Recent Posts in venues

April 18, 2014


Pure Joy -- an all-ages, nonprofit, 200-capacity performance space -- is slated to open in Chicago this fall. They've got "a very large former warehouse space" which is being fully converted to meet needs. It's also a community space, with meeting and office space for other nonprofits, community groups, and arts-based after-school programming. Pure Joy is registered as a nonprofit in Illinois, and the team behind it are waiting on their 501(c)(3) paperwork to come through. With an Indiegogo campaign, they're currently raising funds to obtain a lighting rig, PA, and materials for stage construction. Their goal is $32,000 (they have $6,492 as of this post), but should it not be reached, whatever funds are raised will still go directly towards that. If it's exceeded, those additional funds will be used for venue start-up costs, like soundproofing. The campaign perks include t-shirts and show vouchers. They've also said, "Even if you can't help financially, please share our page with your networks and get the word out! We're only as strong as our community."

Check out the Pure Joy campaign, contribute financially if you're able, and spread the word!

April 2, 2014


As discussed, Thalia Hall are getting ready to open their rehabbed second floor theater. You already know that they'll have Panda Bear on May 21, GOAT on June 13, and Camera Obscura on July 25, and their initial schedule also includes a few other shows.

Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle's Songs & Stories, Together On Stage happens on June 6, The Mavericks play on June 8, and Tab Benoit headlines on June 27. Looking forward to this fall, Lake Street Dive will be there on September 25 and Cécile McLorin Salvant plays on November 4.

Tickets for ALL Thalia Hall shows go on sale this Saturday (4/5) at 11AM CST.

March 17, 2014

(via Thalia Hall's Instagram)

The last time we spoke about the Empty Bottle-operated Pilsen spot Thalia Hall, it was just getting ready to open its doors. Its tavern Dusek's and basement bar the Punch House have been in full swing since mid-September, and the only missing piece has been Thalia's beautiful-but-in-disrepair second floor theater. According to DNAinfo, the theater's liquor and entertainment licenses were applied for on February 13. In response to a recent "when is it opening?" inquiry on the venue's Facebook page, they've replied "Look out for some news in early summer!" Stay tuned for more information.

February 11, 2014

crowd at Logan Hardware for The Evens, 2013 (more by Zach Pollack)

Logan Hardware moved 0.2 miles down the road this past July, and their longtime space has been vacant ever since. Well, it turns out it wasn't actually vacant, they retained the space and have been working on what will now be called Logan Arcade--a full-fledged arcade and bar. It'll house a larger collection of vintage pinball machines, video games, and etc. than ever before, but also a 20+ tap bar. Logan Arcade will be 21+, but the record store // vintage arcade museum remains an all-ages affair. Logan Arcade will be opening its doors on Monday, February 17. We won't soon forget that closing Evens show...

February 8, 2014

Concord Music Hall

Last night during a Datsik-headlined performance, Logan Square venue Concord Music Hall's ceiling began to collapse, injuring at least four concertgoers---luckily none were seriously injured. It's not clear what caused the collapse, and those with minor injuries were taken to St. Mary's Hospital and Stroger Hospital. Cellphone footage shows debris falling from the ceiling as copious amounts of bass pump through the system. You can check it out below...

Continue reading "Concord Music Hall's ceiling collapsed during a show last night (video)"

January 16, 2014

Reckless Records' Wicker Park shop (more by Milos Markicevic)

According to DNA Info, Reckless Records CEO Charles Taylor purchased a two-story building at 1379 North Milwaukee Avenue for $1,580,000 on December 30, 2013. The new spot, which is just two-blocks from their current location of 1532 North Milwaukee Avenue, will boast 15,000 square feet of retail space including the basement. Reckless general manager Bryan Smith reports that there is at least one-year remaining on their existing lease, so don't expect the move to be immediate. A multi-level Reckless Wicker Park sounds pretty great, no?

November 15, 2013

The Thermals @ Ultra Lounge for a BVC-presented show in Aug. (more by Jeff Ryan)

Logan Square rock and metal bar // venue Ultra Lounge will be closing its doors after tonight, according to Chicagoist. The owner apparently decided not to renew his license so that he can focus on a bar he opened in the suburbs. Tonight's show is The Dead On with The Ladies and Gentlemen and Black Cat Heart Attack.

We had a lot of fun throwing a trio of unofficial Lollapalooza aftershows at the venue this year----with headliners Weedeater, The Thermals, and Russian Circles----and will miss the space. Hopefully someone takes over the spot with a new bar // venue.

August 27, 2013


Earlier this summer, Empty Bottle owner Bruce Finkelman closed a deal on Pilsen's historic Thalia Hall, a four-story giant located near the 18th Street Pink Line stop. Thalia, opened by John Dusek in 1892, originally served as a public house. So far, Finkelman and co. have split the large space into two distinct parts: a tavern called Dusek's and a separate basement bar dubbed the Punch House. Thalia's theatre will eventually host live music, and new businesses will be moving into its retail spaces. Modern Cooperative, a vintage furniture shop, and Belli's, a health food store // juice bar, are the first two confirmed shops. Punch House and Dusek's are slated to open their doors on September 17.

Stay tuned for more information.

August 16, 2013


Logan Square bar/venue The Burlington will be celebrating their 6th anniversary with a big party next Saturday (8/24). The stacked music lineup for their anniversary event includes Bloodiest, Pink Avalanche, Tight Phantomz, Lasers and Fast and Shit, Mannequin Men, and many more. In addition to live music, the party boasts special guest DJ sets, giveaways, delicious food from the Honky Tonk BBQ Food Truck, and some free drinks throughout the day. Doors open at 1PM for the all-day event and music begins at 2PM.

The full music lineup for The Burlington's 6th and some song streams are below...

Continue reading "The Burlington throwing 6th anniversary party (Bloodiest, Mannequin Men, Tight Phantomz & more)"

August 14, 2013

Danzig @ Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (Distortion) Yavin)

As discussed, Danzig's 25th anniversary tour was slated to roll into Chicago for a show at The Congress Theater on August 16. That show has now been canceled, due to "ongoing renovations" at the venue, and he's been added to Friday (9/13) of the incredibly awesome Riot Fest Chicago. Tickets for the Congress show will be refunded at point of purchase and Riot Fest passes are still available.

All known Danzig dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Danzig cancels Congress Theater performance; added to Riot Fest Chicago"