How to Chicago: Shows. Stand Your Ground

42. Stand your ground at intimate, crowded venues. Those shows where it’s so stuffed everyone’s shoulders are touching. People are moving all around you encroaching on your personal space. Stepping on your feet. Claustrophobia inspiring. The guy in front of you keeps swaying back putting his hairy melon in your face.

Standing your ground is quite effective. Simply increase your base of support by spreading your feet a bit. Put your shoe directly up against the hippie’s shoe whose bothering you the most. And don’t move it! I mean, not even a little. That subtle, tactile hint will repel your foe. In a moment or three they’ll move their hoof away from yours giving you more space.  I’ve never had a foot stepped on. You can do it in any direction. Of course, if you yourself like to sway and get lost in the tune have at it. I’m just getting old and crotchety.

How to Chicago: Concerts

Dinosaur Jr.


21. Thrive.  Go to shows. Plays. Musicals. Concerts. They’re ubiquitous in the metropolis. It’s one of the fundamental reasons you’ve chosen to live there…. endless entertainment options. If you’re heading out for a bit of the old rockity roll, call the venue that afternoon and get the set times. Nine times out of 10 they will tell you exactly when the opening act starts, when the headliner begins and when the headliner has to be finished by. They are staggeringly accurate. Very few bands take the stage when they’re “feeling” it, or end the show when they’re satisfied.  It is all predetermined. That’s useful for letting your babysitter know when you’ll be home. Better yet, you no longer have to guess when the best time is to arrive. There’s nothing worse than showing up at 7 when music doesn’t start until 11. 

Bobby Bare Jr.


Dale Watson


Alia Shawkat


Mike Watt