Square Roots showcases local artists and sounds from around the world
by Jamie Ludwig / Chicago Reader / June 30, 2023
Chicago’s outdoor entertainment season arrived this year amid more questions than usual: Why NASCAR, and why here? Why did the Chicago Park District extend the C3 Presents Lollapalooza contract in Grant Park for another ten years, when residents in Pilsen, North Lawndale, Belmont Cragin, and other neighborhoods are still duking it out with independent promoters over community resources and access to public parks? This makes me especially grateful for the 2023 installments of some of Chicago’s longest-running and least head-scratching summer events—business as usual is sometimes actually a positive thing. And at Square Roots in Lincoln Square, business is good.
Established in 1998 as the Folk & Roots Festival, Square Roots features a mix of rock, roots, and traditional music from around the globe. It includes one indoor and three outdoor stages of music, dance, and family-oriented programming, and proceeds from admission (technically a suggested donation) benefit the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and the Old Town School of Folk Music. This year’s lineup features some familiar faces, including Jon Langford & Sally Timms, Eleventh Dream Day, Split Single, and Superchunk, as well as a couple buzzed-about local up-and-comers. Nineties-influenced alt-rockers Slow Pulp (who just announced their second album, Yard, due on Anti- in September) and indie-rock outfit Brigitte Calls Me Baby (whose vocalist, Wes Leavins, could hold his own next to Elvis or Morrissey) are the kind of acts you’ll want to catch now to lock in those “I saw them back when” bragging rights. You’ll find plenty of reasons to come early and stay late, whether your tastes run toward the serene and tranquil (hazy dream-pop band Divino Niño, angel-voiced folk singer Sabine McCalla, country artist Angela James) or whether you crave theatrics and spectacle (you can see not one but two outsider marching bands—Mucca Pazza and Clamor & Lace Noise Brigade—plus tap-dancing indie-pop outfit Them Queers). Read more HERE