The 10 Best Live Music Venues in Illinois!

Finding that perfect music venue for your taste in music with an ideal atmosphere can be a challenge, but it sure isn’t in Illinois. Home to the Windy City and musical roots as deep and rich as they get, Illinois is fortunate enough to feature exciting live music spots all across the state. With world-class lineups and an overall musical experience you’ll never forget, here are the 10 best music venues in Illinois.

1. Symphony Center, Chicago, IL

Enjoy some of the most acoustically perfect sounds at the Symphony Center in downtown Chicago. Whether you prefer classical performances, bluegrass, or jazz, it all sounds amazing at the Symphony Center. The inside of the Symphony Center is an architectural wonder, making it worth a visit.

2. Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL

A newbie in the Chicago music venue world, Lincoln Hall consistently books high quality performers and features clear sightlines and superior acoustics from all areas. The warm, inviting interiors combined with quality food and pleasant staff makes Lincoln Hall the perfect destination for the entire evening. Although this isn’t a grungy music club, you can get “down” here.

3. The Curve Inn, Springfield, IL

Aside from being awarded the “Best Beer Garden” four years in a row, The Curve Inn is also a live music venue featuring an eclectic menu from blues to pop. They feature the area’s best performers along with live DJs until 3 a.m. You can engage in dart tournaments at The Curve Inn, as well. 

4. Metro, Chicago, IL

If you don’t mind expensive drinks, Metro is the place to be in Chicago for a wonderful music experience. Metro is known for featuring bands about to break big, and they always have a well booked list of shows. Get there early to enjoy a great view from the balcony or get a close-up spot next to the stage.

5. Mandel Hall, Chicago, IL

This premier concert venue owned by the University of Chicago features stunning acoustics in a classic Victorian interior. The concert hall seats nearly 900 audience members and is equipped with superior lighting and sound systems. The Mandel Hall is the ideal venue for open recitals and classical concerts.

6. Boondocks Pub, Springfield, IL

As the largest live music venue in Central Illinois, Boondocks Pub in Springfield features some of the best national and local acts. The Academy of Country Music recently awarded this venue “Nightclub of the Year.” If you enjoy live country music, Boondocks Pub is the place to go. 

7. The Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL

Located in the Ukrainian Village of Chicago, The Empty Bottle is a comfortable and cost-effective venue featuring underground music in a casually lit environment. Expect sizable crowds, especially on Mondays, when they host free shows ranging from downtempo electronic music to skull-crushing metal. Paid shows rarely exceed $10 at this venue.

8. City Winery, Chicago, IL

If you prefer sit-down shows, City Winery is your best bet. This intimate venue features a large lineup of performances ranging from theatricals to rock, pop, jazz, and soul. The environment is so cozy, it feels like the artist is performing in your own living room. 

9. The Hideout, Chicago, IL

The hideout is all about intellectual freedom and creative artistic expression. Located inside a 100-year-old prohibition-area home, The Hideout is a small, history-laden venue where anything can happen any night. Legally open since 1934, this rebel club features punk rock, indie rock, and alternative country.

10. Double Door, Chicago, IL

Everything sounds great at the Double Door in Chicago. Although the venue itself is interestingly structured, the acoustics are always pitch-perfect and there are no dead spots. Double Door also has consistent lineups nearly every night of the week and is conveniently located next to public transportation.

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