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Press Release: Downtown Sound Indie Rock and Pop Music Series Returns to Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, June 2 – August 11


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Millennium Park - Downtown Sound

Millennium Park  >  Upcoming Events  >  Downtown Sound


Crowd enjoing a Downtown Sound performance at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park

June 2 - August 11, 2014 • Mondays (except July 28) at 6:30 pm

Check out an eclectic mix of music discoveries, including cutting-edge indie rock, pop bands, global sounds, and rock veterans.

(Headliners appear first in the line-up below, schedule is subject to change)

Robbie Fulks


Monday, June 2, 2014

Robbie Fulks + Funeral Bonsai Wedding

Robbie Fulks, Chicago's prodigiously talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist, has the soul of a country singer and the mind of a vaudevillian. Lost in the deserved accolades for being a fabulously unique, clever, and heartfelt writer is the fact that he's also one of the best guitarists around. Steve Dawson, leader of Chicago folk-rock group Dolly Varden, has joined forces with some of the city's most revered improvising musicians to form a new band called Funeral Bonsai Wedding.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Omar SouleymanOmar Souleyman + Joshua Abrams' Natural Information Society

Hailing from Syria, Omar Souleyman not only changed the vibe of weddings throughout the Middle East with his Shaabi street sound, but also brought it to the West through his notorious late night festival slots. His latest release, Wenu Wenu, was produced by Kieran Hebden (Four Tet). Natural Information Society is the genre-defying project of Chicago bassist Joshua Abrams. In performance the music revolves around the sound of the guimbri (a Gnawan lute), integrating composition and improvisation to create hypnotic, highly rhythmic, sustained psychedelic environments. 


Monday, June 16, 2014Richard Thompson

An evening with Richard Thompson and his Electric Trio

Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world's most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. Having co-founded the groundbreaking group Fairport Convention as a teenager in the 60's, Richard Thompson and his mates virtually invented British Folk Rock.  By the age of 21 he left the band to pursue his own career, followed by a decade long musical partnership with his then-wife Linda, to over 30 years as a highly successful solo artist. His last album Electric, was produced by studio extraordinaire Buddy Miller, and released by New West records in February of 2013. For his Millennium Park debut Mr. Thompson will play a solo acoustic set followed by a full electric set with his trio.


Monday, June 23, 2014Bob Mould

Bob Mould + Split Single

Bob Mould's journey as singer-songwriter, guitarist, author, DJ, and all-around MVP began in 1979 with the formation of Hüsker Dü. In 1988, Mould began the first part of his solo career with the albums Workbook and Black Sheets of Rain. In 1992, Bob gave the world Sugar, a reimagined power trio. Now well into his fourth decade as a singer-songwriter, Mould is as relevant, ferocious, and poignant as he has ever. The new album Beauty & Ruin may very well be the most epic emotional roller coaster ever pressed into 36 minutes.

Split Single is the new project from Jason Narducy. Jason recorded the album, "Fragmented World" with Spoon's Britt Daniel, and Superchunk / Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster to craft a plush collection of rock songs. He will be performing these songs with Chicago musicians Tim Remis and Jake Smith.


Monday, June 30, 2014

My Brightest DiamondMy Brightest Diamond + White Mystery

Shara Worden's voice and arresting live performances have left audiences thunderstruck from the Sydney Opera House to Lincoln Center to the House of Blues. A multi-instrumentalist and trained opera singer, she's performed under the experimental-pop moniker My Brightest Diamond for the last seven years, and has collaborated with The Decemberists' on their The Hazards of Love, Sufjan Stevens, David Byrne, Brooklyn Rider, Bryce and Aaron Dessner in The Long Count, and appeared recently in the work of Matthew Barney's opera, River of Fundament. Her new album is released in fall 2014. Chicago brother / sister duo White Mystery, Miss Alex White & Francis Scott Key White, round out the bill with their bombastic rock attack.


Monday, July 7, 2014Joe Pug

Joe Pug + Hurray for the Riff Raff

Joe Pug is a songwriter from Austin, TX, by way of Chicago. With a modern take on the folk tradition and a work ethic that reflects his years as a carpenter, Pug's ascension to the national spotlight challenged the traditional rulebook of the industry, enlisting fans directly to spread the gospel of his songs which balance sharp narrative, social criticism and passionate delivery. Hurray For The Riff Raff is New Orleans-based songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra, but in many ways it's much more than that: it's a young woman leaving her indelible stamp on the American folk tradition.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Noura Mint SeymaliNoura Mint Seymali + Ted Sirota's Heavyweight Dub

Noura Mint Seymali is one of Mauritania's foremost musical emissaries and a nationally beloved star, having begun her career, aged 13, as a supporting vocalist with her legendary step-mother Dimi Mint Abba. Drawing on Mauritania's unique intersection of Arab and sub-Saharan African culture, Noura Mint Seymali pushes the dialectic of Mauritanian griot music forward into deep space. Heavyweight Dub is the brainchild of Chicago drummer and bandleader Ted Sirota. In 2013 they recorded with Reggae Dub legend Scientist for their debut album.

This tour is supported in part by the globalFEST Touring Fund:


Monday, July 21, 2014The Both

The Both + Pillars & Tongues

Collectively and individually, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo have more years of musical experience under their belts than most. You might call them "lifers." Over the years, they became friendly, leading to a tour together. Inspired by the folksy but edgy rock melodicism and spooky, soulful atmosphere of early Thin Lizzy songs, they began writing together, growing ever closer and more fulfilled working together until "The Both" (originally called #BOTH, because it made them laugh) was born. Chicago's Pillars & Tongues craft cinematic art-rock that promises to blanket the Pritzker Pavilion in warm, lush soundscapes with haunting vocals.​


Monday, August 4, 2014Maps and Atlases (Photo by Chris Hainey)

Maps & Atlases + Wooden Shjips

Maps & Atlases are a Chicago rock band who defy easy categorization. Their experimental and traditional song-forms collide with hymnal harmonies, percolating rhythms, and maximalist creativity, resulting in boundary-busting, asymmetrical pop. Wooden Shjips, recording on Chicago's Thrill Jockey label, transform heavy psychedelic rock into minimalist masterpieces.


Monday, August 11, 2014Russian Circles

Russian Circles + Colin Stetson

Chicago's Russian Circles bring their soaring, triumphant instrumental metal to the Pritzker Pavilion, showcasing their 2013 release Memorial. Opening is Colin Stetson, who spent the last two years playing saxophone with Bon Iver. Here he performs works from his 2013 solo album, New History Warfare Volume 3: To See More Light, using a stunning circular breathing technique and unprecedented approach to the instrument to create dense cascading layers of sound. 


Performer Photo Gallery

click on image to enlarge

  • Robbie Fulks
  • Funeral Bonsai Wedding
  • Omar Souleyman
  • Joshua Abrams
  • Richard Thompson
  • Bob Mould
  • Split Single
  • My Brightest Diamond
  • White Mystery (photo credit Diane Alexander White)
  • Joe Pug
  • Hurray for the Riff Raff
  • Noura Mint Seymali
  • Ted Sirota
  • The Both
  • Pillars & Tongues
  • Maps and Atlases (Photo by Chris Hainey)
  • Russian Circles
  • Colin Stetson


Mondays; June 2-August 11, 2014 (no concert July 28)




6:30 pm




Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601




FREE; Seating area opens to the public at 5:30 pm




Every aspect of Millennium Park was designed to be fully accessible to all patrons. The following services are available:

  • Wheelchair loans in the Millennium Park Welcome Center, 201 E. Randolph Street
  • Integrated spaces for wheelchair seating at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion
  • Wheelchair accessible restroom facilities
  • Assisted listening devices at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion Sound Booth




Public Transportation:
For travel information, visit



Millennium Garages

Parking Details: Park right below the action! Garage locations are Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage at 5 S. Columbus Drive, Grant Park North Garage at 25 N. Michigan Ave. and Grant Park South Garage at 325 S. Michigan Ave.

Packages: $30 parking/Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage (regular rates apply at Grant Park North & Grant Park South Garages)

Purchase Options: Pay at parking location; call 312.616.0600