Formerly dubbed “the wonder ballroom,” the Aragon is another of Uptown’s historic music venues, located just down Lawrence from the Riv and the Green Mill. It is, quite simply, like nothing else in Chicago, built in 1926 to replicate the Moorish architecture of a Spanish palace courtyard. From the lobby to the ballroom, the facility is beautifully adorned in mosaic tiles, crystal chandeliers, arches, and balconies, and between the multihued lighting and a painted ceiling, an Aragon experience does its best to conjure a night spent outdoors (albeit one with glow-in-the-dark paints).
The Aragon went through a series of transitions in the 1960s and ’70s, becoming a roller rink, boxing venue, and discotheque before settling as a major music venue. Though it still hosts dances, private events, wrestling and boxing matches, and much more, the Aragon remains best known for its large concerts, hosting everyone from The Rolling Stones to Slayer. The serious capacity—up to 4,500—makes it sweaty, hard to see from the floor, and hard to get good sound. At the very least, you’ll have a memorable visual experience.
Aragon Entertainment Center
1106 W. Lawrence
Chicago, IL 60640