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© Aneil Lutchman/WikCommons
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What They're Listening To In Chicago This Fall

Picture of Elizabeth Newhart
Updated: 3 October 2016
With the new fall season comes a lineup of five-star concerts a mile long. It’s typical for there to be an upswing in music downloads in a specific place in the lead-up to a live show, and Chicago is no exception. A few of these acts are stopping in the Windy City in the coming months, sending their local popularity through the roof. Others have been tearing up the charts and blasting on Chicago radio stations in recent weeks. So buy your tickets now, or start streaming your favorites.

Chance the Rapper

Chancelor Bennett was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, and at the age of 23, he has gained widespread critical acclaim as one of the best rappers to come from the city since Kanye West. Though he’s often stereotyped and mistaken for a kid who grew up in the Chicago ghetto, surviving the notorious city gang violence, he actually lived in the middle-class West Chatham neighborhood, attended a college prep high school and has a father who is a deputy chief of staff to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. He will headline the Magnificent Coloring Day music festival at U.S. Cellular Field on September 24th to promote his new album Coloring Book. Accompanying special guests include Alicia Keys, Lil’ Wayne, Skrillex, 2 Chainz, and Tyler the Creator.

Coloring Book, courtesy of The Social Experiment
Coloring Book | © The Social Experiment

The Chainsmokers

DJ duo The Chainsmokers have exploded onto the mainstream scene this summer with the release of their single ‘Closer,’ featuring vocals by Halsey. It’s spent the last four weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has been heard throughout Chicago nonstop.

Kanye West

Chicago just can’t get enough Kanye. The ‘Homecoming’ singer returns to his roots October 7th and 8th for two massive stops on his The Saint Pablo Tour. Hardly a week can pass without another reason for Kanye to end up in the headlines, and Chicago has stuck by his side since his ‘Stronger’ days, always making this crowd a special one.

The Life of Pablo courtesy of
The Life of Pablo | © Def Jam Recordings

Ariana Grande

Petite and powerful, Ariana Grande dropped her latest album, Dangerous Woman, in May, and it tore up the charts all summer long. After an impressive and controversial performance at the MTV VMAs in August, people haven’t been able to get enough of the old Nickelodeon star. But her world tour won’t hit Chicago until March, which gives you plenty of time to memorize every lyric.

Dangerous Woman courtesy of Republic Records
Dangerous Woman | © Republic Records

Drake + Future

This powerhouse performance, featuring two of the biggest rappers around today, will take over the United Center on October 5th. Drake headlines for his latest album, Views, and Future brings his own solid fan following to his opener. Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ swept the entire country this year, and Chicago was no exception. The Canadian child actor-turned-rapper has been a longtime favorite in this city that has always had a special bias for rap and hip hop.

Twenty One Pilots

It’s been difficult to escape any of Twenty One Pilots’ soul-filled and edgy hits this summer. Though they released their breakout album Blurryface in 2015, it’s still making major waves in the music world. They appeared on the soundtrack of summer blockbuster Suicide Squad with ‘Heathens,’ leaving Chicagoans counting down the days until their tour stops at the United Center in January.

Blurryface, courtesy of Fueled By Ramen
Blurryface | © Fueled by Ramen