Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 5/5 and Beyond

It’s looking like one hell of a weekend with Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day landing right around each other! And with it looking like the last cool/rainy weekend we’ll be getting, it’s all about to get crazier. There’s so much going on this weekend and with the pandemic numbers staying relatively low, it’s feeling a little more normal to go out since Chicago dropped the masking and vaccination proof mandates on February 28 (for better or worse).

While we’re hopefully at the tail end of things, many venues are keeping their mask and vaccination requirements for the foreseeable future. So if you do plan to go out this weekend, make sure you check out the venue’s policies and take initiative. Wear a mask, social distance, and get your vaccination shots and your booster even if the venue/event doesn’t require it. And if you still feel that wearing a mask is a must (like many still do), then please wear one. Protect yourself and those around you. If you still don’t feel entirely safe to go out (and quite honestly, who can blame you?) you can always stay in and support these places from home.

Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!


Photo by John Cahill

Paved Paradise @ Bungalow by Middle Brow, 2840 W Armitage Ave, 3pm – 8pm, all ages
WHAT: Ghostly International, Numero Group, & the Secretly Group (Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian) teaming up gain for another amazing a record fair right outside of Bungalow by Middle Brow
SO WHAT: Paved Paradise will be making a stop in Chicago letting people crate dig through the aforementioned label’s offerings! Its a fun time filled with like minded record collectors ready to find some gems amidst the sea of vinyl. Qobuz will be joining the Paved Paradise crew again for the ride, bringing along their Hi-Res listening station and giving away limited edition totes with purchase!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Just bring some cash or your card, pick up some records, maybe get a beer, and enjoy the tunes!

Saba – The Back Home Tour / femdot. / Amindi / MFnMelo @ Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W Lawrence Ave, 5:30pm, All Ages
A home town show for some amazing rappers
SO WHAT: Saba and the rest of Pivot Gang are Chicago music staples. Saba in particular has made a name for himself with some amazing projects including his phenomenal CARE FOR ME and the recently released Few Good Things. The hometown show is definitely going to be a great one as the lineup features femdot., Amindi, MFnMelo
NOW WHAT: Tickets are available now! Don’t miss this fantastic show!


ChiTown Movies @ Pilsen Neighborhood, 2343 S. Throop St, Various Times, All Ages
An old school experience for the modern age
SO WHAT: Take a trip back in time and head out to a drive-in movie with ChiTown Movies. Ever since the pandemic started and shut down traditional movie screening, a few pop up drive-ins have arrived and ChiTown Movies has persevered, offering up modern movies in this retro setting. Check out their lineup below for showings this weekend and in the future!

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $33 per car for these movies, so bring the family for a safe movie watching experience


Free Comic Book Day @ Various Locations, All Day, All Ages
SO WHAT: Don’t you love events that are pretty much exactly what they sound like? Free Comic Book Day is a annual event where comic book shops like Chicago Comics, First Aid Comics, Graham Crackers, Challenger, Zone Comics & Games, Amazing Fantasy, and many more  give away special issues of comics so that you can see what the medium is all about! Plus while you’re there you can support these shops and purchase some of your favorite comics and collectibles!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Head out and pick up some comics and enjoy!

New Talks and Video Archives @ Various Locations & Chicago Humanities Festival YouTube channel, your favorite browser or YouTube app, any time you want some inspiration, All Ages
WHAT: Interesting conversations with interesting people!
SO WHAT: Chicago Humanities Festival always bring some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Be on the lookout for the upcoming season as their website is constantly updated with new talks. They just announced their first talk of the new year!  Click the link below for more details!

NOW WHAT: Head over to take a look at their past events here! You should also sign up for their email list to get updates on upcoming talks in 2022.

Anniversary Carnival @ Ravinia Brewing Company, 2601 W Diversey Ave, Noon – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Celebrate Ravinia Brewing’s one year anniversary!
SO WHAT: What’s better than some fun in a brewery’s parking lot?! Join Ravinia Brewing as they enjoy their one year birthday with live music from Los Perros Cubanos (4-7 PM),  DJ Rico the Juice Man spinning the hottest beats (7-10 PM), exciting carnival games (featuring Axe Throwing, Hammerschlagen, and more) live magic, Stilt-Walkers & Fire Twirlers! and of course plenty of beers like their $5 Taco Fest Mexican Lager and a limited edition beer tent featuring brews from the likes of Revolution, Off Color, Maplewood , Phase Three, More Brewing, Saint Errant, Goose Island, and Metropolitan!
NOW WHAT: It’s free to enter, just bring some money for the beer and drink responsibly!

ZINE NOT DEAD 17 @ Archer Ballroom, 3012 S Archer Ave., 3rd Floor, 8:00pm – 11:00pm,
WHAT: Something a little different for your Saturday evening
SO WHAT: If you’re wanting something a little different from your comics and zines, then this evening is for you. Joing ZINE NOT DEAD for their 17th edition of excellent series! Hosted by Matt Davis and Brad Rohloff, this evening will feature comics readings from HILLER GOODSPEED, Gina Wynbrandt, Emma Punch, Nayef Nebhan, Mark Bouchard, and Kelsey Borch!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $10 and come with a poster and mystery  prize!


The Neo-Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench @ The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N Ashland, Saturday 10:30pm, Sunday 7:00pm, 16+
WHAT: Quick plays live and online!
SO WHAT: The Neo-Futurists are back! Their Infinite Wrench is an  ongoing, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes for a live audience. Now it’s actually a live audience that will be enjoying the performance in person! With plenty of COVID precautions in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the funny, disgusting, profound, terrifying, irreverent, and downright entertaining show with friends! Plan ahead as vaccination cards will be checked and booster will be required to be fully vaccinated.
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo-Futurists this weekend for $10! Head over to their website to see all they have planned now that in-person audiences are a thing again! If you’re still a little anxious about going out, The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral will be continuing til February (and possibly beyond) over at their Patreon!


Mariachi Herencia de México @ Thalia Hall, 1807 S Allport St, 2:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Add some mariachi flavor to your Mother’s Day!
SO WHAT: Mariachi Herencia de Mexico, the Latin Grammy winning group, will be making there way to Chicago for a special Mother’s Day show! Mariachi Herencia de Mexico is comprised of both male and female musicians,lending their craft to some masterful and modernistic arrangements highlighting the group’s stunning vocals, all while keeping the essence of this festive folk style alive. This afternoon show will sure delight with the ultimate Mother’s Day serenade (and perhaps a grito or two).
NOW WHAT: Tickets are available now but are going fast!


Weekend Shows @ Lincoln Hall & Schubas, 2424 N Lincoln Ave & 3159 N Southport Ave, various times, 18+
WHAT: A full weekend of amazing shows at Schubas!
SO WHAT: Lincoln Hall and Schubas are some of our favorite venues in the city and they always have something great going on. Check out what’s going this weekend at these great venues!

NOW WHAT: Head out to Schubas & Lincoln Hall and enjoy this great lineup of shows! Please note: proof of vaccination is required for entry to all shows at Lincoln Hall and Schubas in Chicago. Click here for more information on this policy.

Back on the Big Screen and Virtual Cinema @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave and at your home, any time you want to watch a movie
A great way to support a great local theater
SO WHAT: The Music Box Theatre is currently open to the public, so if you feel comfortable you can go out and have a theater experience this weekend with We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (Thursday only), Hatching (Thursday only), The Northman, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on 35mm, Inland Empire, midnight screenings of The Room and Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Lady Eve Part of: Anchors Aweigh Matinees! , Zandy’s Bride Part of: Hell on the Homestead: Surviving the Frontier and more! But if you want to watch some first-run movies at home, you can still watch great movies and support them online! They are currently screening films via their The Music Box Direct series! There are also tons of select titles available on their new platform!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, in person screenings vary, so sit back and enjoy! Remember that a physical/digital vaccination card or negative PCR COVID test is required for entrance!

To Be, William Shakespeare’s 458th Birthday @ Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier’s Website, the coziest spot in your home, All Ages
WHAT: Chicago Shakespeare Theater celebrates the Bard’s 458th birthday with a free 40-minute virtual program by local artists.
SO WHAT: Eleri Ward performs Acoustic Sondheim from her indie-folk album, A Perfect Little Death. Musical performances by Chicago Shakes performers Missy Aguilar, Jerica Exum, Jacquelyne Jones, Evan Tyrone Martin, Liam Oh, Sawyer Smith and more. One of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches will be performed by A.B.L.E. Ensemble, which creates theater and film projects for, with, and by individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.
NOW WHAT: Watch To Be here. Streaming on demand through May 22. 

Fulton Street Collective Jazz Series @ Fulton Street Collective, Palmhouse619 (619 W. Howard St., Evanston, IL) ,Montrose Saloon (2933 West Montrose Avenue) & Their YouTube channel, or the coziest spot in your home, 8:00pm
WHAT: Some excellent jazz for your evening
SO WHAT: Fulton Street Collective are back with in-person events, but they are still determined to give Chicago its much needed dose of jazz at home! Most of their shows are also streaming so you can see and hear the beautiful music on their YouTube channel, which has a great back catalog for you to enjoy! Below are just some of the upcoming shows from the collective.

NOW WHAT: The shows are free, but there is usually a $15 suggested donation to help support the musicians and Fulton Street Collective. ! Also you should definitely support Fulton Street Collective by becoming a member!

Lyric Opera Streaming On Demand @ Your favorite streaming device, the most lavish spot in your home
WHAT: The Lyric Opera at home
SO WHAT: Revisit some of your favorite Lyric moments, or experience for the first time performances you’ve missed.Check out their website for schedule of upcoming shows. Currently streaming is Luisa Miller (2019), The Queen of Spades (2020), and Die Walküre (2017).
NOW WHAT: It’s free!!

Concerts Livestreams and Local Shows Archives @ Your House, Any time you please, All Ages
WHAT: There’s tons of concerts from Chicago’s yesteryear available online for your enjoyment!
SO WHAT: Oh My Rockness and Do312 has done a fantastic job of cataloging some of the upcoming live-streams from the awesome musical acts out there! Check out Oh My Rockness’ listings here, Do312’s roundup of shows here, and tune in to these great shows from the comfort of home! Do312 have also shared some past Chicago shows that are certainly worth a watch. There are also so many great local concerts recorded for posterity and what better time to check them all out than during this self isolation period. Audiotree has a fantastic and huge list of sessions with links to band’s websites and merch to help support them even more. In addition to our previous recommendations like Fran, Tasha, KAINA, Divino Nino, and The Ophelias, we also recommend ROOKIE, Emily Blue, Sen Morimoto, Beach Bunny, Tennis, and Gia Margaret! Then head over to their record concerts from Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and beyond to check out Orville Peck, of Montreal, and so many more! JBTV is also a fantastic resource for sessions from bands that have come through Chicago! Just take a look at this playlist of Blind Melon’s ’95 set at Metro!
NOW WHAT: Stay home, watch some live music, and be sure to check out your favorite artists’ social media, you never know who might be live streaming next!

Video Games @ Your home PC or Console, As long as it takes, Just check the game rating
WHAT: Video-games for all!
Check out our games page for some recommendations of what games to download (and avoid) while we’re stuck at home. If you’re a PC user, head over to the Epic Games store as they will be releasing a few new FREE games for you to download ! There are also tons of free games on Twitch Prime waiting for you to download!
Wash your hands and dive head first into some fun games!

Masque of the Red Coronavirus! @ Black Button Eyes Productions, Any time on your computer or mobile device. For 18+.
WHAT: Written by Black Button Eyes Productions producing artistic director Ed Rutherford, this short satirical piece is available online free as a combined script-and-video experience.
SO WHAT: In addition to reading the play, you will see various Chicago artists act out portions of the script on video, recorded remotely. The event includes puppets, burlesque, original music, fire dancing and more in a brief, darkly comedic confection.
With the Red Coronavirus running rampant across the countryside and a vaccine still months away, what’s a Prince to do? Lock himself in a secure bunker in an undisclosed location along with a cohort of his top donors, of course. To prevent him and his rich supporters from becoming bored, the Prince has also brought a few artists into the bunker to entertain the crowd. But as the hour grows later and the night grows weirder, it’s clear that something else has also invaded the party.
NOW WHAT: Settle down for an evening of magical weirdness. Click here and begin reading and watching the videos.

Julian Ramirez
Julian Ramirez
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