Aragon Ballroom

Concert Venue
Aragon Ballroom Aragon Ballroom in Chicago’s Uptown is a gorgeous concert hall designed like a lavish Spanish courtyard. Come see some great bands in Chicago with Party Earth. Chicago United States 41.969122 -87.658019
3.69 14
Aragon Ballroom - Concert Venue in Chicago.
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Ratings:
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Adriana
Jonah
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Party Earth Review Named for a province in northern Spain (not the dude from Lord of the Rings, that’s Aragorn), the 20s-era Aragon Ballroom was designed to resemble a lavish Spanish courtyard, and plays host to bands that can attract large... ... read full review

  • Neighborhood:

    Uptown
  • Address:

    1106 West Lawrence Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60640

    Get Directions

  • Hours:

    Box office: M–F 9am–6pm and Sa–Su 10am–6pm if there is a concert day of and tickets are still available
    Box office may close later during the week depending on ticket availability
    Concert times vary. Check venue website for schedule

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Aragon Ballroom Schedule of Events

Nov05Wed
The 1975

Concert / Alternative Rock / Indie Rock

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Nov07Fri
107.5 FM WGCI Big Jam - Concert in Chicago.

Concert / Hip-Hop / Pop / R&B / Rap / Singer / Songwriter

9:00 pm
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Aragon Ballroom Videos

Armin Van Buuren at Aragon Ballroom, Chicago 05/21/11
0:000:00
Armin Van Buuren at Aragon Ballroom, Chicago 05/21/11
12,469 views
Keane—Nothing In Your Way@Aragon Theater.Chicago
16,084 views
Nirvana "Heart-Shaped Box " Live Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL 10/23/93 (audio)
7,547 views
Bassnectar @ The Aragon Chicago HALLOWEEN 2010!!!!
10,662 views
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE "HELENA" - Aragon Ballroom Chicago IL 4/15/11
927 views
Morrissey - "Seasick" - The Aragon Ballroom - Chicago - 4/4/09
1,278 views
Armin Van Buuren - Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL (High Editing) This Will be Like the May 21st Show!
2,044 views
The Flaming Lips - Chicago - Aragon - 7-7-11
266 views

Party Earth Aragon Ballroom Review

The Scene

Aragon Ballroom in Chicago’s Uptown is a gorgeous concert hall designed like a lavish Spanish courtyard. Come see some great bands in Chicago with Party Earth.

Named for a province in northern Spain (not the dude from Lord of the Rings, that’s Aragorn), the 20s-era Aragon Ballroom was designed to resemble a lavish Spanish courtyard, and plays host to bands that can attract large crowds but who don’t want an impersonal mega-stadium feel.

Originally a dance hall, the elaborate space has also been home to a roller rink, boxing venue, disco, and even marathon monster rock acts that attracted so many amped-up head-bashers people nicknamed it the Aragon Brawlroom.

Current house rules have quelled behavior a bit – stage diving and crowd surfing are prohibited, and moshing guarantees a boot out the door – but it’s still a helluva sight to see.

The classic, ornately decorated Moorish façade features sculptured stone faces, while the colossal ceiling is painted to recreate a brilliant starry night. The effect is rounded out with castle accoutrements like looming turrets and bas-relief etchings that seem to appear around every turn.

Concerts draw music lovers of all shapes and sizes, with performances by everyone from deadmau5 and Steve Aoki to Rob Zombie and Disturbed, as well as big Latin acts, all bringing the massive throngs to the open dance floor and sweeping balcony.

Truthfully, the acoustics can be spotty, so trained ears will want to get close to the stage to avoid sound wash, but to catch great bands in a venue as brimming with history as it is beauty, it’s hard to beat the Aragon Ballroom.

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Tip from Jonah:

The Green Mill, a bar down the street, was a favorite haunt of legendary gangster Al Capone. Legend has it that there’s a secret tunnel leading from Aragon’s basement to the bar…Who’s got a shovel?

  • Crowd

    Highly varied crowd depending on the night’s act, including metalheads, punks, Latino couples, rockers, old hippies, hipsters, and everything between. Some shows are for all ages and bring in some teens, but mostly 20s to mid-40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Diverse lineup includes Latin, electronica, rock, metal, punk, hip-hop, funk, salsa, grunge, blues, and more. Occasional boxing events.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Pizza available at the bar. Coat check available in winter.

  • Prices

    Tickets $35–$75+ based on performer. Beer $6–$7, water $3–$4.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Varies per show, but casual is the norm: band t-shirts, jeans, punk garb, hippie duds, salsa gear, sassy dresses.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Whenever a band of interest is on the docket.

  • Close By

    The Green Mill (4802 North Broadway Street) is a beautiful, intimate jazz bar that offers great riffs and slightly cheaper pre-game drinks.

Aragon Ballroom User Reviews

Average rating:
Everything's Magic~
Alli E. May 4, 2013
The enjoyablity of the Aragon Ballroom can vary. The venue is absolutely beautiful and has an almost magical atmosphere. However, if the artist you are seeing is someone very important to you who you will probably be at the barricade for then you might not enjoy yourself as much - the stage splits through the center and the stage is super high... If I were seeing a DJ or an artist that I was just there to be there for then this venue would be my favorite by far.
Luck of the Irish
Andy J. Apr 8, 2013
It may not look like much from the outside, but the Aragon Ballroom might be the most beautiful concert venue in Chicago. I've had the privilege to be able to see Flogging Molly three times at this beautiful hall and each time, there is something new to appreciated. The first impression I've heard from people is one of beauty, and I agree completely with that sentiment. Everything makes you go "wow." The majestic Spanish architecture fits in perfectly with any band, even if it looks like you should be there for a wrestling match. The grand staircase is something out of a Disney movie with its curved banisters. The Aragon Ballroom is a place that I would love to enjoy on a daily basis. Prices for beer and other drinks is on the expensive side, but if you don't want to spend money, then I suggest you stay home. The only problem I have with the Aragon is the lack of easily accessible fire escapes. But if that ever happens, then I couldn't think of a more wonderful place to go. I suggest you visit this venue as much as your funds allow.
Ellie Goulding at Aragon
Hanna W. Apr 8, 2013
Stepping off the L straight to the doors of the Aragon Ballroom I couldn't have imagined what was inside. I was going to see Ellie Glouding, I thought it was just going to be a stage with a great performance. The Aragon Ballroom was so much more than that. Once inside of the concert hall, it opens up to a huge, castle like, performance space. The stage is in the front at the peak of the castle, and the rest of the room is standing (more like dancing) space, and off to the side there is a bar where you can pick up a quick drink. When the lights dim and the music starts, you really start to appreciate the space. The whole room dances with the music, along with the people. It is spacious enough to dance while the music is playing without hitting anyone next to you, or push up past the crowd if you want a closer look. All in all, it was a great experience. The crowd was of all ages, although that changes based on the band you are seeing. The atmosphere and the architecture added something else to the concert completely. It almost reminded me of being at a little festival, with the castle and lights up all around everyone, and you just become a part of the crowd.
St. Patrick's Arrives early at Aragon
Katie H. Apr 6, 2013
The Aragon Ballroom has an old Chicago charm to it. The Spanish influence and crystal chandeliers gives a touch of high class, even if you're there to head bang and mosh. You are welcomed by beer vendors and stands selling paraphernalia for the upcoming show. This particular show included a sea of green in honor of Irish Rock band Flogging Molly. Walk up the quick flight of stairs and you are in the main ballroom. The historic charm includes terra-cotta ceilings, balconies and beautifully sculpted archways. There is also beer, water and simple food for sale- cash only. If you're like most of us, you paid for general admission. You can either arrive early, or push your way up to the front of the stage. Flogging Molly did a great job of bringing opening bands with them that are similar in genre. Skinny Lister from London was especially memorable this year. Molly brought the energy that shakes those very same crystal chandeliers from first song to last encore. Folks of every age, size and color come together to enjoy the positive vibe and high energy that Molly brings every time they play at the Aragon. Another plus, the bathrooms are always clean and an attendant is close by if you need anything.
Ellie Goulding and St. Lucia
Molly G. Apr 2, 2013
I had the pleasure of shooting the Ellie Goulding concert for Paste Magazine. It was my first time at this venue and it was pretty incredible. Just a quick ride on the Red Line and about 50 feet away from the Laurence Ave stop makes it easy attend shows. I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere the minute I walked in, the place looks like a giant castle. You approach a large staircase which takes you up to the ballroom. The Ballroom has general admission on the floor and balcony seating making it very easy for everyone to have a wonderful experience. When I approached the security team they were nothing but friendly. It is always nice to be able to get in to a venue and get your shots without being approached by a rude security team. The Venue was a perfect place for an artist like Ellie Goulding. She really took advantage of the space and said she enjoyed playing this venue. I cannot wait to work another show at such an amazing venue.
If You go to Any Venue this Year, Make it this One.
Sara S. Feb 19, 2013
There are dozens of performance venues in Chicago, but none create their own environment like the Aragon Ballroom. The vintage front entrance is complimented brilliantly by the impressive twin-staircases that transport attendees into a fantasy world completely separate from the hustle and bustle of the busy Chicago streets. The ample stage is sandwiched between two recreated Mediterranean-style buildings housing large balconies. Even the ceiling is something special and features a masterfully painted night sky complete with stars and moon. The cash-only bar is located towards the back of the auditorium and the secondary bar is located between the stairs and accepts credit. Both are full bars and provide a range of refreshing choices to attendees along with typical music venue foods such as pizza by the slice. If there is fault to find with the Aragon it is the lack of nearby parking. While parking is available within close proximity to the Aragon, it is typically full long before the shows begin and it can be an impressive walk for attendees who are not fortunate enough to get a prime parking space. This is easily remedied however by any savvy event-goer as the “EL” has a Red Line stop on Lawrence Ave. just down the street. Old-time glamor and excellent sound quality make the Aragon Ballroom impressive to attendees and performers alike, reliably providing a beautiful experience for first-timers and returning admirers time and time again. If you see only one show in Chicago this year, make sure it's at the Aragon Ballroom – you won't find anything like it anywhere else.
My Chemical Romance Shakes Up the Ballroom
Tyler W. Feb 12, 2013
"The Aragon Ballroom", The high energy, flashy lighting, and fist pumping, along with some seweat and ear splitting chanting was brought at the Aragon Ballroom when therock sensation My chemical Romance dropped in on us. They brought us a couple of oldies but goodies to keep the crowd excited the whole way through, making a great night and the lead singer's red hair was a great sight to see even from afar. There's no way you could not have felt the vibratous tunes entering your entire body just forcing you to scream revolution. I feel sorry for you if you didnt make it out, but hopefully they will return and bless us with another great concert. It was definately a night I neither will anyone else forget.
Like a Stevie Nicks Video...
Conor M. Feb 11, 2013
Ellie Goulding brought her Halycon Tour to this venue on Jan 29th. It was my first time visiting the impressive ballroom which is like a fusion of future galaxy meets medieval times but in a very cool way. For some reason I envisioned a Stevie Nicks venue when I looked up at the ceiling (don't leave without checking out the center ceiling!) The open floor venue was reminiscent of NYC's Hammerstein Ballroom but Hammerstein pales in comparison to the exquisite detail from the hand rails to the molding. Staff was courteous, bar attendants upstairs were very accommodating and it never felt over crowded. Ellie herself noted the venue was a very fun place to perform. There is balcony seating upstairs if you want more private time with your friends for a show.
A little too big for this style venue
Chris M. Oct 3, 2012
I like the general admission venues where everyone is on the floor but I saw Ryan Adams here a few years back and the place was just too big to be able to see him at all. I'm not the tallest person but in most places I can find a gap between heads to see but I was so far away that it was nearly impossible. Also the review is right, the acoustics are rough. When Ryan did a few quieter songs on the piano I could barely hear. Though this was also because a lot of the audience was talking, but that brings me back to the first point - too big for this style venue where it is easy to have a conversation. It was still fun when he rocked out some louder stuff and there could be room to dance around for that kind of show, but I'd much rather go to the Vic, the Metro and others like that.
Gorgeous venue...poopy sound
Jayson M. Aug 22, 2012
It’s hard not to be impressed with Aragon from a visual perspective. The space is beautiful, for sure, but it suffers the same issues that any venue this size normally does: the sound is not so bueno. The only way I have found to be able to really enjoy a concert here is to get up and center. Acoustics are great there, but saying “get close to the band” is kind of a ridiculous thing to tell anyone who regularly goes to see live music. Also I hate the bathroom situation. More than a few times I have thought about wearing Depends to this place so I can just let $7 beer be free without suffering the lines or walk. That said, if a favorite performer is set to play, you’ll still have a good time. It’s a concert venue, what do you want?
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