SummerSonic logoflorasonic logo


We are excited to introduce SummerSonic: a series of three casual parties at ESS, featuring live music in the garden by some of the most accomplished experimental bands in Chicago, and new video work by filmmaker James Fotopoulos projected in Studio A. Refreshments will be served, and good times will be had.




Admission: $10 general, $8 students and ESS members
FREE with the purchase of ESS membership at the door



Joan of ArcTim Kinsella's indie rock outfit Joan of Arc has been one of the most provocative and influential bands operating in the US since its inception in 1995. Under its aegis, Kinsella has produced consistently angular, confrontational and unpredictable work, collaborating with some of the most accomplished musicians in Chicago's diverse music scene; we're excited to hear what they have in store.


Azita Azita has drawn facile comparisons to Patti Smith and Steely Dan; when examined more closely, however, she is not so easy to pin down. Underscoring her singular voice with dense piano arrangements that draw equally from jazz, rock, and cabaret, her emotionally kaleidoscopic songs inhabit a genre nearly unique to themselves. Her newest release, Disturbing the Air, is forthcoming from Drag City Records; she will be recording a new project at ESS later this summer.




ONO Stalwart psychedelic art rockers ONO have been a fixture in the Chicago underground for almost three decades. Incorporating spoken word and performance art elements into their aggressively strange noise, ONO's live act is dynamic and decidedly out of left-field.


photo by Robert LoerzelGrammy-Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and composer LeRoy Bach is probably best known for his playing in Chicago supergroup Wilco.  He has collaborated with many other notable acts (Iron & Wine, Joan of Arc, Andrew Bird) and has composed, performed, and arranged music for a number of acclaimed theatre productions. He recently completed a run of the musical The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World in New York City. (Photo by Robert Loerzel.)



The Eternals Led by Damon Locks (whose interpretation of material in the Sun Ra/El Saturn archive will premiere at ESS this fall), The Eternals mash dub, r&b, post-punk into an unclassifiably urban style. Their new record, Approaching the Energy Field, is out now on Addenda.


ANGEL OLSEN Angel Olsen's bewitching songs sound as if they are from another time. Shrouded in reverb, she delivers her arresting lyrics in a singular vocal style distinguished by mercurial changes of timbre and glottal attacks that recall traditional Balkan singing. She has collaborated with the likes of indie troubadour Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the Cairo Gang's Emmett Kelly. Her record Strange Cacti was rereleased on vinyl in 2011 by Bathetic records.



James FotopoulosJames FotopoulosThe film and video work of James Fotopoulos has been shown internationally at various festivals and sites including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the New York Underground Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Walker Art Center, the Andy Warhol Museum, and at the Whitney Biennial in 2004, among others. His most recent work is a feature length video and 245-drawing adaptation of the 1886 Henry Saville Clark and Walter Slaughter musical Alice in Wonderland (2010).


James is creating a new video work for each of the SummerSonic parties; each will be screened in Studio A, accompanied by the sounds of the bands in the garden, as well as live solo musicians in the studio.




Presented with generous support from


Whole Foods Logo

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
View All Events