Among the exciting store openings is Beyond Boutique, which aims to be affordable (T-shirts start at $20) but doesn't skimp on the pricey-boutique perks, like offering customers a glass of Champagne while they browse the racks. Plus, there's the adorable Uptown flower shop Forget Me Knodt, which was generations in the making. Check out more of the newest Chicago store openings.
The Rolling Stones have been playing arenas since the band members were twentysomethings. But occasionally, Mick, Keef and company like to pretend they're a shaggy juke-joint act. With the Stones rolling into town for a whole week to play three concerts at the United Center, including tonight's performance, could the band have a secret club show up its sleeve?
The Stones have a history of playing surprise gigs in intimate settings; the band kicked off its 50 & Counting tour in late April with a 90-minute set at L.A.'s 700 capacity EchoPlex, a $20-per-ticket show announced day-of on Twitter via @RollingStones. Last October, the band sold 350 tickets at 20 bucks a pop for Le Trabendo, another 700-person venue. Again, the show was publicized on Twitter.
Another line of reasoning: The Stones seem to have a particular affection for hush-hush shows in Chicago. During a three-night stand at the Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena) in November 1981 on the Tattoo You tour, Mick, Keith and Ronnie Wood dropped by the old Checkerboard Lounge to jam with Muddy Waters and a host of other local bluesmen, including Buddy Guy. (I wouldn't be surprised to see Guy taking a solo on "Midnight Rambler" at the United Center. Chicago harmonica master Sugar Blue, whose playing can be heard on "Miss You," should also get an invite.)
Perhaps the most vivid Stones memory for Chicagoans: In '97, days before kicking off the Bridges to Babylon tour at Soldier Field, the Stones played a last-minute gig at Double Door for about 400 lucky fans and music industry folk, including Billy Corgan and Liz Phair. (Video below.) A wristband, which granted its wearer entry to the club, was $7.
Could history repeat? Double Door's lineup for the week the Stones are in town is curious: nothing booked Saturday or Sunday. Reached by phone today, a venue employee said a "private event" is booked for Saturday. (A 50th bandiversary party? I wondered.) The person assured me the event isn't Stones related.
If not Double Door, then where? Capacity-wise, a good bet is Bottom Lounge. A stone's throw from the United Center, it holds 700, same as the venues of the L.A. and Paris club gigs. It also has gaps in its schedule over the next week. In any case, I'll be keeping my eyes peeled to the Stones' Twitter feed.
Tricky's False Idols, his tenth album, likely will be heralded as a comeback. I hope that isn't the case. Which is not to say the new record from the trip-hop innovator fails to live up to his peaks. It does. It's fantastic, filled with enough smoky seduction and downtempo grooves to fuel '90s-themed key parties. Come to think of it, it should satisfy old-school Massive Attack fans more than the last couple of Massive Attack LPs.
Over Memorial Day weekend, festival season kicked off in Chicago despite the weather gods not cooperating. With the skies showing 50 shades of gray and temperatures hanging in the 50s and 60s, it didn't feel like a celebration of summer. But did the chilly air prevent ravers from dressing up as Batman villain Harley Quinn? Ha, as if.
In the Electric Daisy Carnival's inaugural Chicago outing, the crowds didn't pick up until 8pm, but attendance was decent in the dark. Still, it could not approach the levels of the Las Vegas edition. Duh. We have more laws in this state.
Our photographer Kendall Thacker, an EDC vet, was there to snap pictures. As always, the most interesting sights were in the crowd.
Nature on Tap Leave the tykes at home. The kid-friendly museum reaches out to an adult audience with this trivia series. Test your science prowess for a shot at a trophy and discounted drinks. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. 6pm–9pm. $10.
ART & DESIGN
"Welcome Home" The NVAM unveils its new Portage Park location with this exhibition of works by Vietnam veteran Dr. Charles Smith and Iraq War veteran Ash Kyrie, who examine the disconnect between American civilians and the wars fought in their name. National Veterans Art Museum. 10am–5pm.
1. The Second City Guide to the Opera Following a one-night January event that was hosted by Renée Fleming and Patrick Stewart, the Second City and Lyric Opera team up for an extended run (famous hosts not included). Audience members will be seated cabaret style on the Civic Opera House stage to see Second City ensemble members poking fun at opera singers, and vice versa. Opens May 31, 7:30pm at Civic Opera House. $35–$75.
2. Crosstown Classic: Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox There's more subtext to the city's great sports rivalry than mere baseball: dichotomies like North Side v. South Side; white collar v. blue collar; love of spectacle v. love of sport. No matter how you cut it, history favors the Sox triumphing over the Cubbies. May 27, 6:10pm; May 28, 7:10pm at U.S. Cellular Field. May 29, 1:20pm; May 30, 1:20pm at Wrigley Field.
3. The Rolling Stones In 1989, when the Stones traveled the States to promote their 21st album, critics snidely dubbed it the Steel Wheelchairs tour. That was 24 freaking years ago. Now, the biggest band in the universe returns for its "50 and Counting" tour. Remember, that's years as a band, not life. But stop that ageist snickering. All the blues dudes Mick and Keef ape kept on playing until they dropped dead, often as nonagenarians. So those ticket prices are steep, yes, but imagine what they'll run ya on the "70 Licks 2033" tour. United Center. May 28, 31, Jun 3 at 8pm. $150–$600.
1. Azari & III (DJ set) Straight out of the gritty west side of Toronto (not that Toronto gets Detroit gritty), Anzari & III have been filling dancefloors with deep, soulful house and techno—the early '90s revisited with a dreamy gauze. Look, it's just dance pop and it's wonderful. The group has remixed Robyn and Cut Copy and its killer self-titled debut from 2012 sounded like Technotronic stuck in a K-hole. If a throbbing, heavy number like "Manhooker" can't get you going, you should probably just stick to eating chips on the couch. Here the core duo shows its DJ chops. Primary. May 30 at 10pm. $10–$15.
2. The Bunker: Neel of Voices from the Lake Repping for New York's revered underground techno party the Bunker, Neel brings a great ear for sound. Alongside Donato Dozzy, the Italian released a swampy, tribal platter as Voices from the Lake in late 2012. Rich with depth and detail, the minimalist techno tracks build with cinematic grandeur and underwater grooves. It's a deep, pretty maze to lose yourself in. Bunker founder Bryan Kasenic kicks off. Smart Bar. Jun 1 at 10pm. $13, before midnight $10.
1. The Rolling Stones In 1989, when the Stones traveled the States to promote their 21st album, critics snidely dubbed it the Steel Wheelchairs tour. That was 24 freaking years ago. Now, the biggest band in the universe returns for its "50 and Counting" tour. Remember, that's years as a band, not life. But stop that ageist snickering. All the blues dudes Mick and Keef ape kept on playing until they dropped dead, often as nonagenarians. So those ticket prices are steep, yes, but imagine what they'll run ya on the "70 Licks 2033" tour. United Center. May 28, 31, Jun 3 at 8pm. $150–$600.
2. Devendra Banhart His hair is the first signifier. For his new album, Mala, freak-folk man Banhart has toned down both the freak and the folk, using vintage hip-hop equipment to record his mellow California-tropicalia tunes. It's playful and lovely, finally making him a worthy heir of Caetano Veloso, with hints of dance beats and a German interlude from his girlfriend to boot. Park West. May 31 at 8pm. $25.
Crosstown Classic: Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox There's more subtext to the city's great sports rivalry than mere baseball: dichotomies like North Side v. South Side; white collar v. blue collar; love of spectacle v. love of sport. No matter how you cut it, history favors the Sox triumphing over the Cubbies. U.S. Cellular Field. 6:10pm.
ART & DESIGN
"Modernism's Messengers: The Art of Alfonso and Margaret Iannelli" Best known as a collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright, Alfonso Iannelli (1888–1965) had a multifaceted design practice that encompassed advertisements, household products, public sculptures and more. We're glad to see him and his wife, Margaret Iannelli—an artist whose immense talents have been more neglected than her husband's—get the recognition they deserve. Chicago Cultural Center. 9am–7pm.
MB Financial Bike the Drive 2013 Hear that? That's the blissful silence of a car-free Lake Shore Drive. Savor it, if just for few hours, when Bike the Drive shuts down LSD to motorized vehicles from Bryn Mawr to 57th Street. Starting from Columbus and Jackson Drives, you can ride your bike 15 miles to Bryn Mawr, and, if you're up for it, hoof it another 15 miles back south to the post-ride festival at the Columbus and Jackson start point. Be sure to take advantage of the three rest stops along with way! Helmets required; sign up at bikethedrive.org. Columbus and Jackson Aves. 5:30am–noon. $48, day-of $58.
We're All in This Room Together The e.t.c.'s 36th revue is a breezy and carefree charmer and features outstanding energy and performances from a mostly new cast. We loved it. The Second City e.t.c. 7pm. $23–$28.