The Vic Theatre: A Musical Mecca in Chicago

As Chicagoans, we’re spoiled. There’s so much to do in this vibrant city, so much to explore, so much to see and share. I don’t think any one person could experience all the city has to offer in one lifetime. I got my first taste of the Windy City culture when I was in College at the University of Kentucky. I remember road-tripping it 6 hours with friends to catch the Hot Chip concert at Metro in Wrigleyville. The next day as my friends and I drove back to campus I realized it was too late; I was hooked. Chicago was to be my new musical mecca. I would make any pilgrimage to see whatever show, wherever, just so long as it was in Chicago.

Fast forward 4 years. I live in the city now and one thing that hasn’t changed has been my love of music. I’ve seen countless shows (Dan Deacon, Feist, Jimmy Eat World, The Sounds, Lykke Li, Hot Chip, 30 Seconds from Mars, Lollapalooza 2010, etc.) at countless venues (The Riv, Aragon, Metro, Shubas, Martyrs’, Kingston Mines, etc.) and yet one of my favorite spots to listen to tunes remains the Vic Theatre at the Belmont and Sheffield intersection.

The Sounds performing at the Vic Theatre

Lead singer of The Sounds, Maja Ivarsson, performing at the Vic Theatre

There’s just something about the Vic that makes you feel alive. Contrary to the mass super-dome centers of Allstate Arena and the likes, the Vic is a more intimate, small venue rich with character and history. According to Wikipedia, the Vic Theater was built in 1912 by Architect John E.O. Pridmore. The five-story venue, originally named Victoria Theatre, took 3 years to build. The beauty of this establishment is that this vaudeville house still operates today for the enjoyment of countless people just as it did nearly 100 years ago.

Opening the double doors that lead into the standing room, lights stream, pulsating bass beats resound in the air and guitar rifs can be felt from the floor to your core. It’s an amazing experience. Mostly due to the close proximity of the stage to the crowd. Musical entertainment is so near, you feel like you’re front and center even if you’re in the back of the room.

Lykke Li performing at the Vic Theatre

Lykke Li performing at the Vic Theatre

Heightened standing areas allow for multiple vantage points, even for the vertically challenged. And let’s not forget the 2 liquid subsidence stations (aka bars) located immediately to your left and right as soon as you enter the standing room. Priorities, people. And speaking of priorities, seeing a live show at the Vic Theatre should definitely be one of yours. Not interested in music? Easy. The Vic Theatre does a Brew and View movie showing weekly. So now you have no excuse not to go. So get going, already!