The Vic

The Vic is hosting one of the most interesting shows of the year with U.K. legends Ride and the Charlatans coming in for a joint-show to close the first week of February. They’re trading off the final headlining slot each night on tour.

The bands are also cashing in on a new trend lately — artists playing classic albums in full live. Ride will play 1990 classic “Nowhere” and The Charlatans are playing 1992’s “Between 10th and 11th.”

Listen in: Ride’s Vapour Trail, The Charlatans’ The Only One I Know

INDIO, CA – APRIL 10: (L-R) Musicians Andy Bell, Laurence Colbert, Mark Gardener and Steve Queralt of Ride perform onstage during day 1 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 10, 2015 in Indio, California. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images for Coachella)

2/17 – Maggie Rogers, Aragon

Maggie Rogers may have had the best day a human has ever had after Pharrell heard an early version of her hit “Alaska” while she attended New York University.

After his reaction went viral, several record labels launched a bidding war to sign Rogers. She ended up with Capitol, “Alaska” was her first official single in 2019 and the rest is history.

Listen in: Alaska

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 25: Maggie Rogers performs during Sir Lucian Grainge’s 2020 Artist Showcase Presented By Citi and Lenovo at Milk Studios on January 25, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Arnold Turner/Getty Images for Universal Music Group)

2/17 – Tove Lo, The Salt Shed

One labeled as “the world’s most brutally honest pop star,” Swedish artist Tove Lo has been going strong since her biggest hit “Habits (Stay High)” came out ten years ago.

She plays The Salt Shed, which debuted last year at the old Morton Salt factory and moves indoors and outdoors in 2023.

Listen in: Habits (Stay High)

BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA – JULY 23: Tove Lo performs during Splendour in the Grass 2017 on July 23, 2017 in Byron Bay, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

2/18 – Vance Joy, The Chicago Theatre

The world may not know of Vance Joy if he stuck to his original career path — an Australian Rules Football player (Down Under’s version of American football). Yet after realizing he may not become a superstar athlete, Joy pivoted to his acoustic guitar.

Check out his first hit that launched him into stardom below, “Riptide.”

Listen in: Riptide

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 24: Vance Joy performs during Music From The Home Front at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on April 24, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

2/22 – SZA, United Center

SZA only has two albums and is selling out the United Center in just over a month. Her 2017 debut “Ctrl” was heralded as an instant classic and even appears on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

SZA would have made George Costanza proud by studying marine biology in college.

Listen in: Drew Barrymore

VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA – APRIL 27: SZA performs onstage at SOMETHING IN THE WATER – Day 2 on April 27, 2019 in Virginia Beach City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Something in the Water)

2/24,25 – The Beths, Thalia Hall

When you think of New Zealand, Lorde my come to mind but not indie garage rock. Enter The Beths, who have been chipping away for nearly a decade.

Listen in: Future Me Hates Me

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – NOVEMBER 15: The Beths perform at the Aotearoa Music Awards at Spark Arena on November 15, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

2/26 – Talib Kweli, City Winery

While he is one of the best producers and rappers of the last 30 years, Talib Kweli’s collaboration with Mos Def as Black Star may be one of the most underrated musical duos off all time.

Marvel at these effortless verses between the two below. He’s also doing an underrated live music move by playing a double bill at City Winery (6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

Listen in: Black Star’s Re:Definition

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 22: Talib Kweli performs onstage during OZY FEST 2017 Presented By at Rumsey Playfield on July 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Ozy Fusion Fest 2017)

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