Highland Park’s Ravinia Festival has really outdone itself for its 2019 schedule. With a number of memorable performances last summer, from The Beach Boys with John Stamos to 50 Cent’s Ravinia Debut, 2018 set the bar high for the new year.
Lucky for fans in the Chicago area, Ravinia may have booked its best lineup yet. With more shows than we can name, several stand outs from Ravinia’s 2019 schedule include:
Tash Sultana (6/1)
Rob Thomas (6/6)
Josh Groban (6/7)
Lionel Richie (6/11-12)
Buddy Guy (6/14)
Tony Bennett (6/21)
Little Big Town (6/28)
Counting Crows (6/29)
Steve Miller Band (7/1)
Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan (7/6)
Lady Antebellum (7/10)
Jennifer Hudson (7/14)
Weird Al Yankovic (7/28)
Ringo Starr and The Beach Boys (8/3-4)
Queen Latifah and Common (8/31)
Steely Dan (9/1-2)
Morrisey (9/14) and more!
Get your tickets now and check out Ravinia’s full schedule now at their official website.
50 Cent delivered a very rare and special performance to the Chicago-area Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL last night. The rap legend and Power creator/actorbrought a huge and diverse crowd to one of the Midwest’s most unique experiences. Whether you were dancing in the pavilion or lounging out and enjoying sounds on the lawn, if you were in attendance last night, you had a more than memorable night.
We hope you made it out to the special performance, but if you didn’t, we have our five reasons why you missed out below.
1. 50 Cent Shows Are a Rarity
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson rarely does shows in the country, in fact, 50 has only performed a few shows in the U.S. in the past few years. It’s been even longer than that since 50 Cent performed in the Chicago area, so when you have a chance to see him live, you have to jump on the opportunity. And although he doesn’t perform often, you wouldn’t have guessed it from last night’s performance. 50 brought a live band and performed a ton of his greatest hits, without issue. Practice may make perfect, but 50 Cent looked like he was in the middle of a tour with his great stage presence last night.
2. The Setlist
While also mixing in his brand new Tekashi 6ix9ine-assisted single ‘Get The Strap’, 50 Cent gave the fans what they wanted last night as Jackson performed the hits from start to finish. Opening with his 2007 track ‘Movin On Up’, 50 Cent kept the crowd entertained with tracks like ‘How We Do’, ‘What Up Gangsta’, ‘Many Men’, ’21 Questions’, ‘Window Shopper’ and of course his mega breakout track ‘In Da Club’, among others.
3. He Brought Some Friends
Although there was no opener for the night’s performance, 50 Cent didn’t travel to the Windy City solo as his G-Unit label-mates Tony Yayo and Uncle Murda joined him on-stage for the entire night. The two even contributed verses of their own for tracks like ‘On & On’, ‘Pimping’ and more.
4. There’s No Place Like The Ravinia to Catch a Show
The energy of last night was something special! A 50 Cent show in Highland Park may not sound like a perfect match, but the Chicago suburb’s festival consistently brings some of the best acts to the area, and the fit was amazing. The packed crowd was very diverse, proving that everyone loves 50 Cent’s music. From the moment the show started, the crowd was on their feet for the rest of the night.
5. He Repped Chicago
50 Cent proudly reps South Jamaica, Queens but that didn’t stop the New York-native from showing love to Chicago. Sporting a Chicago White Sox cap, 50 Cent put a little touch of Chicago into his wardrobe. 50 Cent and Chicago clearly have love for each other, and we hope that he returns to the area again in the near future because last night was one that we won’t soon forget!
Check out our photos from last night’s performance below and get your tickets for the remaining dates of the Ravinia Festival here.
Highland Park’s Ravinia Festival brings a consistent and diverse lineup of performers to the Chicago-area festival on a yearly basis. The festival will host a classical music recital one night, a famous musical the next and then a concert from one of the biggest artists on the radio to cap off the packed weekend. Ravinia easily has something for everyone throughout its summer months, making it a staple of a memorable Chicago summer.
That’s why there was no better venue for Lindsey Stirling and Evanescence’s new summer tour, which kicked off this past month and which is backed by a full orchestra. Mashing a live orchestra and big name performers, Ravinia was the perfect setting for the entertaining co-headliners.
Kicking things off on Tuesday night was violinist Lindsey Stirling. Giving new life to the 400-year-old instrument, Stirling famously combines the violin with dance and performance art, while mixing in popular genres into her recordings. You may know her from her stints on America’s Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars, but those in attendance last night will know her best for stealing the show at Ravinia.
With no vocals in the large majority of her tracks, one could understandably expect the majority of her songs to sound relatively similar. However that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Not only did each song that Stirling perform sound different and unique, but the performance art that Stirling used throughout the duration of her set helped tell a story, when lyrics could not.
Stirling also found ways to mix things up throughout her set, including a special surprise visit from Evanescence’s Amy Lee for a performance of ‘Shatter Me’, giving fans a sneak peak of the night’s headlining act.
Stirling also didn’t shy away from showing off her personality with her set. Early in the performance the stage was filled with various tombstones, including one dedicated to Piers Morgan, a judge on Stirling’s season of America’s Got Talent. Morgan did not shy away from critiquing Lindsey’s mixes of dance and violin, but who is laughing now? A subtle jab at one of her most famous haters, Stirling definitely had us laughing with her shade.
Another highlight of Stirling’s performance was when she took the time to tell the story of her first time in Chicago. Having heard about the Windy City’s famous deep dish pizza, Stirling walked over thirty blocks to grab a slice many years ago. However, after being told that there would be an hour wait and that she would need to order a whole pie, Stirling took to the streets to find a random stranger to share the pizza. Finally finding a hungry stranger to take her up on her offer, the two enjoyed the pizza and Stirling revealed that she still texts the man to this day when she finds her way back to Chicago. The funniest part being that this man, who refers to Lindsey as “pizza girl”, still has no idea what she does for a living.
The between song stories weren’t always as funny though, as the violinist also shared some inspiring words with her audience. Leading into her track ‘First Light’, Stirling spoke about how people have the power to take control of their own happiness. Sharing her struggles of depression and anorexia, Stirling likened taking care of your mind to exercising any other muscle in your body. It takes many reps, but with time you can strengthen your mind like any other muscle.
And while her personality was definitely on display throughout the night, it was Lindsey Stirling’s unbelievable ability to shred on the violin while dancing her butt off that left the crowd in awe. Everyone in attendance left with a new found respect for violin players, especially one like Stirling who can multi-task like none other. You may be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, but try spinning and jumping across the stage while flawlessly killing it on the violin.
Following Lindsey Stirling’s portion of the night, it was time for the Amy Lee-led Evanescence to greet their Illinois fans. Opening with their 2017 track ‘Overture’, Lee got the performance started with a minute-long piano solo. Soon after, Lee made the short walk to her mic stand and instantly showcased her amazing and unique vocals, sounding no different than when Evanescence first emerged in 2003 with their debut album, Fallen.
Throughout the night the band performed creative takes on some of their biggest songs from their entire discography. Backed by the live orchestra, the performance made fans appreciate the sounds of live instruments, especially in a day of age where rappers and singers aren’t back by much more than a Macbook.
While no section of the set shined over the others, Evanescence’s performance was consistently good from beginning to end. Two highlights though, included Amy Lee inviting Stirling back to the stage for ‘Hi-Lo’ and of course the band’s performance of their mega single, ‘Bring Me To Life’, which surprisingly took place only seven tracks into the seventeen track performance. Instead Evanescence chose to end the concert with ‘Imperfection’, the second single from their newest album, but an equally great song to end the night with.
Although we are sure that Lindsey Stirling and Evanescence’s tour is remarkable no matter what city or venue you catch it in, the unique tour seemed right at home at Ravinia. The unique splicing of a live orchestra and popular music is a combination that deserves to be witnessed by everyone, so make sure you catch the tour in a city near you!
Check out our photos from last night’s performance below.
After announcing a few additions in the past month, Highland Park, Illinois’ Ravinia Festival has shared it’s full lineup and schedule for the new year And 2018 looks to be as great as ever, as a diverse cast of performers will hit the stage at Ravinia this year, including Diana Ross, 50 Cent, Jason Mraz, O.A.R., Los Lobos, Seal, Stephen Marley, Loverboy, Bryan Adams, Jill Scott and many more.
Ravinia’s 2018 schedule will kick off on June 1st with a performance from Los Lobos and Los Lonley Boys, and will go all the way until mid September. One of the most unique festivals in the country, Ravinia is just north of Chicago and gives fans a chance to see the show up close and personal in the pavillion or let’s fans set up a blanket and throw a picnic in the lawn at a discounted price. If you’re in the Chicago area and have yet to check it out, this is your year.
Check out Ravinia’s 2018 schedule below, and visit the festival’s official website for more information.
Fans at the Ravinia Music Festival in Highland Park, IL were in for a treat tonight, as the I Love The 90’s: The Party Continues tour brought your favorite artists from one of the best decades in music for a memorable night of nostalgia.
With opening performances from Snap! (‘The Power’), All-4-One (‘I Swear’), O-Town (‘All Or Nothing’) and Biz Markie (‘Just A Friend’), and headlining sets from Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath and TLC, it was rare that fans heard a track that wasn’t a big hit years ago. Whether you were singing along to TLC ‘No Scrubs’ or belting out the words to Biz Markie’s ‘Just A Friend’, it was impossible to leave the festival grounds tonight without a smile on your face.
Tonight marked one of the last major shows for the Ravinia Festival’s 2017 season, and it couldn’t have gone any better. Highland Park residents and music fans across the state of Illinois are already counting down the days to another memorable summer at The Ravinia.
Check out our photos from tonight’s performance below.
Last night, OneRepublic brought the 2017 Honda Civic Tour to the Ravinia Music Festival in Highland Park, IL. With support from British singer/songwriter, James Arthur, and an energetic set from Indie pop’s Fitz and The Tantrums, from the pavilion to the picnics, everyone left with their money’s worth.
Up first for the night was ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ singer, James Arthur. With stellar performances of ‘Sober’, ‘Impossible’, his new single ‘Can I Be Him’ and more, Arthur showcased his voice and songwriting throughout his set. While joking about the crowd size, as the sold-out crowd continued to find their seats, Arthur had fun with his audience, before blowing us all away with his hit single ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’. If you’re a fan of Ed Sheeran, you’ll definitely want to give James Arthur a listen.
Next up, the always fun, Fitz and The Tantrums greeted the Chicago-area crowd. Reminding the Windy City that they have been doing shows in Chicago since “Snowmageddon 2011”, the Michael Fitzpatrick led band performed a catalog of their biggest tracks that have been recorded and charted in that time. Highlights of their set included their performances of ‘Out Of My League’, ‘MoneyGrabber’, ‘Hands Clap’ and ‘Roll Up’. Fitz also treated fans with a performance of their next single, ‘Fool’, a ode to all the Mamas and Mamas Boys out there.
However what stole the show was the “real Fitz and The Tantrums”, as Fitzpatrick described them. Joining the stage for the last song, ‘The Walker’, the band’s children danced the night away, as they were doing side-stage throughout the entire set. The children were as adorable as Fitz and The Tantrums are talented, and it definitely was the cherry on top of a great set.
Last but certainly not least, it was time for OneRepublic to close out the memorable night. And right off the bat, the Colorado Springs natives reminded us of their many hits from the past decade and change. With performances of ‘Stop and Stare’, ‘Good Life’, ‘Secrets’, ‘Counting Stars’, ‘Apologize’ and many more, OneRepublic have had a more than successful career, and two sold-out nights at The Ravinia is further evidence of that.
From their entertaining covers, of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Happier, Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ and Adele’s ‘Rumor Has It’, to their breathtaking encore performances of ‘Counting Stars’ and ‘Love Runs Out’, OneRepublic’s set had fans singing along from start to finish. Picking out highlights from the performance is a challenging task, but Ryan Tedder coming into the crowd in only the second song definitely stood out as a favorite moment for many in the audience. The band showed a lot of humility as well, wondering how many fans would show up for a tour after their roughly 2-year hiatus:
“We were nervous about doing this tour. We weren’t sure who was going to show up, and we’re able to do two nights here because of you.” – OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder
But as far as Chicago and Highland Park are concerned at least, OneRepublic’s Illinois fans are equally happy that the band delivered back-to-back memorable nights to The Ravinia crowd.
Check out our photos from last night’s performance below.
Just outside of Chicago, Highland Park’s Ravinia Festival has announced its amazing cast of artists for its 2017 lineup. Of the many performers that will hit the stage at Ravinia this year are Common, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Sheryl Crow, OneRepublic, The Beach Boys, John Legend, Sammy Hagar, TLC, Blondie, Garbage, John Mellencamp, Pentatonix, Fitz & The Tantrums and many more.
Ravinia’s 2017 season will kick off this June and will last through the middle of September, and if you haven’t had the chance to attend a Ravinia show in the past, we certainly recommend it. Unlike all other festivals, Ravinia puts as much emphasis on the concert experience as the talent artists who perform at the festival, where many in attendance don’t experience the shows from a seat in the amphitheater, rather they lay down a blanket and bring their best lawn chairs and picnic baskets, while they enjoy the sounds throughout the park grounds.
Fans can visit Ravinia’s official website for the festival’s complete calendar and ticket information.
Last night ‘Honey, I’m Good’ singer Andy Grammer and the Patrick Monahan-led Train opened up their two-night residency at The Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL. Performing for a sold-out Chicago crowd, both Train and Grammer delivered with high energy and performances of some of their best records.
Kicking things off for the night was Andy Grammer; a great singer, a talented songwriter and someone we dubbed as “music’s easiest guy to root for.” Grammer opened his performance on a high note with performances of his breakout single ‘Keep Your Head Up’, as well as his records ‘Fine By Me’ and ‘Kiss You Slow’. Whether he was thanking fans for their votes on “Dancing With The Stars”, even having the crowd get up and dance themselves, or whether he was performing some creative mashups of his tracks mixed with some current radio hits, like a mix of his new single ‘Fresh Eyes’ with The Chainsmoker and Daya’s hit record ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, Grammer found a way to entertain the crowd throughout his whole set. Other highlights of Grammer’s set included his performance of ‘Forever’ (with some hilarious acting in the background from his band), and his closing performance of his big single, ‘Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)’. Just days away from his co-headlining tour with Gavin DeGraw (another Ravinia Festival alum), Grammer delivered for Chicago tonight.
Next up were the night’s headliners, San Francisco roots rock band, Train. Perhaps known best for their record ‘Drops Of Jupiter’, Train’s engined is powered by much more than just one train track. ‘If It’s Love’, ‘Meet Virginia’ and ‘Bruises’ are just a few songs from the beginning of their set that instantly reminded fans of Train’s star power. Since their debut self-titled album in 1998, Train has been a staple in rock music and tonight was a reminder of just that. Tonight was also a treat for Illinois, because it was a hometown show for the ‘Hey Soul Sister’ performers, as Train guitarist Jimmy Stafford hails from Morris, IL. Highlights of Train’s night-one performance included Monahan performing in the crowd, spanning across the entire pavilion, walking on seats and taking selfies with fans, and of course their encore performance of ‘Drops of Jupiter’. It will be hard for tonight’s performance to top last night’s show, but we’re sure that Train and Andy Grammer are up for the challenge.
Check out our photos from last night’s performance below.
Bob Dylan is a self-proclaimed “worried man with a worried mind”, and last night one of the most influential artists from the last few decades in American culture brought his band and a nearly two hour set to the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL, and opened with those very lyrics from his 2000 Oscar winning record, ‘Things Have Changed’. And Dylan’s visit couldn’t have come at a better time. At a time where our country, and the world in general, is constantly divided, whether it’s on gun control, the European Union, or your preference for the next president of the United States, Chicagoland fans saw one of the most politically conscious individual in music perform a collection of his favorite records throughout the years.
As the last of the sold-out crowd began to fill in and set up their lawn chairs and blankets at the Ravinia, 76-year-old and Chicago-native Mavis Staples warmed up her hometown crowd. An immensely talented R&B and gospel singer, and a vocal civil rights activist, it is hard to imagine a better opening act for Dylan and his band. And don’t sell Staples short. Despite her age, Staples put a lot of energy into her opening performance, which included some of her biggest records, including ‘I’ll Take You There’, ‘You Are Not Alone’, ‘Take Us Back’ and more.
After a brief intermission as crew began to set things up for the night, it was finally showtime. As anticipation was at its peak, Bob Dylan emerged in a checked shirt, blazer and his signature “Rolling Thunder” hat, made famous decades ago during his legendary concert tour of the same name.
After Dylan and his band opened with his award winning track, they following things with ‘She Belongs to Me’, ‘Beyond Here Lies Nothin” and an Irving Berlin cover with ‘What’ll I Do’. While Dylan’s set was more than memorable, it may not be what you expect. Rather than the 75-year-old Minnesota-born singer performing a collection of his biggest hits that date back to the ’50s, Dylan performed a wide array of songs. With nearly 40 full-length LPs with records to choose from, Dylan choose a number of his favorite songs from his more recent albums, while still finding time to sprinkle in some classics from his early years. Highlights included his performances of ‘Spirit on the Water’, ‘Scarlet Town’ and ‘Tangles Up in Blue’.
And although Dylan had hundreds of his own songs to choose from, he still found time to perform a number of covers from a range of different artists. Whether it was his Cy Coleman cover ‘Why Try to Change Me Now’, Yves Montand’s ‘Autumn Leaves’, or one of his many Frank Sinatra covers from the night (‘All or Nothing at All’, ‘I Could Have Told You’, ‘I’m a Fool to Want You’ and more), Dylan sang a number of unique covers to some classic records.
Nearly two-hours later, and after two Sets of music, the night wouldn’t have been complete without an encore. First Dylan re-emerged performing his 1963 record ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ from his album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. One of Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and a protest record about peace and war, Dylan’s record from half-a-decade ago still is very much relevant today. Then, fast forwarding a few decades, Dylan took things to 1998 with his song ‘Love Sick’, from his 30th studio album, Time Out of Mind. ‘Love Sick’, among many reasons is known for the memorable performance of the track at the 1998 Grammys, and while last night’s performance of ‘Love Sick’ may not go down as one of Dylan’s biggest performances, for the people of Chicago and Highland Park last night, it will me a memory that will live on as long as Dylan’s career.