Loyola University Chicago

Rambler Buzz


Listen here! Five Chicago music venues that every student should visit

Listen here! Five Chicago music venues that every student should visit

By Kristen Torres | Student reporter

Chicago may be known for its calorie-packed pizzas and bitter-cold winters, but it’s the music that vibrates throughout the city that makes it a remarkable place. Boasting hundreds of venues—from popular mainstays to lesser-known holes in the wall—Chicago is a true musical mecca. Here are five places every student should visit at least once to see a live show.

Red Line Tap

7006 N. Glenwood Ave.; 773.274.5463

Going strong since the ’70s, the Red Line Tap is a Rogers Park landmark. A block from the Morse Red Line station, the venue is known for its alternative live music acts on stage every day of the week. Booking bands ranging from punk and funk to bluegrass and jazz, the Red Line Tap has hosted nationwide acts such as Afroman and Layzie Bone. The décor is rebellious, the lights are dim, and the people that frequent the venue are overwhelmingly local. 


3730 N. Clark St.; 773.549.4140

Everything about the Metro can be described in one word: huge. The venue boasts grand staircases up to the main floor and second-floor viewing platforms—all under the cover of vaulted ceilings. Placed in the midst of trendy Wrigleyville and near the Addison Red Line stop, the venue frequently books both mainstream and alternative music acts ranging from rap and hip-hop to acoustic R&B. Past performers include Circa Survive, Big K.R.I.T., Mac Demarco, and Wild Belle.

Schubas Tavern

3159 N. Southport Ave.; 773.525.2508

A short walk from the Belmont Red Line station, Schubas Tavern is housed in an old Schlitz brewery. It’s small and cozy, with a full bar taking up the front room that leads to an intimate stage tucked into the venue’s depths. Focused more on local, up-and-coming artists, the venue books primarily acoustic, alternative artists such as The Stone Foxes and Little May. 

Lincoln Hall

2424 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773.525.2501

Operated under the same administration as Schubas, Lincoln Hall is starkly different than its Southport sibling. Just around the corner from the Fullerton Red Line stop, Lincoln Hall is an all-performance area. Audiences get to stand nose-level with the stage and experience live music from the most extreme, up-close perspective. Its large size lets the venue book national acts such as The Dodos and Troye Sivan.

Aragon Ballroom

1106 W. Lawrence Ave.; 773.561.9500

The Aragon Ballroom’s sign can be seen from the train, and the venue is less than a minute walk from the Lawrence Red Line stop. Aragon steps more into the EDM genre than any other venue in Edgewater, booking bands and DJs like ODESZA and AWOLNATION. The venue can almost always guarantee concert-goers a noisy, vibrant experience with crowds filling up every inch of the dance floor.