Last Thursday we had the pleasure of taking in our first concert at the Auditorium Theater (50 east Congress). The historic building is run by Roosevelt University and was designed by famous Chicago architects Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. The building was completed in 1889 and is registered as a national and Chicago landmark.
Last week we took in the soulful folky singer Ray Lamontagne and although he was solid, the venue slightly overshadowed the crooner. The auditorium is truly a remarkable thing. The murals, architectural detail and sheer size is something to behold. For this show, Lamontagne played a stripped down concert where it was just him, a rug and a acoustic guitar. In fairness to the artist, he really does have an amazing voice, but the venue probably wasn't the most conducive to a solo performance.
In between songs, Lamontagne seemed nervous and at times awkward as he stumbled through rambling stories. We don't blame him though, the venue is pretty intimidating as there are three balconies (with the top two pretty high up and seemingly ontop of the performer). Although we weren't that high up, we've heard that it's not the best place to take in a show or performance.
Regardless, the venue was truly beautiful and classic. It has signs of deterioration, but any building that's 100+ years is going to. It also had a slight lean to the staircase, but we like to call that character.
Anyway, the Auditorium Theater has a pretty wide variety of shows (music, balet, comedy, etc) so we highly recommend checking out whatever floats your boat.
For more info on the history of the theater here is a wikipedia page on the topic.
And for those of you who like Ray Lamontagne, enjoy: