Chicago’s Must-See Concerts This Week: Dec 2-12

From punk rock to indie-pop

Esperanza Spalding; Credit: Carmen Daneshmandi

Winter may be upon us, but these concerts are sure to heat up the forecast here in Chicago this week. From punk rock and indie-pop to a star-studded lineup in an architecturally stunning chapel, these are some of the can’t-miss concerts to check out this week.

Parquet Courts
Punk rockers Parquet Courts are adding some funk in their step with a new album, Wide Awake! Produced by Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, the band’s fifth album explores social consciousness through the influence of ‘80s punk. The result is an aggressively groovy rock record that makes you want to dance in solidarity.
Details: December 3, 7:30 p.m. at The Vic Theater; $28.50

Parquet Courts; Credit: Ebru Yildiz

Alternative R&B duo AlunaGeorge are back with a new EP, Champagne Eyes. London natives Aluna Francis and producer George Reid put a fresh spin on the genre with their blend of soul and electronic. Celebrate the women of the #MeToo movement on “Famous” and question the futility of love with “Superior Emotion.”
Details: December 3, 8 p.m. at Bottom Lounge; $25

Esperanza Spalding
Bass prodigy and artist extraordinaire Esperanza Spalding returns to Chicago to promote her latest project, 12 Little Spells. The experimental pop songs are each inspired by a different body part, and they explore how music and the body interact. After releasing one song and video from the album per day on social media, Spalding’s 12 new spells will weave their magic on a theatrical 12-city tour, naturally.
Details: December 5, 8 p.m. at The Vic Theater; $35-50

Nearly two decades after forming, Canadian indie-pop powerhouse Stars continues to release new music. After releasing There is No Love in Fluorescent Light last year, the band has peppered 2018 with new tracks like “Ship to Shore,” “One Day Left” and “Are You with Me?”, produced by fellow Broken Social Scene member Kevin Drewe. In partnership with Plus 1, $1 from every ticket goes towards providing indigenous women and their children a safe and supportive environment through the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal.
Details: December 5, 9 p.m. at Metro; $27-30


Sunni Colón
LA native Sunni Colón hits Chop Shop as part of the Majestic Casual showcase. The self-taught singer-songwriter spins out immersive sensory art installations as well as ‘70s-influenced grooves. Think smooth R&B vocals with fat funk basslines and disco synths.
Details: December 5, 8 p.m. at Chop Shop; $20

Detroit post-punks Protomartyr are touring their new Consolation EP, which features vocals from Kelley Deal of The Breeders. It follows hot on the heels of 2017’s full-length album, Relatives in Descent. Preoccupations co-headlines on this tour, promising a double whammy of distortion.
Details: December 6, 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Hall; $17-30

Protomartyr; Credit: Daniel Tropete

The Blow
Indie-pop duo The Blow is not just for the aughts. Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne are best known for synthy songs from the previous decade like “True Affection” and “Parentheses,” but their 2017 album Brand New Abyss continues to explore experimental electronic music. Expect a dose of performance art as the duo treat you to an A/V show and play with specially-designed synths.
Details: December 7, 9 p.m. at Empty Bottle; $15

Ambient Church 25th Anniversary of Kranky
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of legendary ambient label Kranky in an atmospheric Gothic Revival chapel. Produced by experimental music series Ambient Church, expect transcendent visuals to compliment the music and architecture. The stellar lineup features ambient luminaries Windy & Carl, Pan American, Steve Hauschildt and Justin Walter.
Details: December 8, 7 p.m. at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel; $25-30

The Claudettes

The Claudettes
Chicago four-piece band The Claudettes will bring piano jazz chops with a punk sensibility to The Hideout. Roots, blues and boogie woogie give way to Tin Pan Alley covers over a rocking piano and bass and smooth-as-honey vocal from Berit Ulseth. With one album released this year and another slated for 2019, produced by Flogging Molly’s Ted Hutt, The Claudettes have plenty of material to get feet stomping.
Details: December 8, 9 p.m. at The Hideout; $12-15

Los Lobos
Latin roots-rock legends Los Lobos return to City Winery for a four-night, two-set residency. The LA band found mainstream success with their 1987 cover of “La Bamba,” but their music has never stopped evolving over the course of their 40-year career. Bouncing from traditional Tejano sounds to blues and experimental electronic, Los Lobos delivers an energetic performance that defies categorization.
Details: December 9, 10, 11 and 12, 8 p.m. nightly; $65-78