The Whistler

The Whistler books its small stage with eclectic acts and never charges a cover. (Barry Brecheisen/For RedEye / April 6, 2012)

Bars with live music

Ultra Lounge
2169 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-269-2900
This former clubby martini spot has been remodeled into a small-scale live music venue with a separate room for local and traveling acts playing everything from hip-hop to indie rock.

Quenchers
2401 N. Western Ave. 773-276-9730
You’d be hard-pressed to find a live music bar with a better craft beer selection not just in the neighborhood, but the entire city.

The Mutiny
2428 N. Western Ave. 773-486-7774
Indie rock and punk bands both random and up-and-coming play the makeshift stage at this beer-fueled dive.

Cole’s Bar
2338 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-276-5802
Owner and namesake Coleman Brice sees the stage at his no-frills tavern falling somewhere between Cal’s and Beat Kitchen, hosting emerging local acts that skew quieter during the week and rock a little harder on weekends.

The Whistler
2421 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-227-3530
The stage may be small, but this powder blue-walled bar is known just as much for eclectic no-cover music as cheap craft cocktails.

Rosa’s Lounge
3420 W. Armitage Ave. 773-342-0452
Founded by a drummer and his mother (yes, that would be Rosa), the blues cred of this well-worn tavern belies its dive-bar looks.

The Burlington
3425 W. Fullerton Ave. 773-384-3243
Eclectic DJ bookings may be what put this tavern on the map, but you can also catch live sets from local and traveling bands.

Concert venues

Congress Theater
2135 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-276-1235
This historic theater stands out not only for its golden domed ceiling and sweeping lobby staircase, but also the big-name national acts it books for shows. Paramore, Passion Pit, Deadmau5 and Lupe Fiasco are just a few of the concerts that have drawn crowds in recent years.

Logan Square Auditorium
2539 N. Kedzie Ave. 773-252-6179
This second-floor ballroom used to play host to weddings and banquets but now sees its fair share of eclectic acts take the stage, from local punk marching band Mucca Pazza to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.