Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Feature Mon Jun 06 2011

Digging Through the Digital Bins: Chicago in the Live Music Archive

chicago in the live music archiveIn 2003, I saw Andrew Bird debut his latest album, Weather Systems, at the Old Town School of Folk Music. It was an incredible show, and afterward I wished I'd had a recording of it. A couple years later, I was searching for something on the Internet Archive when I stumbled into its Live Music Archive, a vast collection of recording of concerts from all over the place, much of it downloadable in multiple formats. I did a quick search, and there was my coveted concert, free for the taking.

As I revisited Andrew Bird's listing on the LMA to see if his Gezelligheid show was available (it's not), I got to thinking recently about how much local music there is available in the archive, and how hard it is to sort through. One of the easiest ways to approach it, in my mind, was to break it down by venue. So that's what I did. Here's an exhaustive list of links to recordings made at bars, concert halls, theaters and pavilions in Chicago and the suburbs. I've also included the few music festival recordings I could find. There are a handful of stragglers and outliers that I didn't include here, mostly single shows at marginal venues; search Chicago for an unfiltered list.

Abbey Pub
Alive One
Allstate Arena
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theater (and Theater)
Beat Kitchen
Biddy Mulligan's
Black Orchid
Bottom Lounge
Boulevard Cafe
Charter One Pavilion
Chicago Theatre (and Theater)
Congress Theater
Crow's Nest
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Durty Nellie's (and Nellies)
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
A Finkl & Sons
Fireside Bowl
Goose Island
Grant Park
Green Mill
Gunther Murphy's
Heartland Cafe
The Hideout
HotHouse (and Hot House)
Hotti Biscotti
House of Blues Chicago (and HOB Chicago)
Joe's on Weed (and just Joe's)
Kinetic Playground
Lakeshore Theater
Lincoln Hall
Lincoln Park Zoo
Logan Square Auditorium
Lounge Ax
Loyola University
Lyons Den
Martyrs' (and Martyr's)
Navy Pier
New City YMCA
The Note
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
Petrillo Band Shell
Phyllis' Musical Inn
The Pontiac
Pritzker Pavilion
Reckless Records
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club
The Riviera
Rosemont Horizon
Schubas (and Schuba's)
Soldier Field
Tower Records (Lincoln Park and Downtown)
Toyota Park
Uncommon Ground (both locations)
UIC Pavilion
Union Park
United Center
University of Chicago
The Vic
Wise Fools Pub (and Wise Fool's)
Wild Hare
Wrigley Field

Bash on Wabash
Chicago Blues Festival
Hideout Block Party
Intonation Festival
Pitchfork Music Festival
Retro on Roscoe
Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival
Taste of Chicago
Taste of Randolph

Grateful Dead fans might also be interested in the Archive's collection of downloadable and streamable shows; here's a list of just the ones in Chicago.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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Editor: Sarah Brooks,
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