12 hottest concert tickets in Chicago, suburbs this summer
It's going to be a music lover's feast this summer in Chicago and the suburbs.
While the annual Lollapalooza music festival is always the biggest event, and boasting Paul McCartney as a headliner to boot, there are other huge concerts on the summer calendar.
Tickets to these shows will be hard to come by; a couple are already officially sold out. And if you are thinking of catching them all, top-tier tickets will come to more than $2,400 -- not including pricy handling fees and parking, of course.
If you can, buy tickets early -- as in now -- or prepare to pay a scalper waaaaay more than face value.
1. The Grateful Dead at Soldier Field. It may be one of the hottest concert tickets ever: Deadheads from all over the world will descend on Chicago July 3, 4 and 5 to celebrate the last-ever shows by surviving Grateful Dead band members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart. The three sold-out shows will celebrate the legendary jam band's 50th anniversary and will take place almost 20 years to the day -- and in the same location -- where the Grateful Dead last played together in 1995. Except now tickets are going for $1,000 each (or more). Sold out, but originally priced at $59.50-$199.50, dead50.net.
2. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga at Ravinia. White-hot Gaga is coming off stellar performances at the Oscars, Grammys and the televised Stevie Wonder tribute. Her 88-year co-star is pretty popular, too (and a regular Ravinia sellout). Expect to hear duets from their Grammy-winning jazz album, "Cheek to Cheek," at their June 26 and 27 shows. Interest is so high that Ravinia officials say tickets will likely be snapped up by donors before they go on sale to the public. So if you have your heart set on seeing the duo, get your checkbook out. $49 for lawn, $180-$195 for pavillion ravinia.org.
3. Taylor Swift at Soldier Field. There won't be a blank space anywhere in Soldier Field July 18 or 19, as Swifties pack the stadium to see one of the world's biggest pop stars. If you can score tickets for your tween or teen girls, you might be deemed the Best Mom (or Dad, or Grandparent) Ever. $66-$197, ticketmaster.com.
4. Kenny Chesney at Soldier Field. A big revival, indeed. One of country music's top stars will play with A-list pals such as Miranda Lambert in this sure-to-be-sold-out show June 6. $32-$250, ticketmaster.com.
5. Bette Midler at United Center. The Divine Miss M hasn't toured much lately, so her June 18 stop here offers a chance to see her perform her old '80s hits ("The Rose" and "Wind Beneath My Wings," etc.), plus other beloved Broadway standards and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy-era tunes. Midler's known for her lavish stage productions and costumes, so it will be a SHOW. $42-$307, ticketmaster.com.
6. Foo Fighters at Wrigley Field. Dave Grohl loves Chicago, and featured it in his HBO series, "Sonic Highways." So naturally he's bringing his band to play here Aug. 29. Grohl will probably retell the story of his life-changing experience seeing Naked Raygun play at Cubby Bear when he was a teen visiting Chicago. And Naked Raygun opens for Foo Fighters, along with Cheap Trick and Urge Overkill. Sold out, originally priced at $50-$75, http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ticketing/ff.jsp
7. Rush at United Center. Fans of this Canadian rock band can see them living in the limelight (the universal dream) when the 40th anniversary tour stops in Chicago June 12. See why guitarist/lead vocalist Geddy Lee, drummer Neil Peart and bassist Alex Lifeson are rock gods. $45-$175, http://www.rush.com/show/r40-live-chicago/
8. Billy Joel at Wrigley Field. An all-night singalong to Billy Joel's greatest hits will bring droves of Piano Man fans out to the ballpark for a night of impressive piano playing and songwriting. The Aug. 27 show will probably put all of Wrigleyville in a New York state of mind. $44-$124.50 http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ticketing/billyjoel.jsp
9. Jimmy Buffett at First Midwest Amphitheater. Hawaiian shirts, shark fins and boat drinks -- lots and lots of them -- are part of this hugely popular, annual, feel-good concert June 27 that celebrates carefree island life. $36-$136, ticketmaster.com
10. Imagine Dragons at Allstate Arena. This Grammy Award-winning band has some haters, but they'll be trounced by the thousands of Imagine Dragons fans who come to see their "Smoke + Mirrors" tour in Rosemont June 15. $29.50-$69.50. ticketmaster.com
11. Could-be-the-last time shows. 74-year-old Neil Diamond performs April 14 at the United Center ($39.50-$150). At Allstate Arena, Mötley Crüe's final tour is Aug. 8 ($20-$149.50) and Scorpions reunite for their 50th anniversary show Sept. 26 ($29.50-$99.50). All available at ticketmaster.com.
12. U2 at United Center. Yes, they've played in Chicago a lot over the years, but U2's live show never disappoints and always fills stadiums. Five shows from June 24 to July 2. $30-$275, ticketmaster.com.