Tomorrow Never Knows | Music Sidebar | Chicago Reader

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Tomorrow Never Knows

Free trolleys, stand-up comedy, and lots of music—from the Walkmen to Willis Earl Beal


Willis Earl Beal - MICHAEL BOYD

The Tomorrow Never Knows festival began Wednesday and runs till Sun 1/15, with four days of shows at Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Metro, Hideout, and Smart Bar. Acts at Lincoln Hall include Tycho and Active Child on Thu 1/12 (sold out), Theophilus London on Fri 1/13, Grouplove on Sat 1/14 (sold out), and Two Gallants and Carter Tanton on Sun 1/15. At Schubas the entertainment includes Plants & Animals on Thu 1/12, Gauntlet Hair on Fri 1/13, a sold-out Chairlift date on Sat 1/14 (with Class Actress, Willis Earl Beal, and others, and White Mystery, Mannequin Men, and more on Sun 1/15, preceded by a closing-night party at 8 PM. Nadastrom plays at Metro on Fri 1/13, and the Walkmen play a sold-out tenth-anniversary show there the next night. New to the fest this year is comedy: three nights of stand-up at the Hideout (all of which are sold out), with Hannibal Buress on Thu 1/12, two sets from Todd Barry on Fri 1/13, and two more from Wyatt Cenac on Sat 1/14. Also at the Hideout, the Numero Group hosts a DJ night on Sat 1/14, and Jon Langford and guests pay tribute to Shel Silverstein on Sun 1/15. Smart Bar throws dance parties on Fri 1/13, Sat 1/14, and Sun 1/15 with Craig Richards, Mister Saturday Night, and Plastic Plates, respectively. All shows at Schubas and Lincoln Hall are $15 and 18+, and all shows at Hideout and Smart Bar are 21+. Prices and age restrictions for other shows vary. For $100 you can buy a pass that gets you into every show and entitles you to other perks, including free drinks, free posters, and line-jumping privileges. A free trolley that travels from venue to venue (with a bar and DJ on board) is available to all fest attendees. For full lineups and more info, see listings by day, call 773-525-2508, or visit

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