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.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Friday, March 24

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Yoni Wolf and Serengeti End Their Rap Tour at Schubas A Communal Evening With Laura Marling »

Preview Thu Jul 30 2015

Five Concerts This Weekend That Aren't Lollapalooza


Lollapalooza will be the center of the Chicago music world this weekend, and for good reason. On top of the stacked three-day festival itself (check out Transmission's recommended acts here), there will be various parties and aftershows filling the city's various venues with Lolla artists and celebrities for the next four nights. If you aren't taking part in the revelries but still want to catch some live music this weekend, your options are understandably limited, but not totally nonexistent. Here are five of the more interesting non-Lollapalooza shows happening over the next few days.

Brandi Carlile with Old Crow Medicine Show
Friday, July 31, 7pm, Ravinia Pavilion

As far as outdoor festival grounds go, Ravinia will certainly be calmer than Grant Park on Friday night, partially as a function of the smooth Americana songwriting of the evening's featured acts, who are well worth a ride up the Metra Union Pacific North. Brandi Carlile is among the most notable female voices in the genre today, integrating ear-warming pop melodycraft into a soundscape that incorporates rippling acoustic guitars, rootsy chord-driven backgrounds, and her own saloon-singer voice. Old Crow Medicine Show will open the night with some toe-tapping Appalachian-style bluegrass and it will, as always, be impossible to resist the urge to sing along to OCMS' "Wagon Wheel" with your arms around your friends. Tickets for both the pavilion and the lawn are available here.

Jessica Lee Wilkes
Friday, July 31, 10pm, The Hideout

Jessica Lee Wilkes is a phenomenon rarely seen since Tia Carrere starred as Cassandra in Wayne's World--a female lead vocalist who also plays the bass. The Paducah, KY native is on tour supporting her debut solo EP, Lone Wolf, which features a delightful mix of 1950s-nouveau swinging rock-and-roll and warm, bluesy guitar and saxophone work. Wilkes' voice has just enough raspy edge to go with her native Kentucky twang to render a comparison to Cage the Elephant's Matt Shultz, albeit within a very different musical ambience. The Dyes and Baily Dee will be opening for Jessica Lee Wilkes, and you can purchase tickets here.

The Ike Reilly Assassination
Saturday, August 1, 9pm, The Abbey

Ike Reilly has zigzagged along a long, adventurous road over the past twenty-five years, and the wandering spirit and travel-dirtied honesty he picked up on the way pervade his straightforward rock songwriting. Reilly, a native son of north suburban Libertyville, verges on a Dylan-esque storytelling drawl over steady driving drums, percussive strumming, and guitar leads that skim the top of the sonic forest as they glide along. His latest album, June's Born on Fire, acts as a sort of personal credo for Reilly, spinning street-level tales from late nights at bars, bustling downtown Chicago, and the avenues of his past. The show will also feature Top Shelf Lickers and Tribe, and tickets are available here.

Saturday, August 1, 7:30pm, City Winery

Dwele's music exemplifies the groovy, 808s and jazzy electric piano-dominated sound of '00s R&B. The man who provided the hook on Kanye's "Flashing Lights" pulls listeners in with a gentle, soulful voice that evokes the memory of the '70s Motown artists he grew up idolizing, and he shakes things up every once in a while with intricate vocal runs and a delicate falsetto on "Open Your Eyes" that anticipates Frank Ocean. His lyrics fit right into the typical R&B love-struck catalog, dealing mostly with infatuation and the determination to make a relationship work, which makes this show an ideal start to a romantic evening. Tickets are available here--and if you'd like to see Dwele later in the evening, you can join the waiting list for his sold-out 10:30 set, also at City Winery.

State Champs
Sunday, August 2, 7pm, Bottom Lounge

Pop punk has undergone a recent revival, particularly in Chicago, and is at its most vibrant since the mid-2000s heyday of Fall Out Boy. New York-based State Champs ranks among the leaders of the genre's new generation, packing an emotive punch with tight guitar work and rapid drumming. And despite the band's high school-referential name, its lyrical content moves beyond teenage love and heartbreak into the territory of real introspection on its latest single, "Secrets." The Bottom Lounge is well known as a great venue for pop punk, which might be ideal for the dread that accompanies a Sunday night. You can purchase tickets to the show here.

GB store
GB store

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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15