Illinois rocks. And this year, we mean that literally. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame may just be music’s highest honor. This year, the Hall of Fame is inducting two of Illinois’ own. Cheap Trick and Chicago, two bands with Illinois roots and international appeal, are being honored as influential leaders in the music industry. Check out how you can take part in celebrating their music and accomplishments right here in Illinois.
Hailing from Rockford, Cheap Trick was formed in the early 1970s by Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson, Bun E. Carlos and Robin Zander. Releasing their first studio album in 1977, their success has remained consistent over the past 40 years. With albums like “In Color,” “Heaven Tonight,” “Dream Police,” and “Lap of Luxury,” and singles including “The Flame,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” and “I Want You to Want Me,” it is easy to see why they’re still selling out shows. Illinois has even stepped up to recognize Cheap Trick’s influence on the music industry, officially declaring April 1 as Cheap Trick Day in the state.
To celebrate the hometown heroes’ Hall of Fame induction, Rockford has planned a full “Cheap Trick” takeover for the city, renaming itself “Trickford” complete with a newly adopted website GoTrickford.com. And the celebrations don’t stop there! Rockford is also naming the four founding members’ boyhood streets after them and establishing “Cheap Trick Fan Trail” tours around the city to allow visitors to experience the band’s Rockford roots for themselves. To top it off, Rockford is planning a two-day celebratory music festival for the early fall. Be sure to sign up for festival updates at GoTrickford.com so that you don’t miss out on this sure to be amazing event!
If you aren’t able to partake in the festivities, don’t worry, you still have the chance to see Cheap Trick perform live in Chicago, Tuesday, July 19 at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.
If you haven’t guessed already, the rock band Chicago is from Chicago! Formed in 1967, Chicago is one of the most successful and longest-running American bands, with five consecutive Number One albums and hit singles including “If You Leave Me Now” and “Hard to say I’m Sorry”. These hometown rock stars even have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a total of 47 gold and platinum awards.
Chicago is still touring to this day, and will be performing in Moline, IL on April 16 at iWireless Center with Earth, Wind, and Fire and in Rockford, IL at the Coronado Performing Arts Center on August 15.
If you’re looking for even more chances to catch some live music, check out one of these other bands that call Illinois home.
The Smashing Pumpkins
Formed in the early 90s in Chicago, The Smashing Pumpkins was one of the most successful alternative bands of the decade. Fun Fact: Although The Smashing Pumpkins went their separate ways in 2000, they reunited in 2007 after an announcement by band leader Billy Corgan through a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune saying he wanted to revive the band.
The Smashing Pumpkins is performing in Chicago at the Civic Opera House on Thursday, April 14.
REO Speedwagon was formed on the University of Illinois’ campus in Champaign during the late 1960s. Named after a REO Speed Wagon, a flatbed truck band member Neal Doughty studied in transportation history class, this band produced classic singles such as “Keep on Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling.”
Listen to their popular 1970s and 80s hits when they come to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park on Saturday, July 2.
One of the top bands in the 70s and 80s, Styx originated from Chicago and had five consecutive platinum albums, including “Kilroy Was Here,” which went triple platinum in addition to being #1 on US charts. Their top songs include “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto.”
-Illinois Office of Tourism