Top Live Shows of February 2011

by Kyle Johnson

Miranda Cosgrove – Rosemont Theatre, Jan. 28. ($25-$98)
The 17-year-old has already conquered the screen (most notably as the star of Nickelodeon’s iCarly) and now she is taking the stage, touring her new album Sparks Fly. The first single, “Kissin U” shows shades of vintage Hilary Duff songs such as “Wake Up”.

Talib Kweli – The Shrine, Feb. 4. ($25-$35)
Perhaps the oft-labeled “conscious rapper” will preview some material from his upcoming Prisoner of Consciousness when he takes the stage. As a special treat, he will perform with a live band (Verzatile). This will no doubt give his songs a fuller and more dynamic live sound.

Fitz and the Tantrums – Metro, Feb. 5. ($14)
2010 was a big year for Fitz and The Tantrums and their debut album Pickin’ Up the Pieces, but the neo-soul outfit built their reputation on a foundation of dynamic live shows. Frontman Michael Fitzpatrick is drawing comparisons to Darryl Hall for his soulful songwriting and vocals.

Wavves and Best Coast – Lincoln Hall, Feb. 8 & 9. ($15)
No Beach House, but two of the trendiest players in the flavor-of-the-week California surf rock fad will alternate headlining these two shows. These are the shows to check out if you want a double dose of audible sunshine or just like doing what all the hip kids are doing.

Robyn – Riviera, Feb. 11. ($24)
Robyn returns to Chicago for the third time in seven months. If history repeats itself, the veteran diva will bring an arsenal of dance floor-ready pop music and tons of energy. The petite pop powerhouse may boast the greatest stage presence per square inch ratio in the business right now.