CHICAGO — There will be tons of great December concerts in Chicago for anyone looking for an early holiday present.
Here are ten of the best, including three local artists.
12/1 – The Smile, Riviera Theatre
Not too many side projects of legendary bands consist of three original members, but Radiohead have always marched to the beat of their own drum.
Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Tom Skinner’s The Smile comes to Chicago for the first time at “The Riv” on the first of the month.
12/3-12/4 – The English Beat, City Winery
A little ska during the holidays never hurt anyone. It may not be the original lineup, which broke up in 1983, but lead singer Dave Wakeling has carried The English Beat well into the 21st century.
12/8 – Jack White and Wet Leg, Aragon
Jack White is returning to Chicago for the second time this year at Aragon, but the real story here may be English up-and-comers Wet Leg.
Their debut single “Chaise Longue,” released in the summer of 2021, quickly gained millions of streams and radio plays due to how infectious it is. The Grammys gained notice — nominating the band four times for best new artist, best alternative music performance, best alternative music album and best engineered album, non-classical.
12/9 – Modest Mouse, Riviera Theatre
Anniversary tours are all the rage nowadays and Modest Mouse is bringing their 1997 classic “The Lonesome Crowded West” to the the Riviera Theatre. After the album is played at these types of show, a melody of hits traditionally follows.
12/9 – The 1975, Aragon
From the English frontman who stated his greatest influence is Northbrook native John Hughes, The 1975 have exploded in popularity since the mid 2010s.
The pop rock band is getting rave reviews with their new album “Being Funny in a Foreign Language” and return to Chicago for the first time in three years at the Aragon Dec. 9.
12/16 – Elizabeth Moen, Schubas
Hailing from the cornfields of Iowa and now residing in Chicago, indie folk artist Elizabeth Moen’s excellent new album “Wherever You Aren’t” came out last week. She’s celebrating the new record at Schubas on Dec. 16.
She is also playing an album-release show Dec. 9 at Empty Bottle.
12/16 – Shemekia Copeland, City Winery
The New York native and blues singer has made Chicago home for several years. She’s been signed to Chicago blues record label Alligator Records since the beginning of her career when she was just 18.
She’s the daughter of blues hall of famer Johnny Copeland and released her 11th studio album “Done Come Too Far” this year.
12/17-12/18 – Freddie Gibbs, Metro
Gary native Freddie Gibbs has been one of the most-respected rappers over the last decade. Even though he resides in L.A., Gibbs routinely goes to bat for his favorite Chicago teams on social media, the Bulls and the Bears.
He makes his Chicago return for the first time since Lollapalooza 2021 for back-to-back shows at the Metro.
12/18 – The Beach Boys, Chicago Theatre
Mike Love and Bruce Johnston are in their 80s and still are rocking and rolling. While there’s no Brian Wilson, who came to Tinley Park this summer, the duo consistently plays around 30 songs per show.
Step back in time Dec. 18 at the Chicago Theatre.
12-29-12/31 – Dehd, Empty Bottle
It’s always great to see Chicago bands skyrocket through the indie rock world and that’s exactly what Dehd has been doing. The band met through the city’s DIY music scene and got the attention of Fat Possum this year, who released their fourth album “Blue Skies.”
If you’re looking for New Years plans, the band is playing three straight nights at Empty Bottle starting on Dec. 29.