From symphonies to sessions: Check out Chicago's 4 best music venues

Looking to check out the best music venues near you? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to hear live music in Chicago, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to go for everything from folk and indie rock to blues and jazz.

1. Chicago Theatre

Photo: Alex P./Yelp

Topping the list is the Chicago Theatre, a landmark spot that was built in 1921. Located at 175 N. State St. in the Loop, it is the highest rated music venue in Chicago, boasting 4.5 stars out of 369 reviews on Yelp.

The 3,600-seat venue was designed in the French Baroque style and has hosted everyone from comedian Jerry Seinfeld to musicians Frank Sinatra and Arcade Fire, according to its website. Owned by the Madison Square Garden Company, the Chicago Theatre features musical and comedy events as well as plays and independent performances.

Look for upcoming shows like the LSD Tour with performances from Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle & The Dukes and Dwight Yoakam on Aug. 16 at 7 p.m., or 4U, a symphonic celebration of Prince on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.

2. Lincoln Hall

Photo: stacy p./Yelp

Lincoln Hall, a music venue in Lincoln Park, is another much-loved go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 330 Yelp reviews. It first opened in 1912 and is located at 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. (between Halsted Street and Fullerton Avenue).

Coupling live music and reservable dining tables, Lincoln Hall opens its bar two hours prior to live music and its concert hall one hour prior to the show. Upcoming concerts include alternative indie-rock band The Honorary Title on Aug. 16 and Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles on Sept. 17.

Expect food options like chicken fingers with honey mustard, hummus, mac and cheese and fish and chips. Visit the website for a full menu, upcoming shows and ticket availability.

3. Chicago B.L.U.E.S. Bar

Photo: B.L.U.E.S./Yelp

Another Lincoln Park destination, Chicago B.L.U.E.S. Bar has earned 4.5 stars out of 247 reviews on Yelp. You can find the bar, music venue and jazz and blues spot at 2519 N. Halsted St.

This adults-only bar boasts a friendly and intimate atmosphere where every seat is a good one. B.L.U.E.S. is open seven days a week and starts serving drinks at 7 p.m. Music starts promptly at 9:30 p.m. Check out Lil' Ed And The Blues Imperials on Aug. 3 or Demetria Taylor on Aug. 4. Visit the website for a complete list of upcoming artists.

4. Old Town School of Folk Music

Photo: old town school of folk music/Yelp

Last but not least, there's Old Town School of Folk Music, a Ravenswood favorite with 4.5 stars out of 234 reviews. Stop by 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. (between Sunnyside and Wilson avenues) to hit up the specialty school and music venue.

This place combines music lessons for all ages with semi-regular concerts. There are more than 200 instructors that teach classes focusing mostly on folk music history, tradition and technique. Instrument instruction is available in everything from banjo, guitar and violin to harmonica and ukulele.

Check out Cheick Hamala Diabate's performance on Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. or Jerry Medina y La Banda on Aug. 29 at 8:30 p.m. Visit the spot's website for more information.
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