Hampered by a lack of funds and a shortage of imagination in the bookings,
the musical component of Taste of Chicago hasn't offered much to get
excited about in recent years. But, hey, the price is right (it's free), the
backdrop of Lake Michigan and Grant Park are spectacular and you can grab a
corn dog or a brat while you listen.
As always, things kick off with the
Chicago Country Music Festival. The gambler himself, Kenny Rogers, will
perform at the Petrillo Music Shell on Saturday afternoon at 3, and Sara
Evans and Craig Morgan take the stage at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Monday evening features Broadway in Chicago with the casts of "Wicked"
and "The Color Purple" at 6 p.m.; Tuesday offers the traditional Grant Park
Orchestra accompaniment for the fireworks at 8 p.m., and this year, the big
Fourth of July concert features vaguely bluesy, middle-of-the-road
troubadour John Mayer, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and Rodrigo Y
Gabriela starting at 3 p.m.
On Thursday evening, Lyfe Jennings and Musiq Soulchild offer a soulful
double bill starting at 5:30 p.m. Taste then wraps up next weekend with a
jam-band fix starting at 5:30 p.m. on July 6 with the Black Crowes and
Umphrey's McGee; Cheap Trick, Soul Asylum and Cracker beginning at 5 p.m. on
July 7, and Los Lonely Boys and an opener yet to be announced starting at 3
p.m. on July 8.