2:53 PM CDT, July 24, 2013
Three rising independent promoters, including the founders of the Riot Fest rock festival and the Spring Awakening electronic-music festival, are joining forces to open a new 1,600-capacity music club next week in the Wicker Park-Logan Square neighborhood.
The schedule for Concord Music Hall at 2047 N. Milwaukee Ave. is expected to be announced Thursday, with Adam Ant headlining opening night Aug. 1. Other scheduled performers include Lotus on Aug. 31, Jimmy Cliff on Sept. 20, the Misfits on Oct. 20, Jason Isbell on Oct. 26 and a series of Riot Fest after-parties during the festival weekend Sept. 13-15 in Humboldt Park. The venue is expected to book a mix of rock, hip-hop and electronic music, reflecting the background of three major indie promoters who will join forces to book the venue: React Presents, which has presented Spring Awakening at Soldier Field and the North Coast Music Festival in Union Park for several years; Riot Fest, the company behind the annual festival of the same name in Humboldt Park, as well as Denver and Toronto; and Silver Wrapper, which has a history of bringing electronic-music artists and DJs to numerous local clubs.
The property, which formerly housed a Latin music club, was bought in recent months by Lucas King and Jeff Callahan of React Presents and a third partner, Nick Karounos. The 20,000-square-foot second-floor venue includes a 35-foot long stage and five bars on two levels. The space is designed to hold 700 to 1,600 fans, depending on whether the two balconies are opened.
Rival promoters said the new venue is likely to exploit its deep ties to the fast-rising electronic-music scene. In addition, Riot Fest recently scored a coup by booking the Replacements to play the band's first shows in 20 years, beating out deep-pocketed promoters such as Golden Voice at Coachella and C3 Presents at Lollapalooza. Riot Fest, Silver Wrapper and React Presents all previously booked shows at the Congress Theatre, 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., but the theater's owner, Eddie Carranza, is facing legal difficulties and has indicated he intends to lease the venue.
Though the Chicago market is already bustling with venues with similar capacities, including Metro, House of Blues, the Vic and the Riviera, the Concord's new owners say their location will help them attract an audience.
"We felt that given the location and the room capacity that it was a very attractive thing for all of us," King said. "I don't know if there is a gap (in the market). It's all about the neighborhood for us."
Mike Petryshyn, one of the founders of Riot Fest, said, "There are enough shows for everyone. With the (musical) niches we bring we will do fine. Some of those niches have been underserved — it's testament to the festivals we started. In the neighborhood we're in, there is no venue of that capacity. There are people in West Town who might not want to go to other parts of town for a show, but if you put a good show in their neighborhood, they'll go out."
Here are the concerts that Concord Music Hall is expected to announce Thursday (a Web site at concordmusichall.com is also expected to launch):
Aug.1 – Adam Ant
Aug. 30 – North Coast Afters: AlunaGeorge (Live), Passion Pit DJ Set, Capital Cities DJ Set
Aug. 31 – North Coast Afters: Lotus
Sept. 1 – North Coast Afters: Disco Biscuits and Future Rock
Sept. 7 – Carnage
Sept. 13 – Riot Fest Afters
Sept. 14 - Riot Fest Afters
Sept. 15 - Riot Fest Afters
Sept. 19 – Netsky (DJ Set)
Sept. 20 – Jimmy Cliff
Oct. 18 – Boys Noize
Oct. 19 – Dumpstaphunk
Oct. 20 – The Misfits
Oct. 24 – DJ Bl3nd
Oct. 26 – Jason Isbell
Oct. 31 – Laidback Luke
Oct. 9 – Pretty Lights After Party
Nov. 23 — Figure & Crizzly
Dec. 12 — Lettuce
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