Next Exit: Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms guides us through Chicago, Illinois.

Hey, welcome to Chicago. You don’t have friends here? That’s a little strange. This is one of the friendliest cities in the world, hence the nickname “City of the Big Shoulders”. You’re in luck though, because I happen to know some great spots to do the things that Chicagoans do best: eat awesomely un-healthy food, drink staggering amounts of beer and enjoy the best rock scene in the country.

EAT AT: Kuma’s Corner (2900 W. Belmont Ave.)

  Bottom line: Kuma’s Corner has the best burgers in the world, all named after metal bands and all available in beef, chicken or veggie styles. The music inside is loud metal, and the menu features crazy shit like pork fries (don’t ask, just try) and tons of microbrews. Hell, I think Clutch suck, but I order the Clutch burger every time I’m there.

BEFORE THE SHOW, GO TO: Art Institute of Chicago Museum (111 S. Michigan Ave.) and Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.?

  The Art Institute of Chicago Museum is great. It’s got [Geaorges Seurat’s] “A Sunday On La Grande Jatte”, [Edward Hopper’s] “Nighthawks” and [Grant Wood’s] fucking “American Gothic”! It’s one of the best collections of art in the world. If it’s too nice outside to hang around in a museum, go right next door to Millennium Park. It’s got a beautiful amphitheater and all sorts of crazy art installations, including a giant mirrored bean  which doesn’t sound nearly as breathtakingly cool as it is.

PLAY AT: The Metro (3730 N. Clark St.)

  Yeah, it’s big and it’s hardly the hidden gem you might be looking for, but come on! The Metro is the best club in the country. Backstage is comfy as shit with a hospitality staff who genuinely want you to have a good time. The house sound it top-notch, the in-lights are professional, the in-venue bars are affordable. The Metro’s owner, Joe Shanah, has also (awesomely) refused to sell out, despite offers that would make most of us punch our own grandmas. It’s the last of the great indie clubs in the country.

AFTER SHOW, GOT TO: L&L Tavern (3207 N. Clark St.)

  L&L Tavern is the default rock bar in town. It’s full of old men, punks, indie rockers, bums, drunks, office drones and sorority girls. Together, they form one of the best experiences around. The jukebox is great, the $2 beers are better, and the odds of running into someone from the Chicago rock scene (specifically studio whiz Matt Allison) are high. Chances are that someone in your entourage is already headed to the L&L anyway, so forget your lame plans and make a fucking night of it, already.

STAY AT: City Suites Hotel (933 W. Belmont Ave.)

  City Suites is in a cool neighborhood, it’s not totally scary, and it’s right next to Philly’s Best (which has cheese steaks so delicious and authentic that you could stuff one right up Ben Franklin’s ass), right across the street from Igor’s Dungeon (home to all your dildo needs) and up the street from Boystown (our local gay neighborhood, filled with all the good-looking dudes and crazy drugs you’ll ever need to find).

REMEMBER TO: Look for Old Style Beer signs

  Last time I went hunting for red-and-blue Old Style Beer signs (the unofficial beer of the Midwest), the bartender ended up runnning out of shot glasses by 6 p.m. because he had thrown them all against the wall and shattered them.

SOURCE: Alternative Press Magazine

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