Seeing live music can be a transcendent mind-body experience, akin to getting a tattoo underwater or making out during an eclipse. Transcend boredom with today's Groupon: for $40, you get two admissions to the opening-night performance of the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on Saturday, January 21 (a $79 value). Groupon buyers will be seated in the first balcony, second balcony, and gallery sections on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival celebrates its fourth year of roots music and culture with performances by 35 bands at three venues throughout the city. Kicking off the sonic jubilee is a set from the festival's founder, Dave Grisman, who has collaborated with Jerry Garcia and has a stockpile of guitar strings made from black licorice. Grisman will be joined by his own quintet of string pluckers in addition to the Del McCoury Band, performing twangful tunes and shaking up dueling banjos traditions by hurling mandolins at one another. Other bands on the playlist include Joe Purdy, Bluegrass Ball featuring The Travelin' McCourys with to-be-named special guests, Giving Tree Band, Henhouse Prowlers, and Majors Junction.
Registered as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University is home to the legendary Landmark Stage. Upon entering the performance hall, audiences can marvel at its opulent design, counting the number of dazzling light bulbs on the proscenium's multitiered arches or grabbing fistfuls of cartoon grass from the Spring Mural on the wall.