Summer is gone, but it hasn’t quite taken music festivals with it. This weekend, hip-hop and EDM stars descend on Toyota Park for the three-day Freaky Deaky—a production of React Presents, who’ve also booked the two-day Reaction New Year’s Eve at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. And early next year, the folks at Lincoln Hall and Schubas bring back Tomorrow Never Knows for its 13th iteration. The festival kicks off Wednesday, January 11, and takes over Schubas, Lincoln Hall, Metro, and the Hideout for five days. (The Reader is a media sponsor.) Highlights on the bill, announced this morning, include postrock heroes Tortoise, emo heartthrobs Title Fight, and acerbic rapper Open Mike Eagle.
TNK started before Lincoln Hall existed, and on the watch of talent buyer and promoter Matt Rucins it grew faster than the Schuba brothers’ venues (both of which they sold to Audioleaf last year). The fest expanded into other clubs and beyond music—in 2012 TNK added comedy. After 15 years Rucins left for React Presents last fall, and the 2017 Tomorrow Never Knows lineup is the first he hasn’t had a hand in assembling.
Schubas talent buyer Dan Apodaca and Lincoln Hall talent buyer Patrick Van Wagoner keep true to the festival’s spirit, leaning heavy on indie rock while hewing to no single template for what it means to play indie rock in the late 2010s. Punk lifers Ceremony, jazz antagonists BadBadNotGood, and garage-pop wizards Jeff the Brotherhood don’t cross over much stylistically—and neither do many of the locals on the bill, such as math-rockers Monobody and ferocious postpunks Negative Scanner. Every act announced so far is listed below, with links to past Reader features and concert previews where I could find them. Tickets for TNK go on sale Friday at noon.
Wednesday, January 11: Tortoise, Monobody, and TBD
Thursday, January 12: Ezra Furman, Dream Version, and TBD
Saturday, January 14: Jeff the Brotherhood, Chastity, and TBD
Sunday, January 15: BadBadNotGood, Mattson 2, and TBD
Wednesday, January 11: Big Thief, Sam Evian, Campdogzz, and TBD
Thursday, January 12: Wand, Acid Dad, Flaural, and Joe Bordenaro & the Late Bloomers
Friday, January 13: Foxtrott, Ian Sweet, In Tall Buildings, and TBD
Saturday, January 14: Ceremony, Negative Scanner, Muuy Biien, and Hogg
Saturday, January 14: Title Fight
Sunday, January 15: Sons of the Silent Age (performing David Bowie’s Low)
Thursday, January 12: Helltrap Nightmare Birthday Funeral
Friday, January 13: Michelle Wolf
Saturday, January 14: Phoebe Robinson
Sunday, January 15: Beth Stelling