The music round up

Aragon Ballroom (blog)

Twenty One Pilots performs at the Aragon Ballroom. Photo: Kris Lori Photography

One of the main reasons I decided to move to Chicago is the amazing music scene that it has to offer. If you haven’t been to a music venue yet, well, you are definitely missing out. There are so many places around the city that not only host shows but hold a bit of culture to it as well. It’s hard to cover every venue in this city but here are some of my favorite venues I’ve been to.


Aragon Ballroom

Closest CTA stop: Lawrence (Red Line)

This stunning venue holds 4,500 concertgoers and  was built in 1926. When I first visited this venue I was astonished by the building’s details. The interior is designed to model a Spanish village. The details you’ll see on the ceiling are stunning as it looks like a cosmic galaxy. Apparently, there are secret tunnels that extend of the Aragon’s basement to other locations like the Green Mill Bar not too far away.

The venue has been home to many rock bands and other musicians who come by. From Alt-J and Twenty One Pilots to Lana Del Rey, many artists have played sold-out shows at the venue. It’s a truly stunning venue that you must check out if you ever get the chance.


Bottom Lounge

Closest CTA stop: Lake (Green Line)

Bottom Lounge (blog)

The Ready Set at the Bottom Lounge. Photo: Kris Lori Photography

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the lighting (kinda stinks for photographers) in this location but it’s the atmosphere that sold me when I first came to a show here. One of my favorite bands, Madina Lake, played there and it was fantastic! There are no barriers and you are just up close and personal with these artists performing here. If your favorite band is playing here…you need to go to that show! The music quality is pretty solid; this place is awesome.

After a show, depending on your age, you can usually hang out in the front part of the location, where there is good food. You might be able to hang out with the artists who performed that  night, but that’s no guarantee. The location is small but it’s perfect. Artists like Senses Fail, The Ready Set, and even Metro Station have played here.

House of Blues

Closest CTA stop: Lake (Red Line)

I have been to a few House of Blues locations around the country and I honestly love the set up House of Blues here in Chicago. When I first attended a show I was intrigued with the setup of the venue. The African artwork that decorates the back hall is amazing. The balcony with detailed structure keep your eyes intrigued between sets. And finally, my favorite part is actually right above the stage; it’s a symbol of coexistence.

That one piece of art has the symbols of practically every religion in the world and how they intertwine is a strong symbolic meaning — that we can all coexist. I think it also stands for the fact that no matter who we are, what we believe in or what we think, we all come together for the love of music.

Plenty of artists have played here at the House of Blues, such as New Politics, Anberlin, The Main, You Me At Six, Yellowcard and many more.


There is music all around and if you haven’t been to an event yet, please make some time to do so. Whether  it’s at one of these venues or a new one you discover yourself, go check out a show. Who knows, perhaps I’ll see you at the next one.


Kris Fuentes Cortes (F)


Kris Fuentes Cortes is a senior in communication, a Boston native, an active student around campus, and a dreamer of working in the world of music. She wants to become a tour manager for a band and travel internationally while she’s still young. She’s the assistant marketing director for UIC Radio.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email