For readers who have never been to Ravinia, this summer-long festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States and is an excellent excuse to pack up a car with a fancy dinner-and-table setup, then drive to Highland Park and drink wine under a summer sunset with your favorite people. Seriously, I saw Steely Dan last summer and there were people eating sushi with a full-out candelabra on their table. Overdo it and you’ll fit right in.
Among this summer’s lineup, which includes Hall & Oates, the Temptations and James Taylor, are Cat Power and Rufus Wainwright. Cat Power has been writing bluesy, meandering ballads since the mid-nineties, securing her spot as one of the most influential female singer-songwriters around. The same timeline applies for Rufus Wainwright, who has written many more songs than his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” a tune that is impossible to avoid.
Winter in Chicago this year lasted until May and the entire city owes it to themselves to have a night like this concert. This will be a show where you can look around, appreciate the people you love, and know that these are the good old days. The fact that you can hear “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” or “Lived in Bars” live in the background will make the evening even more picturesque. (Reilly Gill)
June 25 at Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park, Highland Park, (847)266-5000. 7pm. $27-$70. All ages.