1. Go out to the neighborhood clubs. The people in the neighborhood clubs are much more gracious and friendly and the prices will be lower. The downtown clubs employ the same musicians but the show is always much better when everyone is relaxed and there’s a chance that you will meet some real local Chicagoans. The downtown clubs are full of other tourists.
2. Plan to stay until the last set
Sleep late or take a long afternoon nap (you’re on vacation, right?)
There are usually three sets. The first set is a good time to get a seat, but the crowd and the band are not warmed up yet. The second set is the most crowded. The third and final set is the best. The crowd thins out a little and this is when the bands call up their friends and local talent to jam and have fun with the music and the crowd. This is the best part of the show.
3. Talk to the people at the tables around you, tell them where you’re from and I guarantee you’ll have a better time. You will go back home with great stories about warm, quirky and welcoming Chicago natives
4. Buy CD’s directly from the musicians, they will be pleased to give you an autograph. (Bring a felt tipped pen). You can’t buy a better souvenir at the airport or Navy Pier.
5. Bring your camera or camera phone; if you just bought a CD they will be very happy to pose for pictures.
6. Arrange for a cab or limo to take you back to your hotel.
You don’t want a DUI ticket to ruin you vacation and possibly your life.
And you don’t want to get lost; Chicago’s a big, spread out town.
7. Stop at an all night diner on the way back for some really great food and more low cost entertainment